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Riding in the Dordogne

Our riding holidays take you into the heart of the Dordogne in south-western France near the town of Bergerac. You ride across some of the region's most beautiful private estates, following routes and bridle paths through native forests, hidden valleys, vineyards and meadows, returning each evening to the delightful manor Le Bourdil Blanc. To maximise your riding range, on some nights the horses camp out en route.

What's Included:

  • 3-7 nights full board
  • Twin or double bedroom
  • Full board accommodation
  • Wine with meals
  • All riding
  • Guiding and equipment
  • Use of facilities at the house
  • Local transfers to Bergerac airport and train station

Price: from £699pp


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Sample Itinerary and prices – scroll down for more details

Itinerary 

On each ride you will be accompanied by Antoine Delpit and his assistant. Antoine trained at l'Ecole National d'Equitation at Saumur and is your French licensed "moniteur" bringing with him full accreditation which is a legal requirement for all riding establishments in France. Antoine and his assistant are experienced, accomplished riders who know the local countryside, regional culture and history well. They are your guides and have total responsibility for your safety and enjoyment at all times.

Day 1 - 8

On a typical day you spend between 4 and 6 hours in the saddle and, as one would expect on a riding holiday in France, lunch is one of the daily highlights! Around 12.30 you stop for an hour or so for a great picnic often served in the grounds of, or within, a chateau. Far from a packed lunch hauled from a saddle bag, this is a splendid affair freshly prepared by our own cook, Bernadette, and typically consists of various country salads, regional delicacies (including foie gras), locally baked bread, fresh fruit, and of course the best local Bergerac wines. In the rare event of bad weather, we stop at a local auberge for lunch.

Horses will be allocated on the first day and there is a chance to try them in the paddock, or on a short ride with Antoine, before setting off to ensure a good match. The riding is English style, with an average of 5 hours riding a day crossing varied and sometimes steep terrain. You need to be reasonably saddle-fit, and must be an intermediate or above rider who is comfortable, balanced and secure in the saddle and able to control a well-schooled horse in open country at a walk, trot and fast canter. There is a good choice of horses for riders of an intermediate ability, with some of Antoine's own horses sometimes available for experienced riders.

Riders will be shown the daily routine with the horses on the first day and are then very welcome to help prepare, tack up and un-tack their own horse each morning and evening, although this is not compulsory! Antoine speaks good but not fluent English and some knowledge of French will add to the pleasure of each ride. Jane, your English host at Le Bourdil, who does not ride will meet you for picnic lunches and is happy to interpret should you need a hand.

DATES 2019

April 13-20

May 4-11

June 15-22

September 14 - 21 FULL

September 28 -October 5

October 12 -19

Other dates are also possible when French language classes or painting classes will be taking place at the Bourdil, in the months of April-end of June and September through mid November  Please ask us if the above dedicated riding dates do not work for you and you wish to come another time but please  note – there is no riding during July and August – it’s too hot !

Shorter stays for 6, 5, 4 or 3 nights are also possible over the above dates, starting on the Saturday. or Sunday or even midweek

Rates assume a minimum of 4 guests and rides will normally be run for a maximum of 8 riding guests. Groups of less than 4 riders may be subject to an additional small group supplementOther dates may be arranged for groups of 6 or more on request.

PRICES 2019

  • 7 nights £1475PP  (Non rider 7 night £600PP)
  • 6 nights £1295pp (Non rider 6 night £525pp)
  • 5 nights £1175pp (Non rider 5 night £450pp)
  • 4 nights £925pp (Non rider 4 nights £375pp)
  • 3 nights £695 (Non rider 3 nights £300pp)

Non-riders with single rooms pay a supplement. Please add this to the non riding rates

  • 7 nights £110
  • 6 nights £100
  • 5 nights £90
  • 4 nights £80
  • 3 nights £70

Additional Info

Non-riders

Le Bourdil Blanc is an ideal venue for riders travelling with non-riding companions, they can relax at the house, make use of the swimming pool and tennis court, or explore the local area, where there is much to see, by car meeting up with riders for picnic lunches if they wish. We are happy to help you plan your days.

Non-riders in the party are extremely welcome to join the lunchtime feast, so they too can experience the chateau lifestyle and trade news of the morning's adventure. Once both horses and riders are fully rested they head off on the afternoon ride exploring new country and building up an appetite for dinner, whilst the non-riders have the afternoon to follow their own agenda, all meeting up for pre-dinner drinks at Le Bourdil Blanc.

Children are accepted by arrangement with the minimum riding age generally 12 years old, except for family or private group bookings for the whole house when younger children may be taken.

Weight Limit

We regret that we cannot accept beginners and we normally impose a weight limit of around 96kg (210lbs or 15 stone). If you are there or thereabouts do please get in touch to discuss options.

Pace

This is usually medium and well varied. Routes take you from village to village, through woodland and along forest tracks where there are regular opportunities to trot and canter. The local environment of forest, fields of crops, vineyards and small villages means canters may be short and you often need to ride in single file, but you will move on where the going allows.

As the riding hours and pace can be adapted to suit riders' ability to a certain extent, some confident but more novice or young riders may also be taken - though all participants must have a reasonable amount of previous riding experience, including riding out in a group over varied terrain at a variety of paces.

The safety of our riders and horses is of paramount importance. It is essential therefore that you follow the instructions of the guides at all times, which naturally are kept to a minimum.

Terrain

This region of France is thick with private chateaux and much of the riding is through these country estates and over private land, with some routes passing through villages and farmyards.

The countryside itself is rolling with forested hills, valleys, vineyards and grassy meadows and there are miles of wide tracks through the forest as well as narrower paths that wind through woods, along river banks and skirting cultivated land, so it is important to follow your guide's lead to avoid destroying the hard work (and goodwill!) of the farmers who grant us exclusive access to their ground.

We have taken great care to plan the weeklong ride to ensure experienced riders have the opportunity to enjoy long energetic trots and exciting canters, as well as relaxing walks to soak up your surroundings. Please note that while we keep riding on tarmac to a minimum, there are occasions on which you ride down quiet country lanes and through sleepy villages. The routes taken cover new ground as far as possible rarely covering the same ground and then only for the shortest of distances.

Facilities

Guests have access to all facilites including the all-weather tennis court, heated outdoor pool, a small lake for boating and fishing, a classified trout stream (a local fishing license is required which can be bought locally), mountain bikes, table tennis and croquet

How to get there

By PLANE 

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, and Manchester . Jet 2 flies from Leeds Bradford , British Airways flies from London City airport and Transavia flies from Amsterdam.

There are also direct flights to Bordeaux with British Airways, Easy Jet, Ryanair  from London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh and Dublin with Aer Lingus. Also flights with Air France through Paris.Bordeaux airport to the Bourdil is quite straightforward, either by cab, or by bus and train taking between one and two hours.

Bordeaux airport to the Bourdil is quite straightforward, either by cab, or by bus and train taking between one and two hours. 
The cost of the transfer from Bergerac airport or train station is included in your Holiday. We come and pick you up, it is only ten minutes from the house 

 

For more information click the links.

  • RyanairRyanair
    Bristol, Brussels, East Midlands, London Stansted, Liverpool to Bergerac
    London Stansted to Bordeaux

  • FlybeFlybe
    Southampton, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Exeter and Manchester

  • JET2.comJET2.com
    Leeds Bradford to Bergerac

  • British Airways
    London City to Bergerac and London Gatwick to BordeauxBritish Airways

  • EasyJetEasyJet
    London Gatwick,Luton, Bristol and Edinburgh to Bordeaux

  • AerlingusAerlingus
    Dublin to Bordeaux

You can also fly to Bergerac privately and we will come and pick you up at the airport.

BY RAIL

From London St Pancras you can take a train to

EITHER Paris Gare du Nord and then cross Paris by metro or cab and take a train from Paris Montparnasse (direction Bordeaux), changing at Libourne or Bordeaux to connect with the train to Bergerac.

OR Lille and change to a train to Bordeaux, again getting off at Libourne or Bordeaux and changing trains to Bergerac. Motorrail is also available from the UK to Brive, Bordeaux and Toulouse

You can drive through the tunnel from the UK or cross the Channel by ferry.

You can hire cars from Bergerac, Bordeaux  or Libourne 

  • Avis

  • Europcar
  • Hertz

How To Book

  • Flexible start/finish date
  • 3-7 night stay
  • 30% deposit to book
  • Final balance 8 weeks prior to holiday
  • Book On-line by filling in the booking form below and pay deposit via WorldPay
  • or Book by phone on 01829 781123

Optional Extras

  • Optional use of tourist guide for non-riding day
  • Rental car if requested
  • Additional private riding lessons