Layers of history are here. Brantôme has been home to man since prehistoric times; the grand Benedictine abbey, carved out at the bottom of the cliffs, overlooks the ribbon of the river Dronne that slowly rings the town. Just up the road, a perfect distance from the hustle and bustle, is Le Chatenet, a Périgord-style stone house built at the end of the 17th century. Jane and William are super hosts, Jane will show you the sundial they found under the roof marked 1688, William will point the way to the hidden canopy of trees over a path which leads to the centre of town in a ten-minute stroll. Or you may just want to sit on the stone veranda and follow the sun as it sinks pinkly over the walnut trees and the green valleys. There are big rooms with stunning fabric on the walls, billiards in the games room, rivers to be canoed and grottoes to be explored. There is even a farm down the street with rabbits, chickens and cows, source of your breakfast eggs and milk. Brantôme’s bell tower is thought to be one of the oldest in France; they say it must be seen from the inside. Add an extra day, you won’t regret it.