Lying between an altitude of 200 and 1000 metres, the Limousin is mostly a region, as you may imagine of hills, valleys and mountains. The highest point in Limousin is the Mont Bessou, 977 metres, near Ussel, in the Corrèze department, the highest point of the Plateau de Millevaches, which borders the neighbouring Auvergne region.
Forming the north western edge of the Massif Central, Limousin is a region that is relatively well watered, with lots of rivers and lakes. The south western part of the region, including the area round Brive, can be very hot in summer.
Rural Limousin is an land of deciduous woodland, of sheep grazing land in the north, and an upland area of spruce forests and grazing land on the Plateau de Millevaches (this is the plateau of the thousand springs, not a thousand cows, there are many more than that).
The Limousin region consists of 3 departments:
By rail from Paris Gare d'Austerlitz - regular trains from Paris to Limoges and Brive-la-Gaillarde, with connecting services to other towns and cities. There are also a few services from Clermont-Ferrand via Ussel as well as Brive to Bordeaux.
By road: the region is crossed north-south by the A20 motorway (Paris, Orleans, Vierzon and Toulouse), and northeast-southwest by the A89 motorway (Clermont-Ferrand, Brive, Lyon and Bordeaux).
Airport: Limoges airport has several low-cost airlines from the UK and other countries. There are also some good services to the new airport at Brive-la-Gaillarde.
The region is most famous for its meat and in particular its beef. Other outstanding specialities are the AOC apples and Limousin's famous chestnuts. There is an unusual violet mustard and who can forget the Clafouti cake with cherries and lots of calories.
Sometimes the region is described as having poor, simple and dull food, but after several visits we can only say it is pretty good and currently thriving, even a short trip to the region will be enough to get you addicted to what some wrongly say is 'dull and austere', but they are wrong.
The Limousin has a few claims to fame and most noteworthy is the worlds biggest maze at Gueret covering around two hectares and borders a 3000 hectare forest. There are several questions in the maze which, if answered correctly, help you to find your way out. Train rides in old steam trains is a popular pursuit as is Hot Air ballooning. Plus there are some very nice walks and treks though some of the most spectacular scenery in this region of very few inhabitants.
Styles of property in the Limousin remind me of Normandy and Pays de la Loire as the agriculture and farming activities are very similar, also similar to the Yorkshire dales in the UK, I know this sounds strange but it is true. Many houses have slate roofs and are built of granite or similar hard rock and being a largely farming region there is no shortage of Farmhouses and cottages.
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