Welcome to La Citadelle

near Ste Foy-La-Grande, Bordeaux, St Emilion and Bergerac

our holiday home in the Dordogne

1st April, 2010

We had a lovely arrival at La Citadelle on Sunday. The sun was shining, the birds singing, there was blossom on all the peach trees, all the ducks came to say hello and then Kate arrived with a lovely lemon cake!

Since then we have had a whole year of weather in two days. Yesterday, it was very warm, quite hot enough to eat lunch outside, but with a thunderstorm in the afternoon. Today we woke up to March winds and April showers together, followed by a power cut just after lunch!

All the ducks seem to be well; they are very sleek and well-fed looking after a winter of being looked after by Kate, and they have now been joined by a tiny one. The white duck is still very independent and is still being chased everywhere by the big drake, with a conspicuous lack of success! There are four coypus living in the lake, two adults and two smaller ones. They come to feed with the ducks without any fear; no doubt they have forgotten the terror inflicted on them by our grand daughters last summer.

The grounds are currently looking at their worst! The grass is not too long, because it was quite dry here until last week, but we have had a lot of animal damage over the winter. The moles have invaded en masse and there are some enormous molehills, and the wild boars have dug some lovely little pits which have now filled with rain. Still, the ducks love the new little ponds and Eric will use the earth from the molehills to fill them, so it all comes out right in the end!

The house is currently very warm, with the central heating powered by the wood boiler. We had no problem lighting it, although Eric has his work cut out supplying it with woodbecause it has an output of 45 Kw. Fortunately we pruned a lot of our trees last year, so there is plenty around. I only wish we could teleport the huge heaps of other garden rubbish to the boiler, rather than having to put it all on a bonfire.

We are no longer renting out La Citadelle to new visitors; this is so that we can have more of our friends and family to visit us. We are still very happy to accept bookings from visitors who have been here before, many of whom we regard as friends anyway. If any of you do wish to revisit us, let us know, and we will give you the price for the week(s) you would like to come.

We rented out La Citadelle for eleven years; all in all it was a pleasant and interesting time. We welcomed visitors from as far away as the USA and Nova Scotia, and from all walks of life, including an ex world flyweight champion boxer and a Privy Councillor. We always kept our prices at a reasonable level, even though there are houses locally that cost considerably more and, we were told, didn't offer the same level of accommodation and service, because we didn't want to price it out of the family market. We spent many years renting houses ourselves in France when our sons were young and always tried to provide the sort of accommodation that we used to look for. Judging by the comments in our visitors' book we succeeded!

The "new" aerial photograph below was made in 2004, so a lot more trees have been planted or have grown up  since then.

Click here to see what our visitors have written about La Citadelle.

La Citadelle is a former farm near Ste Foy-La-Grande and Bergerac, in the Dordogne in south-west France. The main farmhouse sleeps eight and a baby (or two), and is set in two acres of garden, surrounded by 25 acres of woods which we own. The house overlooks our lake, which is ideal for swimming, carp fishing, and boating. As well as the lake, swimmers have exclusive use of a large swimming pool.  The stunning position is totally secluded but not isolated. There are panoramic views across lake, garden and fields to our woods in all directions. It is well-positioned for access by ordinary road, motorway, and Motorail. Bordeaux's excellent international airport is only 45 miles away and Bergerac only 25. There are now low-cost flights to Bergerac and Bordeaux from most parts of the British Isles; we provide all linen and towels,in order to make flying very practical. Golf nearby is excellent, and there is also a wide range of activities locally for adults and young people of all ages. We are usually living in the grounds in the Owl Barn and are on hand to make our guests' stay anxiety-free.

The farmhouse is available for our visitors from June to September. It has beds for up to eight adults in four large double or twin bed-rooms, and there are also two cots available for babies.

picture of house The modern fitted kitchen includes electric cooker, fridges, dishwasher, microwave, washing machine, and the usual range of small appliances. It also has a table and seating for eight, although guests usually eat in the dining room or at the picnic tables on the lawn overlooking the lake. These tables are shaded by giant catalpa trees which carry great swags of fragrant blossom during June and July.

The large sitting-room has three sofas plus other comfortable seating, as well as a television, DVD/CD player, PlayStation 2, and a very well-stocked library; there is a large supply of family DVDs and PS2 games:  WiFi internet is normally available from the tables outside.  The sitting-room has two pairs of glazed doors opening out onto a terrace and lawn shaded by a huge Constantinople Mimosa (Albizzia) tree which is covered in fragrant mauve blossom in the summer. The dining room also has a set of doors opening onto the terrace;  the dining table seats eight comfortably.

The house is comfortably furnished and equipped for eight, plus up to two babies; we sometimes allow up to a maximum of 10 people if there are a number of young children in the party.

Because our grandchildren visit us each year, we have lots of indoor and outdoor toys for the pre-school age group; these include two trikes, a ride-on train and tractor and a lovely wendy house on stilts with its own built-in slide. Most children (and indeed many of the adults) also love the ducks that now live on and around the lake. One couple said that they had spent the day doing nothing but watch them!  

All the floors are polished chestnut or tiles, and all the windows have shutters. The aspect is very light and airy, with large windows and glazed double doors all the way round. The doors all lead straight out onto small terraces and the surrounding lawns. The room marked "the nursery" on the plan is now the dining-room.;

For pictures of La Citadelle, including interiors CLICK HERE.

We provide all bed linen, personal towels, and swimming towels. We live in La Citadelle's Owl Barn, which is well screened from the house and has its own swimming-pool, and we are on hand to sort out any problems you may have, and provide any help that you need. We also serviceboth pools daily to keep the water in perfect condition.

Please note that there is no phone in the house so don't forget to bring your mobile and charger with you. There is, however, broadband internet access if you bring suitable WiFi-enabled equipment.

We are not able to accept pets.

The current availability for the property for 2010 is shown below.

Please email us (send mail) to confirm availability with us, and to make a provisional booking.

We normally expect visitors from 4 pm on Saturday to 10 am on Saturday, but we are quite happy for you to come at other times, as long as no-one else wants the house then.

current availability for 2010,

Jun05-Jun12 --------- free---
Jun12-Jun19 ----------free---
Jun19-Jun26 --------- booked-
Jun26-Jul03 --------- booked-
Jul03-Jul10 --------- booked-
Jul10-Jul17 --------- free---
Jul17-Jul24 --------- free---
Jul24-Jul31 --------- booked-
Jul31-Aug07 --------- booked-
Aug07-Aug14 --------- booked-
Aug14-Aug21 --------- booked-
Aug21-Aug28 --------- free---
Aug28-Sep04 --------- booked-
Sep04-Sep11 --------- booked-
Sep11-Sep18 --------- booked-

updated 23 March 2010

Early Autumn is warm enough for swimming and usually a lovely time of year, and the central heating means that there are often people here over New Year. (Our middle son and daughter-in-law spent the last week of their honeymoon here and our eldest son was here through the big storm which ended the old millennium in France with a bang!).

Follow the link below to find out all about La Citadelle and the Dordogne. Use your BACK button, or the "enquire" link on the index, if you want to get back here. 


the pool
house plan
click for annotated plan
                 click above for annotated plan

map 2

Jane and Eric Finlayson

Telephone +44 (0)1538 381326

France +33 (0)5 53 80 69 23

Email info@lacitadelle.co.uk



If we are full for the week you want, or if you would also like a holiday in rural Wales look at www.geginfedw.co.uk . Our son and his family own a farmhouse in a stunning location and provide comfortable self-catering B&B there.

  We frequently add to our main web site with photographs and information about La Citadelle, the district, the Dordogne and the rest of Aquitaine.

Click on this link for pictures of La Citadelle and the Dordogne:

index with pictures

index without pictures