First stop – a week in Turenne, in the Corrèze. Turenne is itself classified as one of the ‘plus beaux villages de France’ and like many others that share that honour, it has become largely depopulated. Currently, about one property in seven is permanently inhabited. Most of the rest are second homes.

Topped by its citadelle, Turenne is a spectacular hill town with steep, narrow streets. Asked how to get to the citadelle, the stock response is to send tourists on the long, snaking – easy – road. The other option – the ‘piste noire’ – rises at about 40% and comes with a health warning for the unfit.