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Converted stone barn with private garden overlooking woods and farmlands

Gite | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 6

Key Info
  • Nearest beach 10 km
  • Great for children of all ages 5
  • Car essential
  • Some pets are welcome - please contact the owner
  • Private garden

The house

La Vieille Grange is on the northern edge of a rural hamlet, with woods to one side and across the valley below. It began life as a barn, with the oldest parts of the building dating from the 18th century (or even earlier), and in its transformation to a house, most of the original stonework and massive oak beams have been left exposed. It is now a spacious and family-friendly holiday home. Offering self-catering accommodation for six (and a baby), it is an ideal place to relax and unwind. The country lanes are ideal for walking and cycling.

The large back windows on each floor look east over valley meadows and to the north are woodlands. There are double doors on both sides of the ground floor –three sets to the south opening onto a terraced area and grassy courtyard which enjoy long hours of sunshine and a set to the north opening onto a sheltered terrace. Herbs and, in season, tomatoes and salad greens, grow near the front door. The house has electric wall heaters for the cooler seasons.

The hamlet

The hamlet of Mercadiol is a hilltop cluster of a dozen or so old farmhouses and stone and timber barns lying either side of a rural lane. It is surrounded by fields, walnut groves and woods. Through traffic is minimal and both the days and nights are peacefully quiet, with little more than the sound of bird calls or, in summer, the distant music of a village 'en fete'. A local walking track passes through Mercadiol, so on weekends you might see small groups making their way up from the field below.

Regional atractions

Happily, Mercadiol combines its peaceful rural setting with easy access to a rich and diverse number of attractions. The medieval market towns of Sarlat, Gourdon and Souillac are each less than 20 mins drive away, and all have a choice of large supermakets as well as food markets – the Sarlat market in particular is renowned for the local produce on offer. Also close are castles – Fenelon is a 20 minute walk way, while Montfort, Beynac and Castelnaud are a short scenic drive down-river; prehistoric caves, including the nearby Cougnac; the pilgrim site of Rocamadour; wineries, restaurants and, a 5-minute drive away, the Dordogne River with kayaks, canoes and cycleway.

Seasons and weather

In spring and summer the roadsides and meadows are bright with wildflowers. Summer temperatures average 25 C (75 F) although up to 35 C in August is not uncommon. This is the main tourist season. Our local markets and restaurants are buzzing with crowds, flotillas of canoes take to the river and music festivals and village fairs offer a range of entertainment in the long evenings, sometimes vying with stunning sound and light shows provided by summer thunderstorms! Autumn (September to November) is usually dry, with misty mornings, mild days and crisp nights. This is a lovely time to stay, the days are still warm, around 15 C (60 F), the harvest is done and the markets brim with produce. Early winter days can be bright and sunny with temperatures of around 5C (40 F), but often freezing overnight; sleet and snow are possible. In spring (March to May) you can expect sunshine and showers with daily temperatures of around 13 C (55 F) as you watch the greening of woods and meadows; we particularly like watching the transformation of the large linden tree in our courtyard as leafbuds unfurl into delicate green foliage. Throughout the year brilliantly clear stars fill the night sky.

Size Sleeps up to 6, 3 bedrooms
Nearest beach Grolejac 10 km
Will consider Long term lets (over 1 month)
Access Car essential
Nearest travel links Nearest airport: Brive-Valley of the Dordogne 40 km, Nearest railway: Brive (for car hire) 40 km
Family friendly Great for children of all ages
Notes Pets welcome, No smoking at this property

Features and Facilities

Luxuries Internet access
General Central heating, TV, CD player, Telephone, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available
Standard Kettle, Toaster
Utilities Dishwasher, Cooker, Fridge, Washing machine
Rooms 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 En suites
Furniture Single beds (3), Double beds (2), Cots (1), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 8
Other Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair
Outdoors Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ
Access Parking

The Midi-Pyrenees region

The South-West of France is famed for its natural beauty, its spectacular castles and underground caves, and its gastronomic delights. The region's towns and villages have great shopping, including colourful and historic food and general markets as well as a wonderful range of cafes and restaurants.

In summer there are special festivals almost every week: every year there's a bread festival at Salignac, a wine festival at Cahors, a music festival at St Cere and a local strawberry festival at Nabirat. If you're interested in antiques or bric-a-brac, add to this the many antiques and brocante markets (Sarlat, Gourdon and Souillac) and the ever-tempting weekend vide greniers (attic sales) where families dispose of unwanted goods from furniture and tools to clothes, books and kitchen items -- always worth a browse.


The Dordogne Valley is one of the most spectacular in France. The river rises in the Massif Central and passes through beautiful countryside, the valley sides dotted with imposing chateaux, historic towns and villages towns and a mixture of woodlands, meadows, farmlands and vineyards.

Within short and easy drives from the house are several historic towns, such as Sarlat, a medieval jewel that has been immaculately restored, the former river port of Souillac and the hilltop town of Gourdon. Also within easy reach are the Vezere valley with its rich heritage of prehistory - the cave paintings of Lascaux, the Museum of Prehistory at Les Eyzies de Tayac, and the Lot Valley, with its vineyards, and Cahors with its world-heritage listed fortified bridge.

The house itself is close to numerous marked woodland walking tracks and back roads for cycling or gentle drives to visit the many pretty villages and farmers' markets. It is 5 mins drive from the Dordogne River and a canoe hire station. It is ideal for walkers, those with an interest in nature, prehistory and history, and food markets, or those who are simply seeking a tranquil rural retreat.

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You're booking with

Derek B.

Calendar last updated:27 Aug 2014

Based in Australia

Languages spoken
  • English

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