Simpson Secret – Dordogne France, South West & The Dordogne

Perched on a hilltop, this handsome 18th-century manor house is set in the heart of the Dordogne’s Bessède Forest, with tranquil views across seemingly endless wooded valleys and green fields.

In keeping with the area’s historic heritage, the original building has been meticulously restored. Its many exposed beams, tiled floors and open fireplace create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

As well as four bedrooms on the ground and first floors, this comfortable, family-friendly home includes a converted attic room – ample space for five single beds, children’s pyjama parties and bedtime stories.

Outside, there is plenty of space for little ones to run around: Domaine Périgourdin enjoys a tranquil setting in extensive grounds, with woodland and a large lake (300m from the house), which is unfenced so keep an eye on younger children. A pleasant terrace off the kitchen leads to the swimming pool surrounded by sunny lawns and there’s a boules lawn and a table tennis table.

The Dordogne River is just 13km away, a spot for fishing, canoeing or even a quick dip. Beautiful, dramatic scenery greets you at every turn and the area is steeped in history: castles perched high over the river valley and charming bastide towns with sun-dappled terrace cafés, not to mention the prehistoric caves, unique to this region.

The perfectly preserved medieval village of Monpazier is just 12km away. Hire a bike there, book a hack with the local riding school or wander its Thursday market. A short drive also takes you to St-Avit-Sénieur with its beautiful 11th-century Benedictine abbey.


 

Accommodation:
  • 5 bedroom manor house (sleeps 12)
  • Changeover day – Saturday
Ground floor:
  • Living area with large open fireplace
  • Kitchen with dining table
  • Double bedroom with en-suite bathroom (no WC)
  • Separate WC
First floor:
  • Double bedroom with en-suite shower room with WC
  • Double bedroom
  • Twin bedroom
  • Bathroom with separate shower
  • Separate WC
Second floor:
  • Converted attic space with 5 single beds 
General:
  • Washing machine and dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Cot (no linen) and highchair
  • Telephone (incoming/local calls only)
  • Satellite TV, CD player
  • Heating (€84/week)
  • Fireplace (wood €38)
  • Alarm
  • Barbecue
  • Table tennis
  • Boules
  • Private swimming pool 14m x 6m (1.1m – 2.3m), infrared security alarm, Roman steps, open May to mid-October
  • Security deposit £1,500
Complimentary wifi:
  • All properties with wifi are able to support basic functionality such as web browsing and checking emails
  • We aim to offer an uninterrupted service but sometimes due to factors beyond our control reliability can be affected
Services:
  • Bed linen, bath and pool towels are provided
  • Weekly linen change for bookings of one week or more
  • Cleaning €12/hour (minimum 2 hours)
  • All services payable locally
  • Prices quoted are subject to change
Access times:
  • Check-in time – 4.00-7.00pm
  • Check-out time – 10.00am
     

The Dordogne region in the heart of the southwest is an area rich in all the delights France has to offer. Beautiful dramatic scenery greets you at every turn: castles perched high over the Dordogne River valley, the spectacular Gouffre de Padirac caves, tranquil rivers winding their way through limestone cliffs. Our earliest artists descended 17 thousand years ago into the caves near Lascaux, on the Vézère River, to paint in breathtaking colour the animals they hunted; you can visit a replica cave, as well as many other prehistoric sites in the area. The fortified ‘bastide’ towns of Monpazier, Eymet, Villefranche, and others are remarkably well-preserved witnesses to turbulent times. The mighty donjon of Bourdeilles castle looms imposingly, while Brantôme (the ‘Venice of France’) wears a more serene aspect, the beautiful Benedictine abbey gazing contemplatively down onto the river Dronne.

Shops and Services

  • Villages
    • Belvès (11km) – basic shops and supermarket
    • Cadouin (9km) – basic shops
    • Monpazier (12km) – wide variety of shops and services
  • Towns
    • Le Buisson-de-Cadouin (13km)
    • Bergerac (43km)
    • Sarlat (45km)
    • Périgueux (64km)

Market Days

  • Belvès (11km) – Saturdays
  • Cadouin (13km) – Mondays
  • Monpazier (12km) – Thursdays
  • Le Buisson-de-Cadouin (13km) – Fridays

Recommended Restaurants

  • Cadouin (9km) – Auberge La Salvetat; Restaurant de l'Abbaye (family restaurant)
  • Monpazier (12km) – Number 2; Le Privilège du Périgord
  • Trémolat (20km) – Le Vieux Logis (Relais-Château, gastronomic)
These restaurants have been recommended by our owners and this list is updated as often as possible. Ownership and quality may have changed since the last update.
 

Places to See

  • Monpazier (12km) – a perfectly preserved medieval village
  • Village of St-Avit-Sénieur (13km) – a beautiful 11th century Benedictine abbey is a short drive away
  • Many other medieval bastide towns in this wine-tasting region of the Dordogne
  • Les Eyzies (30km) – prehistory museum
  • Bergerac (43km) – on the banks of the Dordogne River, with its lovely old quarters and surrounding vineyards
  • Sarlat (45km) – very busy in the summer but worth a visit in the evening

Local Events

  • Fête de la Musique – 21 June
  • Sarlat theatre and music festival in July and August

Regional Food and Wine

  • Food
    • The area is famous for its foie gras, duck and truffles
  • Wine
    • The Bergerac Appellation produces some excellent red and white wines and wines are also available from the Bordeaux, Duras and Cahors wine growing areas
    • Le Bugue (15km) Julien-de-Savignac is a good wine merchant

Activities

  • Public tennis court at Belvès (11km)
  • Horse riding at Monpazier (12km) and Alles (15km)
  • Bicycle hire at Monpazier (12km) and Alles (15km)
  • The Dordogne River at Le Buisson-de-Cadouin (13km) offers fishing, swimming and canoeing
  • Leisure lake at Lac du Bos (26km)
  • 9 and 18-hole golf courses at Siorac-en-Périgord (16km) and St Germain de Belvès (17km)

Getting There

  • Airports
    • Bergerac 39km 
    • Brive-la-Gaillarde 90km
    • Limoges 153km
    • Bordeaux 173km
  • Ferry ports
    • St-Malo 651km
    • Caen-Ouistreham 738km
    • Le Havre 763km
    • Cherbourg 813km
    • Calais 882km
  • TGV stations
    • Agen 88km
    • Brive 114km

 

Although this property is booked on an accommodation-only basis, we can arrange your flights for an extra charge of £25 per person, plus the cost of the flights themselves.

Below are the flight options available, including the most convenient airports in France to help you reach your destination as quickly and easily as possible.

Bergerac 50km/55min drive

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Stansted Ryanair Sat/Sun All season
Bristol Ryanair Saturday 4 Jun - 24 Sep
East Midlands Ryanair Sunday All season
Liverpool Ryanair Saturday All season
Leeds Bradford Jet2 Saturday 23 May - 25 Sep
Southampton Flybe Sat/Sun All season
Exeter Flybe Saturday 28 May - 17 Sep
Birmingham Flybe Sat/Sun 28 May - 10 Sep (Sat)
3 Jul - 4 Sep (Sun)
Manchester Flybe Sat/Sun 2 Jul - 3 Sep (Sat)
27 Mar - 25 Sep (Sun)
Edinburgh Flybe Saturday 28 May - 10 Sep

 

Brive-la-Gaillarde 90km/1hr25min drive

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Stansted Ryanair Saturday 2 Apr - 29 Oct

 

Limoges 153km/2hrmin drive

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Stansted Ryanair Sat/Sun 27 Mar - 29 Oct
Bristol Ryanair Saturday 4 Jun - 30 Jul
Birmingham Flybe Saturday 21 May - 31 Oct
Leeds Bradford Ryanair Sunday 3 Apr - 23 Oct
Manchester Ryanair Sat/Sun 6 - 27 Aug (Sat)
3 Apr - 27 Oct (Sun)
East Midlands Ryanair Sunday 29 Mar - 29 Oct
Southampton Flybe Sat/Sun 21 May - 29 Oct

 

Bordeaux 173km/2hr15min drive

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Gatwick British Airways Sat/Sun All season
London Gatwick easyJet Sat/Sun All season
London Luton easyJet Sat/Sun All season
London Stansted Ryanair Saturday 2 Apr - 29 Oct (Sat)
3 Jul - 25 Sep (Sun)
Bristol easyJet Sat/Sun 2 Apr - 29 Oct
Liverpool easyJet Saturday 28 May - 24 Sep
Belfast easyJet Saturday 21 May - 3 Sep
Edinburgh Ryanair Sat/Sun 19 Mar - 29 Oct (Sat)
3 Jul - 28 Aug (Sun)
Southampton Flybe Sat/Sun 28 May - 10 Sep (Sat)
7 - 28 Aug (Sun)
Birmingham Flybe Sat/Sun 27 Mar - 29 Oct
Cardiff Flybe Saturday 11 Jun

 

 

  1 April 8 April 15 April 22 April 29 April
Simpson Secret – Dordogne 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD SOLD 2,150 4,300
  6 May 13 May 20 May 27 May
Simpson Secret – Dordogne 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   2,150 4,461 2,311 4,676 2,365 5,053 2,688 5,375
  3 June 10 June 17 June 24 June
Simpson Secret – Dordogne 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   2,688 5,375 2,688 5,859 3,171 6,343 3,171 6,719
  1 July 8 July 15 July 22 July 29 July
Simpson Secret – Dordogne 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   3,548 7,095 3,548 7,219 3,671 7,342 3,671 SOLD SOLD SOLD
  5 August 12 August 19 August 26 August
Simpson Secret – Dordogne 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   SOLD SOLD 3,816 7,633 3,816 7,256 3,440 6,235
  2 September 9 September 16 September 23 September 30 September
Simpson Secret – Dordogne 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   2,795 5,483 2,688 5,375 2,688 4,676 1,989 3,870 1,881 3,655
  7 October 14 October 21 October 28 October
Simpson Secret – Dordogne 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
Accommodation only   1,774 3,548 1,774 3,548 1,774 SOLD SOLD SOLD

†  Flight availability is limited on your chosen dates.

Please call us for assistance with your holiday on 020 8392 5872.

Please note that some properties are available for a two week duration only during peak summer periods.

Booking Conditions

YOUR HOLIDAY PRICE INCLUDES
  • Prices are in pounds sterling and are for the accommodation only for the guests named on your invoice
  • The assistance of the property owner, housekeeper or concierge
  • Information book in your accommodation
YOUR HOLIDAY PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
  • Any breakages, damage, losses, extra cleaning or outstanding accounts incurred during your stay 
  • Visas 
  • Holiday travel insurance
  • Airfares, car hire or transfers
INFANTS
One cot and one highchair are provided free of charge in our self-catering properties.  Additional cots and highchairs may be available upon request.
 
PLACING AN OPTION
In order to allow you to co-ordinate your holiday arrangements with friends and family, in many cases we are able to hold an option for up to 24 hours before confirming your booking.
 
PAYING FOR YOUR HOLIDAY
In order to confirm your booking a deposit of 30% of the accommodation cost is required.  This payment is non-refundable. The balance payment for your holiday should be paid at least 10 weeks prior to your departure. We accept most debit cards and credit cards, and personal cheques. All payments made by credit card will be subject to a 1.25% charge* reflecting our incurred costs. (*American Express is subject to a 2% charge.) 
 
Please familiarise yourself with our full booking terms including our cancellation policy here.
 
SECURITY DEPOSIT
Most of our self-catering accommodation is privately owned and sometimes it is the owner’s main residence, which they vacate for the summer season. In order to protect the furnishings and fittings, some owners require a security deposit which is collected 3 weeks prior to departure. The deposit will be refunded in full within 7 days of your return provided there is no damage or additional cleaning required and the property remains in the same condition as upon arrival. If a security deposit is applicable, the amount required will be stated in the Details section of the property. Please alert the owner/caretaker to any breakages or damages during your stay.
 
A Security Form may be presented to you by the owner or caretaker on arrival and on departure for your signature.
 
TRAVEL INSURANCE
It is compulsory that all our guests have comprehensive travel insurance and we will need full details of your policy at the time of booking or before you travel.
 
FINAL DOCUMENTATION
Your travel documents are available to download and print 2 weeks prior to departure via our Manage My Booking facility on our website provided you have paid in full.
 
PASSPORTS AND VISAS
It is your responsibility to be in possession of a valid passport and any necessary visas. EU citizens do not need a visa to travel to France. If you are a non-EU citizen then you should check with your own embassy for the entry/re-entry requirements necessary for your journey. Children not on an accompanying parent’s passport before October 1998 are now required to hold their own passport if they are under 16 years. If you do not have a passport, it is recommended to apply at least 6 weeks before your holiday. Passports should be valid for 6 months after your return date.
 
FOREIGN OFFICE ADVICE BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides up-to-date travel information to help British travellers make informed decisions about travelling abroad. Should you wish to check their advice or information about the destination you are travelling to, please visit their website: www.fco.gov.uk/en or call 020 7008 1500.
 
 
ACCOMMODATION AND USEFUL INFORMATION
 
Air-conditioning and heating
We have indicated in the property descriptions which accommodation has air-conditioning included in the holiday price. Heating is available in some of our properties during the low season weeks, which is normally included in the holiday price.
 
Animals and wildlife
As in all rural communities, indigenous animals are an essential part of the way of life. The braying of a donkey, crow of a cockerel or the barking of a dog is not a complaint that receives much sympathy from the locals! Care should be taken to minimise the presence of insects and animals in your accommodation. Keep surfaces clean, dispose of refuse regularly and ensure that food is not left uncovered. Cats and dogs are often resident where an owner or manager lives on the property. If you are allergic to cats and/or dogs please ensure that you check the suitability of your chosen accommodation with us prior to confirming your booking.
 
Barbecues
We have specified if a barbecue is available at your accommodation. Please note that often in summer, due to the hot weather, use of your barbecue may not be allowed and/or strict rules for its use may apply. The local or national government reserves the right to introduce new rulings at any time, often with little prior notice, prohibiting the use of barbecues to reduce the risk of fires. Where a barbecue is not provided, it is usually because the surroundings are considered a fire risk or inappropriate for the use of barbecues.
 
Beach/pool towels
Beach/pool towels are provided in all our self-catering properties and these are normally laundered weekly.
 
Beds
Please note that a double bed could be two single beds placed together. French bed sizes vary and can be 140cm.
 
Check-in and check-out
You will usually be able to occupy your accommodation between 4-7pm and you should vacate it on the day of departure before 10am. Please refer to specific property details for exact times. 
 
Cleaning
All our properties are cleaned for your arrival. The details section of each property has further information regarding the cleaning schedule. If additional cleaning is required, please contact us to arrange this in advance of travel. Please note additional charges will apply.
 
Distances and timings
Please note that all walking and driving times stated are approximate estimates only. Transfer times are also approximate estimates only and do not include any waiting time.
 
Electricity
The voltage in France is 220-240v and is compatible with appliances used in the UK but you will need a plug adaptor. These are widely available in high street shops, airports, and on cross-Channel ferries.
 
French time
The time difference between the UK and France has been standardised and France is always one hour ahead of the UK. Arrival and departure times at villas are given in French time. 
 
Health and safety
Simpson Travel is committed to raising the standards of health and safety throughout all our destinations. Our guests’ safety and wellbeing is of the highest importance to us. However, please note that since many of our properties are private homes, it is not always possible to meet the same exacting standards as in the UK. In your accommodation we will provide any necessary health and safety information. We ask you to familiarise yourself with this information and the property on arrival, particularly when travelling with children, and to raise any concerns with the Simpson Travel telephone representative.
 
Internet access and wifi
Internet access and wifi is available when stated in the relevant accommodation description details. Please note there may be restrictions with the availability and speed of the service transmitted by the local provider and technical issues may cause temporary withdrawal of internet facilities. We are unable to accept responsibility for any down time or consequences of using this service and refund/compensation cannot be offered due to circumstances beyond our control such as adverse weather conditions.
 
Linen and laundry
Bed and bathroom linen is provided weekly. For your convenience all of our properties in France have a washing machine and most have a tumble dryer.
 
Money
Banking hours vary throughout France. Some banks are open weekdays from 09:00 to 17:00, often with a long lunch break which can be from 12:00 to 14:00; others open on Saturday and close on Mondays. A few banks still close at 15:30. Most Post Offices offer Bureau de Change services and are open for much longer hours, sometimes 08:00 to 19:00 on weekdays, and on Saturdays 08:00 to 12:00. 
 
Avoid taking large denomination Euro notes as they may not be easily changed due to strict money-laundering regulations. Supermarkets will not accept 500 Euro notes for purchases below 200 Euros. 
 
Automatic teller machines, available in all towns and some villages, make a charge for international cash withdrawals. Users are allowed only two attempts at entering their correct PIN before the card is retained by the machine and can only be retrieved from the bank. 
 
Motoring in France
We recommend you check with a motoring organisation in case of any changes or additions to the information below.
 
Breakdown on a motorway: 
1) Emergency telephones are located every 1.5 miles (2.4km) on the motorway
2) Each phone is linked to the local police station which can automatically locate you and send out an approved repair service
3) The repair service rates are regulated and vary between 70 and 90 but be aware that between 18.00 and 08.00, as well as on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, the service rates go up by an additional 25%.
 
Children: Children under ten years of age may not travel in the front seat, except babies aged less under nine months and weighing less than 9kg, strapped into an approved rear-facing baby seat. Never fit a rear-facing baby seat in a seat with a front airbag. Children in the rear seats weighing 9-15kg must sit in a child seat and over 15kg on a booster cushion in conjunction with a standard seat belt. 
 
Drinking and driving: The maximum permitted level of alcohol is 0.05 per cent, lower than the UK limit. The penalties for exceeding the limit reflect the severity of the infringement and range from an on-the-spot fine, confiscation of driving licence, confiscation of vehicle and a term of imprisonment. Random tests are permissible in France.
 
Driving licence: The minimum age for driving in France is 18 on a full UK licence. European insurance cover is required.
 
Drugs: Saliva drug tests have been introduced in France, with similar penalties to those for drivers shown to be under the influence of alcohol. 
 
Fines: French police are authorised to levy on-the-spot fines for a variety of motoring offences and will give a receipt. Credit cards are not accepted. Drivers with insufficient means to pay may have their licences confiscated until they are able to pay.
 
First aid kit: A vehicle first aid kit, although a wise precaution, is not compulsory in France.
 
Fuel: Unleaded petrol, 95 and 98 octane, LPG and diesel (known as ‘gazole’) are available in France. 
 
Mobile phones: The use of hand-held mobile phones while driving is strictly prohibited.
 
Priority: All roads of any significance have right of way known as 'passage protégé'. In built-up areas, however, for roads of equal importance, France still operates a system of priority for traffic coming from the right, 'priorité à droite'. At the entrances to roundabouts carrying the sign ‘Vous n’avez pas la priorité’, or ‘Cédez le passage’, traffic already on the roundabout has priority. If a French driver flashes his headlights, he is not allowing you to go first but letting you know he has the right of way.
 
Radars: Radar detection devices are illegal in France and their use may result in a heavy fine. Even devices that are not in use may be confiscated by police and the driver fined. 
 
Seat belts: Seat belts are compulsory for front and rear seat passengers.
 
Vehicle Registration Certificate: You must carry your vehicle registration certificate (V5C) or, if the vehicle is not registered in your name, a letter from the registered owner giving you permission to take the vehicle into France.
 
Noise and building works
Traffic, farm work, roadwork, animals and other sounds form part of everyday life, however, what constitutes ‘noise’ to one person may not be a problem for another. Please let us know if you have any special needs regarding this. Occasionally, building work is unavoidable as we do not control such work and may not know about it in advance. Whenever possible, we will notify you of any work that we believe may affect your holiday.
 
Occupancy
Only guests named on your invoice are entitled to occupy the accommodation.
 
Satellite television & DVD players
French satellite broadcast systems and DVD players sometimes operate on a different system to those in the UK. Some DVD players at our properties cannot play UK DVDs. Satellite channels available in the UK may not be available in France, and at some villas programmes may be broadcast in French only.
 
Seasonal facilities
Some facilities are subject to weather conditions and the general season, for example swimming pools, restaurant terraces and courtyards, pool bars, local restaurants, and they may be limited or unavailable at the beginning or end of the season. Please do not hesitate to check with us, should a particular facility be a necessity to you.
 
Sewage systems
Most country houses in France have septic tanks to handle the sewage system. It is essential that nothing other than toilet paper and natural waste be put down the toilet. Blockage of the system can lead to unpleasant smells and may take days to clear. A repair charge may also be payable.
 
Swimming pools
Swimming pool details are given on our website. Pool dimensions are approximate only and, unless specified otherwise, pools are freshwater and unheated. Dates when pools are operational are subject to the prevailing weather conditions at the time of opening and closing and we cannot be held responsible if poor weather means the pool is opened later, or is closed earlier in the season.
 
Upon arrival at your accommodation, we kindly ask you to acquaint yourselves with the pool’s safety and hygiene rules. All our pools in Corsica and mainland France comply with French law and are fitted with one of the following forms of security: fence, alarm or cover. Some pools are ‘infinity pools’ which have an exposed pool edge with an unprotected drop. This maximises views and is an attractive feature of the pool. We recommend that you do not sit, lean or walk on the unprotected edge. Children must be supervised at all times.
 
Telephone 
To call the UK from France dial 00 44, the STD code minus the 0 then the number. 
 
Villa owners
Whilst the owners or staff of some properties may live on site and tend to the grounds, they are aware that you value your privacy, and will do their best not to intrude. We do ask you, however, to allow them reasonable access to the property so that they can maintain the grounds and keep them in good order.
 
Welcome Pack
We offer a welcome pack in all our self-catering accommodation consisting of a small selection of staple items.
 

Our choice of French properties is diverse, ranging from simple charm to genuine luxury and style. Much of our portfolio is privately owned, and price alone is therefore not a universal guide. We contract all our accommodation in person, and each property has its individual appeal.

To help you make the right choice based on your own priorities, we have devised a simple grading guide to be considered in conjunction with each individual property description, awarding up to a maximum of five stars for the below categories.

Grading Criteria:

Location

Position, view, serenity, privacy

Comfort

Space, style, furnishings and interiors

Facilities*

Property enhancements

Amenities

Proximity to beach, restaurant and shops

*

For further clarification on Facilities, please view the 'Details' tab for each property or speak to one of our experienced sales consultants.

Grading for this property:

Location

Comfort

Facilities

Amenities