Luxury French Villas for Leaf Peeping in South West France

‘Leaf peeping’ is the quirky, all-American buzzword for enjoying the blazing colours of autumn foliage and ‘New England in The Fall’ has always been the hottest ticket. This autumn, however, ‘leaf peeping’ seems to be spreading across the UK travel pages, as journalists spotlight different destinations to enjoy the seasonal spectacular.  Having experienced, first-hand, the leafy beauty of South West France, this is one such destination where the gorgeous scenery really comes into its own in the autumn.

The river valleys and gorges of the Dordogne and Lot are wooded with ancient oaks, chestnuts and maples which the long summer burnishes into a blaze of vivid yellows, reds and oranges. The weather still feels like summer and the warm sun quickly burns off early morning mists to reveal the honey coloured ‘bastide’ villages and chateaux crowning the hilltops. It’s also harvest time and the orchards and vineyards are buzzing with workers gathering in the grapes, plums and walnuts to pile high in local markets alongside juicy nectarines, figs, pears, quinces, giant cepe mushrooms and the indulgent Perigord delicacies.

With such a tantalizing combination of stunning scenery, superb food and fine wines, autumn is a fabulous time to visit South West France with friends or family and here are just three luxury French villas and country houses from the Anglo French Properties collection.

Le Bournaguet is a beautifully renovated farmhouse which stands in a panoramic hilltop setting overlooking the surrounding wooded countryside of the Périgord Noir and close to the medieval market town of Sarlat. Set in almost 100 acres of garden and grounds, the house is surrounded by flower beds, shrubs and a wide variety of trees, with huge lawns sweeping down to the swimming pool, pool house and tennis court. Le Bournaguet is luxurious and authentically French in character, with accommodation for up to 15 people in 3 wings which allows greater privacy for larger groups of extended family and friends. With Anglo French Properties, 7 nights in October costs £5,000 for up to 15 people.

Château Marcoux has been transformed from a 12th century hill top fortress into a luxurious 4-bedroom Manor House, 1-bedroom ‘Pigeonnier’ and 1-bedroom Annexe, with panoramic, 360° views of the Quercy countryside. Just south of the Bordeaux winelands, the region  takes its name from  the Latin word ‘quercus’, meaning oak, and on 3 sides of the house, the meticulously landscaped garden falls away into ancient oak woodland, with wonderful views from the heated pool. Owned by the Courtauld family for 30 years, Château Marcoux has been lovingly restored to retain the historic character of the original ‘château-fort’ whilst providing fabulous accommodation for up two or three families. With Anglo French Properties, 7 nights in October costs £2,100 for up to 12 people.

La Valade is a fabulous creeper-covered farmhouse in the tranquil, rolling countryside of the Périgord Vert with marvellous views of the surrounding fields and woodlands. The house stands in almost 60 acres of lovingly tended garden and grounds, including expansive lawns, shady trees, fragrant rose beds, colourful shrubberies and a heated pool overlooked by a superb pool house. The grounds also include an orchard of quinces, pears, plums and apples for guests to enjoy straight from the trees. La Valade is stylishly luxurious throughout and sleeps up to 10 people, with 3 ensuite double bedrooms that can be split into twin singles, 2 double bedrooms and a separate, fourth bathroom. With Anglo French Properties, 7 nights in October costs £3,250 for up to 10 people.