There are some beautiful, leafy walks near La Vieille Grange and in summer the local roads and tracks are popular with walkers. Several major pilgrim routes pass nearby and many of the local tracks are marked with signs. You can buy local walking maps in the local tourist offices. There should also be some in the house. Two rewarding walks start from the house itself – a 50 min loop on lanes that wind through woods and fields and another that takes the road up to Château Fénelon and returns along a path following the castle walls before joining a track through woods. In general, unless there is a sign warning it is private property, you can follow any of the tracks that wind off the roads.
Canoes and kayaks
The nearest place to hire canoes and kayaks is St Julien. You can set off from here and be picked up lower down the river – or you can opt to be driven upstream to Souillac and float and paddle back to St Julien. There are also many other places to start from in high season (Souillac, Grolejac, Vitrac, Calviac).
Cycling and cycle tracks
The old railway line along the river valley is now a ‘piste cyclable’ from Rouffilhac, just over the river from St Julien de Lampon. It runs in both directions, east towards Souillac and west towards Aillac, Grolejac and Sarlat. Since it’s an old train line the gradients are gentle and the scenery is spectacular. Hire a bike, pack a lunch and spent a half or full day on the cycle way.
There are racquets and balls in the house so why not play a game of tennis? There is a court in St Julien behind the Marie. You need book at the Marie.
The closest course to La Vieille Grange is the Souillac Country Club, an 18-hole course is set in spectacular wooded country north of the Dordogne River about 7 km from Souillac. The course is part of a golf resort complex with a swimming pool, tennis courts etc. They have a restaurant and sometimes offer a special on golf fees and lunch. Open to the public and English is spoken.
Many people swim in the Dordogne River at St Julien de Lampon and near Sarlat in high season, but there is also swimming at artificial lakes at Gourdon and Grolejac (there is a small charge here), municipal pools at Souillac and Sarlat, and ‘Quercyland’ in Soulliac, with water slides etc for a fun family day out.