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solentseadog Jan 19th, 2017 03:59 AM

Cycling with KIDS - Dordogne, France, (Combiers) APRIL 2017
I have been offered a free house in COMBIERS, DORDOGNE, FRANCE, for April 2017 half term.

My boys aged (just) 7 and (almost) 9 are keen that we drive and take our bikes with us.

We are looking for advice, ideas and suggestions for cycling in the COMBIERS region and in the Dordogne in general - easy safe and not too challenging cycling routes.

Any cycling companies offering guided group tours in the area - or cycling support, pickup or other services nearby?

We're happy to drive an hour or 2 on some days so we can get the most of the region and we're happy to stay a few nights elsewhere to broaden our horizons for fun activities and adventures.

I was thinking about taking a tent as well and was interested in camp sites that offered heated indoor pools with slides or other mini water park style things for a few nights to add some variety.

All advice and ideas and suggestions very welcome - many thanks in advance.

bilboburgler Jan 19th, 2017 06:25 AM are the green ways that might interest. I don't see any near you. are longer distance paths.

Other than that many D roads are empty of traffic for long periods of time, also look out for canals or river banks.

Cycling support companies, almost certainly

You are just west of a national park. This link may help

StCirq Jan 19th, 2017 07:26 AM

Combiers is not in the Dordogne, it's in the Charente. They are very different, and I don't know a lot about cycling in the Charente, but yes, it's the voies vertes that you want. The D roads may be relatively empty in April, but I still wouldn't cycle them with children of that age. April can be very rainy, too. And cold at night.

Check on opening dates of campgrounds, too. Most of the ones around here don't open up until mid- to end of April, or often the week after Easter if Easter occurs in April. I don't know a single campground here in the Dordogne that has an indoor heated pool, and I am familiar with a lot of campgrounds. If camping is your object, there are several campground guidebooks I've seen in local bookstores that would probably answer all your questions.

I'm sure cycling support companies exist but can't recommend any, sorry.

Michael Jan 19th, 2017 07:31 AM

Can you give the postal code? The only Combiers that I can find is in the Poitou Charente. which is on the border with the Dordogne. Except for <i>communale</i> roads, I would not bicycle with children of that age on French roads. I simply would not trust drivers, and the roads tend to be narrow with no decent shoulder.

StCirq Jan 19th, 2017 02:37 PM

I just remembered Combiers. We found it by accident during a maddening trip between Angoulème and Brantôme a few weeks ago to visit the translator who has to prepare all our legal papers. We stopped there or near there for coffee after going round in circles around Angoulème. It's not a terribly pretty area, but you have free accommodations and are within a fairly short distance to much nicer places, so enjoy it.

But don't get out on the roads, any of them, with small kids and bicycles. Go somewhere and rent bikes in a safe place for a few hours if you must, but leave the bikes at home.

solentseadog Jan 20th, 2017 08:41 PM

Wow - very many thanks to you all for so many replies so fast.

The post code is combiers 16320

I take on board the advice about roads. I would not consider taking them on roads but many thanks for reinforcing that.

As I suspected it is not going to be ideal for cycling - and no dedicated cycle paths in the vicinity mean it will be a drive before we cycle. That could be OK though if we plan properly.

The real issue will probably be the weather and that most facilties could be closed as has been pointed out.

It may be a case of the lure of free accommodation is a false economy and we might have a better and more fulfilling time as a family elsewhere - paying to be somewhere we really want to be rather than trying to get something that Combiers can't offer - just because the house of free.

Thanks again to all of you - what a great forum :-)

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