Our Farmhouse Villa is Dog-Friendly!
Dogs Are Welcome At La Longere!
We are delighted to welcome well-behaved dogs to La Longere. James and Cheryl have two spaniels of their own (Alfie and Dottie), and so fully appreciate how tough it is to have to leave them behind when you go on holiday. We started bringing our dogs to France some 5 years ago when all the regulations surrounding the pet passport system were first relaxed. Since then they’ve traveled with us all over France – including Languedoc, Provence, Dordogne and Lot – and now they are thrilled that we’ve bought them a place of their own in the Dordogne valley!
La Longere itself is a haven for dogs. The dog-friendly main garden is to the rear and side of the cottage and is fully enclosed by wire fencing. In addition, the front garden, which adjoins the verandah, is separately enclosed, so you can choose whether to let your dogs roam free in the larger garden or to stay in the smaller one so you can keep an eye on them.
But that’s not all. Beyond the main garden is a 3-hectare area of “wild” garden which stretches up the hillside behind the house (can see the hill behind La Longere in the photo on the left). This area (which we own) is not enclosed but makes for a great saunter with the dogs, and the views from on high are truly spectacular, reaching right across the Dordogne valley. If you are staying at La Longere with your dogs, please feel free to accompany them up onto the hillside for a stroll and a play, but please do refrain from letting them roam unsupervised.
And as if that’s not enough, there’s an unmarked track leading from the back of La Longere, and providing access to a 400km network of documented walks and trails (including circular walks). A 5-minute walk up the track brings you to a circular walk known as the “loop of Bezenac”, which is 7.5km in length and relatively easy going. From here you can also divert down to the Dordogne valley itself if you fancy a longer excursion, or even wander into the nearby town of Saint Cyprien, with its shops and restaurants and famous Sunday market.
Travelling Through France With Dogs
The route down to the Dordogne by car is relatively straightforward, but it is a bit of a test of endurance for the dogs. We always take the train (Eurotunnel), but it’s worth noting that some of the Britanny Ferries routes can accommodate pets. We tend to plan to arrive in Calais no later than 10 am local time, and then it typically takes about 9 hours to get down to La Longere. That’s with 3 stops of about 20 minutes each. So we’re normally there by 7 pm. Of course, you can always break the journey and have an overnight stop. If you are going to do that we’d recommend looking for accommodation in the area around Dreux and Chartres (if you are coming via Rouen), or Orleans if you are coming via Paris. Unlike the UK, many hotels and gites do allow dogs to stay, so hopefully if you are booking your accommodation in advance you’ll find somewhere suitable.
With the dogs in mind, we always stop off at the smaller rest areas (aires) on the motorways which tend to be quieter than the big service stations and often have better scope for letting the dogs stretch their legs. But there’s normally no facilities at these places other than a loo, so if you go down that route you’ll need to pack drinks and snacks.
Finally, be aware that Eurotunnel will fleece you for £36 per dog and, under the pet passport system, you’ll need to get your dog treated by a vet for tapeworm 2-5 days before returning to the UK. That should cost another £25-£35 per dog. So the cost of taking your dog or dogs on holiday to France is not insignificant, but it will almost certainly be less than the cost of putting them in kennels.
A final note on house rules for dogs. Basically, common sense applies. Please don’t let your dogs upstairs or on any furniture. Please clean up in the garden prior to your departure and if any accidental damage occurs, please sort it out with the local property manager.
All in all, we love taking our dogs to France with us, and we know they love coming too. Since taking the plunge we’ve never looked back, and if you want to do the same with yours you’re more than welcome to bring them to our dog-friendly Longere!