A fairy-tale castle crowns the picturesque village of Verteuil-sur-Charente, by the banks of the Charente River. Surrounded by a leafy park, the turreted Château de Verteuil is considered one of the finest castles in the Charente region. Because of its elegant architecture and sensational setting, the castle is often used as a venue for weddings and other events.

Near the castle (about a five-minute walk away), the town’s old mill at the riverside, the Moulin de Verteuil, has been converted into a restaurant and tea salon with an old-fashioned interior and outdoor seating at the water’s edge.

Puy-Leonard Verteuil-sur-Charente

It’s also worth spending time exploring the village, walking along the riverside, shopping at the boutiques in the center of town, and wandering the atmospheric narrow alleyways. The Ruelle du Prieuré leads up to the Eglise Saint-Médard, a Romanesque church that was on the medieval “Way of Saint James” pilgrimage route from Tours to Santiago de Compostela. The church contains the fantastic Mise au Tombeau sculpture created in the 16th century by Germain Pilon.

At the heart of the village, on an island in the Charente River, the 15th-century Le Couvent des Cordeliers monastery is now a luxury hotel with terraced gardens and an outdoor swimming pool.

There are plenty of things to see here as well as having a picnic by the river Charente, with many interesting shops restaurants and tea rooms to choose from.

Verteuil-sur-Charente is 23 minutes (21 km) from Puy-Leonard.