Get off the Beaten Track!

Le Chevrefeuille, Dordogne, Sunflowers

The Dordogne is the perfect playground for children and if you’re interested in some activities that go beyond canoeing, chateaux, pretty villages and French markets, check out our suggestions for some off the beaten track activities.

Family Cookery Course – Le Chèvrefeuille

This is an unique opportunity for people of all ages to participate in a fun half day experience, preparing a two course regional lunch menu to be enjoyed at the end of the morning. It is an ideal course for families and friends who want to do a fun activity together which is interesting and informative. These dishes will always have a local flavour, using the regional ingredients which will change in accordance with the season, produce at its best.

CookDordogne, Ian Fisk

Ian is passionate about food nutrition for children, believing that it is essential for their future health and wellbeing to encourage an interest in food and its importance. His hands on approach encourages children to try what they cook and this, we hope in turn will lead to an interest in cooking and trying new things. Ian’s approach to teaching children (having two of his own) is in a light-hearted, fun and encouraging manner.

Family Cookery Course, Le Chevrefeuille, Dordogne - Outdoor Terrace Area

Family and friends who prefer to eat rather than cook need not miss out on this superb degustation experience! Join the two-course tasting with wine, tea and coffee for an additional charge.

Le Thot – Espace Cro-Magnon

Woolly Mammoth, Le Thot, Dordogne

Le Thot, touted as the perfect complement to a tour of Lascaux IV, is a great way to take a step back into the life and times of Cro-Magnon Man. Unique to Le Thot is the reproduction of paintings from the original Lascaux site. Whilst reproductions can be seen elsewhere, at Le Thot the paintings have been reproduced onto rock carved in exactly the same shape as at original Lascaux.

In the underground chamber of Le Thot, visitors will find an exact reproduction of “Scene du Puits”, which depicts a man, bird and rhinoceros. It is very rare to find human figures in prehistoric art, making this scene particularly unique. Le Thot also offers computer generated, life size versions of animals, including mammoths, cave lions, bison, deer, aurochs and megalaceros, that once thrived in the region but are now extinct.

Le Thot, Dordogne

Outside, at Le Thot wildlife park, you will find descendants of animals from prehistoric times, including aurochs, bison, tarpan horses, deer and mountain goats. Most intriguing are the aurochs, which became extinct in 1627, but were “reproduced” by the Heck brothers in 1931. The brothers took species of bovine from Corsica, Hungary and Scotland. By “blending” these species, they created the genetically closest cow to the original aurochs.

Le Thot is situated in the tiny and beautiful village of Thonac, on the River Vézère, near Montignac. It is a short, beautiful 25-minute drive from Le Chevrefeuille.

Chateau des Milandes

chateau les milandes, dordogne

Built in 1489 Chateau des Milandes has beautiful gothic features and is a great example of Renaissance architecture. But, it is the story of Josephine Baker who bought the chateau with husband, Jo Bouillon, and where they lived with their 12 adopted children, that is truly intriguing.

Famous for her performance in Paris of “La Danse Sauvage,” in which she wore nothing but a skirt of bananas (on show at the chateau), Ms Baker shot to fame in 1925. The rooms of the Chateau pay homage to her extraordinary life, with beautifully curated displays, each telling stories of her happy, brave and poignant life – including her little-known time as a member of the resistance during the war.

The gardens surrounding Chateau des Milandes are listed as a French Historical Monument. Beautifully landscaped, with water features, rolling hills and stunning, colourful flowerbeds, the gardens also play host to a fascinating birds of prey demonstration – involving falcons, owls and eagles.

Chateau des Milandes is a beautiful, scenic, 25-minute drive from Le Chevrefeuille.

Gouffre de Proumeyssac

Le Bugue, Dordogne/

Nearby town of Le Bugue – combine an outing to Proumeyssac and the market town of Le Bugue

Gouffre de Proumeyssac, also known as the “Crystal Cathedral” is a spectacular cave with a stunning collection of stalactites and stalagmites. Famous for the four enormous stalactite formations, the siren, waterfall (from which flows water into beautiful, clear blue pools on the floor of the cave), jellyfish and octopus, Gouffre de Proumeyssac is a spectacle of natural wonder and beauty.

On one wall of the cave is a huge formation of stalactites, stalagmites and columns, which resemble a large organ, giving rise to the caves alternate name the “Cathedral of Crystal”.

Behind the organ is a tunnel, which visitors walk through (if they wish) to see extremely rare and strange triangle-shaped crystal deposits. Most people enter the cave via a tunnel, but you can choose to be lowered into the cave via a basket – just as the first visitors to the caves would have done over 100 years ago.

Once inside the cave, the lights are turned off and there is a breathtaking light show, which illuminates the various features of the cave.

Gouffre de Proumeyssac is a short, 15-minute drive from Le Chevrefeuille. It is not far from the beautiful market village of Le Bugue, one of the farmer’s markets visited by participants on the Cook Dordogne cookery course.