What’s on in Autumn in Poitou-Charentes?

Autumn sunset gite in France

The autumn equinox arrived on 21st September and for us in Vanzay, was celebrated with a warm sunny day. Of course, the days are shorter and the morning and evenings fresher, but the days remain, for now at least, clear blue skies and 23ºc in the shade. The pool remains open and even now in the first week of October and it’s a pretty sweltering 39ºc degrees in the sun on the terrace.

Autumn Chestnut TreeSuch warm weather won’t fool the cycle of nature and so there are nuts of many different variety falling off trees as the leaves die back. Our walnut tree is laden and being such a large tree will produce enough to keep us and the wildlife happy for winter.
The leaves are just starring to turn and so we look forward to the vibrant colours of the woods around Vanzay.
The evenings are warm enough for bats to be out around the gardens, courtyard and barns. And now is the time to get the wood stocks in for winter.

So what’s going on in the autumn months?

Quite a lot actually:

  • Come and see the magnificent frigate Hermione, a replica of the Napoleonic ship that was captained by major general La Fayette and played a significant role in the American War of Independence at the end the 18th century.
    17 years in the making and currently undergoing sea trials in the Bay of Biscay, she returns to Rochefort in early November when you can visit for guided or non-guided tours from November 11th to December 31st. Take the opportunity to see the recently restored dry docks and sections of the Royal Arsenal.
  • Visit the 30th Menigoute festival from 28th October to 2nd November which showcases wildlife films with a focus on ornithological films and themes. There will be seminars, workshops (including taking part in a challenge to make 1000 nest boxes for birds) and art and photo exhibitions.
  • Come to Châtellerault for the Festival Automne Musical from November 6th to 16th, and enjoy a series of concerts, with performers including orchestras, string quartets and pianists.

Plus, of course, there are the many sites to see, markets to shop at, and things to do that make a stay in Vanzay in autumn such a pleasure.


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