The most frequently asked question we get from people is, "How long does it take to get to you?" A difficult one to answer, as it's almost like asking , "How long is a piece of string?". For it very much depends on from which ferry port one is coming from, how fast do you want to drive, how many stops do you want to make and for what duration, and on what roads do you want to travel - motorway or national roads.
Anyway, as a rule of thumb, and allowing for two short stop-overs ( with no lingering, long lunches) and averaging a reasonable speed, allow 6-8 hours.
For those people coming from Calais, Dieppe, or Le Havre we recommend that you head for Paris, followed by Orleans, Chateauroux, Vierzon, Limoges, Périgueux to La Coquille (see detailed directions from there).
From Caen, Cherbourg and St Malo, being more to the west, head in a south easterly direction towards Tours, then Chateauroux and continue as above.
Approaching Limoges coming south on the A20, take the exit marked for Perigueux. This by-passes Limoges town centre and also Aixe Sur Vienne and brings you onto the RN21 south of Aixe-sur Vienne. Continue to follow the signs for Perigueux until reaching the traffic lights at La Coquille. At these lights turn left onto the D79 marked Jumilhac Le Grand and St Priest Les Fougeres. (See detailed directions from there).
If you are coming south on the A20 and inadvertently miss the sign post for Perigueux, continue on the A20 and exit St Yrieix La Perche. (See detailed directions from there).
In France you must have with you in the car all original documents relating to the car i.e Registration Document, Green Card, MOT (if applicable) and a valid Driving Licence. It's a good idea to keep copies, separately, of all these documents. Plus a warning triangle, spare light bulbs and reflective jackets. In 2012 a new law requiring a double breathalyser kit to be kept in the glove compartment was introduced to come into effect in November. Full enforcement of this law has now been extended until March 2013.
We recommend that drivers observe speed limits, especially when driving through small villages. Speed traps are often hidden and fines are on the spot. In 2018 the speed limit on secondary two lane roads changed to 80kph. This is a difficult speed to maintain especially on so much of France’s traffic-free roads, but be careful there are speed traps and the gendarme are not always in plain view.
We also do advise that people be careful about drinking and driving. The law is just as strict in France as in the UK and one can be stopped at anytime and randomly breathalysed. Also don't be surprised if one is stopped and pulled over on a quiet country road. They are patrolled as well as the major roads.
For localised driving we recommend Michelin Maps Numbers 72 and 75.
Limoges airport is just a 40 minute drive. Ryanair (www.ryanair.co.uk) and Flybe (www.flybe.com) operate regular services to Limoges from a number of UK regional airports;
Ryanair from London Stansted, East Midlands, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, Bristol and Manchester.
Flybe from Southampton
Check both airline web sites for details of routes and timetables. There are seasonal variations.
British Airways (www.britishairways.com) have been operating a summer service to Limoges from 2017 departing London Gatwick. The route is obviously proving to be popular and hopefully it will continue. For those of us living here we would like them to extend the months they are operating the service, which is currently from May to early September. Check their website for operating days and times in the summer months
Car hire is available at the airport, but we advise guests to book their car at the same time as making their airline reservation as the cars are much in demand. Car Hire at Limoges Airport - take a look at www.buggscarhire.com They are a local company offering very competitive rates and very efficient people to deal with. Or try www.rhinocarhire.com who are offering our guests up to 10% discount, quote ‘Dordogne’ for the discount.
Note: When leaving Limoges Airport it is not necessary to go into Limoges centre.
The airport is located on the west side of the city making it even more convenient
for travelling to us. A new road has been opened which by-passes Aixe sur Vienne
where there was always a bottle-neck, thus reducing the driving time to us by
some 15 minutes. Exiting the airport at the roundabout go straight ahead. Take
the first exit to the right, follow the direction Angouleme (not Limoges). Continue
until you see the first sign for Perigueux. Follow that. This will take you
onto the RN21. Continue until reaching La Coquille and at the traffic lights
turn left. (see
detailed directions from there). .
Bergerac to the south, and Poitier to the north, have regular flights from a number of regional airports in the UK and both airports are approximately a 2 hour drive from us.
For those people wishing to journey by train, La Coquille is on main line SNCF with connection to Limoges-Paris-London and, of course, to any other French or European destination.
For those wishing a direct service to Lille (Eurostar) the TGV goes from Limoges and the service has a good connection with the Eurostar. This train also stops at Charles de Gaulle Airport Paris for flight connections and also at Euro - Disney. There is usually a connecting local train from either Thiviers or La Coquille (depends on the day of travel) to Limoges. But it is advisable to get to the local station ahead of departure time in case there are any problems on the line and you might have to drive to Limgoes. This has happened to us. Allow a good hour and a quarter driving time to Limoges. The driving time to Limoges is usually one hour, but allow a little extra for possible delays and getting through Limoges to Gare Benedictine. The station is sign-posted in Limoges, SNCF Gare Benedictine.
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