Brantôme (The Venice of the Dordogne)
Brantôme is an attractive town near the northern edge of the Dordogne department, sometimes known as the "Venice of the Dordogne" (a slight exaggeration strictly speaking).
The town has a nice mix of medieval and renaissance architecture to admire and is classed as one of "Les Plus Beaux Détours" (Best Place to Visit) in France.
Look in the Benedictine Abbey (built by Charlemagne in 769) which is, amongst others, the main historical highlight of the town; then take a pleasant visit to the gardens below.
The Church of Saint Peter is also worth admiring, certain parts (the cloisters) date back to the 15th century as does the bridge from which there's a good vantage point to admire the town.
It is above all the situation of Brantôme on the river Dronne, that encircles a large part of the town, and the steep wooded slopes around the town, that add most to its attraction.
The river is calm and gentle at this point, covered with lillies, and sheltered by weeping willows - it's very pleasant to walk along the edge of the river and through the gardens.
Canoes can be hired at Brantôme for a relaxing glide along the river (a favourite with adults and children). Brantôme market day is Friday.