A Blissful Week Wandering the Streets of Rural France

Domme, France

Roque Gageac, France

We will always have Paris. That’s a given. But leave the French capital behind and venture into the rural heart of France, and other delights await. Winding rivers. Undulating countryside. Lush landscapes. And best of all? Villages clustered on hillsides. Small townhouses clinging to the sides of cliffs. Hamlets hugging riverbanks, and nestling in the shadows of turreted chateaux. Oh my. A photographers dream.

And it was a dream. Best enjoyed in the lunchtime lull between morning and afternoon when the streets were deserted for a couple of hours. The sun didn’t always shine, but summer showers washed the streets clean, and released the scents of every window box, grapevine and flowering shrub. Of which there were many. And this post comes with a word of warning. It’s very picture heavy. I couldn’t help myself.

A barn in France

Lucky for us, a friend has a house in France. We’ve been many times, and with every visit we fall just a bit more in love with the lifestyle and the region. We do have to venture a bit further these days in order to find new places to visit, but it is always worth the effort. And at the end of each day we retreat back to this little slice of rustic paradise. One day the barn (above) will be restored to it’s former glory and will house a bedroom, bathroom and sitting room. A perfect little guest suite for little ole me. Hint, hint.

At Home in France

Sarlat La Canida

Before the heatwave broke we ventured out to Sarlat La Canida in the Périgord Noir region. A picturesque tangle of honey-coloured buildings, alleyways and secret squares. Many boasting some well-preserved medieval architecture. Apparently it’s also a favourite location for film directors and it’s not hard to see why. We did choose a market day to visit so the town was thronged with locals and tourists, but it’s still easy to follow the alleyways and escape the hustle and bustle. And there are plenty of places to eat and drink. There are several large foie gras factories as well as a number of small producers of geese and ducks in the region that make foie gras the basis of the local cuisine.

Sarlat La Canida, France

Sarlat La Canida, France

Sarlat La Canida cafe scene, France

Sarlat La Canida, France

La Roque Gageac

Around 8km from the town of Sarlat is La Roque Gageac. In a stunning position on the north bank of the Dordogne River, and with a backdrop of cliffs, it really is a picture postcard village. The golden yellow houses with their traditional perigord rooflines, line the river and spread up the hill behind. And the entire village (especially the bit near the church) is an interesting tropical garden that you can wander through as you walk up the hill. Possible because of the virtually Mediterranean microclimate that this secluded position affords. Our friends tell us, the best way to discover the village from the river is to embark aboard one of its famous cargo barges. These traditional flat-bottomed boats were historically used to transport merchandise along the Dordogne.

Roque Gageac, France

Roque Gageac, France

Roque Gageac, France

Roque Gageac, France

Roque Gageac, France

Domme

Domme is also nearby and is classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France, occupying a splendid position high above the Dordogne river. The village is lovely and the views are a bonus as is the cave system (not visited – it was late in the day and a glass of wine beckoned) that sits right underneath the main square. I was much more entranced by the gardens, window boxes and potted geraniums. You can walk round the ramparts on the south side of the town between the Port del Bos and the Porte de la Combe. There are some great views across the countryside (and glimpses of some very impressive houses and gardens built just inside the ramparts).

Domme, France

Domme, France

Domme, France

Domme, France

Domme, France

Verteuil-Sur-Charente

Verteuil-sur-Charente is a village situated on the banks of the river Charente. It’s dominated by the castle that stands above the picturesque river banks and beneath which the village nestles. The riverbanks in both directions are very picturesque with gardens, trees and shady willows along the water side, and a small dam and waterfall next to the castle. Also on the riverbank with great views of the castle, is the ancient moulin which has been converted into a restaurant and looks like an idyllic spot to sit and have lunch!

Verteuil-Sur-Charente

Verteuil-Sur-Charente, France

Verteuil-Sur-Charente, France

Verteuil-Sur-Charente, France

Verteuil-Sur-Charente, France

Verteuil-Sur-Charente, France

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

J. R. R. Tolkien

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24 Comments

  1. Reply

    Arianna

    August 3, 2017

    This is so lovely Carole! Such stunning pictures! A x

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      August 3, 2017

      Aw, thank you darling xx

  2. Reply

    Cate

    August 1, 2017

    I love the rustic charm of this area of France, your images capture it beautifully! SO many pretty corners and doorways. I want a holiday now! x

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      August 1, 2017

      Aw, thanks Cate. I kinda want another one! x

  3. Reply

    Antonia Ludden

    July 27, 2017

    How gorgeous to get away from it all, Carole. That looks like one characterful place – lovely! X

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      July 28, 2017

      Apart from Sarlat, it was so uncrowded too. Blissful. x

  4. Reply

    Kimberly Duran

    July 27, 2017

    Oh my goodness, what gorgeous images and such beautiful villages. Would you believe I’ve never been to France?! It is something I really need to rectify and your post is making me itchy to go already. xxx

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      July 28, 2017

      Aw, thank you darling. You must go! You will love it. x

  5. Reply

    Jen

    July 26, 2017

    What an amazing trip you’ve had Carole, these shots are stunning x

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      July 28, 2017

      Thanks Jen. I have a serious case of wanderlust now though. Here’s to the next trip. x

  6. Reply

    Susan Earlam

    July 26, 2017

    Gosh these are like something out of a fairy tale!

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      July 28, 2017

      Aw, thank you. Glad you like them. x

  7. Reply

    Hannah Trickett

    July 26, 2017

    These images are seriously WOW, what an amazing place!

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      July 26, 2017

      That’s really nice of you to say Hannah xx

  8. Reply

    Will

    July 26, 2017

    Gorgeous pictures, Carole! I felt like I was right there with you! x

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      July 26, 2017

      Thanks so much Will. Let’s have a reunion in France! x

  9. Reply

    Pippa Jameson

    July 26, 2017

    Carole these pictures are beautiful. I am a huge fan of France and always love to discover new places to visit (we’re going at the end of the month) Thanks for sharing xx

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      July 26, 2017

      Have a lovely time Pips. I love France too. xx

  10. Reply

    Geraldine

    July 26, 2017

    Looks so beautiful. Your making me want to go. x

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      July 26, 2017

      It is so beautiful G. And so many places to visit. x

  11. Reply

    Kate

    July 26, 2017

    Oh, you’ve captured it so beautifully Carole! Looks like you had a wonderful time and you’ve added so many more places to my French wanderlust list now x

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      July 26, 2017

      Awww, thank you sweetie. xx

  12. Reply

    Cara ~ Caradise

    July 26, 2017

    Don’t apologise for making the post picture heavy! Your photos are beautiful. It makes me want to book up and go to France now! xx

    • Reply

      deardesigner

      July 26, 2017

      Awww, thank you. Glad you like them. x

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