Museums to visit in the Dordogne

There are plenty of museums to visit in the Dordogne, most of which are family friendly, and they vary from being very small to huge. Here are a couple of our favourite museums to visit whilst on holiday in the Dordogne.

Le Village du Bournat

Description: This is a large open air museum which recreates the Périgord of a century ago with a variety of buildings which have been reconstructed on the site. These include a church, working windmill, farm, bakery, fairground, school, a lavoir and allotments with a huge variety of vegetables – some obviously native to french gardens! In addition there are many demonstrations of local skills with pottery, reed cutting, spinning, breadmaking and flour making among those crafts which it is possible to watch. You can even dress up the whole family and have a ‘bygone era’ sepia photograph taken (for which there is an additional charge). Old-fashioned fairground rides are available for all ages. There is a restaurant or it is possible to picnic outside the site by the River Vézère.

Location: Just east of Le Bugue on the D703. Car parking is available free of charge next to the river where there are also picnic tables and ample shade provided by trees.

General Information: Open May-September from 10.00-19.00 and from 18th Feb – 12th November from 10.00-17.00.  In July and August there are English guided tours at 13.00.

Our recommendations: This is an excellent place for all the family as there is something to interest everyone. Given that this is fairly pricey for a family outing it is advisable to make a day of your visit. This shouldn’t be difficult as there is a lot to see and do.  Next to the village are another two sites which would have general family appeal, although we have not visited either. The first is L’Aquarium du Perigord Noir, and the second is Les Jardins d’Arborie displaying exotic plants from around the world.

For the children: This whole place has been made for them.  Your younger children especially will have an excellent day out here although it can be equally enjoyed by all ages.

Le Moulin de Larroque et le Moulin de Pombié

There are two paper mills here – one is more of a museum.  We recommend Le Moulin de Larroque which is actually still producing paper.  Couze et St Front is situated on the D660 between Lalinde and Bergerac.

Description: In this pleasantly located, traditional paper mill you can still observe the craft of paper production – it’s like stepping back in time a hundred years with an antiquated feeling about the place. There are all sorts of hand made papers for sale, from craft paper with embedded pressed flowers to conventional (but expensive!) writing paper.

General Info: Opening hours: Mon – Fri 9AM – noon, then 2PM – 5.30PM.  Tel 05 53 61 01 75.  Entrance to Le Moulin de Larroque is free.

Our recommendations: Somewhere for a spare half hour if you are in the area.  We wouldn’t recommend a special trip.

For the children: If it’s a short visit they should be OK but don’t overdo it!

Here’s more information to make the most of your visit to the Dordogne: