Within a couple of miles of the sparkling Dordogne river, an immaculate old house pleasantly shaded by a lime tree – the stone façade gleams in the sunlight and the scent of lavender fills the air. Surrounded by three acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, meadows and woodland and with miles of uninterrupted views across the valley, you are wonderfully secluded but not too far from civilisation. Inside, the space works brilliantly for families; five charming bedrooms are spread across two storeys, all with lovely features such as beamed ceilings or exposed stone walls. There’s a bright, well-equipped kitchen with a sociable table for eight and two sitting rooms – one with a wood-burner sitting proudly in the charming inglenook fireplace. But in the height of summer, head outdoors for a barbecue, a dip in the heated pool or a stroll around the garden. Beyond the delightful grounds, make a trip to a lake with a sandy beach, the river for unbeatable canoeing and wild swimming, a visit to historic Sarlat to stock up on local produce at the market, or explore ancient villages and châteaux.