What? Luxury family holiday accommodation in the Dordogne region of France
Sleeps? Up to 14 people (5 bedrooms)
How much? From £2625 / week
Over the past couple of years we’ve all felt some level of frustration at not being able to travel as freely as we’ve been used to. I’ve been in touch with the owner of Gite Dordogne, Duncan Ritson-Elliott for several months waiting for a window in travel restrictions that might allow us to hop over the Channel to see his stunning gite first hand. We had flights booked for June but our flights were cancelled and at that time Covid restrictions would not have made travel particularly easy at all. However, we have re-booked our tickets (this time by ferry) and have high hopes to finally make it over to Dordogne during the October half term. Fingers and toes tightly crossed!
In preparation for our visit I wanted to chat to Duncan to find out a bit more about the gite’s facilities and his plans for the future. As we were catching up via zoom he was also able to show me the gite’s brand new outdoor swimming pool too! Here’s the lowdown on all you need to know on Gite Dordogne…
Hi Duncan – your gite looks stunning online. Can you tell me some of the highlights of the property?
The property is set in 26 acres of grassland, lakes and forests which gives a fantastic sense of space and privacy. We’ve really tried to embrace the opportunity to make the most of the outdoor living space with our large, sociable terrace area looking out onto the swimming pool, Barbeque Bakehouse and beyond. In the property itself, the heart of the gite has to be the Banquet Hall with huge brick chimney and log fire for those chillier nights. We’ve also tried to create a sense of play throughout the property through features such as our cinema and games room – there’s even a magical door to Narnia hidden in the house! A genuine playground for all ages..
How long have you owned the gite?
We had been searching this area for the perfect property to renovate for some years. We finally found this gite in 2015 and were open for guests by 2018. The property was originally a barn used for housing cattle and needed a lot of work. The Banquet Hall was stacked high with hay bales on the day we bought it – it’s hard to imagine today! We had always planned for the gite to be our second home as well as a holiday property and for this reason we’ve made sure that the gite really does feel like a home from home.
Can you tell me what there is to do in the area?
This is a stunning region of France, nestled in the North East side of the Dordogne, in the Perigord Vert region. There’s a lot to do locally including vineyards tours, visiting porcelain factories, there are prehistoric caves at Grotte Lascaux and also at Padirac, there are stunning gardens at Hautefort Chateau and a fantastic river for Kayaking at Brantome. I could go on… needless to say there’s plenty to keep you busy during your stay here! There is more to do in the area listed on our website.
What is there to do at the gite?
Because we are idyllically remote, being 100 metres from the nearest neighbours, it is like your own personal kingdom here. You don’t hear any town noise and you can pretty much make as much noise as you want. It was actually a buying criteria for us, that we wanted to allow our kids to make as much noise playing as they wanted, without us feeling we had to shush them for the neighbours. We’ve got badminton, tennis, rugby etc. as well as hammocks and sun loungers!
Many guests who come here don’t leave to place for days on end, or only for shopping. Last year, during the Covid lockdown, we were in France for a few months and often didn’t leave the property other than to shop every 2 weeks. You can relax and play by the private pool, which has a small diving board and is long enough to swim properly, you can enjoy sitting in the pool on the ‘Social Step’ at the top of the Roman End with a cool drink, or relax on the sun loungers. With the Barbecue Bakehouse and rotisserie, the last few guests have loved slow-cooking a whole or half lamb over slow burning embers, which is a lovely way to spend an afternoon and evening together.
What’s the best way to travel to Gite Dordogne?
Limoges airport is just 50 minutes away so flying is quite straight forward. We’re also within easy reach of airports at Bordeaux, Bergerac and Brive la Gaillard. We’ve had several guests drive over crossing either on the ferry or Eurotunnel. We’re 7 hour drive from Calais or 6 hours from Le Havre making it possible to travel door to door from the UK on the same day.
What are your next plans for the gite?
Now the pool is looking great we’ll be turning our focus to the lake. We plan on improving the lake by draining the water, cleaning the bottom muck out then re-stocking with fish and fresh water perfect for wild swimming (or boating as we have a couple of small boats). There’s plenty we’d still like to do so watch this space!
Gite Dordogne is now open for bookings. You can read more about all the gite has to offer here. With thanks to Duncan for taking time out to chat to me. Here’s hoping we’ll see it for ourselves very soon!