Bars and Restaurants

Laguépie has two bars and several restaurants, some open all year and some seasonal. All bars and restaurants have their own particular open and closed periods during the week – you need to check, but the two café-bars are open all year round. In high season all will be open; out of season, only a selection, and then retsaruants (restos) open mainly for lunch.

NB. In France you can get a meal at lunch and supper time, but not in between. More on our dedicated Restaurants page.

Shopping

In the 19th century, Laguépie used to be a bustling town with dozens and dozens of shops. Though much reduced, it still has all the necessary shopping facilities including a Casino (mini-supermarket), a butcher, two tobacconists, a pharmacy, a newsagent, a RAGT (garden centre and local produce store), an old-fashioned ironmonger and kitchen shop, a hairdresser, a beauty parlour, a post office, a florist, a tourist office, a mairie (town hall) a brocante (junk shop), an estate agent, a boutique ephemere (gift shop), a cash point and an épicerie (grocery) which – happily – is open on a Monday, when French shops are usually shut.

The bakery is currently closed due to retirement, but bread and croissants can be had at all the outlets that sell food. There is an automatic filling station and two garages minutes away on rue du Barry (the Villefranche road). There is also a médiatheque (library), a haberdasher, a luthier, a notaire, an architect, an advocat (lawyer), a monumental mason and an insurance office.

NB. Shops close at midday or 12.30pm and open again at 2.30 or 3pm in summer or 2pm in winter.

Markets

The French have lots of local markets, and these vary in size and in what they sell. They start early, at around 7 or 8am, and finish at noon. If you want to meander around a larger market and then have lunch it’s wise to book your table first and then wander around – in case you go hungry! Stall-holders generally sell food or produce they have grown and the prices are reasonable, but don’t expect bargains – go for the experience. Just so you know, the French don’t really do bargaining.

Laguépie has a twice weekly – Wednesday and Sunday – food market held around la halle couverte, the raised, covered area near the Place du Foirail (main square where the Troubador bar is). It’s small and sells food and some clothes. There is always a bread stall, lots of very good local fruit and veg, a cheese stall and a butcher. On the third Tuesday of each month, there is a larger market (la Foire) which spills into the Place du Foirail and the Rue de la Mairie. When this operates, the Wednesday market doesn’t take place.

In Cordes-sur-Ciel, there is a Saturday market, larger than Laguepie. In Villefranche-de-Rouerge, there is an extensive market on a Thursday, well worth a visit for a genuine French experience as well as for the organic vegetable stalls and the sheep’s yoghurt. On Friday, Carmaux has a really authentic, no-frills, peasant/ worker style market. On a Sunday, there is a fabulous lively market in St Antonin. It is in the main square and adjacent streets; we consider it the mother of all markets! There are some good clothes stalls and food. There are street musicians and an extensive café in the centre of the square where you can watch it all go down over the polished limestone slabs. It’s very busy in summer and you may have to park up the main road. NB. Markets finish at midday, although St Antonin does roll on a little!

Information

Bridge House is right opposite the tourist office, which is open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. They have a shop and website http://laguepie-en-rouergue.fr/ and they operate the free Wi-Fi service, the wifi public, although Bridge House has its own fast fibre wifi. Village life, or the life of the commune (municipality) is, of course, centred on the Mairie (town hall), which governs and sponsors numerous festivals and events all year round. It is open most of the week, but not Monday. They have a website and downloadable newsletter – bulletin municipal: https://www.laguepie.fr/

Swimming

Bridge House doesn’t need a swimming pool because there is no better fresh-water in France to bathe in than the Viaur – cool and clean and well regulated. The public beach is extremely popular at weekends and holiday time in the summer and in the holiday season lifeguards watch over the public area – la baignade surveillée. It’s a good depth – about 1.8 meters – for a long way, but there is shallow access with good swimming downstream of the bridge and especially upstream at the campsite – perfect if you have young children. Other good swimming spots on the Viaur are La Vicasse and Lagarde Viaur (near La Chataigneraie, the pancake restaurant) and there’s a nice picnic and paddling spot five kms. up-stream, courtesy of the commune of St Christophe.

The Aveyron is not recommended for swimming before the Viaur tips into it; it gets cleaner once you get into the limestone gorges past St Antonin, where there are some delightful secluded beaches to find – try around Cazals (30 mins drive) – but expect them to busy at weekends.

Boating

You can usually rent a canoe for short trips at the campsite, but for proper canoeing or kayaking excursions and days-out, St Antonin de Noble Val is the place, with several hire outlets. You can chose the length of trip, and, depending on water levels, there are some exciting stretches. But it is all suitable for families and beginners and there alovely beaches you stop, bathe and picnic on. The companies all have their own minibuses to bring you back from where you started. There is also Najac, upstream on the Aveyron, for smaller excursions.

Fishing

Both rivers are full of coarse fish and some game fish as well as crayfish and fresh water crustaceans; herons and kingfishers abound! A permit is required for angling; day, holiday or annual tickets are availble from the tourist office or the tabacs.

Other activities

Laguepie is a fisherman’s, bather’s, walker’s, cyclist’s and sight-seer’s paradise, especially with the local train facilities – and good for jogging if you have the stamina! Maps and routes are available from the tourist office. The campsite has tennis (8€ at the office), petanque (boules), skittles and mini-golf. We have four tennis racquets, Badminton racquets, balls and a set of boules, a yoga mat and meditation cushion. Pony-trekking is also available – ask at the tourist office. For golf, you will have to go to Albi. There are two municipal riverside campsites, one on the Viaur with a restaurant and the other on the Averyon, for camping cars. Both rivers run through the town before joining and continuing as the Averyon (the bigger river). Now the Viaur ceases, so you have to go upstream to discover its delights.