Fisherman’s Cabin – Dordogne
- Cabin for 4
1 double, 1 twin.
Below a 9th century château, eleven kilometers from Woodsman’s Cabin, is a second lake in the midst of oak, chestnut, wild acacia and birch woodland, perfect for wild swimming. Perched on the edge, Fisherman’s Cabin was built with timber from Bob’s sawmill and much love. Inside, there’s a treasure trove of intriguing bits & bobs to keep you busy – from telescopes to microscopes, fishing rods to nature books, walkie talkies, art supplies and junk-shop gems.
Solar panels – and a waterwheel in the woods – power electric lights; a hot shower and compost loo are attached to the cabin. The kitchen is fully kitted out, the separate double is comfy and, upstairs, a fun mezzanine twin looks out over the water (good for kids as headroom is restricted!). Hire bikes with no hassle and cycle to the village of Augignac 3km away for fresh croissants, explore the lush, beautiful Périgord Vert area or simply cosy up in front of the wood-burning stove. A challenge for Asterix aficionados: a huge granite menhir, part of an ancient ring of standing stones, hides somewhere in the woods – there’s a real chance you’d be the first guests ever to find it.
- Children welcome
Kids are welcome at Fisherman's Cabin but because of the lake and other exciting features it's not suitable for under 5's. Pets are welcome by prior arrangement only
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Everything you need to know about Fisherman’s Cabin
The important stuff
- Check in is at 4pm
- Check out is at 10am
- The cabins are both off-grid.
- Fisherman's Cabin has 12v power from sun + waterwheel, so has electric lights! You can also use your car adaptor to charge laptops etc
- Solar lights, candles and oil lamps are all provided for a romantic glow!
- Universal wind-up charger for phone / ipod
- There is restricted headroom in the twin room upstairs
- Pets are welcome by prior arrangement only
- Bike hire is arranged in advance too.
Sleeping arrangements1 double, 1 twin.
Kids & PetsKids are welcome at Fisherman's Cabin but because of the lake and other exciting features it's not suitable for under 5's. Pets are welcome by prior arrangement only
- Tea, coffee, sugar, kitchen basics, wine & beer
- Gas cooker
- Wood-fired stove
- Campfire BBQ
- Gas fridge
- Sink, washing up things all provided
- The compost loo and solar-powered shower (boosted by the woodburner) are built into the cabin. Basic toiletries are provided
Heating, lighting & bedding
- Bedlinen & towels all provided
- Raft for your own private lake
- Maps & local area info
- Compasses, binoculars, walking-sticks
- An eclectic library
- Art materials
- Board games, cards
- Wind-up radio
- Fishing equipment & nets
Covert Cabin, Lacaud, 24360 Busserolles, France
The cabins are situated several miles away from each other in the beautiful Dordogne region of South West France. Di will send you specific directions once she knows which cabin you are going to, or in some cases it may be easier to meet her at the nearest town and follow her. You can get the ferry and then drive to the cabins. The journey takes 8 hrs from Calais and 5hrs from Le Havre.
Or you can fly to France and then rent a car. The nearest airport is Limoges. Journey times are 1.5 hrs from Limoges, 2.15 hrs from Bordeaux and 6 hrs from Paris. You can park right outside the cabins, or if the farm track that leads to the door isn't accessible, you can park at the top and Di & Bob will drive your luggage down in the landrover.
Get the Eurostar from London to Paris where you can jump on the TGV for as little as 2.15 hrs to the nearest train station Angoulême. We're sorry, it's not possible to arrange pickups.
Eating & drinking
At the Cabins
One of the many delights of staying at Covert Cabin is leisurely cooking, sharing a relaxed supper and a good bottle of something on the wooden verandah that looks out over each lake. Each cabin has tea and coffee, basic condiments - and tiny jars of herbs and spices - along with wine and cold beer waiting on arrival so you can start unwinding straight away. If you arrive after the shops have closed, Di and Bob provide "a shop in a box" from which you can buy all the makings of a tasty meal, day or night.
Wednesday is market day at the local village of Piégut, where you can find all sorts of regional and local specialities. It is very popular with locals and guests alike and you can stock up on meat, very good fish, and local, seasonal fruit and veg. A grocer, boulangerie and tabac all lie within cycling distance.
There is also a 'cabincuisine' service at Woodsman's Cabin only where a delicious, freshly prepared 3 course meal can be delivered to your door by arrangement with Di.
You will find details all the local restaurants in each cabin. These range from workers cafés to Michelin-starred fine dining.
There is a 'Café Brocante' in nearby St-Estèphe, a café combined with a bric-a-brac shop, where you can sip a coffee and browse vintage treasures at the same time.
Vegetarian: La Sens de la Terre in Piegut is a delightful vegetarian restaurant - unusual for this rural corner of France and fantastic for lunch.
Things to do
The freedom to frog spot is precious, and we wouldn't want to stop you lazing on the raft or hammock, reading, sketching, foraging wood for the fire, or simply poring over the unexpected treasures of the cabins themselves. For active sorts, there's plenty to do, though...
Outdoor & active
If you're staying at Fisherman's or Woodsman's Cabin (but not Poacher's at the moment), Di and Bob can arrange bike hire in advance and leave the bikes or the tandem waiting for you next to your cabin on arrival. There is a whole network of off-road cycling and walking paths in the woodland and further afield for you to explore. Maps of the local area and compasses are provided so you won't get lost. You can also cycle or walk the 2 miles to the local village where there's a baker, a shop and a bar. Bob once even cycled here from Normandy - It took him five days!
On the vélorail network, couples or families can power bicycle-like contraptions along (disused!) train tracks - there's one about an hour away, a novel experience with wonderful views.
Fun in and on the water
The lakes outside the cabins provide all sorts of opportunities and some guests do little else during their stay. You can paddle around on Bob's handmade raft or jump into the lake if you fancy a splash and a swim, whatever the weather. Carp have been spotted, so do try out the fishing rods, but have a plan B for supper: they're tame, and catch on quickly.
Slightly further away are local rivers great for canoeing. Lake St Estèphe is between the Woodsman's and Fisherman's Cabins, around 5km from each and 12km from Poachers - your nearest 'beach.' It has pedalos and canoes for hire in the summer, and a simple beachside bar for a beer or some frites.
Périgord-Limousin regional natural park
The cabins are situated within the Parc Naturel Périgord-Limousin: a land of springs and chestnut trees, and an area devoted to traditional farming and artisan woodwork. It also surrounds a wealth of beautiful french villages, caves, vineyards, châteaux and museums.
Tour de Piégut - the remains of a 12th-century castle nearby, destroyed by Richard the Lion Heart in 1199.
Meet your hosts
Di and Bob Kirkwood were drawn to the area due to its amazing natural beauty and lush climate. In 1999, a huge storm blew down many of the trees on the estate and one of Di & Bob's first jobs when they moved ten years ago was to start tidying, using the fallen timber to build the Woodsman's Cabin. Now many happy guests have come and gone, and a second cabin has joined the first, again using timber from the woodland, which Di and Bob manage themselves. When Kate Humble and her husband Ludo Graham visited in 2011, they loved it so much they wanted one of their very own. Di & Bob started work on Poacher's Cabin, a peaceful retreat where Kate, Ludo and the dogs can lounge about relishing the stillness, and guests can enjoy in their absence. Bob still always has a project on the go - from the hide in the woods to floating vegetable patches, you won't discover exactly what has evolved until you arrive. The woods around Fisherman's Cabin are chestnut, oak, and the beech wood traditionally used for charcoal burning, which Bob plans to use in the future for art materials - and barbecues.
Di and Bob are very environmentally aware and strive to make every detail of their off-grid cabins as efficiently eco-friendly as possible. Woodsman's Cabin and Poacher's Cabin are lit at night with a mixture of candles, oil lamps and stored solar power, whereas solar panels and a waterwheel provide 12v electricity for Fisherman's Cabin, from which you can charge laptops if you bring a car charger. Wood burners heat water for the showers using an ingenious mechanism designed by Bob. The cabins use water from the lakes, filtered many times, for showering and washing up, and one last filtration unit makes it perfectly safe for drinking (but bottled water can be provided as well). There are compost toilets, using sawdust from Bob's sawmill, and anything remotely recyclable is recycled. You can even use the wind-up and solar chargers at all three cabins for iPhones and iPods.
The wildlife at Covert Cabin is one of the things that makes a stay here so special. From the deck just outside the cabin you can see kingfishers flying over the lake and deer scouting the forest floor. Occasional red squirrels may pass just feet from you, and red kites circle overhead. Sit quietly in Bob's handmade hide in the woods near Fisherman's Cabin and pine martens or wild boar may join you; in September, though, you're more likely to see an intrepid local foraging for wild mushrooms such as the delicious ceps which grow abundantly hereabouts. In spring and summer there are wildflowers aplenty which encourage a delightful menagerie of bees and butterflies.
There is no light pollution at Covert Cabin so the stargazing here is spectacular too - on a clear night you can still see the Milky Way.