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Things to do in the Vendée region

Discover the beauty and charm of the Vendée by staying at The Old Forge which is ideally located to explore this stunning region of France. From the near by port of La Rochelle, rich in history to the tranquility of walks through the Mervent Forest or a family trip to the close by Futurscope - there is something for children and adults alike.

We are always happy to suggest close by places of interest for you to visit on booking. Lesley Bridge - Owner of The Old Forge


The Old Forge is situated in the village of Antigny, just over an hour from La Rochelle, Poitiers and Nantes on the West coast of France. The Vendée region is famous for its Muscadet vineyards, basking in around 2500 hours of glorious sunshine a year. For information on getting to The Old Forge, please click here.

The Inner Harbour at La Rochelle

Beautiful historic harbour at La Rochelle

Antigny still retains it’s quaint, rustic rural French charm, making it the perfect location for a relaxing holiday break. Within the village is a friendly bar, perfect for sampling the regions wines and for the more energetic there is even a football pitch to work off those indulgencies at the local patisserie! Fresh, authentic French bread can be purchased every day at 9.00am from the mobile bakery and delicatessen which visits the village.

The area is perfect for walking, cycling, wine tours, visits to local châteaux’s and is within an easy drive of a number of restaurants and attractions such as canal boating in Coulon and a zoo. We also have plenty of tourist leaflets at the house for the more spontaneous, or we can suggest places to go before you travel if you’d like some inspiration. Please see further details below for more information on local attractions.

Places to eat

Coutanceau’s – Distance  44 miles – Read our featureWebsite – Enjoy fine dining at the World famous two-Michelin-star restaurant, Coutanceau’s at La Rochelle

Restaurant le Vieux Pressoir – Distance  15 miles – Website – Sample traditional cuisine in modern, relaxing environment.


Vineyard in France

Discover France's famous vineyards

The Vendée produces it’s own wine although this is not as famous as many of its French counterparts. There are numerous vineyards in the area although one of the more notable ones is Mareuil sur Lay.

The old Forge is within an easy day trip of the Loire Valley and Bordeaux with many of the Châteaux’s offering wine tasting and guided tours and it is highly recommended you visit the historic town of Saint Emillion.

Also close by is the region of Cognac which needs no introduction! Many of the producers such as Remy Martin and Hennessy offer guided tours and tasting, explaining the complete process. Further information on local vineyards can be found at The Old Forge.


Beach at Ile de Ré

The near by beach of Ile de Ré

Close to La Rochelle is the island Ile de Ré, just an hours drive from The Old Forge. The island is famous for it’s Mediterrenean style atmosphere and stunning beaches. Just up from there is Port des Minimes, one of the biggest leisure ports on the Atlantic coast with something for everyone!


Enjoy relaxing, lovely walks in the Mervent Forest which is on the doorstep of The Old Forge. You can also plan walks around the region by visiting this website.

Something a bit different?!

venise verte

The Venise Verte (Green Venice)

Futuroscope – Distance  60 miles – Read our featureWebsite – France’s famous theme park with 25 different experiences such as extreme thrills, images in giant-screen format, breathtaking shows and interactive adventures making this little part of the Vienne a ‘must see’ place to visit.

Venise Verte ( Green Venice ) – Distance 30miles – Website – Located in the Marais Poitevin of the Vendée,  travel by “batai“, a flat bottomed boat and explore the green landscapes, beautiful natural settings, the diverse wildlife and flowers.

Le château de TERRE-NEUVE Website – Located at Fontenay-le-Comte, this privately owned château dates back to 1580. Famous for it’s high quality decoration such as the monumental fireplace decorated with alchemist’s symbols and stone carved coffered ceilings.

Aquarium – Distance  44 miles – Website – Enjoy a two-hour long visit into the deep seas and encounter over 10000 sea creatures from the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Tropics…in 3 million litres of sea water!

Mini Ville Website – Located at L’Epine, discover a model village of typical French country houses built at the 1/8th scale based on a study made of its original village on this site. Take a pleasant walk amidst a model countryside village and dwarf farm animals, ideal for all ages, from toddlers to grown-ups.

There are swimming lakes with slides, boating and family fun situated in Chassenon le Bourge, which is a 15 minute drive from the house.

The Vendee Globe which is a major worldwide sailing event and based at  Les Sables d’Olonne famous for its boat races with a fantastic beach and Zoo.

The beautiful historic harbour of La Rochelle with its two towers and the Aquarium, boat trip to adjacent islands also. Ile de Re is recommended!

Located in the 2nd sunniest region in France The Old Forge is 45 minutes from Grand Parc Puy de Fou, a huge theme park with Roman coliseum and medieval town.

The Gite is also 25 minutes from the Indian Forest, an adventure park with treetop climbing challenges, pony riding, and a huge inflatable playground.

In addition to this, there is golf at La Roche Sur Yon, Bourgenay and L’Aiguillon Sur Vie.