About Vieille Abbaye, Dordogne, France

Vieille Abbaye is a small hamlet of a dozen or so houses set deep in the Parc Naturel Perigord / Limousin. One of which dates back to the 10th Century and was once part of an Abbey (hence the name Old Abbey)

The village is surrounded by forests, with an abundance of wild life. The Red Squirrel is common as are the Martins and the Sanglier (Wild Boar). There are many different species of birds, some of which are different, eg the Hoopoo and the “hovering” Redstart, and many buzzards and other hawks. The forests have many types of fungi some of which are edible and some not.

The area is ideal for cycling providing safe and quiet country roads for both the serious cyclist and anyone who would like to amble through the wonderful countryside.

‘Lake at St Saud – 8km’
There are several local lakes open to the public for free use. The nearest is at St Saud Lacoussiere. It has fishing – licenses can be bought at the village tabac and has a large area cordoned off for swimming. (During July and August a Life Guard is on patrol). Also a children’s play area with climbing frames etc and a toilet block with showers. In addition to these facilities there is a very good value bar / restaurant. The lake is set in a forest with plenty of shaded parking and picnic tables.

‘Abbey at Brantome’
Brantome (the Venice of the Dordogne) is 30km away. It is a beautiful old town set on the River Dronne. Canoes can be hired for a paddle around the town or alternatively you can be taken upstream by mini-bus and canoe back (2-3 hours) or you can canoe away to be picked up at Bourdeilles 3-4 hours later. GREAT FUN!! Or if you are feeling less energetic you could just wander around visiting the Abbey or looking into the small shops built into the over-hanging cliff face. It has many restaurants where you can sit under umbrellas and take in the surroundings. The main market day is a Friday when many of the narrow streets are closed off.

‘Swimming Lake at Bussiere Galant’
This swimming lake is 26km away. It is open to the public and has tennis courts, restaurants, a vélo-rail (bicycle-rail) and ropes course (climbing ropes, zip wires and nets linking the trees). Vieille Abbaye has several local villages with Boulangeries to buy your croissants and french sticks: St Jory de Chalais (4km), St Saud (8km), Miallet (9km), St Pardoux La Riviere (10km with nearest large supermarket), and St Jean de Cole (12km). All of these villages have Butchers and grocery stores as well as bars and some very good and inexpensive restaurants. The nearest towns with other large supermarkets, banks etc are Thiviers (12km) and Nontron (22km). Both of these towns have markets on a Saturday. Piegut Pluviers with its huge Wednesday market is approximately 22km.

Perigueux the capital of the Dordogne is 45km south. Parts of it are very beautiful and the cathedral is well worth a visit. It has a very good golf course.

Limoges (nearest international airport) and Angouleme are 60km north. St Yriex La Perche, which is approximately a 35km drive, has many large shops selling Limoges Pottery at greatly reduced prices. Limoges has two golf courses.

‘Annual Flower Festival – St Jean de Cole’
The beautiful village of St Jean de Cole is only 20 minutes away as are the famous Grottes de Villars (caves). The annual flower festival is in May (see photo below).

The area is famous for its gastronomic delights of Foie Gras etc and there are many inexpensive restaurants and Fermes Auberges which can be recommended.