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La Mothe Saint Héray - two became one

The little market town of La Mothe St Héray was created from two separate communities, one which based itself around the old castle, La Mothe, sadly now destroyed, and the other which grew up around the ancient church of Saint Héray. The town benefits from a delightful location on the banks of the River Sèvre Niortaise, and offers some stunning mediaeval architecture, plus a number of lively cultural events held in these beautiful old buildings.

Orangerie

Perhaps the best loved feature of La Mothe St Héray is the grand Orangerie, built by Nicholas Tillon, the Mason of Richlieu. While this is well worth visiting in its own right, the Orangerie is also pressed into service as a venue for a host of cultural events and exhibitions, creating a marvellous atmosphere.

La Mothe Saint Héray's church, watermill and museum

Any tour of La Mothe should also take in the 15th century church, with its three Gothic naves and ornate doorway, the beautiful old watermill, renovated and working, and the Rosière Museum.

Shops and amenities

The village is lively and well equipped, with a good number of colourful and useful shops, as well as most of the usual services. Gastronomes will be happy here too, as there are some very good restaurants serving local specialities, among them the acclaimed "Fouasse de La Mothe Saint Héray". Look out also for the speciality of the region, angelica.

Sports and leisure

The Deux Sèvres has a very pleasant climate that usually gives long, sunny summers, so the area is great for anyone who enjoys getting out and about in the fresh air and being involved in sporting activities. You can fish in the river, walk in the forest, discover a wealth of activities such as swimming and sailing at the nearby Lambon Leisure Park, try horse-riding or play golf, and all within a few kilometres drive of the town.

Out and about

There are many places of interest to visit in the region, including a monkey park, the cities of Niort and of Poitiers, the theme park Futuroscope and the Marais Poitevin marshes and inland waterways. Access to the coast with its colourful port of La Rochelle and the gorgeous Ile de Ré is easy too.

How to get there

There are two airports near La Mothe St Héray. These are found at La Rochelle and Poitiers. Ryanair flies to both of these, and flybe and easyJet also serve La Rochelle. If you prefer to take your own car and go by ferry, the nearest ferry ports are those of St Malo, Caen and Cherbourg. Drivers will find La Mothe easily from the A10 motorway. It takes about seven hours to drive to the town from the Channel tunnel or the ferry ports. If travelling by train you can take the Eurostar to Paris, and then take a super fast TGV to Niort or Poitiers.

Property prices and availability in and around La Mothe Saint Héray

The Deux Sèvres still offers some lovely properties at surprisingly low prices, as the department has remained largely undiscovered by the foreign property market until quite recently. Buyers are making up for lost time now, though, so expect to move quickly on desirable properties or you may lose out.

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La Mothe Saint Héray AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS La Mothe Saint Héray?

La Mothe Saint Héray is located in the inland west of France. It lies in the south-east of the Deux Sèvres department.

La Mothe Saint Héray Property Map

IN THE REGION OF POITOU-CHARENTES

Poitou-Charentes Guide

Poitou-Charentes Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF DEUX-SÈVRES

Deux-Sèvres Guide

  Deux-Sèvres Map


Population: 1,810


Access: By air: Fly to La Rochelle or Poitiers. By boat: The nearest ferry ports are those of St Malo, Caen and Cherbourg. By rail: Take the TGV to Niort or Poitiers. By road: The town lies not far off the A10 motorway.


Economy: The economy is mainly rural, but with tourism becoming an important force.


Interesting fact: La Mothe has a lovely old orangerie which was built by Nicholas Tillon, otherwise known as the Mason of Richlieu.


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