Deep in France’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region lies a hidden racing gem which is the destination of a special driving tour this September

Set against a dramatic landscape of South West France and nestled in the heart of the nation’s world famous wine country, lies the Circuit des Remparts. 

This intimate and yet thrilling circuit weaves its way through the town of Angoulême, and is surrounded by fascinating history. Impressive medieval buildings line the streets of this quintessentially French town. 

Read our guide to Angoulême here!

Some of history’s best-known drivers have raced through these streets, including five-time Formula 1 World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio, as well as fellow champions Alberto Ascari and Mike Hawthorn.

Cafe in Angouleme

This year, the world-renowned festival, Circuit des Remparts, celebrates its 51st edition – and we have a driving tour heading right there. If you’re a fan of history, the French countryside and motorsports, this is the summer roadtrip for you.

A brief history of the Circuit des Remparts 

The town of Angoulême is steeped in history. This much is obvious after just a short walk through its winding narrow streets. Cobbles, coffee and cute cafes are everywhere you turn, but the town has seen less tranquil days…

One of the world’s oldest race tracks, the Circuit des Remparts’ story begins way back in 1939. However, German occupation during the Second World War forced the track to fall silent for four years. The town put up a feisty resistance, and when eventually liberated, the circuit reopened, hosting Formula 2 races.

This is the 51st edition of the race, held in the third week of September. The circuit takes its name from the battlement-like rock formation surrounding the city. 

The Circuit des Remparts Driving Tour

As the British summertime ends there’s no need to bid goodbye to the sun just yet. In mid-September you could be sipping coffee on the narrow cobbled streets of Angoulême….

The weekend includes concours competitions, a classic car scenic road-run through the Charente countryside, as well as a day of vintage and classic car racing around the historic walled circuit of the old town of Angoulême.

The Circuit des Remparts Driving Tour runs from 13-19 September, and is broken down into seven days.

Tour itinerary:

Wed (13/09) – Check-in at Brittany Ferries Terminal, Portsmouth. A window cabin on the overnight ferry to St Malo awaits you! 

Thu (14/09) – A leisurely drive through the Loire Valley countryside to the hotel in the grounds of an ancient abbey.

Fri (15/09) – After breakfast, a scenic but simple drive to Angoulême. Explore the city with available walking tours.

Sat (16/09) – The International rally begins (entry included in package). More than 150 cars cruise through the Charente region with a scenic stop for lunch.

Sun (17/09) – The big day! The Circuit des Remparts race is held from 8am-6pm – and its walking distance from the hotel. Feel free to explore the pits and paddocks.

Mon (18/09) – Time to check out and head back to Caen for the overnight ferry to Portsmouth.

Tue (19/09) – The ship docks in Portsmouth at 7am.

For full details, head to the Circuit des Remparts Driving Tour page.