Things to do

There are so many things to see and do in the Dordogne –
two weeks won’t be enough!

La Varenne Farmhouse is a beautiful, spacious gîte with heated swimming pool in the peaceful hamlet in Saint Front la Rivière, Dordogne, France. Nestling in the Périgord Vert, the tranquil rural Valley of La Dronne river is on the border of the Limousin Parc Naturel.


Planning a Special Holiday or Celebration? Many of our guests plan to hold a special holiday or celebration during their stay at La Varenne. For example last year we had a beautiful wedding vows renewal in the garden, for which we provided the pictures and catering for the guests.
If you need any help with recommendations, reservations, or enquiries, please don’t hesitate to ask – we’re happy to help if we can.

Activities: The Dronne Valley is a beautiful rural part of the Northern Dordogne, and is popular with walkers and cyclists of all abilities. There is kayaking and canoeing in nearby. For serious cyclists, our friends at Dordogne Cycle Hire operate a family business, and offer great rates for families and groups. The Voie Verte is a beautiful, safe cycle way just minutes away.

There are zipwires and inflatables at the tree-climbing/abri park in nearby Nontron, and freshwater swimming lakes at the Grand Étangs of Saint Saud Lacoussière and St Éstephe.

IMG_1304 fish

There is lots of fishing in the area too, with 1-day to annual permits available from the local garden centre. Visit the Dordogne Fishing Federation for details of local waters.

This little guy was caught less than a kilometre away in the Dronne.

Local Village: The village of St Front la Rivière has a friendly cafe bar ‘Le Relais de la Dronne’ – with indoor and outdoor seating, pool and table football. There’s a children’s playground, camping area, sports ground and boule park.

IMG_1088 sunny market day piegut

Markets and Shopping: Local shops, boulangeries, patisseries, butchers, a mid-size supermarket, petrol station and pharmacy are all just 5 minutes drive away in the village of St Pardoux la Rivière. There are larger supermarkets and stores in the nearest small town of Nontron, 11km away, and hypermarkets and a large range of shops, boutiques in Périgueux, Angoulême and Limoges (renowned for it’s porcelain and pottery).

There are many regular markets in the local area – Brantôme, Piègut, Saint Pardoux, too many to mention! – and special markets, brocantes and vide greniers (literally, empty your attic!) throughout the year.

Our friends John and Gladys sell Swarovski jewellery, through their website and at local French markets. They give a discount to friends – mention you saw this on our website.

Eating out: French gastronomy is justifiably famous, and there are many excellent restaurants close by. The Hotel de France in St Pardoux, the Chateau de Villars, and the Charbonnel in Brantôme are just a few of our favourites. We’re happy to make recommendations, and to help with reservations and booking taxis – please just ask.

Caves, Museums, Chateaux: Stalactites, stalagmites and cave paintings at The Grotte de Villars, or the Lascaux caves, Roman ruins in Périgueux, including the Roman Villa museum at Vesunna, Chateau de Puyguilhem, Renaissance architecture in Brantôme, the Abbey at Brantôme, the Chateau de Bourdeilles, Hautefort, the martyr’s memorial of Oradour sur Glane… too many to include here!

Places to Visit: Beautiful French towns and villages abound. Brantôme is known as ‘the Venice of the Perigord’, and Saint Jean de Côle is known one of the ‘plus beaux villages de France’, and for a day out a little further afield, Sarlat is steeped in history. For a more bustling cathedral city with a relaxed outdoor café culture, Périgueux, the regional capital, is less than an hour away.


Brantôme Police Horses and Friends – Roland and Alison Phillips look after retired and rescued horses and welcome visitors. Visit their website for details of cream teas and tours, and special events to book during your stay.

Please contact us for more details about our holiday home

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