Pitlochry’s twin-town Confolens

Confolens – a pen-portrait

Literally meaning “the flowing together” of two rivers: Confolens – Twin-town Pitlochry, Scotland – is a latin name for the town sitting on the two rivers La Vienne and La Goire at the point that they flow together.

Do not underestimate the implications of a latin town name that stuck from that day to this, without even being franc-ified. The importance of the town to the Romans and subsequently through history is because the Vienne is the only river that flows north in France, fecund in fish and a natural artery leading from the main road east-west from Geneva to Bordeaux. It is tempting to thing that back then, as now the town was born out of its value for trade and therefore administration. The region around Confolens was really only opened up by the Romans in BC 30 (ish) with Octavian and Aggrippa’s thrust north and westawards, stopping short of Poitiers. (Indeed the ancient east-west artery from Toulouse to Saintes came to be called “The Aggrippan Way”).

Confolens today is a key administrative location in the Charente, possessing a Prefecture and Tax office (primarily presiding over its agricultural heritage) as well as possessing the remnants of a mediaeval old market town(which is beautiful). It sits right on the border of the Charente and Limousin (although these borders have ebbed and flowed over the centuries and this is not really a particularly significant long-term fact about Confolens).

Confolens hosts an annual cutlural festival each August which attracts cultural acts from all over the world and sits right in the peak tourist season (August).

Pitlochry also straddles a river and whilst not traceable to Roman times bears some common characteristics with Confolens.

In most recent history, Pitlochry shares a festival theatre, with Confolens’ annual “Festival de Confolens”. Piltochry also sports a salmon ladder, bearing evidence to the joint fishing heritage both towns share (although Confolens would be trout).

Pitlochry is also a tourist centre selling Scottish Woollens and produce of the local distilleries like Blair Atholl. Confolens would have been a trading place for local agricultural produce and there are ancient mills and small fortified houses on the sides of the river (See St. Germain de Confolens) that are testament both to the likely milling activity that occurred as well as its disbursement up and down the river, North and South.

Pitlochry still boasts a railway station. Confolens’ station has long been decommissioned as such, but the old railway track still plays host to velorail! (Click this link to find out about this great family day out!)

Pitlochry boasts a hyrdo-electric dam and power-station that Confolens does not have!

Easy to Travel to!

Chanabais is now in easy reach of Scotland because Ryanair has now opened-up a route between Limoges Airport and Ediburgh. Find precise travel details here. You could now be here in a couple of hours!

Pitlochry Accommodation

La Croix Spa is a British-owned “Gite” and Spa situated just be the Lacs de Haute Charente. We can accommodate from 2 to 24 people all year round in a child-friendly, family-oriented Spa. Accommodation is self-catering, but family evening meals can also be pre-booked and we can also stock your fridge by way of Bed and Breakfast. Check out the full site here, download a brochure, or contact us directly! We look forward to welcoming you!

Pitlochry Visitor Information Centre

22 Atholl Road,
Pitlochry,
Perthshire,
PH16 5BX

Tel:    +44(0)1796 472 215
eMail: pitlochry@visitscotland.com
Web:  www.perthshire.co.uk

Confolens Office de tourisme

Place Henri Dézaphie,
16500 CONFOLENS

Tel: +33 (0)545842222
Web:  http://www.tourisme.fr/office-de-tourisme/confolens.htm

(See also Forfar’s twin-town Chabanais)