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Les Chardons is situated on the border between Charente and Dordogne in an area known as 'Happy Valley' by the locals. And it's easy to see why. The restored farmhouse with 17th Century origins is on the edge of a tiny hamlet called Barbenègre (Blackbeard!). It is very private with wonderful uninterrupted views accross the Dronne valley from the rear of the houses.
The nearest large town is Chalais, some 10km away and has a supermarket. large Monday market, various restaurants, pharmacy, banks and a range of shops for most needs. Chalais also boasts a swimming pool with diving boards and tennis courts. Saint Aulaye is 6km away and has a market on Saturday, a couple of restaurants, doctor, boulangerie and various other shops. Saint Aulaye also has a beach on the river Dronne with water chutes and other recreational facilities. The beautiful and historically significant town of Aubeterre is some 12km away with its world famous rock hewn cathedral, bars, cafés, and a beach with canoes and rafts. Various types of musical evenings are held in the town square throughout summer. There is also a new golf course approximately 2km from Barbenègre
Within a few kilometres of Barbenègre there is canoeing (4km) and you can arrange pony riding at a local riding centre. Parcoul which is 7km away has a restaurant and large beached lake with water chutes, crazy golf, pedaloes, little train and other children's amusements. There are numerous local farms where you can sample such delights as; Pineau-Cognac, Duck Confit, Wood Oven baked Breads and of course Foie-Gras.
Slightly further afield - but easily accessed within half an hour is the huge lake of La Jemaye set in acres of pine forest and large enough for serious swimming, boating and picnics. Ribérac, also within easy reach, has one of the largest farmers' markets in France held on a Friday morning in the town's square.
Within an hour you can visit the great towns of Saint Émilion (wine) and Cognac (brandy) and take advantage
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