In 45 minutes you can be at beautiful beaches, such as le Plage des Vergnes or Meschers, which have white sand, cliffs and rockpools and even in August are never too crowded. St Georges de Didonne is a white crescent of sand approaching Royan, with a funfair, kite surfing and lots of other watersports and activities. The further north you go, you come to the Côte Sauvage, with excellent surfing beaches. Or travel south - 1.5 hours away are the largest sand dunes in Europe at Arcachon, also with amazing beaches.
If you get bored with the pool in the garden, there's lots more to do in the area. Les Antilles at Jonzac is an indoor aquatic centre. At St Georges de Didonne there's a giant tree walk, and lots of beach-related activities as well as a funfair. There's go karting nearby, horseriding, a sailing school at Port Maubert (which is English speaking and needs booking in advance). At La Palmyre there is an excellent zoo, and also an aquarium. And there's even more to discover besides.
One of the joys of spending time in France is being immersed in food and wine. Local specialties - given the location - are seafood, with oysters and mussels grown all the way up the Atlantic coast. Fish is caught in the estuary and often sold from the boat. Fresh produce is available from market stalls in almost every village or town - cheese, vegetables, melons, honey, tomatoes, garlic, sausages and cured meat and much, much more. On Sundays in many villages you will find oysters for sale beside the church.
There are several golf courses in the area. 9 holes at Montendre, half an hour away, and challenging and beautiful 18 holes courses at Royan, Saintes and Cognac.
There are tennis courts in St Bonnet - the key is held at the boulangerie.
Cycling - the area is excellent for cycling, with quiet, flat roads. Either bring your own bikes or hire bikes to be delivered to the house for using during your holiday. Click here for more details!