Maine de la Garde Dordogne France £450 – £900 WK£450/week
Listing type: For Rent
Property type: Farmhouse
4 bedroom farmhouse sleeps maximum of 6 Rates £450 to £900 per week depending on season Minimum rental one week, Sunday to Sunday Longer lets (one month or more) available at lower rates outside main holiday season Car essential Non-smoking High chair and travel cot available on request
Maine de la Garde is a restored 18th century farmhouse that provides comfortable accommodation for up to six people with a superb, private, heated 12m x 5m swimming pool, all set in nearly a hectare of garden and hilltop meadow, surrounded by fields and woods.
There is an outdoor dining area with barbecue. The garden has plenty of room for ball games and even kite or model aircraft flying! The rural character of the property is enhanced by the presence of a huge barn, a pigeonnier and a couple of other stone outbuildings.
Inside, you will find all the facilities and equipment you need. The farmhouse has Satellite TV (with BBC, ITV and many other English-language channels), VHS/DVD player, Wi-Fi, Telephone, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge/Freezer, Washing machine, Tumble dryer, Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer. There is a collection of books, games, videos and DVDs in the living room.
Dining seating for 6 in the huge kitchen, Lounge seating for 6. Downstairs bedrooms: Master bedroom with Double bed and en-suite bathroom, Twin-bedded room, separate shower-room with WC. Upstairs bedrooms: Double bedroom, Twin bedroom. (Although there are sufficient beds for 8, we limit rental to a maximum of 6).
Linen and towels provided. Central heating and wood-burning stove for cooler days.
Conditions: No smoking. No pets. Refundable breakages deposit required of £300 refundable 10 days after departure. Changeover day – Sunday. Payment: £150 deposit per rental week with booking payable by cheque or bank transfer. Balance payable 8 weeks before arrival.
Maine de la Garde is set in a very peaceful location on top of a hill amongst fields and woods a few kilometres south of Ribérac, a thriving market town in the scenic Périgord Vert region of the Dordogne. It is within easy driving distance of numerous places of interest, and there are plenty of activities such as canoeing, horse riding, tennis and swimming nearby. The immediate vicinity is great for walking and cycling.
Ribérac is about 7 minutes away by car. It has a lively square with bars, cafes and restaurants. The busy Friday market is said to be the best in the region. There are bakers, butchers, florists, pharmacies, doctors, banks and several supermarkets, one of which is very conveniently situated on the road into Ribérac from Maine de la Garde. There is a good tourist information office where you can get details of places to visit, details of festivals, various attractions and activities. Ribérac has an outdoor swimming pool with diving boards, tennis courts, and even a small cinema. Canoes can be hired on the river Dronne.
Only 2.5 km away from Maine de la Garde is the small picturesque village of Siorac-de-Ribérac. It has a very good, friendly, restaurant “Le Lavoir” with a small bar/épicerie attached. It also has a 12th century Romanesque church, one example of many in the area.
Maine de la Garde is situated on the edge of the Forêt de Double. This is a land of farmland, forests, rivers and lakes. It is a region where seemingly every village, however tiny, proudly holds its own annual fete, usually lasting at least three days and often finishing with a spectacular fireworks display. It is an area steeped in history and tradition. It is renowned for its gastronomic delights such as fois gras, snails, boar, and truffles. There are music and art festivals and crafts of all kinds. The climate here is very agreeable, the people are friendly, and the pace of life is easy.
About 12.5 km away is Le Grand Etang de La Jemaye, which is a large lake with fishing, a sandy beach, canoes and a safe area for swimming. You can walk or cycle around the lake, and there are picnic areas, a bird-watching hide and play areas for the children. You can get drinks, snacks and simple meals at a couple of cafés overlooking the beach, and there is a larger restaurant that often has music in the evenings. In the summer there are organised activities such as archery and paddle-boarding.
Going a little way west from Ribérac is Aubeterre-sur-Dronne. Its charming narrow streets wind through white stone houses and ancient buildings. Built in the shape of an amphi-theatre this former stronghold is classified as one of France’s prettiest villages. The most outstanding and impressive monument in Aubeterrre is the underground church of St John, which dates from the 7th century. Carved entirely out of rock the main nave reaches a height of 20m. Aubeterre also has a river beach.
The lively towns of Verteillac and Saint-Astier are also within about twenty minutes drive. About 15 km down the road to Brantôme you come to the pretty village of Bourdeilles where there are two chateaux of different periods built on a fortified hill – a medieval fortress (13th – 14th century) and a Renaissance palace (16th) with a remarkable collection of furniture.
Not far away is the medieval town of Brantôme where it is a delight to walk around the remarkable and ancient abbey founded by Charlemagne (742-814). With its soaring campanile this is one of the most elegant medieval and Renaissance buildings in the Dordogne, complete with caves used by the monks as kitchens and cellars. The town sits on a bend of the river Dronne and a stroll along the riverside is an unforgettable experience. There are plenty of good restaurants. Boat trips are available and there are canoes to hire.
Beyond Brantôme is the town of Villars and a short distance north of the town are the caves (Grottes de Villars) with some impressive stalactites and paintings more than 17,000 years old. It was discovered in 1953 and is the largest underground network in the Périgord. The underground river has hollowed out huge chambers connected to each other by galleries.
Nearby is the Chateau de Puyguilhem in a village of the same name. It is a fascinating structure way out in the woods – a Renaissance masterpiece that fell into disrepair but was carefully restored after the second world war. It is now open for inspection.
The city of Périgueux, with its Gallo-Roman remains, old city and spectacular multi-domed cathedral, is about 36 km away. It has a good market on Saturdays.
St Emilion and Bergerac are both well worth visiting and are within easy driving distance.
A little further away, but still possible to visit in a day, is the area around Les Eyzies that has numerous caves with prehistoric drawings and paintings, troglodyte dwellings and the fantastic mediaeval town of Sarlat.
Day trips to Bordeaux, the Médoc and the lakes and coast beyond are also perfectly doable, offering culture, vineyard tours, surfing, sailing and wind-surfing.
Tennis, Fishing, Horse Riding, Canoeing within 15 mins drive. The area is great for: Painting, Walking holidays, Rural/Countryside pursuits, Cycling holidays.
How to get there:
If coming by car, the cheapest channel crossing options are usually by ferry from Dover to Calais. Eurotunnel is usually a bit more expensive, but quicker. Driving from Calais is 800 kms and takes about 8 hours non-stop (via Rouen, Le Mans, Tours, Poitiers, Angouleme). We sometimes break our journey in the Loire area and do a bit of exploring there.
By air to Bergerac, Brive, Limoges or Angouleme, we suggest Ryanair and they are cheap if you book ahead and other options are Easyjet to Bordeaux or Flybe to Bergerac.
If flying, the nearest airport is Bergerac, but Limoges and Bordeaux are also options. Rental cars are available from a large number of companies at Bergerac airport – we like the little independent company, Buggs, but Hertz, Europcar and Avis are also available.
Bergerac Airport – 47 km
Perigueux Rail Station – 41 km
Nearest Ferry Port – St Malo – 520km
Name: John and Pippa Brommell
Telephone: +44 (0)1799 531437
Mobile: +44 (0)7968 390606