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WATER CRACKER: La Roque-Gageac on the Dordogne river.

A rural idyll in south-west France, it's the beautiful green setting and abundance of facilities which make this one of Eurocamp's best-selling parks.

The welcome is warm, with staff escorting all new arrivals to their accommodation. Our chatty rep gives us helpful hints on how to use the air-con, tips on the best day trips and the opening times of the on-site shops along the way.

Situated on the side of a hill, the spacious accommodation is dotted among the trees affording not only a degree of privacy, but also shade from the sun.

Our base for the week, a threebedroom Esprit holiday home, has a generous decking with sunbeds, table, chairs, parasol and barbecue. It's ideal for al fresco dining and evening drinks.

Pitching up at the end of the season, we enjoy nine perfect days of sunshine and make full use of the amazing swimming pool complex.

Built on a naturally occurring bowl formed by the hills, it includes a river, six pools, a variety of slides and splashy play area.

IDEAL IDYLL: Pretty lake.Andrew taylor

IDEAL IDYLL: Pretty lake.

We thought we might miss being near the seaside or a river, but not a bit with these facilities.

When we aren't having fun at the pool, we are taking part in one of the many activities available.

These include cycling, crazy golf, archery, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, basketball and archery, or for those lazy days, fishing on the resort's own manmade lake.

Within the park's rustic stone buildings there's also a mini supermarket selling fresh baguettes and croissants, as well as a restaurant with bar and takeaway situated on a terrace overlooking the pool area.

Entertainment is provid-ed nightly during peak periods – which can be anything from a family quiz to a full-blown live band and fireworks.

The nearest town, Le Bugue, is a 10-minute drive away.

Display It's absolutely lovely with great restaurants on the high street and a large supermarket just outside the town centre.

Go on a Tuesday and you'll get to see the great visual display of the fresh produce market. On Sundays, locals of all ages play boules in the town square. For kids, there's the aquarium and alligator park, L'Aquarium du Périgord Noir.


WATER CRACKER: Our spacious lodgings

A little further afield, about 30 minutes down the road, is the village of La Roque-Gageac.

Regularly voted as one of the prettiest villages in France, the houses are built into the cliff face overlooking the River Dordogne. If you follow the narrow cobbled streets winding up towards the tower you will find the tropical gardens and troglodyte dwellings. From here you can go on a relaxing 45-minute boat trip or, if you are feeling particularly adventurous, paddle off in a canoe.

For more examples of the region's best medieval architecture go to Sarlat.

Famous It has a maze of honeycoloured buildings, alleyways and secret squares. We also visited Lascaux Caves, famous all around the world for its Palaeolithic cave paintings. Here more than 1,000 vibrantly coloured images, primarily of animals, were painted more than 17,000 years ago.

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There's also Gouffre de Proumeyssac, another of the Dordogne's magnifi-cent caves dubbed "the crystal cathedral".

The dense and crystallised rocks decorating the walls of this underground vault can be seen with state-of-the-art lighting, plus there's a shop, bar and forest trail.

But after all our day trips and sightseeing, it was always a pleasure to return to the green and pleasant St Avit Loisirs resort with its truly French feel.

SEVEN nights in a two-bedroom Esprit mobile home at Eurocamp's St Avit Loisirs, Dordogne, France, costs from £91 per week, arriving on April 29, and from £934, arriving on August 25. Book at

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