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THE GITE & GARDENS

Every little detail matters......

THE LOCAL AREA


Brantome

Nicknamed the Venice of Perigord, it is the perfect place to wander around with its charming river banks, Benedictine abbey and 11th century bell tower, caves, parks, gardens, canoeing, river cruises, restaurants and bustling Friday morning market; an absolute delight.  Friday night during the summer months offers jousting on the river; a popular attraction to enjoy!

The Dordogne is a region bursting with places just waiting to be explored.  There are a 1001 chateaux waiting to be discovered, many of which are open to visitors.  Our nearest chateau is just 5 minutes walk away and is open throughout the month of August should you wish to visit.

The places listed below are just a sample of what's on offer to give you a little taste, not forgetting the great markets in this area to sample and purchase some local produce.  We really are a destination where you can choose to do as much or as little as you wish......

Bourdeilles

A lovely village on the edge of the river Dronne,. It boasts a chateau, a moulin and a panoramic viewpoint.  The chateau is actually two castles.  Canoe from Brantome to Bourdeilles, take some lunch and paddle gently back to Brantome taking in the tranquil views.

Perigueux

The capital of the Dordogne with its imposing cathedral and quaint winding streets of the old town.  Enjoy lunch in one of the many pavement restaurants or squares, people watch and  enjoy a purchase from the wonderful shops that line the old town.  Explore the historic buildings, including the old toll house by the river.

There is a great market twice a week and many events in

the town.  You can also canoe on the river.

Nontron

Nontron, the capital of Perigord Vert is set up high and has some excellent views over the valley of Bandiat. It has a quiet but pleasant centre with a number of interesting buildings to admire including the chateau and timber framed buildings.  You can see the the old ramparts of the 13th century. 

Metiers d'Art located in the town offers an chance to purchase beautiful crafts made by local artisans. The Jardins des Arts have various attractive contemporary creations including benches winding around a group of trees and various sculptures. Nontron knives are famous throughout France and Nontron is one of the oldest knife-making institutions in the country. The workshop is well worth visiting and whilst here it is possible to see the knives being made, engraved and polished.  There is an annual knife festival in the town during August each year.

Saint Jean de Cole

One of France's most beautiful villages.  A medieval village that dates back to the 11th century.  The village square is flanked by the 12th century chateau which is open to visitors in July, August and early September. The river Cole runs along the edge of the village and can be admired from the little stone humped back bridge.

The annual flower festival in May each year is a delightful event not to be missed.

Saint Estephe Lake

There are a number of swimming lakes in the area. The closest one to us is Saint Estephe Lake.  It has a white sandy beach, café bars, and beautiful walkways around the lake where you can take the foot ferry across the lake.  You can fish, go boating, play tennis, go horse riding and ride a bike trail.  Canoeing and paddling are free of charge during July and August.

There is also a very nice restaurant on the edge of the lake where you can enjoy a very good French dinning experience.

Grotte de Villars

The only cave in Perigord to have original prehistoric paintings and natural concretions

The Villars Cave is one of Perigord’s largest underground networks with, up until today, about 13 km of explored ground. The underground river has dug enormous rooms linked to each other by passages. The infiltration waters have created fantastic natural scenery. During the guided tour, you can admire the impressive flows of calcite and fine stalactites, pools, translucent draperies and the countless stalagmites.

The prehistoric paintings were discovered in 1958 and are the legacy of the art of our ancestors.

Bergerac

On the serene Dordogne River, Bergerac is a medieval town of corbelled houses surrounded by green countryside with vineyards and farms. You’re in an eminent wine region here, and have days-worth of châteaux, cooperatives and museums to tour, while the wine council for the entire region meets at a dignified renaissance cloister in the town.

The river should be in your holiday plans, for canoe trips, peaceful walks and cruises in the old barges that once shipped wine along its course. 

Cognac

The town gives its name to one of the world's best-known types of brandy or eau de vie. Drinks must be made in certain areas around the town of Cognac and must be made according to strictly defined regulations to be granted the name Cognac.

Visit one of the brandy houses for a tour and tasting experience.  

ITry Pineaut, a fortified wine made from either fresh, unfermented grape juice or a blend of lightly fermented grape must, to which a Cognac eau-de-vie is added and then matured.

Aubeterre-sur-Dronne

Aubeterre sur Dronne boasts an exceptional cultural heritage which, combined with its beautiful natural surroundings and the famous French “art de vivre”, makes it the perfect place to live and visit.
Officially listed as one of « The Most Beautiful Villages in France» since 1993, it has welcomed pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostella in north west Spain, visitors and tourists for over 1000 years. Two important historical monuments add to the cultural status of Aubeterre sur Dronne; the extraordinary, monolithic, underground Church of St Jean and the Romanesque Church of St Jacques, with its stunning façade.Visitors and tourists can enjoy meandering through the ups and downs of the narrow streets, popping in to admire the many specialist shops, including a leather worker and potters, and then settling down in the village square, Place Trarieux, at one of the cafés or restaurants, comfortably shaded by ancient lime trees.

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