Woodlands Cottage

Woodlands Blog

What attracts visitors to the Limousin?

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Spring is around the corner and soon Treignac and the surrounding area will come out of hibernation! Having spent the last two years persuading people to come to Woodlands Cottage, this year I thought I would tell you why people come to the area and why many more would love it if I spread the word! Today I will talk about cycling. I know absolutely nothing about it but with the help of a couple of very good friends (guests) I have put some facts together.

Lets start with the fact that the Tour de France passed by the end of my road in 2014, and it 2016 it passed just 10kms away, surely testament to the appeal of the area to cyclists. The quiet roads of the Correze make for some fabulous road cycling. For the mountainbiker the area is criss-crossed with trails that go on forever.

For the Roadie The roads of the Correze are blissfully quiet and whether you are riding for pleasure or pain you’ll be spoilt for choice. For a flatter rolling ride stay high on the “Plateau de Millevaches”, while those looking to test their legs could try the deep valleys to the west. Long descents of 5 – 10 kms followed by equally long climbs with stunning scenery as the roads cling shelf like to the valley sides. Those looking for the extreme agony that only time trialling can bring might like to try the “Contre la Montre” circuit at St Augustin. This circuit was used for a stage of the Tour de France. It is clearly signposted and you’ll find information about fastest times near the start.

A training ride in the Correze

For the Mountainbiker – From easy beginners trails through to the toughest natural XC routes and more, the Correze has it all. You’ll find waynarked and graded circuits at Treignac where you’ll be able to tackle the trails on the Monédières, perhaps taking in a climb of Suc au May. There’s also a downhill track at Treignac VTT Centre, while Mountain Bike hire is available at Chamberet Treignac. Of course there’s no reason why you can’t just ride from the cottage door. There are literally more trails than you could ever ride in a lifetime, plus you won’t need to worry about taking a wrong turn. The chemins are for all, and MTBers are welcome.

High in the Monédières, Suc au May

Here are some other useful links.







I hope this information will persuade you to take a look at the area, and I will always help with accommodation , if I can!



The Car Rally season is here

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Yesterday was the rally from Limoges to Brive stopping off for lunch at the plan d’eau at Masseret. There were 99 entrants and all cars had to be over 30 years old. I was accompanied by my resident expert Tony who pointed out all the rarer cars. A very rare convertible Renault 4CV, a Lotus 11, Model A Ford, Porsche 356, Renault NN tourer circa 1920, Alfa Romeo sports and of course his favourite Mercedes 190SL It was great to see so many enthusiasts despite the unsettled weather but I have learned that the convertibles took down their tops and stayed dry all afternoon!

Our next rally is next Sunday when we shall be entering with our convertible Mercedes and hopefully completing the course around the Monedieres more successfully than our previous rally!!

This is the Lotus 11


Lotus 11

Armistice Day

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This Thursday is Armistice Day in France, the day Charles de Gaulle announced the official  end of WW11. It wasn’t until 1981 it was adopted as a national  holiday and now there are ceremonies all over France remembering those lost in the wars.

On the other side of the world,  in Martinique,  the 8th of May is remembered for a very different reason as in 1902 Mount Pelee erupted  resulting in the loss of over 30,000 people

Woodlands Cottage Today

If you have read the story of the “big build” you will realise that we are greatly relieved that the project is nearing completion especially if I tell you that I have not bored you with all the downsides of building in France!! We have achieved what we set out to do and are now proud to open our doors to discerning holiday makers!

Treignac is a lovely town all year round but takes on an extra buzz in the summer. Youngsters come each year to compete in the French Kayak championships, this year taking place between the 6th -9th June. There are many organised walks from April until September and on July 15 a night walk in the Monedieres, not for the faint hearted! The beach is a popular venue: swimming, canoeing, table tennis, trampoline, play area and of course a bar and restaurant for the less energetic! There is a great feeling of tranquillity and relaxation in Treignac and that’s probably why we live here full time and always feel we are on holiday!

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In and around Treignac

images1BR5WI6JWhen the weather is not so friendly there are plenty of places to visit. It may seem a strange thing to do but the “Cite des Insectes” is a fascinating insight into the world of insects in a fun and entertaining way. Interactive exhibits, the cabinet of curiosities, the giant cricket, the insectarium and much much more. You can also wander through the gardens and cultivated land to see a huge range of colourful insects in their natural habitat. In all a great day out for adults as well as children.

This can be found at Nedde, 30 kms from Woodlands.


The Big Build!

Foundations were a nightmare, as fast as we dug the trenches they filled with water from one of the many sources we discovered on the land. We resorted to constructing pillars deep in the ground and eventually the day arrived for the concrete to be poured. That was fun, the nozzle delivering the concrete had a mind of its own so it wasn’t only the pillars that had concrete on them!!!


Loads of concrete!

Loads of concrete!

We were on our way!

Yet another large lorry negotiated the narrow twisty road to deliver wood,  duly measured, cut and screwed to form the solid base for the house.

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Our next task was probably the most important, sorting out the pieces of the jig saw, in other words matching up the walls from the markings made when the house was taken down. Thank goodness Paul had been thorough and all the piles seemed to make sense. Once the base plates were in the walls starting growing,  layer by layer,  slotting in the internal walls at the same time. Some just fell into place with ease,  others had suffered from being stored and needed a little more persuasion!


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Like Pinocchio’s’ nose, it grew and grew and it wasn’t long before it became a house instead of a pile of wood

P1000915 (Small)and looked like this

It was at this stage the design of the house had to be changed as per the planning permission and our thoughts turned to supporting the weight of the new roof.

P1000929 (Small)This called for big beams!!!

P1000934 (Small)And strong shoulders!

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 To achieve this

An even bigger lorry arrived with the trusses. At this point I have to say, that in general, the French are not renowned for their quick efficient service, however Champeau of Eymoutier were brilliant and even went out of their way to make sure we had a delivery before their annual August break.

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 Now it was all hands on deck, venturing into the unknown!! By this time the weather had turned really hot and we started work at 6am so we could finish before the sun became unbearable. Now the favourite tool of all workmen came into its own, the” Paslode” Bang bang bang and the trusses were up!


And then the topping out.

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Paslode proudly standing where no man has stood before!!

We were now into September 2013 when we started the tedious task of plumbing, electrics and fitting out, lots of work but nothing much to show for it. Work continued throughout the winter with just a break at Christmas, it just seemed to go on and on. Work on the fosse septique couldn’t continue as the ground was so wet and the digger was in danger of sliding into the house.  Again frustration set in, we were so close and yet so far. By April we were finished and only just in time for our first guests, they were arriving Thursday pm and the electric was turned on Thursday am!!!


Before The Big Build!

Before our “Big Build” begins, there is another story, some may say amusing, others reckless!!!
Once our minds had been made up that we would have another gite Tony spent much of his time on the internet searching for a wooden house in kit form, brand new, delivered and erected. You can imagine my surprise when, one evening, he announced that he had pushed the “buy now” button on E bay! Not only was it not new, delivered and erected, but it was still occupied in Hertfordshire, and we had no land to put it on !!!!! The saga begins.
Tony and a friend flew over to the UK and spent a week dismantling it, a painstaking job, marking each piece as it came down so we would know how to put it up again! A month later they were back in the UK to supervise the loading for transport to France. Even that was a disaster as the driver fell off the load and landed up in intensive care with a punctured lung, no delivery that day! Meanwhile in France, the tractors, trailers and helpers organised to help unload had to be disbanded. The load eventually arrived 3 weeks later and our lovely garden became a builders yard!! All this happened in April & May 2012.By September we had purchased the land but meanwhile the French planning authority would not allow us to keep the same roof. This involved completely re-designing the structure and submitting plans again. After lots more paperwork and meetings, permission was given in October, too late to start building. We were concerned as to how the house would fare under plastic covers for the winter but we had no choice but to wait and see. As it happens, it was probably the wettest winter we had ever had in France and it didn’t stop raining until the end of May. We know the real meaning of frustration!!!
In June we started leveling the land for the foundations and the site took on the appearance of a quarry!