Out & About









Market days are generally held weekly or fortnightly, all morning till around midday. Here, you will find local goods on sale including food, clothes, shoes and household items.

The market days in nearby towns are as follows:

Lezay - Tuesday and Saturday

Sauzé-Vaussais - Thursday

Melle - Friday

Chef Boutonne - Saturday

Ruffec - Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

Les Halles de Niort in the centre of Niort is a covered market selling a variety of fresh meat, fish, cheeses and vegetables. The market is open Tuesdays - Sundays till 1pm.

At La Rochelle and Poitiers you'll find designer-label boutiques and shoe shops, jewellers, gift shops and speciality chocolate and cake shops. Niort and Angoulême are also good for shopping. Remember that shops in France are normally closed for lunch between 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm.

Bargain-hunters who are prepared to go further afield, should visit Le Circuit des Marques in La Séguinière, on the outskirts of Cholet. Le Circuit des Marques is a trading estate with over 20 warehouses selling over 100 brand name goodies like Quiksilver, CAT, NAFNAF, and Diesel, for men, women and children, at bargain prices.

However, for something really special, take a day trip to Paris and include a bit of sightseeing on your shopping trip. A direct train departs daily from Ruffec station (around 30 minutes' drive from Les Cygnes) at around 0915 and arrives at Paris Montparnasse station around 1140 - which is just in time for you to take a spot of lunch before hitting the shops. The last direct train back to Ruffec leaves Paris Montparnasse around 1715 and arrives in Ruffec around 1945*.

*Timetables may vary. For the latest information, visit www.voyages-sncf.com or www.tgv.com.