La Chabanaise is our home and a former farm just over a kilometre from the Dordogne river. It is based in the very south west tip of the Corréze department of France, next to the Lot and Cantal and just a few miles from the Dordogne department. The area is rural, uncrowded, with beautiful countryside, magnificent roads and stunning views. We live in a converted barn on the land with our two friendly dogs and are on hand to assist with any questions that may arise during your stay. The gîtes are in the restored former farmhouse and barn. The restoration was completed during 2015 and the barn, more recently in 2022, resulting in clean, spacious, well insulated, comfortable accomodation with a total floorspace of around 290 square metres.
In addition the site has around five hectares (approximately 14 acres) of land in a small valley, made up of open pastures, woodland and two small streams. Guests are encouraged to roam across most of the site, relax by the natural swimming pool (10m x 5m swimming area), or on their own private terrace. Equally you can spend time making dens, exploring the paths and woodland or discovering the wildlife.
Flora and Fauna
The variety of flora and fauna at La Chabanaise is amazing – and I was used to the countryside when we lived in England.
I have a pair of swallows who visit every year, and set up home in the basement to raise their young (usually two broods a season) and I often put up a webcam to watch their progress. During the day you will see them flying in and out of the basement with food or sitting on a wire chatting away to each other. Once the young fledge, you may be treated to a flying show spectacle over the meadow. Occasionally previous broods come in and join the fun.
You may also be lucky enough to hear the beautiful song of the Golden Oriole, who usually arrives in early May for the duration of the summer. His melodic song is unmistakeable and for those with a pair of binoculars you may catch a glimpse of this shy bright yellow bird sitting in the treetops.
Other birds that can regularly be seen (according to the season) are buzzards, red kites, great spotted-, lesser spotted- and green woodpeckers, marsh tits, black redstarts, jays, booted eagles, firecrests, siskins, spotted flycatchers, robins....the list goes on!
If mammals are your thing, and you have some patience, then at dusk you may be fortunate enough to see roe deer, pine martens, foxes and badgers. The are regularly seen in the meadows and woodlands furthest from the house. If you approach quietly you can sometimes get a great view (and photo!).
Reptiles – we have the usual lizards (common and green lizards), frogs and newts as well as non-venomous grass and whip snakes. Nothing to be afraid of – in fact they are more frightened of you, than you are of them. The sound of your footsteps is enough for them to make a hasty retreat. To catch a glimpse, quietly find a sunny spot near some bushes – they do like sunbathing.
Insect-wise, well where do we start? A range of butterflies – swallowtails, meadow browns, purple emperors, large skippers, large blues, white admirals..... Other flying insects include dragonflies, scarlet tiger moths, damselflies, broad-bodied chasers...
Flowers – we have many throughout the year; orchids, wood anemone, lungwort, verbena, forget-me-not, scarlet pimpernel, cowslip...utterly breathtaking.
There is always something to see at La Chabanaise...nature at its finest.