The fortified city of Angoulême with its ramparts, old town and specialist museums

The Atlantic coast, including the popular resort of Royan, is less than 50 miles away

The great Cognac houses, many of which offer guided tours

Numerous chateaux, including one of France's finest, La Rochefoucauld, and the birthplace of François I at Cognac

Picturesque villages and outstanding church architecture, much of it dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. The Roman influence is strong in the region, with two amphitheatres within an hour's drive

Bordeaux, a cosmopolitan city with a long and interesting history, is 80 miles away

Poitiers, and the fascinating Futuroscope theme park, are an hour and half drive