‘Back during the Hundred Years War the land around was heavily disputed by the English and the French,’ says Yoann. ‘They built many castles and fortified villages dotted about to protect the agricultural land. Later on, this focus on farming meant that industrialisation all but bypassed the area, preserving the countryside.’ Today, this rural charm captures the imagination of holidaymakers who come over to discover the area and enjoy the good weather, fantastic food and even better wine.
Indeed, the Dordogne is one of France’s gastronomic centres. Head to any market in the region and you will find trestle tables groaning under the weight of seasonal produce and local specialities such as walnuts, truffles, duck, foie gras and Cabécou goat cheese. Luckily, the Audi A5 boasts more than 480 litres of boot space in which to fit all my luggage and kayaking equipment, while leaving room for a few souvenirs of the edible kind as well.
Written by John Silcox. Photographs by Alexander Rhind.
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