The Charente department is home to over 340,000 inhabitants and is located in the south-east of Poitou-Charentes. The countryside offers a unique and varied environment for walkers and mountain bikers from rolling hills in the east to a flatter landscape in the west. The northern area is wild with deep forests and peaks reaching to over 1000ft. The Charente has long relied on agriculture to fuel its economy. In the 18th Century, however, the department started mass producing its infamous Cognac drink, which proved extremely popular with people from all over the world.
The department is very well situated for expatriates looking to purchase French property here, with great roads down to the Charente and the Channel ports just a short day drive away. The department has access to Poitiers, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Bergerac and Limoges airports, all within 2 hours. Furthermore, in the centre of the department you will be able to fly from either Gatwick or Stanstead direct to the Angoulême Champniers-Brie airport.
Angoulême is a small yet cosmopolitan city, with a fairly dynamic feel about the place when compared to the neighboring Dordogne or Haute Vienne. It hosts a lot of events such its vintage car racing (the Circuit des Remparts) which takes place in September , the cartoon festival in January and a great music scene which just seems to get better every year . Both Cognac and Confolens have annual festivals which attract tourists to the area.
The Charente has an immensely varied countryside bordering 5 departments, famous for both its Cognac vineyards in the west, and its Limousin beef production in the east, which in terms of scenery are worlds apart. The valley of the Charente River meanders down from Ruffec in the north through Angoulême onto Jarnac and Cognac. Confolens in the East of the department is situated on the banks of the majestic River Vienne, this area being known as the Charente Limousine, and is extremely popular with expatriates because it looks and feels like the UK. The south of the county which borders the Charente Maritime has a much better climate but less undulating scenery.
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