Le Grand Courtiou is approximately 30 minutes north from Poitiers where there is both an airport and a TGV station. The airport has flights direct from Stanstead, London on Ryanair, or there is a local airline called Airlinair that flies around regional France. Flight schedules change by season with Edinburgh and Barcelona flights operating during summer.
The TGV takes around 2.5 hours from Charles de Gaulle airport or 1.5 hours from Paris - Montparnasse. From there it is an easy drive through some picture perfect countryside. It is also possible to catch the Eurostar from London, change at Lille to the TGV and be in Poitiers in around 4.5 hours...easy!
There is a huge variety of things to do and see in the Poitou-Charentes, such as leisure parks, golf and beautiful towns and villages. One of the pearls of the Vienne department is the capital town of Poitiers, a town steeped in history, and whose old streets are buzzing with life thanks to its large student population. The Vienne boasts a lot of great places to visit, including the internationally-known Futuroscope theme and leisure park, the Crocodile Park, Snake Island and the Valley of the Monkeys.
The food and wine in the area are exceptional. It’s home to cognac, refreshing muscadets (spectacular with oysters), cabernet franc from Chinon and Bourgueil & Saumur. The Loire Valley boasts particularly fine white wines. The region is equally and rightly noted for its great local delicacies too – for example cheese, honey, poultry, butter and snails – as well as fine restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars.
If you venture a little further afield into the South Loire, the beautiful Château de Chenonceau is around one and a half hours drive north, as is Château de Villandry - easy day trips. Other beautiful towns in the South Loire include Richelieu, Saumur, Chinon, Tours - all well worth a visit for their spectacular buildings and amazing histories.