When we arrived in Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne it was already getting dark. Once we’d found the aire and got settled, we put the kids to bed, opened a bottle of wine and sat outside to enjoy the peace and quiet. After hours on the road and being confined to a small space we are learning to make the most of these tranquil moments!
The next morning we could really appreciate what a great little spot it was – peaceful, shaded and alongside a small arm of the Dordogne river. We also had electric hookup for the first time so took full advantage and plugged everything in.
The aire is only a short walk from the town so we spent some time exploring. Beaulieu means, literally, ‘beautiful place’ and I can’t think of a better description.
The medieval town centre was originally dominated by the 9th century Abbey of St Pierre. This was destroyed during the French Revolution and only the abbey church survived, which is still pretty impressive.
The town is also famous locally for its strawberry festival held in May. There are wooden strawberries hanging from all the shop doorways.
We had very good coffee and croissants from the boulangerie opposite the abbey church. Although Ivan declared at this point that he doesn’t like ‘French croissants’, apart from the individually wrapped supermarket ones. Sorry France.
Eden and Ivan (plus Terry the toucan) also had their first chance to play and swim in the Dordogne river.
The second night a family from Cornwall parked up next to us and we ended up having a few drinks together. They were spending six weeks travelling around France in a very large, luxurious motorhome. With air conditioning. Total van envy. We didn’t get their contact details – if you read this Andrew and Beverley thanks for the Cornish gin!
After a couple of nights we were a bit sad to leave this gorgeous spot. Beaulieu truly lives up to its name.