At the confluence of the Dordogne and Vezere Rivers, Limeuil offers canoeing and a river beach, and a pretty little village that is well worth exploring.
The village is still partly surrounded by its original fortified walls, and is another of the ‘picture postcard pretty’ villages of the Dordogne, with cobbled streets winding between honey-coloured houses and pretty gardens.
Despite its picturesque location it is not usually completely overrun with tourists in the way that some places are, and the Parc Limeuil at the top of the town, while not spectacular as a park, has some fine views and is usually quiet.
A very pleasant place to escape the crowds.
A short stroll around the village gives a taste of the diversity on offer; at the foot of the two magnificent bridges, built in 1891, a sandy beach leads down into the clear water. A little further along, the 15th century port entrance which leads up to an extremely steep street is carved with the water levels reached during the great floods.
Getting to the top of the village is hard, but rewarding, work – take the time to study the medieval architecture on the way up. At the Place des Fossés, the château gardens provide a wonderful view over the river confluence, the rooftops and terraced gardens. The black Virgin Mary in St Catherine’s Church was the patron saint of the river traders.
The visitor can go from the blacksmith, to the glass-blower. Limeuil enjoys many sporting activities including canoeing, horse riding and mountain-biking. The holiday-maker will find plenty of welcoming hotels, restaurants and campsites.
Evidence of the period when Aquitaine was English can be found on the Bugue road leading out of the village: St Martin’s Chapel was built in 1194 to expiate the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, St Thomas à Becket
A Brief History
The site of Limeuil has been lived on since prehistoric times (various artefacts dating from approximately 10,000 BC have been found). Limeuil, listed as « One of the Most Beautiful Villages of France », is essentially a medieval village as the three fortified gateways and ruins of the castle and ramparts testify.
What to See
On the edge of the village is a museum garden where different plants and methods of cultivation take the visitor a journey through time from the Stone Age to the Renaissance period.
The natural beauty spot formed by the bend in the river offers a superb view.