Welcoming people from different cultures is something I really enjoy. Here is a selection of tours which are full of hidden treasures in the Vézère Valley (which is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the region of the Dordogne. They have been designed to give you a unique and authentic experience and some wonderful memories. As a practising artist, I will help you to see and experience the wonderful sites in the Dordogne with artist's eye. The tours include insights into the French way of life, therefore instead of having a monologue-type observation of the sites we visit together, you will enter into friendly discussion to learn about this fascinating country and its cultural richness.
I have also created tours further South in the Cathar region of the Languedoc, where the Knights Templars lived, where there are extraordinary sites such Rennes le Chateau made famous by Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code".
For those who are seeking something more creative, I have designed a day where you can learn how to create your own travel diary journal.
The dairy journal format, once learnt, can be used to remember all your future travelling. This is a great way to create something personal, original.
All abilities welcome and able. Customized tours can also be tailored to suit particular interests or for exploring further afield in other local regions. So please just ask.
Sarlat, with its lovely hotels in the heart of a unique medieval town, it's a good place to use as a base.
I am passionate about prehistoric cave art which represents a rich and sophisticated culture that thrived in this region for thousands of years.
Having worked as a professional guide at several prehistoric sites: Lascaux II, Font de Gaume and La Magdaleine des Albis, I have an in-depth knowledge of this ancient culture. I have also worked at Chateau des Milandes, the former home of the singer/ dancer, Josephine Baker, who worked in the Resistance during WWII, so I have many stories to tell.
To slow down the pace of life and for those who love nature, there are beautiful walks to discover, where you will be surrounded by the stunning Dordogne countryside.
The Perigord region is famous for its gastronomy. It has wonderful food and wine. My tours include wine tasting and sampling the local specialties of goose, duck, wild boar, walnuts, cèpes (wonderful, perfumed mushrooms - porcini) and truffles - I don't mean the chocolates - although the local homemade chocolates are delicious as well!
Here is a review from one of my previous clients:
"I was fortunate to meet Ann while on a canal barge vacation in France. Her position was activities director for our small group of strangers from different countries. I was very impressed with the kind and thoughtful way that Ann met the needs of each very different person. Guests ranged from the adventurous and active outdoors person to the sedentary one with a mobility disorder; from the lively and irreverent, to the shy and elegant. And there were language barriers to overcome among French, English and Japanese speakers. All of these challenges appeared easy for Ann. Her good humour always carried the day. I loved her easy casual company, her extraordinary knowledge of history and art, and her intuitive inclusiveness, always making sure that everyone was comfortable, and nobody neglected. I am certain that I would very much enjoy another excursion with Ann's leadership, should I be so lucky in the future. "
A Recent Review of this guide
Loved Carcassonne and Ann did an excellent job of guiding us through this site. She is well-informed and flexible in helping us to see as much as possible in a short period of time.
Over the 25 years that I have worked in the luxury Hospitality Industry I have developed some fantastic connections with my clients.
Living on the beautiful island of Orkney in Scotland, I created Country House Hotel/ Restaurant and Arts Centre, which was recommended in several of the best Guides. I also created tours of the wonderful prehistoric sites.
For 10 years I lived in the Tarn, where I worked as the curator/ guide/ translator/ project manager of an ancient Templar Hamlet with a cave containing extraordinary prehistoric cave art.
As a professional guide I have worked at the caves of Font de Gaume and Lascaux II and at Chateau des Milandes, the former home of Josephine Baker.
Working on a luxury VIP peniche as guide/ translator, we travelled on one of France's most beautiful canals, where I organised fun trips to the cultural and historic sites of interest along the way.
I can work as 'step on guide' in your own transport or hire a car and drive you around, so please just ask.
Where there is a specific guide on site I have to let them show you around, however, I will be able to bring more relevant detail and information to your visit and be able to make it a much more memorable experience.