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Dordogne experts, please!

(31 Posts)
CurlyhairedAssassin Tue 19-May-15 20:46:31

(For August next year.)

We're having a week in a cottage in Cornwall this year but have been thinking about cheaper ways of going abroad. Usually get a villa or apartment near coast in Majorca or Spain but flight costs are increasing too much each year and we have a lower budget than a couple of years back.

Kids would be 12 and 10 so in my head I'm picturing a gite with (shared?) pool in the Dordogne with space to play football and cricket, possibly a games room with table tennis, and not too far away from amenities like shops/supermarket and restaurants. Keen for us all to canoe on the river.

I have a couple of questions:

Is the journey awful? We'd be driving from NW England via euro tunnel and I remember the 3 day hellish journey down to the Côte d'Azur in my teens.

Will it be mostly good weather? I'd hate to spend loads only to have it rain most of the time.

Are mosquitoes a problem? DH is a walking mossie banquet and would hate it if there was a big problem.

Is 2 weeks there doable on an accommodationbudget of around £1200-1400 for 2 weeks? I would share with parents but not sure it's their thing now they're older (they like to be pampered in hotels!)

Thank you. Any other info much appreciated. I only know Paris, Côte d'Azur and the area around Collioure and Argeles near the Spanish border.

iwantgin Wed 20-May-15 12:28:59

We went to the Dordogne a couple of years ago. It was early August and very hot. Did have one evening of heavy rain and an afternoon of drizzle. That's why it is so beautiful there, the greenery.

We hired a house in Daglan.lovely small town near enough for a short drive out to Somme, Sarlat and LA Roque Gageac(sp)?

The house was lovely, a stand alone house with own pool. I think we paid £850 for the week. It is still on the chez nous website I think price has risen a little. I can send you the link if you like?

The drive down is long. We are in w Yorks so a good five hours to Folkestone, then the drive the other side. We usually book an overnight stay end route to break up the journey. Even with two sharing the driving it is very tiring. I think that we stayed in Blois that year. Yes, it adds a bit onto the cost of your trip but you prob pay a little less by avoiding a Saturday tunnel crossing and you get to visit somewhere new.

Mosquito's? Can't say I noticed any that trip, but we weren't very near the water. I had quite a fewbites from something last summer when we stayed further north, but that was in the vicinity of rivers.

Any more tips just ask. We've been going to France with DC (all in teens now tho)for the past 5 or 6 years now, so have picked up some good ideas.

mummytime Wed 20-May-15 13:01:51

We didn't notice mosquitos when we went to the Dordogne, and we attract them (and went Canoeing on the Dordogne - which you have to do, its very very civilised if you want).
I'd break the journey if you can, I think we did near Paris, and we live in Southern England, but our DC were younger.
Weather was okay, not boiling but if you are used to Cornwall - warmer.

The Hospital was great BTW - most memorable bit of the trip apart from the beauty etc.

StareMesto Wed 20-May-15 19:23:31

We stayed near Les Eyzies a few years back. Will try to find a link. 1000 euros a week is like.y to be the minimum you'd pay for 2 bed accommodation in the summer though.

Theas18 Wed 20-May-15 19:30:27

Loads here cheapish.
Trawl the listings for the " quirky" ones to get a bargain (eg kids room off parents room, we even had access through owners garage once!) but you're less likely to find those with pools - they are obv a business rather then " we inherited this odd house in France and maybe it's got to pay its own bills"

dreamingofsun Wed 20-May-15 20:05:04

insects weren't a problem. we had a fair amount of rain, mainly in short sharp storms. one night we were so hot/humid i thought i was going to explode. we didn't drive - lots of others did where we were, it sounded horrible, though they did say the roads were good and quiet. watch out for the days the french go on hols if you do as there will be loads of jams (or there were when we travelled south to the vendee on a sat in july)

Miltonmaid Wed 20-May-15 20:08:54

If you're in the nw, you might be better getting Brittany ferries from Portsmouth or Southampton. Slightly closer to the Dordogne to than Calais.

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 20-May-15 20:49:14

Thanks, all. Some very useful advice there. Not sure I'd want to do "quirky" after spending all that time getting there. Definitely want 2 bedrooms, pool etc.

Sounds like our budget may not stretch quite that far for what we want, so it's either back to regular holidaying in the UK, or saving up a bit longer and going the year after next.

Shame really, as I've become a bit obsessed with the idea! Also been spoilt with nice holidays abroad until last year when we added to our mortgage to extend our house. Oh well, can't have everything I suppose!

I will be back for more advice if I manage to either increase our budget or find somewhere within it!

Thanks, all, I appreciate it!

StareMesto Wed 20-May-15 20:51:57


We stayed here. It was a MNetters recommendation. It was lovely. shops and restaurants in town 5 mins away. Pool, table tennis, wifi was a bit ropey but not impossible. UK TV channels. The owners were very nice. No mossies that I recall. The weather was up and down but there is LOADS to do nearby so we never really noticed that much. Canoeing on the river is a must.m

StareMesto Wed 20-May-15 20:54:46

PS we stayed at Rouen out and back - too far in on day even from the South.

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 20-May-15 20:55:00

Hmm... Maybe it's doable. Didn't realise that 1000 euros was only 714 quid, Stare.

Don't think this obsession is going to go away! I'll keep looking.

Pleased to hear about the well-behaved mossies.

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 20-May-15 21:04:23

Yes, had also thought of Rouen for stopover.

Ooh Stare, that's one of the places I was thinking of. Slightly over budget, though, Le tournesol, and have spoken to parents and they aren't up for the idea of driving that distance so no possibility reducing the cost by sharing.

I guess the best places will get booked up by Christmas. I usually book somewhere a whole year ahead but don't have the luxury of knowing exactly how much I can manage to save towards it each month. So may be too risky to book as far ahead as usual.

But I know I'll waver. grin

mummytime Wed 20-May-15 21:15:09

I'd also think about a chalet on a campsite - as often these are cheaper, civilised and have the options of activities for the children.

codandchipstwice Wed 20-May-15 21:22:13

We did Dordogne last year and do the Lot every year. We put car in train to Bordeaux (or Toulouse as can then get passenger sleeper train to collect car in am). You load on in Paris, car train 119 euros and then it was 180 euros for 5 is us on sleeper, this year we're overnighting in Paris as we're getting tgv to Avignon next morning, cheaper and more chance of sleep.

Costs same as drive, tolls etc but so much less stressful

StareMesto Wed 20-May-15 21:27:56

I always book before Christmas! Even for mobile homes the best deals are to be had in the autumn. 25 - 40% off for booking early. And usually you have to pay a small deposit £100 or summat. The private rentals normally want about 25% up front.

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 20-May-15 21:49:11

Had thought of mobile home on campsite, as a budget option. But I don't do lots of people and crowded pools (DH especially doesn't do speedos around said pools!)

I'm sure there is somewhere that will suit both our budget and our wish list. I'll just keep looking and saving.

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 20-May-15 21:50:31

Re sleeper train or overnight ferry. I'm a very light sleeper and would be far too anxious to sleep, so think the tunnel is the best option for us.

codandchipstwice Wed 20-May-15 21:53:07

Cool, that's why we're not doing overnight train this time, tgv is 2.5 hours from Paris to Avignon so getting train at 9 and will be there by lunchtime

mummytime Wed 20-May-15 22:33:05

I didn't mean mobile homes, lots of French campsites have flats, gites and chalets as well as the camping bit. Speedos I think is stricter on the Med coast, we were never anywhere it was strictly enforced.

iwantgin Wed 20-May-15 22:50:24

OP - if you aren't committed to the Dordogne - have you considered the Vendee region or Poitou Charente ?

Not been to Vendee myself, but it's certainly going to be less driving for you. Very popular as a holiday destination, so there will be plenty of accommodation for rent. Especially shared pool properties, so likely to be some within your budget.

One of my favourite regions is the Poitou Charente. last year we were in the charente Maritime - so nearer the coast which was lovely - but even the more inland areas are beauitful - and have in land lakes with watersports and beaches etc. Stilll a good few hours drive once you land in France, but not as long as the Dordogne.

applecatchers36 Wed 20-May-15 22:51:47

We had a holiday in Les Eyzies 2 years ago and stayed in a great place probably within budget, had a pool, garden, games room, short walk into town, near river for canoeing etc..

Really lovley, peaceful region of France. We went in September and was a great temp around 27 degrees. No rain and no Mosquitos.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 23-May-15 10:53:23

Have re-assessed budget and looks like it's doable. Love the look of Le Banquet but it looks like it's right on the road to Sarlat. (Isnt La PetiteMaison on the same stretch of road too?)

I was wondering if the road is noisy. I don't hear much traffic noise at home and am a light sleeper.

applecatchers36 Sat 23-May-15 11:42:08

Yes you are right it is by a road. They have tried to disguise it with a water feature, semi- successfully. But I think if you are a light sleeper then you might be affected by traffic noise. It didn't disturb us too much but I was heavily pregnant (& knackered) and my OH was sampling the local red wine which was apparently very good ;)

CurlyhairedAssassin Thu 28-May-15 11:42:26

Have stretched our budget a bit and booked Le Banquet! Looks so good. THanks for the recommendations/reassurances.

StareMesto Fri 29-May-15 22:12:40

Le Banquet is set right back from the road. Traffic noise is not a problem. You can't park right next to your house though - so you have to carry everything over. Which house did you go for? I had a nose at all of them on cleaning day. It is a lovely place. My dd loved the pool and games barn. It was her favourite holiday ever.

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