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Poitou-Charentes / Deux-Sevres / Parthenay

Parthenay, a fascinating ancient fortified town positioned on a rocky spur and surrounded on two sides by the River Thouet.

The castle, situated at the tip of the rocky promontory surrounded by the loop of the river, was built in the 13th century. This is also when the outer fortifications protecting the citadel, and the town itself, were completed.

There are several very good supermarkets (where we buy our prawns, or crevettes, by the kilo at ridiculously cheap prices compared to the UK), some interesting shops and plenty of lovely restaurants.

Be sure to check out the town’s stunning Medieval quarter. A stroll up the town’s cobbled Medieval street is a must. (There is a restaurant at the top that does very good steaks too.)

There is a market here every Wednesday.

Every July, Parthenay also hosts the Festival Ludique International de Parthenay, also known as the Festival de Jeux (or Games Festival.) At this time, the town’s streets are filled with giant games of every kind and anybody can join in. This festival appeals to people of all generations and is a joy to witness.

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