Limoges is a beautiful city in the centre of France, there is plenty to explore with lots of history and more porcelain than I could ever imagine! However, if cities are not your style or you simply want to mix things up then why not go for a little day trip to Aixe sur Vienne.
Aixe sur Vienne is the closest town to Limoges, only a short train ride away. Trains run regularly from the main (and very pretty) train station in Limoges, about 10 minutes walk from the city centre.
Here are all the things I did on my day trip from Limoges. Plus a few things I didn’t get to do as we were visiting in off-peak season.
Wander in the pretty gardens by the river
Close to the river and the main bridge, there is a small but very pretty garden, called Jardin Jeanne d’Albret you can wander around. With a wishing well and views of the river and bridge, it’s a lovely spot to explore. I can imagine in summer, it’s full of colourful flowers.
Visit the Maison de la Porcelaine (Plus Free guided factory tour)
This is a huge shop, over 3 levels full of beautifully designed porcelain tableware and various other pieces. Wander through the shop at your leisure and try not to get lost as you go up and down the stairs to different sections of the shop!
Every day at 3 pm there is a free tour of the factory manufacturing area. The tour is in French but there are English handouts that explain everything too. It wasn’t too difficult to understand what she was telling us with her hand gestures.
The tour lasts about 15 minutes so worth popping in if you are close by.
- If you’re wearing a rucksack be careful! You don’t want to hear a big crash behind you!
Go canoeing or kayaking
Walking away from the main River Vienne, follow the stream down the Rue des Deux Ponts (signposted canoeing centre too!) There’s a canoeing centre with plenty of canoes or kayaks to hire so you can enjoy the Aixe sur Vienne from a different perspective.
Yes, I know I’m not in a canoe in the photo but I went in April when they weren’t open, boo!
The centre is open from May to September, times vary according to the month and you might need to book in advance. Check out their website before you visit www.aixeck.fr
Admire the 13th-century Roman bridge
A bit further down from the Canoe centre is a small park, called Roches Bleues Park. If you continue to follow the path you’ll come across a bridge over the river. But if you look to your left, you really can’t miss it, haha, you will see the remains of the Roman bridge. A stone arch dating back to the 13th century called the Pont Malassert.
Across the bridge looking down the river, you’ll see a beautiful old mill, surrounded by nature and wildflowers.
Walk alongside the River Vienne and have a picnic
There are short paths on both sides of the River Vienne. Just down from the train station (on the same side) you can walk down by the river for about 0.5 miles. At this point, the path stops! But it’s a beautiful path, look out for frogs in the pond reeds towards the end on your right.
On the other side, there’s a campsite (peak season only). We found a beautiful spot to stop for a traditional French picnic! Supplies bought from the small supermarket in the town centre.
Visit Chapelle Notre-dame d’Arliquet
Distance: 1.2 miles (15-minute walk)
A short distance from Aixe sur Vienne train station, there’s a beautiful red brick chapel built between 1865-68. The Chapelle Notre-Dame d’Arliquest has amazing architecture and set in luscious green gardens it is a wonder to admire from outside. Whilst this isn’t one of the most famous churches in Europe it’s definitely worth a walk to admire this beautiful structure.
Although if you visit during opening times (8.00-12.00 and 14.00-19.00) inside you can see the light shining through the colourfully stained glass windows.
Directions: Cross the road from the train station. Take the Rue Queret going uphill, then turn right onto the Rue Outre Vienne. As the road forks, take the right-hand road the Rue d’Arliquet all the way up to the chapel
How to get to Aixe sur Vienne from Limoges?
Trains from Limoges station run regularly to this pretty city. You can simply turn up at the train station, buy your ticket and you’re good to go.
The train takes about 15 minutes.
Be sure to plan some extra time for photographing Limoges’ pretty train station!
Cost: Train ticket €7.80 return*
For things to do whilst you are in Limoges read here for my 10 favourite things to see and do
Are you thinking about a day trip from Limoges? Would you like to ask me any more questions about my day trip to Aixe sur Vienne? Please ask me any questions in the comments below.
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*Prices correct at time of writing.