The Dordogne river snakes its way through walnut groves and fields of corn and it really is a beautiful place. Perched high up on the cliffs are the Castles of Beynac and Castlenaud which are really very impressive. We visited Beynac with our 5 and 2 year old and it was one of the best days of our holiday.
Not far from Beynac is a lovely little man-made beach on the edge of the river. We spent a few happy afternoons here, the children making sand castles and splashing in the water. Our daughter Lily made friends with a little french boy who shared his candy floss with her. We also spent quite a lot of time at the Campsite in the indoor and outdoor pools. What I loved about the campsite was that in addition to excellent modern amenities it had large areas which had been allowed to grow wild. We came across one large field of hay that was teeming with butterflies, literally hundreds of them, it was amazing.
If you are visiting this area, there are three places I would recommend for children. Gouffre de Padirac is an underground cave which is vast and spectacular. Probably better for older children as it’s a long climb up and down and you enter the caves via a little underground boat. La Roque St Christophe is a fascinating Troglodyte Village which our children loved! It was fun for all four of us but also very educational for our 5 year old. Finally The Jardins de Marqueyssac have spectacular views overlooking the Dordogne river and are a wonderful place to spend the day. With hidden playgrounds and tree houses for children and a gorgeous little cafe for the grown ups.
The thing I love about this area is that you can just stumble across the most beautiful, quaint little villages, find yourself a little cafe and enjoy gastronomic delights to suit all budgets. One particular day we decided to order the ‘special’ viande de cheval. We happily enjoyed our meal and trotted out none the wiser that we had just eaten horse! Oh well, when in France as they say….