France ~ Le Bourdil Blanc
Based from a lovely 18th century manor house not far from the town of Bergerac in the Dordogne in south west France, these rides combine comfortable accommodation in an elegant French manor house with daily riding out through the Dordogne's beautiful rolling countryside, exploring its forests of beech, oak and chestnut, its fields of maize and sunflowers and its famous vineyards. Much of the riding is within the private estates of historic chateaux and after riding there are plenty of opportunities to try the delicious food and wine for which the area is renown as well as to relax, play tennis or (in summer) swim in the pool. Your French riding guide is an expert horseman and, as well as welcoming you into her charming home, your English host will introduce you to owners of local vineyards and chateaux, making your stay delightfully personal.
7, 6, 5, 4 or 3 night rides based from Le Bourdil Blanc are run from set dates between April & July and September & October. Le Bourdil Blanc can also be booked privately by groups or families on request.
Riding: 3-6 hours a day.
Horses: home bred Arab crosses, Anglo Arab crosses.
Pace: moderate, with good chances to canter.
Riding ability: intermediate riders and above.
Weight limit: 95kg (15 stone).
Accommodation: comfortable manor house.
Group size: max 6 to 8 (min 4).
Season: April to June, September to November
(July & August also possible for private groups / families on request)
Horses: The horses used on the rides are mixed breeds many of which are home-bred crosses with Arab and Anglo-Arab blood. They average about 15hh to 15.2hh, and are a forward going and enjoyable to ride. Saddles are either lightweight Endurance saddles or 'Maclellans' which are a comfortable cross between an English and western saddle. The horses are usually ridden in snaffles and saddle-bags are provided.
Hours: There is usually between 3 and 6 hours riding a day.
Pace and experience required: To join these rides you should have a reasonable amount of previous riding experience and should be comfortable, confident and in control on a well schooled horse at a walk, trot and fast canter. Overall the pace of the rides is moderate with lots of chances for good long canters. There is a weight limit of 95kgs (15 stone) on the rides.
Riders stay at 'Le Bourdil Blanc' a lovely 18th Century Manor house, set within its own 7 acres of grounds in which there is also a 'pigeonnier' (small cottage), a swimming pool, tennis court and lake. There are plenty of different bedrooms in the main house as well as two in the pigeonnier. They are all individual and fairly simple in style with mixed antique furniture and en-suite or private bathrooms. There is also a large, comfortable sitting room with polished wooden floor and a dining room with a long table where meals are eaten, both with open fire place. The house has a relaxed 'house party' atmosphere and you are encouraged to treat it as your own and to enjoy it in your own way. There is a small veranda with lovely views over the sweeping lawn and lake and several shady spots for meals and drinks. During your ride, the horses are kept in well designed stables in a converted barn / coach house a few minutes from the house.
7 nights - Euros 1650
13th to 20th April
|Itinerary in brief|
|Day 1||Arrive Bergerac where you will be met and transferred to Le Bourdil Blanc for dinner and the night.|
||Breakfast and meet the horses, with a chance to try them in the paddock. Then a visit to a local market and lunch before returning to Le Bourdil for a short afternoon ride. Dinner and night at Le Bourdil Blanc.|
||After breakfast ride through the Cadeau valley to the magnificent chateau La Gaubertie. A picnic lunch at the chateau before riding back to Le Bourdil Blanc by a different route.|
||Breakfast and set off riding through the forest to another beautiful chateau then on to the village of Saint Marcel du Perigord. A picnic lunch near a stream and then ride on to Pressignac - Vicq where the horses remain for the night. Return by car to Le Bourdil for dinner and the night.|
||Breakfast and drive to Pressignac - Vicq to meet the horses. Today's ride takes you down to the Dordogne river for a picnic lunch before riding back to Pressignac - Vicq by a different route. Drive back to Le Bourdil for dinner and night at Le Bourdil Blanc.|
||Breakfast and rejoin the horses. A morning ride crossing the Dordogne river past Chateau de Lanquais to leave the horses at a stables near Faux. Return to Le Bourdil for a late lunch. The afternoon is free for sightseeing or to relax. Own arrangements for dinner. Night at le Bourdil.|
||Return by car to the stables near Faux. Ride though forests and vineyards, stopping for a picnic lunch at Issigeac or Montbazillac. Continue to your guides stables near Boniagues where you say goodbye to the horses. There may be time for some wine tasting nearby before driving back to Le Bourdil.|
||Breakfast then you will be driven to Bergerac for your onward journey.|
|Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.|
Le Bourdil Blanc is 20 minutes drive from Bergerac airport and transfers can be arranged from Bergerac (airport or train station) at any time and are included in the ride price. Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) operate direct flights to Bergerac from London Stansted, Liverpool, Bristol and East Midlands in the UK. FlyBe (www.flybe.com) flies from Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle & Southampton. Jet2 also fly from Leeds Bradford & Manchester. British Airways fly from London City Airport. There are also options via Amsterdam and Paris from various UK regional airports.
There are also train services from London St Pancras to Bergerac, changing either at Paris or in Lille and again in Libourne.