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Monts de Guéret - Limousin - France
#1
Been going to this area regularly for our family holidays (6 times in the last 9 years) But this was my first time of going since getting the MTB bug.

Took mine and my sons bikes with us this time and really glad I did.

For those that don't know the area, Guéret is about 470miles south of Calais in the Limousin Region

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It's quite a hilly area with beautiful lakes & Forests to explore as well as loads of stuff to do for the whole family.

Before going I researched a few routes and downloaded some GPX files for my Garmin to follow (Glad I did)

I also got on Garmin connect and drew myself a few routes that struck out from where we were staying so that every ride didn't require a car journey.

The first few days I went out trying to follow the routes that I'd made up, but it seems that the map and the French farmers have very different ideas about rights of way and I kept finding myself going down a great track only to find my way blocked by barbed wire or electric fence, although I did manage to get one, 9½ mile route which was about 60% off road that served as a nice leg loosener in the mornings.

I quickly grew tired of coming up against dead ends so struck out to Guéret to follow one of the tracks I'd downloaded ...

What a result!!! This route started as 5 miles of climbing through quiet country roads, single track, double track, forest road, fire road up to the Antennae in this pic:

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Then, once we reached the Antennae we were greeted by this tempting archway:

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What followed was a fantastic, well maintained fully catch-fenced, crash-matted downhill route that lasted for about 2½ miles back to where we started:

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Buoyed by this ride, a couple of days later I went out and followed another route that I'd downloaded ... Thinking I'd only be out a short while as it was only a 10 mile trail, I found one of the hardest, most fun and most challenging rides of my life, It had climbs that I didn't have the legs for, some descents that I didn't have the balls for & some technical areas that I didn't have the skills for ... In hindsight I shouldn't have gone on that route alone, but it was a beautiful ride that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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On my way around I kept seeing these signs:

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And at the start/end of the ride I realised that these signposts that I'd seen all over the place were specifically for Mountain Bikers:

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On these boards is loads of info showing loads of waymarked MTB routes, all graded, and the little yellow signs are the markers to follow.

As you can see from that board, there are tons of trails to choose from, and further research has found 36 routes in all, which all have maps, signposts and waymarks that you can get more info from here:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.gueret-tourism.co.uk/What-s-to-do/Activities/Mountain-biking-in-the-Monts-de-Gueret-area">http://www.gueret-tourism.co.uk/What-s- ... ueret-area</a><!-- m -->

Unfortunately for me I found out too late, so there were more trails to ride than days I had left of our holiday which just means I suppose I'm gonna have to go back again and check out even more!

My son was desperate to go back to that DH trail (Descente de Maupuy) so we did that one more time, and a mate I was with wanted to check out that hard ride that I'd been on (Turns out it's Route 32 on the link above) and I did a couple of other local explorations, but I'm definitely going to return next year for more.

Here's a vid of that DH track:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMVHhgj78gU">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMVHhgj78gU</a><!-- m -->

Accommodation


When we go as a family we stay here:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://la-coterie.com/">http://la-coterie.com/</a><!-- m -->
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="https://www.facebook.com/LaCoterieLodges?fref=ts">https://www.facebook.com/LaCoterieLodges?fref=ts</a><!-- m -->

It's a cracking place, run by a British couple with 4 very comfortable wooden self catering 2 bedroom lodges all with a double bed and another bedroom with 2 bunk beds, it has a swimming pool, laundry, BBQ's to use and beautiful countryside around.

Also about 5 miles away from La Coterie there's another place run by another British couple called Bonkersfrog holidays:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.bonkersfrog.com/">http://www.bonkersfrog.com/</a><!-- m -->
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bonkersfrog-Activity-Holidays/33744837454?fref=ts">https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bonkersf ... 54?fref=ts</a><!-- m -->

I've not stayed with them myself but have contacted and met them and they've been very helpful and accommodating despite the fact that I wasn't a paying customer.

They do guided or self guided tours and can accommodate Road Cycling, MTB and Kayaking. They also do bike hire at a very good price and will deliver bikes to wherever you're staying as long as it's within a 30 minute radius of them.

They're also doing very good deals on long weekends at the moment.


All in all, I can't recommend this area highly enough for MTB holidays or family holiday (with a little MTB-ing shoehorned in) it works great for me as my son and I love to ride, while my wife & daughter prefer to laze around by the pool so both can be accommodated at the same time.

Go! It's Great!
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#2
Wicked little review, and it looks like a great place too.
Keep it foolish...
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#3
Cheers, we love it there! I always thought it was great before I discovered the MTB-Ness... Now it's even better!!!
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#4
Great write up, sounds like you had a great trip!
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#5
Cheers, really looking forward to going back.
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#6
Cheers JB, that sounds like a fantastic holiday spot made even better !!
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#7
one to do on the list Big Grin
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#8
Jay Dubster Wrote:Cheers JB, that sounds like a fantastic holiday spot made even better !!


Sure is ...


Deadpool2e Wrote:one to do on the list Big Grin

Bonkersfrog have some deals on for Autumn riding long weekends in the area at the mo ... could be worth a look:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=ffaf381d765af85e47efa73f9&id=78d7b6ca4e">http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=ffa ... 78d7b6ca4e</a><!-- m -->
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#9
Reeeeeeeeeesult!!!!

After my Missus decreed that this years holiday was in Snowdonia (which of course turned into my son and I enjoying Plas Y Brenin, Coed Y Brenin & Llandegla) she has decided that she wants to return to France next year

This gets even better though...

She wants to go to a Gite near her friends house for 2 weeks which is only 400 Euros for 2 weeks, but it's a couple of hours drive away from all those great trails, and I don't really wanna spend that long where the trails are tantalisingly close but too far to just pop across.

So she's suggested that the boy and I travel to the Monts De Gueret area for the first week, enjoy the trails as much as we like then meet her and our daughter for the second week!!

This gets even better than that though ...!!!!

We now have a friend who owns a house near the trails and he's offered us the house for a week for FREE!!


Roll on August!!
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#10
Great find JohnBoy, my folks have a place about an hour from Guéret in Culan, thinking of a French road trip in the summer so may drop by!
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