Marqeyssac is a listed site in Vézac, it is a privately owned estate with six kilometres of shaded paths bordered by 150,000 hand pruned box trees a hundred years old, which are embellished with belvederes, gorgeous waterfalls, rockeries and grassy clearings.
The belvedere, at 192 meters above the river gives exceptional views of the Dordogne valley. It also has an aviary, children’s area, workshops for wood turning, gift shop, a nice café with exceptional views over the Dordogne valley and in eveinings of the months of July and August candlelit walks. It is open to the public from April to November and is well worth a visit.
Our first trip to the gardens in 2009 was not planned but we thought after seeing the road sign to the Marqueyssac that it would be lovely to wander around the gardens for half an hour and have lunch there, take a few photographs then go on to our destination.
Au contraire. Looking at the manicured clipped hedges and the swirling rosemary garden, it was love at first sight. Miles of paths took us through fifty-four acres of forested, sculptured and flowering parkland dotted with the occasional waterfall and views to die for. From this elevated position you can see Beynac, Château de Feynac and Château de Castlenaud at one end and the riverside village of Le Roque Gageac from the other.
On our second visit we walked along the paths which led us around the estate and to the belvederes, a balcony hanging192 meters above the ground, with more exceptional views over the river. Ultimately, the paths returned to the Château and its outdoor café. We sat at the café, facing the distant Château de Beynac and savoured the wonderful luncheon as well as the views and the peacocks who would walk up and down looking for any crumbs.
So this is part one with the ‘view’ and the café, part two is the garden and three will be the Château, aviary and gift shop.
A truly magical place high above the Dordogne. We must return again and again.
Part two-the garden next week…