Poitiers, an historic town in south-west France, is simply dripping with memories of hard fought battles and the pomp and ceremony of French royalty.
Today Poitiers is rather less turbulent but with a charm and tourist attractions that makes it one of the loveliest towns in the Poitou-Charentes. Its population is just 85,000 but with around one quarter of them university students – Poitiers University dates back to 1431 and counts French philosopher René Descartes and English painter Francis Bacon amongst its former students – it is always lively.
Poitiers is a town to stroll around at leisure. From tree-lined Place Mar Leclerc that is filled with cafés in the summer (at Christmas it becomes an ice-skating ring) meander through cobbled, pedestrianised streets flanked by a mix of centuries-old architecture and half-timbered houses, many of which have been transformed into lovely little boutiques and shops.