Farmhouse near Beaulieu Sur Dordogne - peaceful and perfectly situated for the Dordogne and many of the most beautiful villages and sites In France.
- english, french, Very basic German.
About Kevin O'Connell
France has been home since 2007, in the UK home was, at various times, the North East, Yorkshire, Kent, London, Devon, Cambridge and Suffolk. We were teachers for over thirty years and discovered this region through friends. Somehow our annual holidays in France with our three young daughters missed this region out completely so it was a great surprise and a pleasure to discover what is, in our opinion, the best of all regions in France. We bought our farmhouse home in 2005 and have steadily worked on modernising and renovating the property and gardens. The farmhouse was in poor condition when we purchased it, but now we know and understand every last inch of the building and have genuinely' renovated' the property in the true sense of the word. Through this we have learned a great deal about renovation and have developed a healthy respect for the skill of French craftsmen and the quality of their work. We understand the pitfalls and errors that can be made by English newcomers having made many of them ourselves. We will be very happy to share our insights with any visitors contemplating starting a new life in France We keep close contact with family and friends in the UK through the excellent broadband available here. We sing with a local French choir and cycle with a local club. The cycling club meet weekly for a varied and always unusual ride both on road and offtrack followed by a meal at a different restaurant each week for the cheap and cheerful lunchtime menu. Any visitors are more than welcome to join in using one of the bikes available for your use at La Chauvarie. Life is varied, lively and often surprising. We particularly enjoy the clean air and the peace. The air is so clean here your lungs almost thank you for breathing it. We love life in France and continue to be surprised and entertained by the beauty of our surroundings and the traditional quality of life here that emphasizes community and kindness. Life in France is good
Kevin O'Connell purchased this Farmhouse in 2005
Why Kevin O'Connell chose Bilhac
Brive airport is only 30 minutes away with flights from City airport London and with Ryanair from Stansted. The motor route to Paris and beyond to the ferry Ports is free moving and un-crowded making travel to the UK easy. Our home is in a quiet hamlet of three households. One mile from the Dordogne and set amongst walnut orchards and hilly forests. Local shops and facilities are nearby. This region is a walkers and cyclists paradise. Good routes are available from our doorstep. Horse riding, fishing and canoeing are also less than a mile from our door. Holiday fishing permits are easily available and the variety and opportunity for fishing, (angling or fly) is there to be taken. Most interests can be accommodated locally, from hot air ballooning to micro light flights and most visitors take the opportunity to canoe down the Dordogne. There is no better way to really see the region than from the river passing through areas inaccessible to vehicles, the true reserve of nature. The sun, the light, the sound of the water and the cool beer just around the corner make this an activity to remember. The valley below us is dotted with castles and ancient buildings and the local towns are amongst the most beautiful in France and the perfect setting for a relaxed, romantic evening at a cafe beneath the stars. Our daughters, their partners and young families visit us regularly, we are certainly used to the sound of children playing and families are especially welcome here. The accommodation was designed to make it possible for different generations and families to live happily together with enough space to have privacy and also enough good space to enjoy socialising together. The house adapts well to both family groups and parties of friends. Although we are nearby to help and support visitors we respect privacy too, the best visitors are those who enjoy their holiday and our intention is to do our best to allow you to do exactly that.
What makes this Farmhouse unique
The farmhouse boasts very fast wifi and every modern facility combined with the joy of traditional architecture. The architect designed rooms are cool in the heat of the summer and the terraces give you the chance to take shade or sun with a table for al fresco dining should you wish. Both English and French TV and Radio are available in the house as are a wide selection of DVDs and books. The house has a good piano, four VTT bicycles, board games, table tennis, badminton, swings and a slide for youngsters, all in a safe, green, private and tranquil setting. This area is a wildlife and bird spotters paradise.The heated salt water filtered swimming pool is set amongst the walnut trees, a great place for lounging or swimming. The Dordogne also offers excellent wild swimming for those confident enough to take the challenge. It is probably not possible to run out of fresh places to visit or attractions to enjoy in the space of a three week stay. After ten years we are still discovering new and pleasing places to visit and things to do. Our visitors will be supported through their holiday with personal attention and advice on the where, the what and the how to enjoy the region, but equally with total respect for privacy. Our intention is for you to enjoy your holiday and we are happy to go the extra mile. This is only our second year offering holiday lets and we have really enjoyed meeting people and sharing something of the beauty of the region and the pleasure of the south of France. We hope that the pleasure we get from visitors enjoying their holiday works to generate a friendly and welcoming ambience to 'La Maison des Fleurs' and that each and every visitor returns from their holiday happy and pleased to have chosen this house in this region for their holiday stay. To wake in the morning with the sound of birds, to see the blue sky and feel the warm sunshine is to wake feeling the pleasure of a stay at La Chauvarie. We look forward to welcoming you soon.
Please consider the following guidelines when booking this property:
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Beautifully set out farmhouse with All our needs more than satisfied. The whole place was immaculate. The swimming pool was the best that we have ever encountered being exceptionally clean and warm.
Kevin and Judith were wonderful hosts, always available without being intrusive.
There were lots of interesting places to visit . None more so than Martel and Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne. Both have wonderful restaurants and have interesting histories.
We would all love to return to the area as there is so much more to see. Needless to say this farmhouse would be number one choice.
Thank you for your kind review Keith! You have been delightful guests indeed. You kept up to date with questions which we were more than happy to answer and arrived with some understanding of what the region had to offer. We are also very pleased that the ‘lovely weather in September’ turned out to be true. We really would enjoy you coming again and will try to find another good restaurant though St Anne’s is still our favorite thus far. It was good to meet you all and we wish you a pleasant and safe journey home and hope to see you again one day.
Fantastic large house and pool. Highly recommend.
There were 10 of us staying in the house, including 6 children aged from 17 to 8 and there was loads of space for all of us both inside and out. The pool area is fantastic. Lovely large clean pool with lots of sun beds and umbrellas, and the area is in the sun all day, there is even an outside fridge. The house is full of character with large rooms, linen and plenty of towels all provided. The kitchen is better equipped than mine at home. The owners are very friendly but not at all intrusive and you don't know even know they are there most of the time. It is very peaceful and quiet but there is plenty near by to do such as Rocamadour , Gouffe de Padirac and Canoeing on the River, as well as many pretty villages. We all had a great time and hope to return one day.
Thankyou Sherry and family for a lovely review. We loved having you here and especially seeing the kids enjoy themselves. You would be most welcome here another time. Hopefully you are having an Indian summer in the U.K. and not missing the high temperatures here!
We had a great time, there were two couples so each had a floor to ourselves. The living space and kitchen are on the ground level and very well appointed. Good location to explore Dordogne sites. Weather was too cold to use the pool but it was very impressive. Overall, a great find.
Thanks Mike for the review. So sad to have missed you on the morning of your departure and equally very disappointed with the weather which was the biggest downpour we have experienced over 4 days in the 11 years we have lived here. You were great guests. We enjoyed your enthusiasm regarding your travels in France and tales of life in your home regions. We are also extremely appreciative of the immaculate state of cleanliness and the left over food especially the bottles of wine, one of which we have consumed as an apero tonight as it is 7-30 and still very hot outside! If ever you wish to visit again you would certainly be most welcome and please spread the word about the place to any interested parties. We have enjoyed our American guests thus far! Enjoy the summer and safe journey back if you are still touring.
Great house, wonderful vacation!
3 generations (from 7 to 83) came to La Chauvarie and everyone had a wonderful stay (2 weeks+).There is plenty of space for everybody. The house is very well equipped and furnished. Beds are comfortable.
The owners have clearly thought through everything to make your stay enjoyable. Property is in great shape and has excellent outdoor living space. Pool is super nice.
Judith and Judith were such kind people, they were very helpful with everything during our stay there. Thank you so much!
We only wish we could have stayed a little longer but we will be back!
Thank you Isabelle for your kind review. It was a pleasure to welcome you to the farmhouse and a particular pleasure to know that the house worked well as a focus for your family stay. We really enjoyed meeting your mother and talking with her about her memories of the region in the past century. She was very patient with our French and we learned a great deal. We will be more than happy to welcome you back the next time you visit the region.
A bientot, Kevin and Judith
A great base for a family holiday
The O'Connells' traditional stone house down a quiet, rural country road, with its lovely pool in pretty gardens, is a fantastic base for a family holiday. Set over three floors, the accommodation is generous, flexible and well-proportioned. The first floor incorporates a quiet sitting room with piano, a master double bedroom with ensuite bathroom, and a second double bedroom served by the ensuite. The top floor has a double bedroom, a family bathroom and a small twin room (suitable for young children/cots), while two full size single beds are located on the large landing. The enormous kitchen/living room which occupies the entire ground floor leads out onto a comfortable dining/BBQ terrace and gardens and up to the pool, which is far enough away from the house to ensure that noise is kept to a minimum, but easily accessible. Everything you could need is in the house - it is incredibly well stocked with equipment, china, towels, linen, two big fridges, a larder, utility room, books, toys, games etc. Judith and Kevin are incredible hosts - nothing is too much trouble and they made us feel so very welcome. They live just across the courtyard, so they are at hand to help with anything or to give advice about local excursions, restaurants, etc, but they don't intrude in any way. There are several villages and a larger town within minutes' drive, so easy to get provisions and find local markets and restaurants. Lovely country walks through walnut groves. We loved it - the children in our party children said it was the best holiday they had ever had, and they've had plenty! The photos just don't do this lovely house justice.
Thank you for a very positive review. We enjoyed having you stay in our home and seeing the children enjoying themselves. We are flattered too by you trying out some of the suggestions for eateries and places of interest. We think it is a lovely, pretty unknown area of France, very verdant and very historic. We love living here and are particularly enjoy our new role as ambassadors for the area with our little rental business. Your family and extended family and friends were delightful company and thank you for leaving the place in good order. We would most certainly welcome you on a return visit. Meanwhile enjoy the West Country and any Indian summer.
An authentic piece of France and French living
A fortnight of absolute bliss in an exquisite property. The house itself has everything a guest could possibly need and then more! We spent two weeks enjoying the surroundings, as it was a great base to explore the area. The keen cyclists and runners found lots of routes to keep them happy. The towns of Beaulieu, Bretenoux, Argentat all worth a visit and within easy reach. The four bikes there to loan means a group can cycle to Puyburn for daily bread and pastries, 30 minutes round trip. Canoeing down the Dordogne relaxing and with amazing views. Jude and Kevin are always there to help yet invisible at all other points. The pool and garden are well kept which means you can happily relax at the end of the day after touring or chill for entire days. We didn't want to leave and will certainly be returning. If you are extremely lucky your visit will coincide with Jude and Kevin's granddaughter Molly visiting who is an absolute delight. Jude and Kevin you have a dream home, thank you for sharing it so willingly with everyone.
Why thank you Louise, we really appreciate the review as well as enjoying your stay. Molly in particular did not want Seb to go, one day, when she's a bit older than 4 she will contact him! We are pleased that you enjoyed the area, we love both the tranquility and pace of life...slow but also the myriad of 'lovely villages of France'. You and your family and friends are more than welcome to return. Enjoy the rest of the school holidays and ' bonne chance pour Septembre'.
The nearest airport is Brive Vallee de la Dordogne about thirty minutes away. Ryanair fly into Brive from Stansted. Limoges and Rodez Airports
are about 1 hour fifty minutes away (Ryanair). We are approximately 500 miles from the channel ports, about seven and half hours if travelling via Paris by car. It is possible to make almost the entire journey by train including the final short stage from Brive to St Denis le Martel from where it is fifteen minutes by taxi.
Bilhac village is 800 metres away. Puybrun and Betaille have supermarkets, bakers and butchers at five minutes! Bretenoux is a beautiful river town with banks, post office, restaurants, cafés and one of the best weekly markets in France at just over ten minutes. Beaulieu sur Dordogne is outstandingly beautiful and sits on the river with all facilities at 15 scenic minutes away. One of the 'most beautiful village of France', Collonges la Rouge is 14 miles away. Rocamadour is only 16 miles away. Turenne, Curemont, Autoir, Martel, Carennac are spectacularly beautiful villages to visit all within quarter of an hours drive. Farther afield but within easy travelling are the attractions of Sarlat, Brantome, Domme, Roque de Gageac and St Cirque la Popie etc There are hundreds of caves in the region, from the commercially presented caves at Padirac, to the carefully preserved world heritage site at Lascaux. From troglodyte houses at Gluges to the Foret de Singes and the steam train at Martel, there are too many hidden gems to fit in!
This property is almost equidistant between the Atlantic and the Med. it takes about two and a half hours to get to either coast and similar time to get to the Pyrenees. Two hours to drive to Toulouse. Biarritz approx. three hours drive. The tarn gorges (white water), Spanish border, Barcelona, Lourdes, even Paris are easily driven to within a morning.
The property is ideally situated for the Dordogne. The river is about 5 minutes drive away or a twenty minute walk, as is the nearest of two canoeing stations and a water park. We are a couple of hundred yards from the boundary of The Lot. With an exceptional heritage, castles, churches, ancient sites, ruins and villages of outstanding beauty are all on the doorstep. The history of the region and romance of the landscape are spellbinding.
This is an ideal region for outdoor activities. The cycling opportunities are superb, quiet and varied roads and limitless offroad routes through genuinely unspoilt natural landscape. For walkers too the opportunities are tremendous and you are never too far from a good stop off point for the lunchtime 'menu du jour'. The natural features of the Correze has remained unchanged for centuries, the footpaths which criss-cross the region are waiting to be discovered and offer walkers an immense sense of freedom. Correze by bike is equally enjoyable. There are routes for all abilities for road bikers and mountain bikers. For fishermen, Correze offers 4000 hectares of lake, 5500 km of streams and rivers of the first category teeming with fish. Fly fishing and angling are equally good. Canoeing is a speciality of the region with competitive courses available in addition to the miles of river open to canoeists. Climbing, hot air ballooning, hang gliding and horse riding are also part of the tapestry of activity available in the region. Travel from Bilhac to any other part of France is quick and stress free! The excellent motorway system is nearby and offers a refreshing change to any driver from their experience of the motorways of the UK.