We consider the best reasons to buy in these sparring partners that form two thirds of the centrally-located Limousin region…
The landlocked département of the Creuse is in the northernmost part of the bucolic Limousin region at the heart of France. It’s one of the country’s least populated spots and has wonderful verdant landscapes. The capital Guéret, surrounded by farmland, offers a wealth of culture, art and delightful botanical gardens. There are many villages steeped in history and it’s on the pilgrim routes of the Knights Templar and Santiago de Compostela.
Limoges is the main airport for UK traffic. TGV trains operate from Paris to Limoges and the Eurostar runs direct from London. There are also local train services to Lyon, Angoulême, Poitiers, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Cahors.
The weather in Limousin is mostly oceanic with influence from the mountains of the Massif Central. Winters are relatively cold with some snowfall and the summers here are hot. Rain falls all year round contributing to its lush green scenery. July and August are the hottest months with an average temperature of 19°C. The coldest are December and January at just 5°C.
The Creuse is the most affordable département in France. One of the main buying hotspots is the lovely town of Bourganeuf, founded by the Knights Templar in the Middle Ages and located near the Parc Naturel Régional de Millevaches. Bargain pricing can still be found for townhouses and village houses here – there are also farmhouses aplenty from as little as €70,000. A home with gîte potential or existing rental opportunities can start from as little as €100,000. Popular towns include Treignac, Peyrat-le-Château and Royère-de-Vassivière – a good area for gîte businesses with its proximity to the picturesque Lac de Vassivière and outdoor activities for tourists.
Limousin offers wonderful pastoral landscapes and the Creuse is no exception. There are over 3,000 hectares of first- and second-category fishing across the many lakes and rivers. The region is known for its prized beef and has an artisanal heritage ranging from pottery-making in Limoges to the Aubusson tapestries woven from the wool of the sheep grazing in the Creuse.
Southern neighbour of the Creuse, the département of Corrèze has many attractions – the breathtaking Plateau de Millevaches, Monédières, Gorges, the Dordogne valley, and the famous city of the horse, Pompadour to name just a few. The Corrèze has a rich medieval past, evidence of which can be found in many of its ancient towns and villages. This département is home to five of France’s ‘Plus Beaux Villages’. The largest city here is Brive, in the south of the département, which offers all the shops and facilities you could need – not to mention not-to-be missed markets – while retaining its historic charm.
Considered the gateway to the south, the A20 Paris-Toulouse motorway runs the length of the département. A89 (Bordeaux-Lyon autoroute) providing efficient links east to west. Limoges and Brive-Souillac airports offer excellent links to the UK.
South Corrèze enjoys the warmest weather in the Limousin, with an average temperature several degrees higher than elsewhere. Summers are warm and balmy with average temperatures of 25°C but winters in Corrèze can get very cold with snow – especially in the mountains.
Corrèze is a bit more pricey than its northern neighbour but still offers good value for money. Snap up a comfortable family home in the countryside or in a town/village for €150,000-€200,000. More imposing properties with land come in at around the €250,000 mark with smaller boltholes available for less than €100,000.
Water sports – in particular canoeing – are very popular here. You can test your skills on the Dordogne, Vézère and Auvézère rivers. There are plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy too. For lovers of anything equestrian, the packed programme of events at Pompadour is a must. Corrèzienne apples, strawberries and raspberries are crucial to the region’s economy and large events and festivities are held to celebrate them each summer.
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