DON’T MISS …
- Visit a chateau – there’s lots to choose from including Montbrun, Jumilhac le Grand, Hautefort, Puyguilhem, Bourdeilles and La Rochefoucauld.
- Visit the beautiful town of Brantome, built of shimmering white stone round a loop on the River Dronne, and take a canoe out on the river. Great fun for all the family!
- Visit one of our superb local restaurants such as the Sens de la Terre in Piegut or the Moulin de la Tardoire at Montbron. Both have great value three course lunches for 14/17 euros.
- Walk round the beautiful lake at St.Estephe and let the children work out how to pull you across the ingenious boat/bridge.
- Visit Piegut market on Wednesday morning and / or Brantome on a Friday morning.
- Visit the preserved village of Oradour sur Glane where 642 people were massacred by the Nazis in 1944.
- In summer, visit one of our fabulous “night markets” which are a cross between a farmers’ market, BBQ and giant party.
Who doesn’t love a French market? Allow plenty of time as there’s lots to see and buy, and they close promptly at lunchtime:
- Wednesday: Piegut
- Friday: Brantome
- Saturday: Nontron, Perigueux and Thiviers
There are several well-organised FREE swimming lakes with beaches, lifeguards and cafes:
- St Estephe – lifeguards in summer, beach, cafes, bars (open until late in summer), walks round the lake and to Roc Branlat, free pedallos, beach volleyball, tree climbing and playground.
- St Mathieu – beach with lifeguards in summer, cafe, walks
- Pressignac and Massignac – much quieter beaches, horse riding, dinghies, bird watching.
30 MINUTES AROUND LES ARBRES
Kids and adults can go tree-top climbing near Nontron. There are five courses for all age ranges, plus a zip wire. http://www.pvaventures.fr
Golf de Genet is a new 9 hole par 35 course just 5 mins from Les Arbres. Equipment can be hired. There is a cocktail bar! Tel: 0601710742 or 0611743531.
The incredibly pretty Montbrun Chateau (20 mins SE near Dournazac – don’t get it mixed up with Montbron!). It is fully restored and can be visited between 2pm – 6pm each day. Tickets at the Tavern opposite, or phone Brian on 0683079668. http://www.castle-forsale.com
The Haute Charente Lakes near Massignac have beaches, fishing, bird watching, horse riding and a well-supervised Adventure Park with zip wires, tree climbs, etc. There is an English pub called Le Soleil Couchant. Pony trekking is at Pressignac, 15 euros per hour. Tel: 06 88 67 80 76 or 06 85 60 36 34.
The Roman site of Cassinomagus contains well preserved thermal baths and a great visitor centre. Open every day 3 July – 28 August 10am – 6.30pm. (30 minutes NW of Les Arbres – the site is just before Chassenon) www.cassinomagus.fr
The contemporary art gallery in the imposing chateau at Rochechouart (20 mins N of Les Arbres) http://www.musee-rochechouart.com/index.php/en/
If you are feeling energetic, there is a small but perfectly formed 10 pin bowling alley at Bussiere Badil – Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were spotted there once! www.palacevert.com
There is an excellent go-karting circuit at Teyjat, just 20 mins SW of Les Arbres www.circuit-karting-perigord.fr
The lovely town of Brantome is built of shimmering white stone around a loop in the River Dronne and is known as the ‘Venice of the Perigord’. It has a beautiful abbey, monastery gardens and canoeing. Market day is Friday. Canoeing along the River Dronne at Brantome is great fun. Nearly all our families take a canoe trip and everyone loves it! Life jackets and equipment are provided. www.brantomecanoe.com
Near to Brantome is a farm for retired UK police horses. Visits by appointment only on Wednesday – Friday afternoons in summer. 12 euros per adult and 8 euros per child, including cream tea. Proceeds go to the welfare of the horses You can listen to the horses’ stories and even “hug a horse”. www.brantomepolicehorses.com. Book in advance on: 05 53 05 86 80
Close to Brantome is the Grotte de Villars, with stalactites, stalagmites and prehistoric cave paintings,. There is also a picnic area, playground and woodland walks. The cave has safe paths and is well lit, so it’s ideal even for small children. www.grotte-villars.com
St Jean de Cole is one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France”, and is especially beautiful during the floralies flower festival in May. It is also holder of the title “finest roofs in France”.
The chateau of Puyguilhem has recently reopened after a long and painstaking restoration. It’s close to Brantome Police Horses. http://www.chateau-puyguilhem.fr/en/
The pretty village of Bourdeilles and its chateau are just 10 mins SW of Brantome , along the River Dronne.
ORADOUR SUR GLANE AND AROUND
An important local site is the village of Oradour sur Glane (not to be confused with Oradour sur Vayres), which has been movingly preserved as it was on 10 June 1944, when 642 men, women and children were tragically massacred. It’s free to enter the ruins, but there is a charge to go in the Visitor Centre. http://www.oradour.org/
15 mins north west of Oradour are the pretty villages of Mortemart (a Plus Beaux Village de France) and Montrol Senard. Montreal Senard is a “Living Museum” with renovated old school, forge, house, etc. Very pretty with cafes and shops. Free entry.
The Museum of the French Resistance at Limoges is well worth a visit. http://www.limoges-tourisme.com/en/discovering-limoges/monuments-museums-and-sites-to-visit
Limoges itself is, of course, famous for porcelain. You can tour some of the porcelain factories,
and the Musee des Beaux Arts ( http://www.museebal.fr/en )
The Parc Zoo du Reynou near Limoges has over 600 animals in a country setting. It’s about 45 mins from Les Arbres. www.parczooreynou.com
The beautiful town of Sarlat (2 hours SE) is the quintessential Perigord market town.
The Vezere Valley, east of Perigueux, has the following major attractions:
- The internationally famous Lascaux caves which have been completely rebuilt for 2017: http://www.lascaux.fr/en
- Maison Forte de Reignac – an amazing fortified house built into the cliff face. www.maison-forte-reignac.com
- La Roque Saint-Christophe – the remains of a medieval city built into a cliff. www.roque-st-christophe.com
- Les Grottes du Roc de Cazelle – a reconstructed cliff village and farm. www.rocdecazelle.com
Don’t miss our other “Plus Beaux Villages de France” at Aubterre sur Dronne, (1 hour SW of Les Arbres) with its underground church, lovely river bathing, gift shops and lots of restaurants.
Perigueux ( 1 hour south of Les Arbres) is the ‘capital’ of the Dordogne and has a beautiful medieval centre, Byzantine cathedral, Roman temple and Vesunna Gallo Roman museum. Market days are Wednesday and Saturday mornings. For more information see http://www.northofthedordogne.com/perigueux.php
There are several other chateaux worth visiting, including:
- Hautefort – the grandest local chateau. 1 hour 20 mins SE of Les Arbres www.chateau-hautefort.com
- Jumilhac Le Grand – pretty chateau on the road to Hautefort. www.jumilhac.net