Just north of the Dordogne, in a hamlet a half-hour from Limoges, is a handsome 17th-century farmhouse in 15 wild acres. Adjoined by outbuildings, the house and its converted barn share a round gravelled courtyard with tables and a large barbecue. A hammock swings between the trees, cows munch in the fields, and all you hear are the birds. You can rent the barn (sleeps five) or the house (sleeps seven) or take the lot – why not? A beautiful rusticity runs throughout. Inside are exposed stone walls and planks of polished chestnut, sofas covered in natural linen, sisal rugs, wicker chairs, good lighting, the odd painting. The three floors of the main house are linked by a carved stair, while the open-plan barn is on one level, with the children’s beds high on a mezzanine. Both have modern kitchens and bathrooms, and log-burners for winter. Don’t miss the Chateau de Pompadour, medieval Turenne, or the fairytale village of Collonges La Rouge. Return to a garden of gravelled paths, herbaceous borders and family pool, all safely fenced. Dine under the awning, slip into the pool, raise a glass to the stars.