If you are renting cottages in south France, there are all sorts of attractions to enjoy, ranging from family-friendly theme parks to historic houses and museums. As well as the more traditional museums, such as those that cover the history of the region, there are also some more unusual or quirky museums that are fascinating to visit too. Here we put the spotlight on some of the best museums and attractions in the region.
When you are planning your French holiday, staying in one of Kingfisher’s cottages has many benefits. In the Lot Valley in rural south France, they offer the chance to relax amid peaceful surroundings. All our gites, farmhouses and cottages come with a pool, and some even have sporting facilities to keep the whole family amused.
Cottages in South France – click here to see our choice of gites, farmhouses and cottages.
Here is a taste of what some of the museums in this area have to offer during your cottage holidays in France.
The Lavender Farm – Sweet-scented lavender is among the unusual crops in the area, and by visiting the Lavender Farm just outside Touffailles you can see how the plant is harvested and its oil distilled. Over the summer months there are free daily guided tours of the distillery, and the farm is also open at weekends over the rest of the year. The owners speak English and explain to visitors how the essential oil of lavender can be used in various ways.
Foie Gras Museum – France’s only Foie Gras Museum is based in an old stone barn on a farm near Frespech. The museum traces how the famous delicacy is prepared, and looks at its long history. There are interactive exhibits aimed at children, and at the end of the tour it is possible to taste the foie gras and other farm recipes.
Eysses Archaeological Museum – Based at Villeneuve-sur-Lot, this museum has themed areas exploring the history of the region, with exhibits including coins, statues and ceramics. One section is devoted to the story of the Benedictine Abbey of Eysses, while visitors can also learn about how the fortified town of Villeneuve was created. There is also a gallery showing life in the area in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Museum of the Fortified Towns – History of the Lot Valley is brought alive at this unique collection in Monflanquin, which tells how the area’s fortified towns, or Bastides, were created in the Middle Ages. The museum features many interactive exhibits such as scale models, audio and video equipment and activities for children.
Rocamadour Museum of Sacred Art – Perched on the edge of a cliff, this village is one of the most visited sites in France, with its historic fort, shrines and chapels. In the former episcopal palace, the art museum has an amazing collection of religious artwork, adding to the sense of history here.
Automata and Robotics Museum, Souillac – Children will love to see the collection of more than 300 mechanical toys and automatons from the workshops of Roullet & Decamps. The exhibits here range from 18th and 19th century toys right up to the robots of the present day, and include musical automatons.
The Prune Museum – Prunes have been a much-loved delicacy in the Agen area ever since plums were brought back from Syria by the Crusaders in the 13th Century. To find out all about the area’s famous fruit, visit the Prune Museum at Granges-sur-Lot, which has attractions including an orienteering course and re-created work scenes. There is also a corn maze to visit every year between July and September.
Hazelnut House – If you thought the only thing you could do with hazelnuts was to roast them, think again. This fun attraction at Lacépède features an astonishing range of hazelnut products, from hazelnut soap to flour and even crisps made from the versatile nuts. Shows for youngsters are regularly staged here.
The Magic Cauldron – Another great place to visit while staying at cottages in south France is this working organic farm in Brugnac, which has a range of animals to see including Angora goats and Highland cattle. Children will enjoy the opportunity to feed goats and lambs, while breadmaking is a daily activity and you can also help to make cheese.
Rignault Museum – This unusual museum in Saint-Cirq Lapopie is a restored typical village house, named after art dealer Émile-Joseph Rignault, who filled it with his collection of furniture and artworks from the early 20th century. The museum also includes the ruins of an ancient fortress, and a beautiful garden.
Kingfisher has a wonderful choice of gites and cottages in south France which allow you the chance to get to know this unique region first-hand. Get in touch now to start planning your French break.
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