French holiday cottages and gites in France, to rent with swimming pool, tennis court, self catering facilities and acres of country side in the heart of Poitou-Charente, on the west coast of France, ideal for visiting from early spring to late autumn    
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Within 45 minutes' drive

The Lambon Leisure Lake at Prailles (42 km)

Offers supervised swimming, windsurfing, canoeing, pedalos, picnic and games area and tourist train, all in a peaceful and picturesque woodland setting. www.lelambon.com.

Zoodyssee at Chizé in the Forest of Chizé (33 km)

Home to 600 animals native to Europe, such as wolves, European bisons, lynx, reptiles and amphibia. information page

The Silver Mines of the Frankish Kings,Melle (19 km).

Exploited between the 5th - 10th century, these are the oldest mines you can visit in Europe. The 320 metre long underground tour recreates the noises and atmosphere of working in the mine. www.mellecom.fr/mines.

Valley of the Apes in Romagne (38 km).

See gorillas, chimpanzees, gibbons, lemurs and capuchins and a host of other primates in a natural setting (some monkeys are free to roam around the visitors). There is also a petting zoo with mini-goats, ducks and chickens. The park is dedicated to conservation and in August 2004, they were proud to announce the birth of a baby gorilla. www.la-vallee-des-singes.fr.

L'Asinerie du Baudet du Poitou (39km)

See the best donkeys in the world the Baudet du Poitou - fantastic day out for all animal lovers. www.baudetdupoitou.fr

Within 1 hours drive

All distances calculated with Microsoft Auto Route Planner.

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