Region, Local Events and Travel Directions



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directions to La Platriere

GPS Co-Ordinates:  N46.72.49.53  E2.87.86

Situated on the D64 - half-way between Lurcy-Levis and Valigny


La Platriere Retreat  is  in the department of Allier in the region of Auvergne, right in the heart of France. We are close to the departments of Cher & Berry in the region of Centre and also close to the border of the Nievre in the region of Bourgogne (Burgundy). The local are is known as the 'Bourbonnais' being the home of the Bourbon dukes and kings of France.

With a wealth of unique landscapes, rich history and cultural heritage,  the Auvergne offers something for everyone. The region boasts of an exceptional variety of lakes, waterfalls and running through the region is the river Allier where the department gets it's name. In fact water is everywhere in Auvergne and offers excellent fishing, bathing, windsurfing, and other water sports including white-water rafting.  

The region is also known as the "green lung" of France. due to it's forestland and is reported to be the least polluted area in France.

Lake Gaule


Getting to La Platriere is easy with a choice of 3 ways to travel.

By Air. La Platriere Retreat is just over one hours drive from the airport of Clermont-Ferrand. If flying from the UK then Flybe from Southampton run flights several time a week during the summer months. We are  2 1/2 hours drive from the airports of Limoges  and Tours where cheap flights are available from Ryanair. Cheap car hire available at all airports and can be booked in advance. 

By Road At approximately 370 miles from the channel ports, La Platriere takes between 5-6 hours drive. Situated on the north-western edge of Auvergne close to the Troncais Forest we are only 30 minutes drive from the A71, and 20 minutes from the A77. La Platriere is just off the D64 half-way between the town of Lurcy-Levis and the village of Valigny.


By Train Catch the Eurostar from London  to Paris Gare de Nord, change by Metro to the Gare de Lyon straight through to either Nevers (1 hours drive) or Moulins (45 mins drive). Cheap car hire is available at all railway stations.

click for multimap map

Click on the map to go to Multimap for further directions



The Forest of Troncais with its 300 year oaks is just 5 minutes drive from us. With over 10,000 hectares, the Troncais is the largest oak plantation in Europe and probably the world. This region is sure to capture your heart with its white water, numerous springs, large lakes, Gallo-Roman sites, gently undulating landscape, chateaux, churches and the haunting sounds of deer belling in the woods. Why not stay with us in the Autumn, when guided tours at sunset to the Troncais are available to hear the eerie sound of the belling of the deer or go wild mushroom picking (you can take your collected mushrooms to the local pharmacy who will advise you of which ones are safe to eat).


Just 20 minutes drive from La Platriere is the spa town of Bourbon l’Archambault, which is the birthplace of the Bourbon kings. With its impressive fortress castle built before the '100 years war', this is a must for visitors who can explore its impressive remains and admire the stunning views from its hilltop position. It's great fun for children too.


Whilst there you may wish to spend a relaxing morning or afternoon at the Thermal baths, where you can enjoy a selection of treatments. The water is especially good for arthritic and rheumatic problems.


The  Auvergne has approximately 500 chateaux, which range from the stately, to the fortified or medieval, and is the ‘land of the Bourbon dukes’ and many are open to the public.

The medieval and ancient capital of the region Montluçon (40 kms away) is also home to the Bourbon Dukes and has an historic centre and numerous museums. Even its Romanesque art, can be surprisingly inventive. Medieval fortresses and long dormant volcanoes dominate the landscape of the Auvergne region of central France. This is a world of memories and picture postcards, of ancient stone villages surrounded by gently rolling hills. Visit Moulins the capital of the Allier and see the historical parts of this beautiful city with its cathedrals and museums.

Bourbon fortress


Lime trees

Situated in the Massif Central, Auvergne  is an ancient region of great natural beauty and dramatic landscapes, and has several hundred volcanoes. Both the Puy de Dome (1465 metres) and the Cantal are well known, the first for its formidable challenge to cyclists on the Tour de France, and the second is the largest volcano in Europe. There are breathtaking views of this chain of extinct volcanoes. Just to the north-west of Clermont-Ferrand is the newly opened theme park Vulcania, set in the crater of an extinct volcano. (see

You may wish to take a peaceful hot air balloon ride, calmly drifting over this unique landscape, where on a clear day you can see Mont Blanc over 400 km away! Or perhaps try your hand at paragliding and hang gliding with guidance from qualified professionals from the summit of the Puy de Dome. The regions has two magnificent Nature Parks aim to protect Auvergne’s natural riches and traditions and offer perfect walking and unique plant and animal life. The Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park is a huge area made up of remarkable landscapes, flora and fauna that owes it strong identity to a rural society which has managed to preserve its know-how and culture.  It is one of Europe's oldest and largest regional parks.


You may wish to discover Auvergne by rail, and the Cevenol line is one of the most beautiful rail journeys in France. Some go places that cannot be reached by any other way, such as the steepest most remote parts of the Allier gorges. The route takes you into the heart of untamed nature and passes through 53 tunnels and climbs up steep slopes before travelling on high ridges making you feel as though you are suspended outside time.

Auvergne is an accessible Garden of Eden boasting over 2,500 species of flowers, and is home to around 100 rare protected plants. The Montagne Bourbonnais near Vichy is known as the Garden of France and is popular during summer and winter with its ski resort of Loges des Gardes with its dry toboggan run. The Auvergne is also a huge playground for the great eagle-owl, salmon, mouflon and thousands of other species. The bends of the River Allier are a bird's paradise. Over 250 species including the marsh hawk, stone curlew and osprey feel at home there. Visit the Allier Valley Nature Centre and discover and learn about the natural heritage of this beautiful area.

Auvergne countryside


racing circuit

There is an excellent 18 hole golf course (6203 Yards Par 70) situated at Magny-Cours in the Nievre (28 kms) from La Platriere. Golf is also available in the elegant spa town of Vichy, on the banks of the river Allier and also close to Clermont-Ferrand. Magny-Cours has a racing circuit which has many events throughout the year and lthere is also a race circuit at 5kms at Lurcy-Levis.


At Vichy you are able to water-ski on the lake Allier, or enjoy thermal bath treatments The opera house in Vichy has an extensive summer programme. The Gorges de Chouvighny and Sioule Gorges, offer excellent Kayaking, canoeing and beautiful walks.

Auvergne's thousands of kilometres of rivers, streams, lakes and small lakes make it a fishing paradise. Anglers can look forward to catching a wide variety of species, including trout, carp, pike, perch and crayfish. The lakes within the Troncais Forest are home to large carp and the rivers and steams in the Allier are ranked in the 1st category. Maybe good food and wine is your thing. Visit St Pourçain vinyards on the banks of the river Allier - one of the oldest in France.


Visit Aprement-Sur-Allier (20km) Listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, once upon a time, a medieval port on the banks of the River Allier now all houses fully restored, it is a quiet and peaceful village where you can visit the floral parc, and museum in the Chateau that towers above the village.

If all this doesn't tempt you, there is always the Brocantes that are held in villages on Sundays during the summer months! A cross between a car boot sales and antique markets where some excellent bargains can be found! During the winter months, have fun and enjoy a change of scene by sampling the delights of Auvergne. Come and experience surfing, downhill or cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow ball fights and sled riding.


A visit to Le Pal ( pleasure park and animal park is recommended, for all ages. The park has no less than 500 different animals plus water, rail and air attractions. The forest aventure park at St Nectaire caters for ages from 4 upwards ( .


Events in and around the region 2014





2 -3 May 2015

Classic Days

at Magny-Cours, only 28 kms (18 miles) from La Platriere.  Evening meals available please ask when booking. Accommodation in area is usually fully booked quickly for this event so avoid disappointment by booking early!

 29June to 6th July 2015

Festival International de Folklore

International Dance Festival.

A Week long festival in the town of Lurcy-Levis, of international dance, music and song! Stay with us at La Platriere, and enjoy a week long event with entertainers from overseas and other regions of France, all in traditional costume. This year Lurcy-Levis is host to dancers from Brazil, Serbia and Canada.  A chance to celebrate and sample the produce of these various countries and regions. See

18  & 19 July 2015

Sagonne Medieval Festival


Two day medieval fair held at the Chateau Sagonne just 20 minutes away from La Platriere. Great fun for all the family! Medieval banquet, troubadours, fire-eaters, archery, medieval games, stalls, and chivalric tournament and much much more! Visit for full details.


17- 26 July 2015

 Cultures of the World Festival

Held at Gannat, Allier in the Auvergne, only 50 minutes drive away, 10 wonderful days of International music, dance, traditional costume, food and products from 11 or so different countries from around the world, ranging from South America, Africa, Indies, South Pacific, Asia and Europe. Different events each day, and opportunities to buy products from each representative country. A superb day out for all the family!!! Visit their website:

  1–9 August 2015

Souvigny Medieval Fair and European Festival of Troubadours and Travelling Entertainers

The Medieval fair lasts a week long and is an accurate re-creation made up of old-fashioned shops, an inn, a medieval tournament - a real melting pot of talents, the Festival sees a great variety of young groups appear one after the other on an open stage. Not to be missed is the great medieval Banquet where each guest is invited to dress up to feel like they are really in the 12th Century!

See for details.



18/19/20 September 2015


Bol d'Or Classic

Bol d’or 24 endurance motorbike race at Magny-Cours only 28 kms  (18 miles) from La Platriere. Minimum stay during this period is 2 nights. Evening meals available please ask when booking. Accommodation in area is usually fully booked early for this event so avoid disappointment by booking early!


October 2015

World Championship Super Bikes

 at Magny-Cours, only 28 kms (18 miles) from La Platriere. Minimum stay for this period is 3 nights. Evening meals available please ask when booking. Accommodation in area is usually fully booked quickly for this event so avoid disappointment by booking early!