Up from the wooded valley to land in a small hamlet… and, behind the high stone wall, La Badoussie, a golden 18th-century home with magnificent views. Enter the gravelled courtyard to find the house on one side and the barn ahead, impeccably linked to form a harmonious whole. There’s a cosy winter sitting room with whitewashed rafters and a splendid fireplace, a summer sitting room with rattan sofas and arched windows opening to the pool, and a big bright kitchen that cooks will love. The style is rustic-elegant, more chic than shabby: neutral colours, open stonework, prints, paintings and furniture painted in creams and greys. For families it’s heaven – climbing frame, badminton, ping pong, heaps of lovely toys and, beyond the planting and the lawns, wild edges falling away to woodland. Friendly neighbours live down the road but there’s no other house in sight. Pop into Daglan (2.5km), for tennis, smart restaurant and small Sunday market, or set off for Cenac, Sarlat, and ‘la vallée des cinq châteaux.’ Then a lap in the pool, a barbecue on the terrace, and beds with sprung mattresses wrapped in fine linen.