This 15th-century château sits at the heart of a small Charentais village; you can see its turret as you emerge from the woods. Six gites await in the outbuildings, spacious, simple and comfortable, with scatter rugs on shiny floors and welcome hampers to get you going.
But the grounds are the thing: acres of rolling gardens complete with sheep, goats, guinea pigs and chickens, laid to lawn, scented with roses, and heaped with treats for children. There are swings, slides, trampoline, boules, two pools (lightly chlorinated, heated by solar-panels, one for tinies), and a play barn stocked with everything. Pop out for croissants; take breakfast to your patio.
Nearby is Villebois-Lavelette, perched on its hill, with a characterful 17th-century market abuzz every Saturday; look out for confit and truffles. Don’t miss the lovely beach-lake at St Aulaye, a half hour drive, or the Venice of the Périgord, beautiful Brantôme.