Today it serves as a hub for routes criss-crossing the beautiful Massif Central. Corrèze, the Dordogne and the Lot Valley, with their wooded hills and host of delightful villages – many fortified – are all within easy reach. The first French city to shake off Nazi occupation by its own efforts, in 1944, it is today a bustling commercial centre huddled round a medieval core with many picturesque period buildings and a good range of shops.
Besides a wealth of ancient castles to visit, there are some truly spectacular gardens. Among the best are the Jardins de Colette, at Vareze, and the modern Jardins de L”Imaginaire, created by the American garden designer Kathryn Gustafson.
Like most French provincial towns, Brive goes to bed early. There’s a handful of night owl hot-spots though. Open seven days a week from 8am to 1am, the lively Garden Ice Café (1 avenue du 14 Juillet, 05 5588 3504) provides non-stop food service from midday to midnight. Light grills and massive salads star while the outside tables are a great place for people watching. If you fancy dancing, try Le Cardinal (35 avenue Millard, 05 5524 2672); La Charente (33 avenue Robot, 05 5587 6573) or the Irish-themed Le Shamrock (13 place Winston Churchill, 05 6005 3856).
Le Chèvrefeuille, Pechboutier, St Cyprien, 24220, France
Tel: + 33 (0) 5 53 59 47 97, Email: Info@lechevrefeuille.com, Website: www.lechevrefeuille.com
A beautiful 18th century farmhouse bed and breakfast, gite complex combining modern comfort with historical charm - located in the picturesque and tranquil hamlet of Pechboutier. Offering five charming en-suite rooms and three self-contained gites, each with a private terrace and garden.
Les Meyrandiers – 11 and 13 rue du bac, 19400 Argentat, France
Tel: +33 (0)9 52 30 39 73, Email: email@example.com, Website www.lesmeyrandiers.com
Overlooking the Dordogne, these two beautifully restored houses form a stunning boutique hotel. With luxurious rooms, an authentic feel and a small dock where you can relax in the evening with a glass of wine, this is the ultimate fusion of historic and modern.
Moulin de Méjat 46500 Lavergne, France
Tel: 05.65.38.55.51, Website: http://www.moulindemejat.com/
These guestrooms are in a property of character on the edge of the Alzou River, a breathtaking natural scene far from traffic jams, rush hours and busy city life … The Mill of Méjat, an 18th century building, located at Lavergne in the Lot, near Padirac, Loubressac, Rocamadour … probably one the most beautiful sites of France.
Aéroport Brive Vallée de la Dordogne (BVE)
Only 10km from the town of Turenne, 43km from Sarlat and 42km from Rocamadour.
Check-in generally closes 15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.
Please note that online check-in is not available on the Brive to London City route. Please allow enough time for check in at the airport.