10 Reasons to visit the Brenne Regional Park



10 Reasons to visit the Brenne Regional Park

The Parc naturel régional de la Brenne, in Indre, is a haven of rich, green landscapes and home to all manner of flora and fauna, including many species of birds and some rather special turtles…

1. Get away from it all

Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the peace and quiet. This unspoilt park boasts plenty of space and very few people. Known as the ‘land of a thousand lakes’, it’s home to a hilly and wooded landscape to the south, while the Anglin and Creuse rivers, where hedgerows and crops mingle, form steep, wild valleys punctuated by pretty villages.

2. Outdoor activities

Make the most of the great outdoors and explore on foot, bicycle or horseback. There are plenty of voies vertes, a safe and peaceful way to enjoy the countryside without the interruption of traffic. Or jump in a canoe and view this stunning landscape from the river.

3. Exceptional landscapes

Discover exceptional nature and varied landscapes in the second largest wetland in France (after Champagne). Here you will find springs, streams, rivers, peat bogs and water meadows, all the perfect environment for a biodiverse offering of plants and animals.

4. Birders’ paradise

There are numerous hides dotted about the park so bird- lovers can spot the many and varied species that call the area home. Spring is an incredible time to see grebes and terns building their nests and raising their young.

© Parc Naturel Brenne Official website

5. See turtles up close

Take time to spot the European pond turtles. The Brenne is an ideal environment for this small freshwater turtle that lives in the wild between ponds and meadows in fact, a – staggering 90% of the French population of this species is found in the Brenne.

6. Terrific terroir

The Brenne has a rich and varied larder, including the famous Pouligny- Saint-Pierre, a goat’s cheese with a mild and creamy taste, produced only in the park. Meet farmers, cheese-makers, honey producers and more – and enjoy a taste of their incredible products!

7. Idyllic villages

Visit some of the beautiful, unspoilt villages, explore the 15th-century Château d’Azay-le-Ferron, or marvel at the Château du Bouchet, a monument historique near the Maison du Parc in Rosnay. At the Maison du Parc, you can learn all about the Brenne, and dine on local specialities in the restaurant. It is also the starting point for a hiking trail and two cycling circuits, but before you set off, be sure to visit the audiovisual
room, which tells the story of the Brenne the fauna, the flora and the lives of the men, women and children who live and work here.

© Parc Naturel Brenne Official website

8. Experienced guides

The regional park has a team of experts on hand to look after the park and share its manifold delights with visitors. Brit Tony Williams, for instance, has lived, worked and guided in Brenne for over 30 years, and is passionate about birds and conservation, holding a degree in Applied Zoology.

9. Explore on horseback

Fans of all things equine will love it here. A host of different trails and accommodation, from campsites to B&Bs to gîtes, are ready to welcome you and your horse so you can make your holiday a true escape from the hustle and bustle of modern living.

10. Autumn pleasures

Beautiful all year round, the Parc naturel régional de la Brenne takes on a very special sort of magic in the autumn. In the early morning, enjoy the peaceful pastime of pond fishing; in the late afternoon watch out for common cranes returning to the roost; and at night listen to the bellowing of the deer. But whatever time of year you visit, you will find events, outings, special visits, flea markets, shows and festivals to entertain you. If you can tear yourself away from all that peace and quiet, of course.

For more information, visit www.parc-naturel-brenne.fr/destination-brenne

From France Today magazine

Lead photo credit : Guifette in the Brenne parc © Hellio / Van Inguen

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