The Duckhouse at Praderies-Bas is a small cottage with one double bedroom, set in a valley overlooking meadows and gardens. It has a private garden planted with cherry, pear, and plum trees, creating plenty of shady spots to relax on sunny days. On the terrace, a garden table with chairs and a barbecue are set under a big walnut tree. Also on the property is a large fish pond filled with carp and catfish.
The house is set at the end of a rural lane, just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the lively traditional town of Le Buisson. It is a good base for a couple who want to explore the Dordogne, fish, canoe, or swim in the river, and enjoy the local way of life. Two bicycles are available to guests.
The Duckhouse is at the gate of the property. The driveway continues 60 metres to the main house on the property, where the son and daughter-in-law of the owners live. They are available to assist visitors if needed.
The front door of the cottage opens into a sunny kitchen / dining room, which features fitted cabinets, a ceramic stovetop, a full-size electric oven, a fridge and a microwave. The small dining table has four chairs.
Adjacent to the kitchen is a spacious bathroom with a full-size bath and a separate walk-in shower, a WC and bidet. Curtained windows look out onto the garden.
From the kitchen, four steps lead down to the living room, which has a television with satellite channels and a DVD player. Broadband internet access (wi-fi) is available as well. A sofa can be converted into a bed to sleep a small child or even two. French doors open onto the dining terrace and garden.
Next to the living room, the bedroom has a king size bed, space for hanging clothes and a chest of drawers.
From the Duckhouse, it takes about five minutes to walk to the centre of the small town of Le Buisson, which has several boulangeries, two mini-markets, a small cinema, a post office, an ATM machine, a petrol/taxi station, a railway station, and, like most French villages, at least 2 hairdressers! Also, there is the typical cafe/bar where one enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of good coffee.
There are plenty of restaurants in and around Le Buisson, ranging from good value meals to gourmet cuisine. A summer feature of Le Buisson and neighbouring towns and villages are the night markets where one can wander around and enjoy food, drink, and dancing.
A lively street market takes place every Friday, with stalls laden with brightly coloured flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables, home-made breads, cheeses, duck and goose patés and other local produce.
The local tourist office provides maps and details of the local marked walking and hiking trails. For fishing, one can fish the pond at home or go to the Dordogne river, twenty minutes’ walk from the house. Le Buisson claims to have the longest and best-kept beach and swimming area on the Dordogne. Canoes are available for rent.
Among the other activities available nearby, there are two 9-hole and two 18-hole golf courses within about half an hour’s drive. Water skiing lessons are available at Tremolat. Hot-air ballooning offers stunning views of the surrounding rivers, chateaux and picturesque villages.
The Caves de Maxange in Le Buisson is well worth a visit and gives information in English to visitors. And there are many other caves – including the famous Lascaux Caves and prehistoric paintings – within easy reach. For horse riding, there is a trail right beside the property to the village of Cadouin and beyond.
Situated on the Dordogne river, roughly halfway between Bergerac and Sarlat, Le Buisson provides an ideal base for exploring the medieval villages, fairytale castles, prehistoric caves, oak forests and sunny river beaches of the Dordogne and the Vézère river valleys.
One can explore it by car, or take the train. Le Buisson is a most useful rail junction with regular trains west to Bergerac, St Emilion and Bordeaux, north to Périgueux and Limoges, east to St. Cyprien and Sarlat, and south to Agen – with plenty of stops in between.
Or cycle! Although the Dordogne is mostly a hilly, forested region, the river beds are flat, and the owners can lend two bicycles.
Among the many places worth visiting, the 8th century town of Sarlat has been perfectly restored and one can spend hours wandering its narrow streets and visiting many interesting shops.