Choosing a Property
Take into consideration your liking for either the modern interior or the more rustic and original, albeit equipped to high modern standards. Do not spoil your holiday by the selection of a holiday home which could possibly be contrary to your personal likes or needs. If ancient ceiling beams, old timbers, stone walls and the feel of old rural France are not for you then please mention this to us and we will be happy to offer you our advice.
All properties with pools can be hazardous. Some properties now have fenced pools and others have alarms. They all comply with the new French regulations. HOWEVER, we cannot emphasise enough, that it is still necessary that children should, at all times, be supervised whilst in or around the pool. Many of the properties we offer have grounds and gardens which have been attractively landscaped. They have walls, rockeries, steps and other attractive features which could be a hazard for unattended small children or the elderly. Please ask for advice.
All pools are automatically filtered. Cleaning and chlorination takes place every 7 days or less. Some have underwater lights which should not be left on unnecessarily as moths will be attracted and this will spoil the pool for you on subsequent days. If any member of your party has ear problems it is wise to limit underwater swimming. Some can even suffer for the first time if they are not used to frequent and regular swimming. Do please remember that to have a clean pool it is essential that chlorine is applied. Shortly after application there may be a smell and if the pool is used the water may sting one’s eyes. This is only for a short while and a little patience is called for. Complaining will be futile as this is normal procedure and without this chlorine application the pool would rapidly develop algae and the water would go green.
Where are our Holiday Homes in Relation to the Ferry Ports, Airports and Railway Stations
The SW Dordogne is about 400 miles due south from the channel ports of Cherbourg, Le Havre and Dieppe and a little less from Caen and St. Malo. Calais is about 100 miles further north. The main Paris (Gare de Austerlitz) to Barcelona (via Toulouse) railway line stops at Gourdon, Brive and Souillac, towns which are within an hour of most of the houses. The region is approx. 5-6 hrs by train from Paris and 2 hrs from Toulouse. The nearest airports are at Bergerac, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Brive and Limoges. These are approx a 1-3hr drive to most houses. The region also has railway links from Bordeaux and Bergerac to Sarlat.
Travel Notes – Car
Whichever is your selected arrival point it is not advisable to think too much of motorway travel. Your route will be a mixture of motorway, ‘N’ and ‘D’ roads which are generally straight, easy driving roads. It is well within the capabilities of an energetic driver (perhaps without young children as passengers) to take an overnight ferry to Caen or Le Havre, arriving early morning (06.00 or 07.00) and then to drive to the Dordogne in one day. But, remembering that this is a holiday, many travellers will wish to catch a daytime ferry, spending the night in a hotel. The following day can be taken leisurely enabling arrival at your residence shortly after 17.00, having had time for lunch and some shopping en route.
Travel Notes – Plane
If you decide to fly to Paris and pick up your hire car there, please note that the journey to our region will take the best part of a day for most holiday makers. Remember to book your hire car in advance.
Travel Notes – Train
The French train service is generally excellent. You can elect to put your car on the train in the north and then drive your car from the station at Brive -about an hour away from most of our houses. It is also possible to collect a hire car at Brive.
Arrival and Departure Times
The holiday home will not be ready for occupation before 17.00. On departure day you must leave by 10.00. Any late departure will waste cleaners’ and gardeners’ time and may be charged and deducted from the damages deposit. Guests are expected to leave the house in a clean and orderly state. Any furniture that has been moved should be returned to its original position. When the balance of the rental has been received by us, at least 8 weeks before your holiday, exact directions will be sent to you but, if you are traveling from a different direction, other than the ones given, please let us know as, more often than not, we can provide you with alternative routes.
Sheets, pillowcases, bath towels, hand towels and tea cloths are included in the rental price at most of our houses but, where they are not, they can be hired for an additional charge per person. Please refer to the website for details. Orders for linen should be paid for at the time of paying the balance. It will be awaiting your arrival. The charge for linen includes hire, delivery and collection of linen. Laundry during your holiday is your responsibility. A number of owners/caretakers will make-up beds prior to your arrival, but others do not. Swimming pool towels are included in the rental of some of our houses but mostly it is necessary to bring them with you.
Cot and High Chair
A cot and high chair are available at all the houses and are included in the price of the rental. Linen for the cot is not provided and you should bring a rubber sheet and bedding with you.
A cleaner can sometimes be obtained to attend during your holiday. However, due to distances involved, the cost is high – approximately 15€ per hour plus travel costs. Please note that the availability of a cleaner depends on the house and is not always possible to arrange.
Can be arranged at some of the houses but arrangements must be made locally with the owner/caretaker.
A number of the houses have telephones which can receive incoming calls and from which free local outgoing calls can be made. We state on our property details whether or not a property has this facility. If bringing a mobile phone please check with your provider that it can be used in France and the charges involved. To dial a French telephone number from a UK mobile, dial 00 33 then drop the next 0 and dial the rest of the number. The code to dial the UK is 00 44 again leaving off the next 0.
Satellite or French TV is available at many of the properties. Please see the individual details. Please note that for properties where satellite TV is available, different satellite systems may be in use and you may not be able to receive all the channels that you are used to receiving.
A limited supply of heating is available between May to September free of charge. Different houses have different forms of heating. Additional means of heating are not included in the price and must be paid for separately. Please note that where a property is described as having central heating available this is a chargeable item in addition to the cost of the rental. For bookings taken outside these months, heating costs will be extra. Please ask for details.
Available at many of the houses. Please see the individual property details.
A small number of our properties have heated pools – again, see individual property details. Others have summer covers which should be drawn over the pool at night to retain the heat.
Handicapped or Elderly Visitors
One or two of the houses have bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor level making access easy for handicapped or elderly visitors. Please inquire if you specifically require a house that has no steps either inside the house itself or in the gardens.
Are required for everyone, regardless of age, entering France. Nationals of countries outside the EEC should check with the appropriate embassy or consulate whether they require any special permits or visas for visiting France.
No specific vaccinations or inoculations are required. Travellers are advised to take out adequate travel insurance.
A full British licence is accepted in France. Nationals of countries outside the EEC should check with the appropriate embassy or consulate whether their driving licences are valid in France.
No longer required for cars insured in most European countries. Motorists insured in an EU country are automatically covered for third-party liability in France but it is best to check with your insurers. Visitors from outside the EU should check with their insurance companies for the exact requirements for driving in France.
Septic Tanks (Fosse Septique)
It is highly unlikely that your holiday home will be linked to mains drainage. Most drainage in rural France is by means of a biologically balanced septic tank. You are advised to purchase cleaning products to use in your holiday home at a supermarket in France as you must use products that will not disturb the biological balance of the septic tank. Look for the text on the bottle “… sans danger pour les fosse septiques”.
The region normally enjoys long, hot, dry summers and mild winters. However, there can be spells of rain and periods of cold even in the summer. The hot weather, sometimes humid, reaches its peak in July and August when temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Centigrade. June and September are, usually, delightful months, with cool mornings/evenings but sunny days.
In the unlikely event that you will tire of having your own private swimming pool, there are plenty of other things to do in the region such as canoeing, horse-riding, fishing, golf, cycling, walking, tennis, hot air ballooning and micro light flying. For the less energetic there are local street markets to browse, beautiful chateaux to see, prehistoric caves to explore, village fairs and riverboat trips.
There is one in each holiday home. Gives comprehensive information about the house, equipment and area. Please take a little time to read it as it has been provided for your benefit.
If you have enjoyed your stay we would be grateful if you could please spare 5 minutes to write a few words about your holiday for the owners and future guests staying in the house.