Honeymoon accommodation in the Dordogne, France

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Responsible tourism: Honeymoon accommodation in the Dordogne, France

Environment

Our cabin and it's surrounding woodland are a little haven for local wildlife. There are families of tits, nuthatches, treecreepers which regularly use our feeders and numerous other birds including a rare black woodpecker and several types of owl in the area. We try to keep our intervention in the woods to a minimum to let nature do it's thing. We leave some fallen timber and logs for beetles and hedgehogs and often see deer drinking from the lake. We don't mow the grassy areas until after the spring flowers have set seed but we do clear some of the brambles and have seen the bluebells and pignuts, as well as butterflies, multiply as a result. The lake attracts many varieties of dragonflies as well as frogs, newts and toads and we provide books and other info to help identify them along with books on wild flowers (this area has many varieties of wild orchid) mushrooms and, of course, the birds.

All our waste at the cabin is seperated and reused or recyled wherever possible. We have a compost heap for veggie peelings etc; (which is frequented by our neighbours' chickens so we never actually get much compost!) and recycle glass and any plastics. We have a composting toilet, the contents of which are eventually used to enrich our garden soil. I make a point of choosing non plastic items for the cabin wherever possible- we provide shopping bags and a good selection of basic culinary items so not every visitor will need to purchase oil, flour, salt etc;
We use our lakewater to supply the cabin and think of every drop as precious. If you have to pump water by hand saving water soon becomes second nature! We ask our guests to use the shower timer provided and resuse any greywater. We always use eco-friendly cleaning products.
The cabin is off grid and we're keen to explore the use of alternative energies. We use solar power for pumping water (a recent improvement from our hand pump!) and for some lighting and use firewood coppiced from our own woodland for heating. Guests also have an option to cook on the woodburning stove rather than use the gas cooker. We've experimented with various wind turbines - with limited sucess due to geography - but continue to work on that.
Our cabin was built using windfall timber from our own woodland and sawn and milled by ourselves so it couldn't be more local! We used reclaimed roof tiles and inside, most of the furninshings are either second hand (or 'vintage'' as this is now known!) or homemade. This area has a rich agriculltural history and we find the local brocantes and flea markets a constant source of inspiration. Many of our finds have been incorporated into the cabin - not always in the way they were originally intended to be used.
The tandem bike is available for honeymooners to use (it's a great way to test your new marriage vows - requiring teamwork and coordination!) We provide lots of info about local shops, restaurants and businesses that are within easy cycling distance. And cycling (or walking) the miles of off road tracks around the cabin is a great way to appreciate the local countryside and get to see more wildlife.

Community

We've lived here for quite a while and have acquired masses of general knowledge about what's good and where. We've road-tested most of the local restaurants (tough, but somebody's got to do it!) and activities that are available in the local area and know many of the patrons. Always happy to discover something new though, and welcome feedback from our visitors who can make additions to our guestbook for the benefit of future visitors. We do our best to support local businesses and are happy to recommend local artists, potters and other craftsman whose wares may be of interest - especially to a couple setting up home! We shop locally ourselves and make use of the fabulous markets which helps boost the local economy. When cooking at the cabin I use a network of local suppliers for meat and often use vegetables grown by myself or by my neighbours. Many 'buzz words' you hear talk of such as 'slow food' are concepts never lost to the local people here and the quality of produce available is excellent. Most local businesses know that tourism brings a valuable income to what is, relatively speaking, a poor agricultural community and welcome visitors to the region.

Reviews of Honeymoon accommodation in the Dordogne, France

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 02 Sep 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The tranquillity of the cabin. The sense of peace that we achieved very soon after arriving.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Set aside some time to explore some of the beautiful towns and countryside around the area. Make sure to pick up lots of cheese at the weekly market in Piegut-Pluviers. Eat at Sens de la Terre in Piegut. Bring lots of books. Learn how to build a fire.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The ecological nature of the cabin was a huge incentive for us to book this vacation and it exceeded expectations.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We cannot recommend it highly enough. We will definitely be back.

Reviewed on 04 May 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Having a picnic with my wife on the raft in the lake by our cabin and fishing in the boat afterwards and catching two carp!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Having a car was handy to visit a few local places, we travelled at the end of April and not much was open as the season doesn't properly start until the end of May. So if you do go out of season it's best to get some food in to cook at the lodge for your meals. The tandem was great to use and the roads were good, if not a bit hilly in places! Communication is key!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The few local businesses that were open when we were there should of benefited them as we did have a couple of meals at local restaurants and used a local supermarket to buy in some goods. We used the bike more than the car so that would of been good for the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The vacation was brilliant from start to finish, great communication from the owners of the lodge and such friendly and helpful people on arrival and throughout the stay. We would recommend this vacation to anybody who would like a quiet and relaxing stay and enjoy the use of the Eco-cabin.

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