In the very heart of France, Brive-la-Gaillarde (19 Correze, Nouvelle Aquitaine) the modest town of Brive does its bit to keep up with the bigger cities such as Paris and Nice. In the summer they set up “Brive Plage” an artificial inland beach, and at Christmas they convert one of the town’s squares into an ice rink (patinoire). in Place du Civoire, whilst the Christmas Market takes over the Place General de Gaulle in December .
Named “la Gaillarde” or the “brave” it is the main town of the Correze departement, probably best known in the UK as a destination for French Motorail (no longer available)- I’ve always fancied the idea of loading the car on the train at Calais and waking up next morning in central or southern France avoiding the hassle of the long journey. It tended to be an expensive option, but if you save the cost of fuel, autoroute tolls and a night’s hotel then it does not look so bad.
Brive is an ideal destination with easy access to the Dordogne, and not forgetting the gentle delights of the Corrèze itself – considered by many to be the most unspoilt region of France, relatively untouched by many of the worst excesses of modern France – and tourists.
To capture a flavour of the region read the novels of Claude Michelet – such as Firelight and Woodsmoke
For more on Brive see www.brive-tourisme.com/
somewhere to stay, a ferry, a train or car hire?