Cobbles, comics and the Circuit des Remparts - Angoulême is the ideal summer motorsport getaway destination

A trip to France is often on the agenda of classic motorsports fans. Angoulême is fast becoming a favourite destination and 2023 celebrates 51 years of a very special gathering.

In the heart of wine country, in South West France, Angoulême is nestled deep in the breathtaking landscape of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. 

Each September, the ancient streets of the city are taken over by classic cars as the legendary Circuit des Remparts weekend begins.

Why Angoulême?

The city of Angoulême sits high on a rocky plateaux. Its elevated position above the Aquitaine countryside has proven effective defence for the city throughout history, and has earned it the nickname, “The Balcony of the Southwest”. 

For hundreds of years Angoulême’s main industry was paper and many of the old mills can still be seen today. The industry may be gone, but it lives on in a special way, through the unique comic book culture in the city.

Dubbed the French Capital of Comic Books, Angoulême has studios, universities and festivals dedicated to what locals call the “Ninth Art”.

Another thing that sets Angoulême apart is its spectacular architecture. Despite a tumultuous history, including German occupation from 1940 to 1944, the city has an impressive array of old buildings, some dating back 1000 years. 

Local’s tip: Le Lion Rouge restaurant is the former ironmongers and its arty plant-filled interior will add to the taste of the best pizza in town.

Circuit des Remparts

One of the oldest race tracks in the world, the Circuit de Remparts started life in 1939. Following four years of occupation in the Second World War, the track reopened for Formula 2 races.

Car in Angouleme

The route weaves through the ancient roads of the old town of Angoulême. Named after the famous ramparts that surround the city, the spectacular backdrop of this classic circuit draws crowds to Angoulême every September to celebrate the motoring heritage.

This year the gathering runs from 13-19 September. The town is set to fill up with classic cars and motorsports fans for the famous Circuit de Remparts festival.

In our eyes a Circuit de Remparts Driving Tour is the ideal way to experience this hugely popular event in the French countryside. The ferry crossing with a cabin, three-nights accommodation, grandstand entry and dinner and cocktails are all included!