If you have children, there are numerous activities nearby, including the poitou donkey farm, Zoodyssee in the forest of Chize, Paleosite for budding palentologists in Saint Cesaire, a school museum in Vergne and miniature boats in Saint Savinien.
Zoodyssee, foret de Chize
Only 20 minutes from the cottage and in the centre of the Forest of Chize is a 60 acre zoo with 500 European animals, mini-farm and a children’s play area. Animals include lynx, monkeys, wolfs, vultures, donkeys, owls and many types of deer. Great if you’d like the children to run around and let off some steam. And also has a café and gift shop.
The Paleosite is a fascinating adventure in to the heart of prehistory, using all the latest technologies. Animations take you back 15 billion years to the heart of the Big Bang and the beginning of life. Walk in the footsteps of your ancestors and physically compare yourself to them. With voiceovers in English, this site is very interactive, user friendly and fun for all ages. Lovely café attached too!
Le Nouvel Aquarium, Bassin des Grands Yachts, la Rochelle
The aquarium at la Rochelle is amazing, with thousands of Atlantic, Mediterranean and tropical species, from tiny multi coloured fish through to over 20 species of sharks. Leave yourself two hours to travel into the depths of the ocean and marvel at the splendours of the deep. Arrive early, though, as you may need to queue!
Zoo de la Palmyre, Royan
The 14-hectare zoo contains animals from all over the world, including polar bears, apes, elephants, jaguars, lions, panthers, giraffes, hippos, wolves, crocodiles, vultures, cockatoos, pink flamingos, etc. There is also a reptile house, tropical greenhouse and visitors can watch performances by trained parrots and sea lions. It is really worth spending all day at the zoo; take a packed lunch,or enjoy a croque monsieur at the café.
Futuroscope is a unique cinema theme park whose 21 innovative and visually striking pavilions (more are being added every year) make for a hugely entertaining day for the whole family. The newest attraction is the IMAX 3D Dynamique, whose seats tilt and lurch while you watch computer-generated, full-colour action in 3-D.