Going off the grid in Kate Humble's rustic holiday home

Categories: Homes / Dwellings

  • Fisherman's Cabin was built for Springwatch presenter Kate Humble
  • It sits in Perigord-Limousin National Park in the French Dordogne region
  • It takes two hours to heat water for a shower - and there is no phone signal 

Fisherman's Cabin, in the Dordogne, is a catch.

This woodland hideaway, a 90-minute drive from Limoges airport, is set on the edge of a private lake down a rough forest track. We leave our car at the top - this is 4x4 terrain.

The cabin is homely, but quietly clever, with solar-powered lights and phone charger, a wood-burning stove, compost loo and chandelier made from glass yoghurt pots that can be lowered over the small dining table using a pulley system.

A retreat from the world: Fisherman's Cabin was built for the BBC presenter Kate Humble and her husband

The shower takes a couple of hours to heat (via solar energy) enough water for two.

If it sounds like a faff, it isn't.

My boyfriend and I bathe in the evening and crawl under the duvet like cats. The cabin, in Perigord-Limousin National Park, was built for former BBC Springwatch presenter Kate Humble and her husband by a middle-aged British couple called Bob and Di, who now act as the cabin's caretakers.

For Humble it's a holiday home and is rented out for the rest of the year.

And here, you are very much off-grid. My phone only flickers into life once - in the local village Piegut-Pluviers, six miles away.

Idyllic: Despite its name, Fisherman's Cabin sits in Perigord-Limousin National Park in the Dordogne

Locals and holidaymakers flock to the Wednesday morning market, where we buy cheese, vegetables dusted with earth and still warm organic eggs.

There are stalls selling laminated tablecloths decorated with animals and Poldark-style tricorn hats. The local supermarket offers bottles of very drinkable Burgundy. We retire to the cabin full of promises to go out for dinner the following night.

It never happens. When the woodburner is blazing (there's a wood store outside) and the only light you can see is from your twinkling yoghurt pot chandelier, there's very little to tempt you away.

The daytime is a different story. We are amid forest, farm, vineyards and wide- open roads.

We paddle round the edges of 'our lake' on a hand-made raft made, naturally, by Bob. It's eerily quiet.

Simple pleasures: The cabin is designed as an escape from everything, and has no mobile phone signal

Bob and Di lend us their tandem, so we pedal downhill to the next village, Busserolles, and stop for a beer. Unbelievably, we end up cycling 30km, pushing the tandem up the steepest hills via the nearest town, Saint Mathieu.

On the days it rains — and it pours — we buy baguettes from the supermarket, curl up and see to that Burgundy. If this is glamping, then we're naturals. 

Travel Facts: Plan your own rustic stay in the Dordogne 

Book Fisherman's Cabin, which sleeps four, through Canopy & Stars (0117 204 7830, www.canopyandstars.co.uk) from £82 per night. Minimum three-night stay required.

via Dailymail

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