We are within 5 mins walk of the heart of the village Moussac, separated only by the river Vienne.
The village boasts:
A newly re-opened restaurant / bar ("Chez Philippe" - off the square) which serves a three-course 'plat du jour' lunch (c.12 euros) and a good evening menu ; A post office on the square next to 'Le Mairie' ; A church; tennis court; Fishing permits (can be bought from the post office to fish all of the River Vienne).
The village grocery store is currently closed. It has opened and closed several times over the last ten years - such is the rural economy of France - but the supermarket in L'Isle Jourdain is close by.
Look out on the noticeboard in the village square for notices of local fetes and events to which everyone is always welcome ( in the summer there are often "moules & frites" suppers in the campsite grounds, & other community events, to which all are welcome).
For canoe/kayaking, serious fishing, or river-swimming, or just messing about - the river is no distance away and both occupies and gives many happy hours. Sunny afternoons spent on the flat-rocks near the house with home-made rafts on strings, pooh-sticks, net fishing for tiddlers, or tireless efforts to catch "The Big One" on kids toy-shop rods (for sale in the local supermarket) - it doesn't get much better. In 2008 the new Maire of Moussac erected a number of signs emphasising that the swimming spots are UNSUPERVISED and swimming is therefore forbidden - we think this is to cover legal liability of the council, and life (and swimming) seems to carry on just as before.
On the village side of the river (a stroll from the house) is a 2-Star camp site (link) (only about 20 pitches) used mostly by French holidaymakers, and probably the safest access to the river for swimming.
Through the same entrance, but for public use, there is :
· A toddler swimming pool open in the summer (April/May- Sept)
· A playground/jungle-gym
· Outdoor table tennis table & basketball net (bats & balls in the house)
· Public access to the river bank (known as "La Plage" !) for swimming (it’s a bit stoney at the bank, so you will need plastic river shoes “jellies” - cheap at Intermarche). It is NOT supervised swimming.
· grassy picnicking and sun-bathing (always busier in the afternoons).
· Occasional ice-cream kiosk
Whether you are a pro or a novice, there is an excellent (& reasonably priced) Kayak and Canoe hire business based in the brand new centre just on the village side of the river.
They will kit you out with life-jackets and helmets, all incl. Its great fun and pretty safe (unsinkable open canoes). The river is shallow in the summer and not fast flowing - the "rapids" are mostly little more than knee-deep.
They have large three person (or two adult and two small kids) open canoes.
Book in advance (just drop in), and they transport you to the start of whichever river route you chose to do and collect you at the end point.
Over the summer months the Centre runs reasonably priced CLASSES for young 'uns (8-18) every morning. As many of the learners are French, participation also has a language and social spin off - our kids have made several French friends there.
There is a cycling or walking track running both to the left and right up the river bank (on our side of the river), and a long ride up the old railway track to L'Isle Jourdain if you have the energy - about 40 mins there, and 30 mins back.. There is short, child-friendly favourite local stroll of ours along the river bank and across the fields on easy tracks around Le Port (a little cluster of houses between "Biard" and the bridge). It is a quiet area, and you can make up many walks and rides just by casting an eye over the local maps in the house.
The tourist office in L'Isle Jourdain has information/maps for the network of other local clearly waymarked walks (beware of those involving crossing the river - at Queaux the barge is no longer running!).
This is about 10 mins away from the house by car and has a range of shops, chemists etc.
A pizza place (to eat in or take away).
A bar/tabac on the square - fun to sit out and watch the world go by.
On Saturday there is a small market, and a "Grand Marche" monthly.
The InterMarche supermarket is well stocked and usually has excellent fresh fish on Friday's, as well as locally produced vegetables and a wonderful cheese counter.
Eco-Gem has everything you might want (and might not want) in plastic including LOADS of cheap kids toys, paddling pools etc.
Cashpoint machine at the "Credit Agricole" bank.
The Tourist Office contains a wealth of local information.
Swimming Pool solar-heated with waterslide etc (open June-Sept incl).
L'Isle Jourdain has pony trekking in the summer, and also a Watersports Centre (Centre Nautique) where kids (or adults) can have a taster (une bapteme - they call it, appropriately) of waterskiing or wake-boarding. L'Isle Jourdain even has bungee-jumping every week or two in the summer off its spectacular viaduct over the Vienne, for those with a good head for heights and a strong stomach !