Type of horses:
Arab/Anglo Arab crosses, local French saddle horses.
Nature of horses:
Well schooled, well behaved and well loved!
Height of horses:
15hh - 16.2hh
96 kg (15 stone)
The saddles are specialised trekking saddles (Forestier, Gaston- Mercier etc) or standard UK saddles.
Referred to as 'The Galloping Gourmet' by Horse and Hound Magazine, this exclusive destination is set in and around the spectacular Dordogne countryside in South-Western France. Guests ride through thousands of hectares of beautiful private estates, exploring thick forests, valleys, vineyards and meadows, on well schooled and loved horses. These horses live a good life, grazing in the paddocks behind the house and paddling in the lake in between riding times. The rides are different each day and feature energetic trots and exciting canters, as well as the relaxed walks at which you can explore your wonderful surroundings. This is also an approved ABRS (Associated British Riding School) riding centre.
You are accommodated in an elegant 18th century manor house which has been restored to offer a warm, friendly and inviting environment for guests. Its grounds extend to just over 7 acres with tennis courts, a swimming pool and spacious stables in the barn. There is also an ancient pigeonnier, a large meadow garden, a small fishing and boat lake, a croquet lawn and beautiful trees surrounded by a charming trout stream. The cuisine here is divine and based around the regions specialities such as duck, foie gras, truffles, asparagus and strawberries, served with a variety of excellent local wines. The picnic lunches and luxurious dinners add the finishing touch to this high end holiday destination.
On this fabulous ride you will enjoy some exciting trail riding over diverse countryside but have the added luxury of returning to your comfortable Manor house accommodation each night. So no worries about packing up and moving your luggage each day.
This elegant 18th century manor house is at the end of a tree lined drive and has recently been restored to its former glory. It is set in its own private grounds of seven acres and overlooks woodlands and fields.
The main house has a large entrance hall/study with a double sofa bed leading onto the main living room, with open fireplace, satellite TV and two double sofa beds. There is a modern fully fitted and equipped kitchen complete with:dishwasher, washing machine, separate dryer, microwave and fridge/freezer). The dining room seats fourteen with ease.
The staircase leads from the living room to the upstairs landing where there are four large double bedrooms - one with two double beds, one with twin beds and two each with double beds, numerous cots for tots and a crib. There are four ensuite bathrooms. There are three air-conditioned double bedrooms with individual ensuite shower rooms on the third floor. One with three single beds, one double and a double bedded room with an additional single bed. The wing comprises a large living room with open fireplace and two double sofa beds with a double bedroom (with double bed), a second fully fitted and equipped kitchen. a bathroom and a private walled garden.
The Pigeonnier (converted dovecote) has a vaulted living room with two double sofabeds, an open fireplace and a fully fitted and equipped kitchen.
There are two double bedrooms (one double and two single beds), a bathroom and a private garden.
Alongside the spacious and comfortable accommodation are the wonderful grounds. Aside from the pool, tennis court and stable barn, the grounds also feature an ancient pigeonnier, and behind the house is a huge meadow garden, a small fishing/boating lake, a croquet lawn, some lovely mature trees, all bounded by a delightful trout stream.
The heated swimming pool (12mx6m), surrounded by ample space for sunbathing, is open from dawn till dusk. For the energetic, the full size all weather surface tennis court is the ideal place to loosen up those stiff muscles. You could try your hand at catching one of the fat carp in the lake or simply watch them from your rowing boat. However if you are into total relaxation then the hammock is available on a strictly first come first sleep basis.
The stables are only a stone's throw from the house, allowing for maximum bonding between horse and rider. The accommodation can be booked all year round either on a self-catering basis or full board if preferred.
Continental Breakfasts are served with fresh croissants, bread, butter and a selection of jams, muesli, yoghourts, fruit, juices and coffee and tea. Lunch is usually a picnic of meats, cheeses, salads and, of course, that delicious French bread. Dinners are cooked using fresh local ingredients and are three courses - the menu often includes a speciality dish of the region. Lunch and dinner are accompanied by wine often from local vineyards.
Thursday is the non-riding day when guests can go out for lunch and dinner
All dinners are served with the finest local Bergerac wines, red, rose and white, beer and soft drinks in unlimited quantities
In the grounds there is a heated swimming pool, tennis court, croquet lawn, fishing/boating lake and a delightful trout stream.
There is much to see in the local area for non-riders (the Dordogne is one of the richest areas of France for tourism) and it is wonderful for walking. Cycling is possible as there are miles of footpaths and tracks through the forest. There are two bicycles at the house and others can be hired locally.
Non riders can arrange to join the riders for lunch at prearranged times.
Languages: Jane, your host, is English and speaks English and French. The riding guide, Antoine, speaks some English but is not fluent.
Health requirements: No special health requirements.
Age limit: 12+
Included: Bergerac airport transfers, full board accommodation, riding and English speaking guide. Wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, use of facilities at the house including tennis, swimming, a lake for boating and fishing, a classified trout stream, mountain bikes, table tennis and croquet.
Not included: Flights, travel and medical insurance. Telephone and fax which are charged at cost.
This ride is very accessible from the UK. The house is only 20 minutes from Bergerac airport.
Ryanair fly from various airports (London Stansted, Liverpool, Bristol and East Midlands in the UK as well as Charleroi near Brussels). Flybe flies from Southampton, Birmingham, Exeter, Edinburgh, Manchester. Jet 2 flies from Leeds Bradford.
There are also direct flights to Bordeaux with British Airways, Easy Jet, Ryanair from London Gatwick, London Luton, Bristol and Edinburgh. Dublin with Aer Lingus. Also flights with Air France through Paris.
Bordeaux airport to the Manor is quite straightforward, either by cab, or by bus and train taking between one and two hours.
Train is also a great way to travel here.
From St. Pancras (London) you can either take a train to:
(a) Paris Gare du Nord and then cross Paris by metro or cab and take a train from Paris Montparnasse direction Bordeaux, changing at Libourne to then catch a train to Bergerac.
(b) Lille and change to a train to Bordeaux, again getting off at Libourne and changing trains to Bergerac.
Transfers from Bergerac airport and train station are included.
Alternative Airport: Bordeaux
From the moment you leave the stables (in the grounds of the beautiful manor where you will be staying) you will be riding through thousands of hectares of the region's most beautiful private estates.
Following trails which take you through a countryside of thick forests, hidden valleys, vineyards and meadows, you will soon be convinced that you are the 'duc' or 'duchesse' of all you survey; and to prove it, you'll come across no other horses or riders, and hardly a gate to open all day long.
Here they have taken great care to plan the rides - different each day - to ensure that experienced riders have the opportunity to enjoy long energetic trots and exciting canters, as well as lazy relaxing walks, when you'll have time to share your experiences with your guide and companions. (Please note that they are trying to keep riding on tarmac to a minimum, although there is some on quiet country lanes.)
Around 12.30 each day you will stop for an hour or so to rest the horses and enjoy a marvellous picnic lunch, which is served in the grounds of, or inside, the private chateau whose land you are riding through. Lunch will have been freshly prepared by their own chef, Bernadette, and will typically consist of various country salads, regional delicacies (including foie gras), locally baked bread, fresh fruit, and of course the best local Bergerac wines.
They encourage any non-riders in the party to join the riders for the lunchtime feast, so that they too can experience the chateau lifestyle and catch up with news of the morning's adventures! After lunch and a well-earned rest, both horses and riders are relaxed and ready to continue on the day's ride. (They obviously try to ensure that rides do not double back on themselves, however in some instances this is unavoidable.)
You will be met at the railway station or the airport in Bergerac and transferred to the manor house for dinner (about a twenty minute drive). You can arrive directly by car to the house at around 17.00. There will be time to settle in before evening drinks and a delicious dinner.
After breakfast, you head the short distance to the stables and meet the horses that have been selected to match your riding experience and ability. You can try the horses in the paddock user the expert eye of Antoine your guide. Antoine is an expert at matching riders with a suitable horse. Sunday is market day so you can have a quick change and set off by car for Issigeac street market. This is great fun and full of local colour and you will return to the the manor house for lunch. In the afternoon you can enjoy a 2-3 hour trail ride across this wild region of forests (la Forêt du Landais). You will get back to the manor house later afternoon in time for a well earned drink and delicious dinner.
Breakfast will be served in the house before you mount up and set off for your first full day of riding. Today's route will take you through the Caudeau Valley visiting the villages of Montclard, Saint Georges, St Martin des Combes and Clermont Beauregard passing the Chateau de la Gaubertie stopping at an idyllic picnic lunch. After lunch you will ride back to the manor house for drinks and another fine dinner.
After breakfast you will mount up and set off through the village of Lamonzie Montastruc and across la Foret de Liorac to the private Chateau Garraube with its formal gardens. Your next stop will be at the pretty village of Saint Marcel du Perigord where you will stop for a picnic lunch near a stream. After lunch your ride will take you to Pressignac-Vicq where the horses will stay overnight. You will return to the Manor house by car and Bernadette will cook a delicious typical local dish to be accompanied by some wonderful local wines.
After breakfast you will return to the horses at Pressignac-Vicq. Your ride today takes you down to the Dordogne river - a spectacular ride with wonderful views. You will stop on the bank of the river for a drink and another delicious picnic. Your afternoon ride will take you back to Pressignac-Vicq by a completely different and very contrasting route with opportunities for some good canters. Your horse will stay here once again and you will return to the Manor by car for another fabulous gastronomic evening.
You will be driven back to your horse after breakfast and ride across the Dordogne river past Chateau de Lanquais and head for a nearby riding stables near Faux where your horse will be well taken care of. You will return to the Manor house for a late lunch. The afternoon is free for sightseeing or to relax. Jane, your host, will discuss the options and will happily arrange group visits to local sites of interest, book restaurants and organise hire cars - or you can just relax at the house, using the heated swimming pool and tennis court or perhaps trying the boat on the lake - the choice is yours. Dinner is not included today and will be eaten out, either on the way back from the places you visit or you will be driven to a local restaurant, or even at the manor house if someone wants to cook!
After breakfast, you will be driven to the stables to catch up with your horse, Your ride will take you through the forests and vineyards. You will stop for last delicious picnic lunch along the way to Issigeac or in Monbazillac and you will return to Antoine's tables near Bouniagues. There may be a possibility for an informative wine tasting at Clos des Verdots nearby and then back to the Manor in time to change, relax with a drink and enjoy a final delicious dinner. You will enjoy your last night in this wonderful Manor house.
After breakfast and final farewells, you will be transferred to Bergerac railway station or airport (about a 20 minute drive).
Please note that the itinerary may vary due to unavoidable circumstances at the discretion of the guide ( adverse weather or local conditions ).
|Minimum group size:||2|
|Maximum group size:||10|
|Ability description:||Strong intermediate - riders should be comfortable at walk, trot and canter on a forward-going horse in open countryside. Riders should be fairly fit to spend 4 - 6 hours in the saddle on the long riding days.|
|Type of ride:||Based with daily trails|
|Total riding time:||Approximately 5 and a half days of riding during a full week (4-6 hours of riding each full day).|
29 April-6 May, 13-20 May, 24 June-1 July, 16-23 September,
30 September-7 October, 28 October-7 November. Other dates are possible particularly for a group of 4.
£1390 rider £548 non rider
Shorter stays can be arranged as below:
6 nights: £1230 rider £463 non rider
5 nights: £1104 rider £379 non rider
4 nights: £868 rider £312 non rider
3 nights: £657 rider £236 non rider
Non-rider : Single supplements apply