The Art of Doing Nothing

16 September 2016

We’ve just returned from our latest break in the Dordogne and it is always a bit of a shock adjusting to the faster pace of life back in England (and we’re based in Somerset!).

Recently, France has tended to be in the news for many of the wrong reasons. Ongoing problems at Calais, industrial action in Paris and the threat of another act of terrorism have all made headline news. The Dordogne however, remains a haven of peace and quiet.

If you haven’t visited the Dordogne before, it can be difficult to convey just how separate it feels to the rest of France. Many of the small towns and villages feel as if you are stepping back in time. There are no petrol shortages, (for some of the farmers a scarcity in horse feed would be far more problematic anyway) very few traffic jams and an ongoing sense of serenity which makes for a relaxing break.

Switch off in the Dordogne

That isn’t to say the Dordogne doesn’t have popular tourist attractions. Visit the beautiful medieval city of Sarlat in August and you’ll certainly meet plenty of people in the main square. Likewise at one of the larger weekend markets or at the popular fortified chateaux.

The Dordogne town of Sarlat

The market place in Sarlat

But it’s easy to find peace and quiet. You’re never far from stunning countryside or the meandering Dordogne River. The Dordogne gives you space to think and a slower pace of life to enjoy. You really can ‘switch off’ and unwind. For us, it’s what a holiday is all about (especially when you throw in the fantastic food and wine).

Technology today makes it all too easy to be constantly ‘connected’. Our brains seem to be bombarded with information at every waking moment. Many of us are probably guilty of looking at our phones more often and more intently than anything else during the course of a day. It isn’t just our bodies that need to take a break and re-charge.

So, before you switch your brain to neutral, book one of the numerous regional flights that leave the UK everyday for Bergerac , (under an hour from Les Milandes) Bordeaux or Toulouse (a two hour drive from Milandes) and enjoy a break in the Dordogne. September and October are great months in which to visit the Dordogne. The weather is usually still very pleasant and even the most popular attractions are pretty quiet.