Things to do and Places to see

Walking, golfing, canoeing, horse-riding, gliding, swimming

 Rivers Loir and Loire, chateaux, vineyards, markets, historic towns

Award winning zoos at La Fleche and Doue La Fontaine

Le Bignon is located in the historic 'pays Baugeois' region of the Pays de la Loire. This is peaceful, moderate and gentle countryside with many wooded areas lying just to the north of the river Loire. Less than 10 minutes drive away lies the 'Reserve Naturelle de Chambiers' , a mixed forest with miles of gentle paths for walking or cycling- the perfect place for relaxing throughout the seasons..
Leisure facilities nearby include a number of golf courses including the fabulous 18 hole course at Bauge-Pontigne .  Guests at Le Bignon enjoy a 15% on green fees ( just ask Peter to make a call!)

Our nearest village is Jarze, a fifteen minute walk away with

post office


small supermarket




Some 9 kilometers to the east is the larger, pretty old town of Bauge - an attractive, bustling little market town with a larger supermarket, small shopping "High Street" and a number of cafes and restaurants. Slap in the centre of town is the main square overlooked by the town chateau which now houses the tourist information office. In July/August each year, Bauge is host to the fabulous Opera de Bauge. A similar distance to the north is Durtal, a pretty little town set on the River Loir, with its imposing chateau and a choice of cafes and restaurants.

Also close by to the south west is the major university city of Angers, the capital of the historic province of Anjou, and considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in France. This sophisticated city offers theatre, music, ballet and art exhibitions as well as great shopping, a vast range of cafes, restaurants and bars and an unforgettable market every Saturday. Perhaps the two most famous sites are the magnificent twin spiralled Cathedral of Saint Maurice, 12th and 13 century, and the massive Castle of Angers, early 13th century, with its moat and 17 round towers. The castle grounds are beautifully laid out and planted and offer a quiet place in the middle of the city - local rumour has it that in days gone by the grass moat surrounding the castle was home to lions and antelopes but today you are more likely to spot a small group of peacefully grazing deer! The castle is also home to the oldest and largest tapestry in the world - the Tapestry of the Apocalypse - it is 140 metres long and a 'must see'. A stroll through the ancient narrow streets of the mediaeval quarter is the perfect way to either work up an appetite or walk off a lunch!
In 2011 a new 'botanical theme park' opened just outside Angers. Terra Botanica offers a good mix of education and enjoyment for all ages - allow a whole day.

Twenty five minutes drive to the south of Le Bignon and you are on the north bank of the wonderful river Loire - the longest and only remaining natural river in France. The river and its sandbanks provide a perfect environment for an array of wildlife and fish. The area is a nature lovers paradise, a casual glance around and you could see herons, egrets, cormorants, gulls, terns, lapwing, and many small wading birds, as well as coypus, wild boar and deer. Many local restaurants serve river caught fish, such as Zander, as a speciality of the region.The sunsets over the river can be breathtaking and there are a number of cruises available, including an ornithological cruise, which set off from Saumur.

This is one of our very favourite places. The buildings made of the local tuffeau stone glow in the sunshine and gleam in the moonlight! The town is dominated by the fantastic chateau on top of the hill and the view of the bridge and the chateau lit up at night is one to remember. The town is home to the famous Cadre Noir, the elite of the French cavalry and each year in July they stage a spectacular show, Carousel, in the grounds of the Cavalry School in the centre of town. There are a number of excellent restaurants and cafes, a mushroom museum, troglodyte caves and just south at Doue la Fontaine, the centre of the rose growing area, a small but wonderful zoo which has the proud reputation for successfully rearing more babies from endangered species than any other zoo in the world.