The Dordgone River

Meandering Through The Dordogne

It’s Summer 2022 and Part 5 of our travel diaries series now finds us meandering through the Dordogne. Our next stop was the abbey village of Cadouin, where we’d noticed a walk from our Lonely Planet walking book that we quite fancied.

The Dordgone River
The Dordogne and Vezere rivers meet

Cadouin an Idyllic Village

To be honest, the village of Cadouin is absolutely beautiful, so it’s well worth a visit even without the walking route. It’s a picture postcard kind of place, where character stone buildings and pavement cafe’s rule. Where better than just sit, relax and people watch in this sleepy little corner of The Dordogne.

Thank goodness for the French love of motorhomes, which is still going strong in these parts. For us, this means an easy and picturesque free parking area just beyond the village. It’s here that we plonk on a picnic bench for a light lunch of French fancies.

That’s not cake by the way, but the more traditional savoury favourites of saucisson and fromage. Why is it that these earthy foods make you feel so good? It’s feels like comfort eating on steroids.

A woodland Walk – Meandering through the Dordogne

The walk started behind the abbey in the centre of the village. What we hadn’t realised at this stage was that we’d joined the wrong path! Oh heck, how you can go so easily wrong and not know it until it’s too late.

As it turned out, it didn’t really matter too much, because we still got a couple of hours walking done, along a marked trail. The route lead us into surrounding woodlands, following the marked path before arriving back in the village. It was when we emerged out of the woods at a small lake that we realised we’d gone wrong somewhere.

Well, what a calamity! Not quite realising the mistake was way back at the start, now we were wasting an eternity trying to work out where we were and why our walking book suddenly didn’t add up. Why we hadn’t noticed before is another matter, but by now we knew we just had to give it up as a bad job and follow a sign back to the village.

The Abbey of Cadouin

The Abbey of Cadouin is famous as once being the home to the shroud of Christ. However, years later experts realised it wasn’t the real shroud at all. Nonetheless, visitors still flock here as a result and who can blame them, because the village itself is just beautiful enough, without it’s historic links.

The rustic stone buildings, arched passageways and historic covered market are just some examples of the character this place holds.

On a hot summer day it’s blissful France and a true example of why we love this part of the world so much.

The Cingales – Meandering through The Dordogne

Next up was a slight detour to see the Cingales of the Dordogne at the village of Tremolat. To you and I, that’s the bendy bits in the river and it turned out to be a bit disappointing.

Not only did we go out of our way to get there, but when we did, the viewpoint wasn’t actually that great. Probably in Winter the view would be better, but in July, with all the leaves of the wooded area in full leaf, the outlook was mainly obscured by trees.

So, there’s no photo’s to show you.

Limeuil is Beautiful

On our way towards Beynac et Cazenac we inadvertently come across the most beautiful village of Limeuil. Not only is this a Plus Beaux Village but it also happens to sit on the confluence of two major rivers.

Yes, this great little find is where the Dordogne and Vezere rivers meet and there’s no stopping the activity on the water. As we arrive, the last canoes are floating downstream, a colourful display and all the fun of the water under a bright blue sky.

In fact, this was one of those places that we actually drove through at first. Then, we turned round to park up when we realised it was one not to be missed.

Unfortunately, despite being able to park in a large car park, named “Ramparts”. This wasn’t free and you couldn’t stop overnight either, but there was no other option. It’s evening, so we’re weary of finding a place to park for the night, yet don’t want to miss out on taking a look here.

So, we made it quick, going off for a wonder through the narrow, hilly streets until a pottery fair came into view along the river front.

Limeuil is renowned for its artists, pottery being one of its specialist crafts. We came away empty handed, but that was mainly through fear of smashed pottery trundling round the streets of France in the back of the van.

It reminds me of the time when on holiday with my parents in Portugal in the early 80’s. They attempted to bring back 2 fancy garden pots which ended up smashed to small pieces!

Yes, a lesson learnt at a young age.

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