Correze has one of the largest networks of waterways in France making it a coarse fisherman’s paradise with large numbers of carp, bream, barbel, roach, gudgeon, tench, dace and chub along with pike and perch. Choose from 5000km of rivers and streams and over 4000 hectares of reservoirs and man-made lakes. Correze has 8 second category night carp fishing locations. Trout and grayling can also be found in many rivers. The Maison de L’Eau et de la Peche de la Correze in Neuvic and Lissac-sur-Couse hold conferences and courses. Fishing permits ‘cartes de peche’ can be obtained throughout the region at shops, tabacs, campsites and bars, at reasonable prices.
Correze has more than 5000km of streams and rivers and over 4000 hectares of reservoirs and man-made water recreation areas. Watersports centres can be found at Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne on the River Dordogne, Objat close to a lake and river and at the departmental capital of Tulle spanning the River Correze. Between them they offer a wide range of activities including swimming, sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, jet skiing speed boating and rowing. The watersports centre at ‘Le Splash’ at Argentat on the River Dordogne also gives holidaymakers a chance to enjoy swimming and water games with chutes and a lagoon. There are beaches and a picnic area nearby. Open in June, and from 11am to 8pm in July and August with swimming instructors on duty. Get a different angle on the Correze countryside from a canoe or kayak. The Rivers Correze, Diege, Dordogne, Maronne and Vezere have hire stations and offer various levels of difficulty. For lessons and organised trips, try the base de Bourbacoup in Tulle. Rafting opportunities can be found at the Base de la Minoterie in Uzerche and at Treignac on the upper gorges of the Vezere. The latter has hosted world championship events in the sport.
The slow pace of life in sparsely populated rural Correze is best savoured by walking or cycling past rustic villages and through countryside still steeped in traditional farming methods. Treignac, gateway to the Monedieres ‘mountains’, is on 2 main walking routes, the GR440 through the Correze mountains (you can also pick this up at Meymac) and the G46 which goes on to Brive-la-Gaillarde and from Uzerche to Turenne and Martel in the neighbouring department of Lot. Paths also leave Treignac to hilltop viewpoints and via wooded lanes and open hillsides to the granite boulder known as La Pierre des Druides. From Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, you can wander along the river banks or up into the hills. Beaulieu is also on the GR480 ‘boucle de la Cere de la Maronne’ a circular route which also passes through neighbouring Lot but takes in Collonge-la-Rouge and Turenne.
French long distance routes (GRs) are indicated with red and white markers, regional paths (GRPs) have red and yellow trail blazes and shorter local paths are usually marked in a single colour. Walking guide books - TopoGuides - are very useful but published in French only. The guide for Correze for example lists more than 400 short walks. Ask at local tourist offices for other details.
There is a strong tradition of horse breeding in Correze including a national stud at Arnac Pompadour, and up in the saddle is an ideal way to explore the region’s natural beaty. The 16 main riding centres in Correze which are members of the Comite Departmental de Tourism Equestre have links to over 350km of riding trails some suitable for children as well as adults. The centres also offer carriage rides and lessons.
Contact equestrian centres at places like Tregnac (00 33) 5 55 98 02 92, Brive (00 33) 55 87 01 51 and Village du Moulin de Bonnat (00 33) 5 55 98 17 23 for local details.
Take the summer ‘Train Vapeur’ mountain line (100km in total - Limoges to Ussels). The section from Meymac to Ussel travels along the picturesque Vienne Valley to Eymoutiers, then climbs through forests to the high altitude Plateau de Millevaches. The gorges and scenery are spectacular. If you have time when you arrive, visit the Musee du Pays d’Ussel in Ussel (open daily July and August) to learn about the traditional crafts of this fascinating region. Trains run in July and August every year. Consult Meymac Tourist Office for train times.
Sometimes known as the city of the horse, the chateau at Arnac Pompadour is home to one of France’s national stud farms created by Louis XV in 1761and there is a regular programme of horse racing events from July to September. The grey turreted chateau was given to his mistress - the Marquise de Pompadour - by Louise XV although it is said she never saw it. The chateau gardens are open to the public for guided tours daily April to Sept; Tues and Sat in Oct; Wed and Sun in Nov; Tues and Sat in Dec to Mar.
Everyone who enjoys car boot sales will love the French equivalent - a vide grenier (literally, empty attic) or brocante (second hand) sale. Find signs posted locally or scan French websites for details. The best are held in fields in country areas so do take stout comfortable footwear and suitable clothing for the weather, and be sure any ‘shabby chic’ furniture you buy will fit into your vehicle!
The children of Henri Queuille, 3 times President of France in the mid twentieth century, bequeathed his house at Neuvic to the Department of Correze on the understanding it would be turned into a museum to his memory and to the Resistance. The museum, opened in 1982 by President Francois Mitterand, has a range of exhibits including documents and photographs honouring the ex-president and also the epic work of the Resistance in higher Correze during WWII. Tel: (00 33) 5 55 95 96 87 for more details.
For a striking and thought-provoking reminder of the evils of war, take a trip into neighbouring Haute Vienne, north west of Limoges, to visit the ruined village of Oradour-sur-Glane. It stands as a moving twentieth century shrine for inhabitants massacred there in WWII. General d’Gaulle decreed Oradour-sur-Glane should remain just as it was - cars on the street, furniture in the houses - after the horrific and unexplained attack by the SS on 10 June 1944 which ended the lives of 642 men, women and children. Happily a new and thriving village has now been built beside the old.
A park with different levels of trails for children and adults with 5 safe aerial routes through the trees. Bungee jumping for everyone. Located at Centre Touristique du Coiroux, Aubuzine, tel (00 33) 5 55 27 21 10
The Bort’s Tannery which closed in 199l now houses the tanning museum. Discover the process of turning skins into finished leather. The exhibition also features historic pictures of Bort and the tannery at the turn of the century.
Opening hours: guided visit every day from 1 April to 31 October from 1000 to 1200 and from 1400 to 1900h. (1 Nov to 31 Mar - bookings only). For more information tel: (00 33) 5 55 96 85 59