Villa in Celles, Nr. Riberac, Dordogne, Aquitaine, France - Peaceful Rural Location, Within Easy Touring Distance Of Many Wonderful Sights
- english, french
About Melissa Shales
Owner, Jennifer Shales, feels that she has an ideal, if complicated life. On retiring she and husband, David, divided their time between England and France, taking time out in mid-winter for a longer haul trip to somewhere warmer, a pattern Jennifer still continues. As Jennifer puts it, she's been 'working her way through all the world's great civilisations'. Her children have long since stopped trying to keep track of her and simply ask her to turn on a mobile phone occasionally in case they need to find her!
Melissa Shales purchased this Villa in 1980
Why Melissa Shales chose Celles
When we started looking for a house in France, we fell in love with this area. It seemed to have everything – sunshine and sunflowers, wonderful food, fascinating history, fabulous scenery, delightful people and a warm welcome. We've extended Margnac since those early days and it's become a real home, with mature gardens. I spend many months a year here and love entertaining my family and friends. After twenty-seven years, I am still finding new and exciting places to explore and never tire of coming back to this glorious area. I hope that you will love it as much as I do.
What makes this Villa unique
Light floods into Margnac with French windows opening off most of the downstairs rooms. The views stretch for miles. And the house is far enough from the village to be out in the country but is within easy access of the shops when you need supplies. All in all, it is wonderfully peaceful, bright and airy. Jennifer is a keen gardener and the huge grounds are beautiful. Parts have deliberately been left uncultivated as a wildflower meadow with orchids and down the hill the house has its own woods in season. Keep an eye out for wildlife from deer to birds.
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Peace and quiet in the Dordogne countryside
A wonderful, relaxing stay in a superb property with very nice gardens and an excellent pool. Lovely views over the countryside and the only sounds are the birdsong and the distant frog chorus at dusk - very quiet and peaceful. The area is wonderful too and we recommend Brantome, Bourdeiles and Aubeterre for day trips. Riberac is also pleasant and has good shops and a great Friday market.
A wonderfully enjoyable family holiday
My family and I really enjoyed our stay at Margnac. The house is very big and has everything you need for your stay. We all adored the pool, and as the weather was so good we didn't get much beyond here and the BBQ! The views from the terrace are stunning with wonderful sunsets, whilst cloudless nights reveal an awesome vista of stars. We would certainly consider a return holiday.
So pleased you loved the house and we'd be delighted to welcome you back again. And yes, we agree the views are magical - nothing better than a glass of wine on the terrace watching the sunset and listening to the cicadas and the nightingales.
Beautiful house and pool in a quiet rural setting
Lovely house in a quiet rural location. We had a family holiday (ages from 15 to 79!) who enjoyed a week in July 18. Of course it helped that the weather was fantastic, but the layout of the house and beautiful pool meant that all of us had a wonderful time. This is clearly a family home and there were some nice touches like extra pool inflatables, 2 bikes available for use, and a barbecue. The small village of Celles is approx 15mins walk and has a small bar (also provides bread and croissants but get there early!) Riberac is the main town approx 10mins drive away and has supermarkets, shops, banks etc with a lovely Saturday market in the town centre. I would also recommend exploring St Austier, Grand Brassac, and Perigeux. There are opportunities for kayaking, cycling and walking, and to explore (for those who like it) some caves nearby. I would thoroughly recommend this house for people looking for an authentic French quiet holiday in a rural setting. There are many local restaurants for evenings out, and lovely villages to see locally. There are also larger towns/cities and coastal areas within reach. Great time! We will come back!
Thanks so much for the excellent and very informative review. We're delighted you enjoyed your stay and even more delighted that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back. One teeny correction for other visitors, the main market in Riberac is on Friday mornings. I wouldn't want you to miss it as it's a highlight of the local social calendar!
Magnificent setting. Beautiful house. Great pool and gardens.
The house is set in such a beautiful area which is extremely quiet and has amazing views over surrounding countryside. The gardens are well maintained and mature. The weather was fabulous and we were very pleased to have the pool. We went kayaking on the river Dronne twice which was a real eye opener. We visited nearby restaurants and the market in Riberac. All in all an amazingly restful holiday.
Thank you so much - I'm delighted that you loved the house as much as we do and hope we'll see you back again in the future.
Fantastic, peaceful holiday villa
We (a family of two adults and two children) have stayed at Margnac twice now with a third stay booked for 2017. It is a fantastic place to spend a holiday, very tranquil and is nestled in rolling hills. The view from the swimming pool, and terrace is beautiful and nothing can be heard apart from the birds. We all had a great time, the house is well maintained, clean and functional, the internet is on hand for those who need a quick fix and there are lots of books to read. You will spend a lot of time by or in the pool which is a good size and surrounded by nature. I can't speak highly enough of the owners who helped us out considerably when we had a major problem with our car. Runs, bike rides and walks are all literally on your doorstep. Lots of lovely towns, markets and restaurants to visit, even a beach within a short drive. I would highly recommend Margnac for an 'away from it all' holiday.
Thanks so much for the lovely review. It's always wonderful for us to welcome back old friends - at least half of our bookings now are repeat visitors - it's a real affirmation that you've enjoyed your holiday and fallen in love with the house. We look forward to welcoming you again this year.
About 20 km from the house, the Grand Etang du Jemaye is a large lake with a big sandy beach set within woodlands. It has supervised swimming areas with life guards on duty in summer. There are excellent facilities here including a restaurant, water sports and canoes. Aubeterre has a river beach. The nearest coastal beaches are on the Atlantic coast, about 80 km away.
By Car: Ferry to Caen (5.5 hours - 527 km); Saint Malo (6 hours - 518 km); Cherbourg (7 hours - 645 km); Le Havre (6.35 hours – 610 km); Calais (8 hours - 760 km).
By Air: Ryanair or Flybe to Bergerac or Limoges (1.25 hour drive) from Stansted, Luton, Exeter or Southampton. British Airways, Flybe and easyjet to Bordeaux (1.45 hour drive).
By Train: Eurostar, changing onto the TGV at Lille. The nearest station is Angouleme (40 min drive from the house). Car rental available locally.
The village of Celles, about 1.5 km away, has a bar (sells bread) and post office. The town of Riberac (11 km) is renowned for its Friday market – the best in the area and well worth a visit. The town has several good supermarkets, banks, shops, cafés and numerous restaurants. Canoes can be hired on the river at Riberac. Local villages, Grand Brassac (6 km), Verteillac (11 km) and La Tour Blanche (8 km) are worth a visit, as are the towns of Bourdeilles (15 km) and Brantome (35 km).
Riberac has all the facilities you need from supermarkets and bakeries to ATMs, garages and chemists. Keep Friday morning free for a trip to the market for food souvenirs, local specialities and present shopping as well as groceries.
Several of the local villages such as our local village, Celles, Grand Brassac, Verteillac, and La Tour Blanche are worth exploring, with interesting fortified churches, and some lovely local restaurants.
A little further afield are Aubeterre, with a magnificent monolithic church, Bourdeilles, with its medieval fortress and Renaissance palace, and the medieval town of Brantome where it is a delight to walk around the remarkable ancient abbey founded by Charlemagne (742-814).
Not very far away, in the Grottes de Villars, an underground river has hollowed out the largest underground cave network in the Perigord, filled with impressive stalactites and paintings more than 17,000 years old. Nearby, the Chateau de Puyguilhem is a Renaissance masterpiece that was carefully restored after WW2.
Perigueux, the capital of the Dordogne, has local artisan markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It still has some Roman remains along with a fine collection of renaissance buildings and a splendidly confused cathedral, thanks to 19th-century ‘restorer’ Abadie who later designed the Sacre Coeur in Paris.
To the south, the Dordogne Valley is a wonderful option for day trips with glorious historic towns such as Sarlat, Bergerac and Domme, magnificent chateaux and vineyards and some of the world’s most important prehistoric sights – the cave paintings at Lascaux and Les Eyzies.
Within easy daytrip distance are the great wine regions of Bordeaux and St Emilion (about 90 mins’ drive) while the Bergerac region along the Dordogne River is less well known but produces some delicious wines.
If you want to be a little more energetic, there are all sorts of other activities on tap from canoeing, walking and cycling to tennis, riding and golf.