Brantome

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An absolute MUST VISIT, Brantome is ridiculously pretty, and the epitome of a French Village on a summers day.  The river Dronne runs literally around part of the village and a great way to spend some time is hire a canoe and paddle around Brantome.

The Benedictine Abbey stands proud and makes a statement against the green backdrop (built by Charlemagne in 769 ) which leads off to the troglodyte caves behind the abbey including the cave of the Last Judgement.  The church belfry is the oldest in France - built in the 11th Century.  Medieval and rennaisance architecture for history / architectural enthusiasts.  Market day is lively, colourful and busy in the summer, but if you can stand the crowds and the parking pain, then market day is a great experience, and you're sure to get photographs and memories that will stand out.  Although I was there in the middle of August last year and parking wasn't a problem, it was a just a lovely day out, and we did stop and enjoy a bite and a cold drink by the river.

There are cafés and restaurants on the river and shops and stalls set into the caves and down the high street, seriously.. dont miss Brantome.