Myself and my partner Jackie are well advanced in our plans to leave the UK and head south permanently to France. Jackie has lived in France before (ten years on the Riviera) and I am a confirmed Francophile that has spent plenty of time in France. We will be running our own horticultural business and quirky holiday accommodation from a size able plot of land.
The eastern part of the Dordogne is our favoured location and we have just got back from a weekend visit to visit a property near Hautefort. We also visited for three weeks in September 2013 and spent the time viewing properties around the Haute Vienne in Limousin and also around the Dordogne.
We would like some honest advice from any of you who live in the Dordogne permanently and have maybe been there for some time. We have had many discussions with estate agents about aspects of living and working in the Dordogne and one thing we are concerned about particularly is the weather.
We have done lots of on line research but obtaining actual yearly data of the 'history' of the weather in the Dordogne is hard to find. Any ideas?
There are plenty of sites giving climate averages etc, but what we really want to know is how is the weather generally, particularly in the winter months. Are the winters dry and sunny with frost or are wet rainy mild winters the norm?
We lived in stunningly beautiful North Wales for many years but in the end, the constant poor summers (2006 -11 inclusive), very high rainfall and general grey overcast skies made us realise we longed for a warmer drier and sunnier climate. Since 2011 we have had a temporary stopover in Kent.
When we came over last week, we were quite surprised to see flooded fields all the way from Bordeaux to the Dordogne. Everywhere we went in the Dordogne there was evidence of substantial rainfall and flooding. From speaking to people during the visit it seems SW France has been experiencing a very mild and very wet winter so far?
This is definitely the case in the UK with the south east having over 200% of it's normal rainfall and we've hardly seen the sun since November! I am sure many of you have read of the floods we have been getting? In fact, winter 2013/14 is set to be the wettest in England since records began!!
We don't want to be in a dry, arid and too hot climate such as the Mediterranean coast, but equally we want to be sure we are not planning to move somewhere where the winter climate is pretty wet.
Does the eastern Dordogne still have a maritime climate or is there a greater continental influence (i.e. hot dry summers and cold but sunny winters)
The property we looked at last week near Hautefort, had seven acres but the land was saturated even though much of it sloping!!
This fact just set a few alarm bells ringing with us!
We realise that climate isn't the be all and end all but we would just like to obtain as much information as possible.
We are looking forward to the advice!
Regards Paul and Jackie