Bedrooms 3, Sleeps 6, Ratings 1 9.7/10
Doumailhac is a beautiful 18th century property, it's a magical place for families and friends to make memories. There are nine large bedrooms, comfortably sleeping eighteen people plus. The property has its own swimming pool, in a rural area, in the centre of the Perigord Vert Natural Park. This is an unspoilt region of rolling wooded countryside interspersed with numerous rivers and lakes. At night the Milky Way and a myriad of stars are often visible due to the minimal light pollution, making it an ideal venue for star gazing.
For children, should they ever tire of the pool there is a lake at nearby St Mathieu, with its beach and supervised swimming area which will give hours of fun. Older children can hire pedaloes or canoes.
For the grown-ups, the area is full of fascinating market towns. Brantome is a fascinating town on the River Dronne, sometimes called the “little Venice” of France – after exploring the town you can hire a canoe for a half day trip down the river and negotiate the “cascades”, but be prepared to get wet !
Interesting Chateaux and a range of cultural activities are nearby with the larger centres of Limoges, Perigueux and Angouleme all within an hour’s drive. For a day out try wine-tasting at the vineyards between Bergerac and Bordeaux, visit more vineyards around Cognac for brandy, explore the Dordogne Valley or even a trip to the coast of the Charente Maritime.
Chalus, where Richard the Lionheart was fatally wounded, is about 15 kilometres away, and is now a busy market town with bank, shops, tourist office, bars and yet more restaurants. We are about 40km north of the caves at Villars and about 50km from the interesting city of Limoges with all its attractions. A day out would be a trip to Perigueux with its medieval streets, cathedral, shops, and restaurants.
There is an excellent choice of local restaurants to suit every budget – “Chez Jules”, just a walk away and “Les Feullardiers” at Marval, a short drive away and the renowned “Hostellerie St Jacques”, for a gourmet’s feast, at St Saud Lacoussière, to mention a few. The nearby towns of Rochechouart and Nontron also host excellent restaurants and are enjoyable venues for a long lunch.
At the bottom of the large garden is the “Circuit du Loup Garou”, a walking, cycling and riding route. Fishing and horse riding are also available locally.
Please note, the property is not a "Classic Gite" with owners on site, the managers are a ten minute drive, so it would not be suitable for groups who need this type of support.
The kitchen is beautiful, it has an original flagstone floor, as well as the original bread oven, which is amazing for cooking pizza. There is a large four metre dining table to seat everyone together, as well as a range of modern kitchen units, two dish washers, microwave, large range cooker, fridge freezer, etc.
The spacious living room contains large sofas, with room for everyone, a large screen tv, Bluetooth music system and a large wood burning stove.
The bedrooms, all have comfortable divan beds. Some king size, some zip and link which can be double or single to meet your needs.There are also shutters or black out curtains on the windows that face east.
There are six bathrooms, across both properties, three are en-suite.
We have wood burning stoves.
There is a large private salt water pool, enclosed by a security fence, with a number of sunbeds and pool inflatables. The pool is a great attraction and tends to entertain children without difficulty. In the adjacent barn there are a selection of bikes and a barbecue for guests to use. Garden furniture is in place to allow you to enjoy the peace and beauty of the surroundings any time of year.
There is a table tennis table in the barn as well as ball games, badminton, etc
There are 20 acres of grounds to explore, outside the kitchen is a large west facing terrace for dining and a large garden area for ball games etc.
We have parking for several cars in the front courtyard.
Doumailhac is a wonderful holiday destination that is suitable for families and groups of friends. However as an original eighteenth century property it may not be very easy for someone with mobility challenges.
We have wi-fi, however its more fun to organise a ping pong tournament or a game of rounders.
We have holidayed in France since before our youngest was born and always loved it. When the opportunity came to buy our own Gite, we jumped at it and have never regretted it. We live and work in the UK, but spend as much time in France as we can.
|Year property purchased||2010|
|Why this location?||We wanted to be able to reach the house in a days drive from the UK, but wanted to be far enough south to reach some sunny weather. The Limousin /Dordogne border is perfect for us. We can catch the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry and be at the Gite after a six + hours drive, which is not too taxing.|
|Unique benefits of property||Let's face it, holidaying with your family can be challenging, but super-rewarding and memory making for the whole group. Families are made up of assorted characters with different needs and abilities, but if you are able to get through Christmas in a confined space, a family holiday will work with the right planning.
We had holidayed in accommodation where despite the sleeping accommodation, there was not enough room to sit down together, ridiculous!
At Doumailhac, we have social space in the sitting room, kitchen diner and gardens for everyone to spend time together. The kitchen has a large central island, so people can prepare food, taste the wine, cook and chat together.
The advantage for a three (or more) generational family, is that the oldies can perhaps use the accommodation in the adjacent gite, so that mornings are more serene and gives a private space for an afternoon kip.
Where to begin?
Perhaps with history, we are close to the village where RIchard the Lionheart was killed and you will see reference to Route Richard-Cœur-de-Lion- a tourist trail-on local signposts. More recent history, the local forest de boubon, has hideouts preserved since the second world war where the resistance fighters would hide. We are also within reach of Oradour--sur-Glane, the SS Panzer Division Das Reich, destroyed the French village during WWII and today it is preserved In a Ruined State.
We are fairly equally placed between Limoges, Angouleme and Perigueux, all wonderful Cities with their own history, markets, museums and restaurants and definitely worth a visit, we particularly enjoy Angouleme for the Circuit des Ramparts in September. The monthly Antiques Market around Limoges Cathedral is great to explore. The area is also full of fascinating market towns, Brantome is high on the tourist trail, sometimes called the “little Venice” of France – the weekly Friday market is worth taking the time to visit.Closer to home is the wednesday market at Piégut-Pluviers.
The cave system at Lascaux is a wonderful day out, amazing and educational for everyone-but book tickets beforehand.
We find the children are usually happy enough to play in the pool, ride the bikes or play in the games barn, but if they want to give them a treat the horse/pony riding at Ecurie des Forêts (five minute drive) is always good value, they get a chance to groom the horses followed by a ride into the forest. The Lake at St Mathieu (15-20 minutes) offers water sports, walks, mini golf etc and the Lake at Saint-Estephe (20-25 minutes) has lots going on including zip lines for older children.
We consider ourselves very lucky to have stayed in this wonderful gite. It is normally used as part of a larger house, as extra sleeping accomodation. The gite has three double sized bedrooms, a large bathroom with wc, a separate shower room and another separate wc, so my wife and I had plenty of room or is that rooms to play with. The main house, which is large & beautifully fitted out (how the upper classes once lived) is available with or without the extra space of the gite. They only let the main house with or without the gite to the same family group, so you have total use of the private pool (salt water & heated to 26C) and grounds. The setting is very rural but this is not bad if you want peace & quiet, the local village is a walkable distance (2Km) so lunch at the local resturant is an easy option.
In the evening sit on the patio and watch the sun go down with the help of a bottle or two of wine.
We managed to book just the gite as it was end of season but still had the pool and gardens to ourselves, it was a very relaxing holiday. Cussac is the nearest supermarket, boulangerie, chemist etc and only about 5Km. Even late season, the local markets are a must, the largest in the area is Piegut Pluviers, arrive early have a coffee & croissant and watch the world drift by. When you meander through the market, take the time to look up at the buildings there is some beautiful architecture and some interesting designs & modifications. We both enjoyed thie laid-back holiday.
Stunning peaceful location. Lovely gite clean and comfortable. Nice touch of on site activities such as bikes and pool. Have to travel to get to nearby shops and restaurants but if you are looking for tranquil this won't be an issue. We had many barbecues and bike rides. We also saw a lot of local castles and the lovely nearby towns. Lots to see if you like rural and being outdoors. Highly recommend. Only downside we had trouble finding out what time restaurants opened.
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