Barn | 4 bedrooms | sleeps 8
A luxury stable conversion, completely renovated in 2012 to the highest of standards by British artisans. offering all modern conforts while maintaining traditional French charm.
Tucked away in the célé valley with its private 2 acre garden and private swimming pool.The property offers a tranquille setting while still close to Figeac town.
Upstairs offers 4 bedrooms. The master bedroom is large and spacious with luxury en-suite, two twin rooms and bathroom then at the lower side of the property, another double bedroom. Bedrooms are furnished with Myaka wood, inside is crisp and fresh while offering a relaxing environment. The house can welcome the largest of family or two couples with up to four children. Up stairs there is also a utility room with washer dryer.
Ground floor offers a 90 sq m open plan living area finished in natural limestone tiling all the way through with a separate new fitted oak kitchen to the side. Equipped with all new appliances.
The lounge has a huge feature fireplace with coffee table and large settees and direct access to the garden and outside dining area.
A dedicated TV room/Library at the opposite of the ground floor offers English satelite TV and DVD player.
Separate toilet downstairs.
Outside has BBQ area with character covered dining area just to the side of the property, looking out over the mature gardens,trees and pool.
The river célé known for trout and perch finishing is in view and but minutes walk away, also offering canoeing or just peacefull picnics.
Lac du Tolerme with beach 40 minutes.
Figeac is under ten minutes away and offers bars, restaurants ,night markets, music, cinema, shopping and a huge range of activities like canoeing,horse riding,shows, see http://www.tourism-figeac.com for more information
The large pool (heated on request, small fee) at the bottom of the garden and has swimming pool security. Please note that guests are entirely responsible for the safety of their entourage while staying at the property.
The large garden with fruit and acacia trees is a great play area for children, surrounded by many green lanes are great for walks or bike rides.
There are a selection of out door games,boules,etc. for the active members of the family.
Towels and bedding are provided and cleaners pass half way through your stay (2 week holidays) to clean and change beds, if you are lucky enough to stay longer than a week.
|Size||Sleeps up to 8, 4 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||man made next to Lake is 20 minutes drive 30 km|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Nearest Amenities||6 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Rodez 60 km, Nearest railway: Figeac 13 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, CD player, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 En suites|
|Furniture||Single beds (4), Double beds (2), Cots (1), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 8|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
Carol Wakeford sent this note after her stay. Other cmments have been taken from our Guest book
"We stayed in this beautiful conversion in August 2012. It is high spec, but comfortable, peaceful, and is set in superb grounds. Red squirrels, woodpeckers and a whole range of other birds and butterflies populate the garden and surrounding countryside. The accomodation is very spacious and it stayed cool inside even on the hottest days - excellent ceiling fans. Figeac is a short drive away and has shops, the ubiquitous market, and a host of architectural and historical features. The region as a whole is packed with prehistoric monuments and fabulous villages to visit - never a dull moment! The icing on the cake is being able to return to the Stables, and relax in the pool and beautiful gardens. "
The Nugent family from Dublin wrote.
"In the many years we have holidayed in France The Stables is the nicest and best house we have stayed in and we have very much enjoyed being your first guests here Thank you"
The Willis and Hill family from wimbledon wrote
"We have holidayed in many high quality propeties across France and Spain, but on arriving we had declared this was" The best yet"
Our party of 7 ranged from 6-72 and all had a wonderful time whether canoeing down the Cele,climbing in the Go-Alp style treesin Figeac walking in the hills,by the Chateteau-des-Anglais, exploring the streets and Cafes or mostley just enjoying the pool and gardens of the Stables.
David, Catherine and of course Hamish Thank you for your welcome and helpfulness during our stay and cnogratulations for the renovations you have completed on this wonderful property."
Washing machine with integral dryer
Bath, Swimming and hand towels are provided, as are all sheets.
A cleaner passes each Friday morning to clean and change sheets for those on a 2 week holiday,this is an additional fee of 200 euros per week
A cot is provided on request
Special requests can be made by contacting the caretakers; Hamish or Julie on 06 85 90 63 28
|Further details outdoors|
The grounds of over 2 acres are shrouded in very mature acia trees offering huge areas of shade on the walk to the private pool, filtered through bio-UV system using volcanic dust giving it the most crystal of welcomes.
Table and 8 chairs out side under the covered eating area with BBQ next to it.
Sun loungers and parasols around the pool area
Change over Fridays the house is available from 5p.m. vacated 9.30 day of departure
A refundable deposit against damages will be required of £250.00 the cheque will be banked and will be refunded after your holiday.
Options for payment;
1. you can pay the 50% deposit over 2 months and settle the balance 4 weeks before your arrival date along with a £250 breakage cheque
2. You can pay 25% now and settle the total amount and breakage cheque of 250 pounds, 8 weeks before your holiday.
3.You can pay 50% now and the outstanding balance 4 weeks before you arrive along with the £250 breakage cheque.
No pets please.
Please remember that small children need to be supervised at all times and though the stables is considered to be a safe environment, the owners cannot be held responsible for accidents.
Contact the caretakers for any requests or special needs.
Pech Rial Properties:
Booking Terms and Conditions
PAYMENT: The balance of the rental and a deposit of £250 against any damages are to be settled by cheque 4 weeks before your arrival date. The £250 will be returned to you once you have vacated the property and any damages or costs have been verified.
ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE DAY The property will be available to you from 5.00pm on the Friday you arrive, and you will need to vacate the property by 9.30am on the day of departure. Please put the keys back in the safe when you leave.
PARKING Please park in the parking areas provided at the property, and not on the area in front of the house.
For reasons of hygiene, please ensure that particular attention is paid to the following areas before departure.
The fridge is emptied and cleaned.
The bathroom/toilet areas are left in a hygienic state.
The dishwasher is emptied and pots put away.
The cooker/microwave left in a hygienic state
All bins emptied and rubbish sacks/bottles removed. 25€s charge for bin bags or bottles left.
COMPLAINTS. Guests should report to the owner or manager without delay any defects in the property or breakdown in the equipment, plant, machinery or appliances in the property, garden or swimming pool, and arrangements for repair and/or replacement will be made as soon as possible. If you have any issues concerning the property or your holiday, please inform the owner or manager immediately.
DAMAGE The security deposit collected before the holiday will be retained against breakages or damages. This is refundable by bank transfer in whole or in part as soon as the owner has checked the property on departure. If any damage caused exceeds the cost of the security deposit collected, the person named as the party leader on the booking form will be liable to make up the shortfall.
As French property insurance policies do not cover rental property owners for any accidental damage caused to their property by tenants, it is obligatory in France for all tenants to provide proof of PERSONAL LIABILITY cover for all party members, as part of their travel insurance.
INSURANCE AND TRAVEL DOCUMENTS It is the responsibility of the party leader to ensure that all group members have full and sufficient travel/holiday Insurance including cover for cancellations, accidents, ill health and Personal Liability (see above). We also recommend all group members carry with them a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) obtained from UK Post Offices.
PRICES Rental prices may increase/decrease at any time, but not after your booking has been confirmed and are payable in the currency shown either directly by bank transfer to the owners bank or by cheque to Mr and Mrs Franklin at The Vicarage, Chilton Foliat, Hungerford, Berkshire RG17 0TF. A receipted invoice will be issued when payment has cleared. A reminder will be sent when the balance payment is due; however if payment is not received by the stated date, the owners reserve the right to treat the reservation as cancelled and withhold any deposit paid.
Prices include gas, electricity and water. The price includes the use of the property and contents, swimming pool and grounds.
CANCELLATION BY YOU The 50% deposit payable on confirmation of your booking is non-refundable. If you have to cancel your holiday within 4 weeks of the arrival date, the owner will try to re-let the property for the same period you had booked. If he manages to do this the owner will refund the balance and the damages deposit. However the owner may be entitled to retain the difference between the amount received from the new tenant and your original fee if the former is less than the amount payable by you for your original booking.
CANCELLATION BY THE OWNER In the unlikely event of the owner having to make a significant change to or cancel your holiday for any reason, you have the option of accepting the change or accepting a full refund.
SWIMMING POOLS Swimming pools will normally be available from June to September. French law requires pool safety measures but specifically states that parents/adults are primarily responsible for the safety of children and does not negate parental responsibility.
Parents are ultimately responsible for their children and must ensure adult supervision at all times whilst children are in or around the pool area.
LINEN: Linen, including swimming towels, will be supplied at the property. Please ensure that only swimming towels are used outside by the pool. The quality white linen house towels supplied for bathroom use evidently used as pool towels soiled by sun tan oils will be charged for from your deposit.
INTERNET ACCESS fast and unlimited Internet access is available at the property. However this cannot always be guaranteed and service could be interrupted or unavailable during your stay. Local wifi hotspots are generally available but cannot be guaranteed in rural France.
RIGHT OF ENTRY The owner or manager reserves the right to enter the property at reasonable times to carry out both emergency repairs and routine maintenance of the property/gardens/pools etc.
BEHAVIOUR Guests must be respectful and take good care of the property and its contents and leave it in an acceptable condition at the end of the rental period. The owner reserves the right to make a retention from the security deposit to cover additional cleaning costs if the property is left in an unacceptable condition. Guests must also be considerate to their neighbours and not act in any way which would cause disturbance to those resident in neighbouring properties. The owner reserves the right to take any appropriate action, including immediate termination of the tenancy (when no refunds will be made and the owner will have no further liability to you) if any property including the pool and its grounds are abused or misused or if the number of persons staying at the property exceeds the number stated on your booking form without prior arrangement with the owner. Parking caravans or pitching tents is not permitted. Damage to the property or swimming pool, as a result of the fault or abuse (willful, negligent or otherwise) of the guests will be fully charged including cost of replacement or repair and consequential loss of future lettings. Guests must not touch or interfere with any pool equipment or materials or similar equipment. Smoking is not allowed inside the properties at any time.
OCCUPANCY: The terms of the booking are for the persons identified on the booking form only and all party members must be listed by the time the final balance payment is due. Under no circumstances shall this be exceeded or changed without prior agreement with the owner. The owner reserves the right to take appropriate action, which may include the termination of the tenancy, should this be abused.
PETS. Pets are not allowed at the properties.
Under no circumstances shall The Owners liability to The Client exceed the amount paid to The Owner for the rental period bought in any court of competent jurisdiction in England.
The owner shall not be liable to The Client:
• For any temporary defect of stoppage in the supply of public services to The Property, nor in respect to any equipment, plant, machinery or appliance in The Property, garden or swimming pool.
• For any injury howsoever caused from the use of any equipment at the property.
For any loss, damage or injury which is the result of adverse weather conditions, riot, war, strikes, or other matter beyond the control of The Owner.
• For any loss, damage or inconvenience caused to or suffered by The Client if The Property shall be destroyed or substantially damaged before the start of the rental period, and in any such event, The Owner shall, within 7 days of notification to The Client, refund to The Client all sums previously paid in respect of the rental period.
The Midi-Pyrenees region
For the last stretch of its course from figeac to Conduché, where it joins the lot, the River Célé flows through a luxuriant canyon-like valley cut into the limestone uplands of the Causse de Gramat. A twisting minor road follows the river here: a silent backwater of a place, hot in summer, frequented mainly by canoeists (frequent opportunities to rent craft). The GR651 follows the same route, sometimes close to the river, sometimes on the edge of the causse on the north bank.
CAHORS, on the River lot, was the capital of the old province of Quercy. In its time, it has been a Gallic settlement; a Roman town; a briefly held Moorish possession; a town under English rule; a bastion of Catholicism in the Wars of Religion, sacked in consequence by Henri IV; a university town for four hundred years; and birthplace of the politician leon Gambetta (1838–82), after whom so many French streets and squares are named. Modern Cahors is a sunny southern backwater, with two interesting sights in its cathedral and the remarkable Pont Valentré.
While you're in the Cahors area, don't miss out on the local wine, heady and black but dry to the taste and not at all plummy like the Gironde wines from blaye and Bourg, which use the same Malbec grape.
Half-way up a cliff in the deep and abrupt canyon of the Alzou stream, the spectacular setting of ROCAMADOUR is hard to beat; the town itself must have been beautiful once, too, but for centuries now it has been inundated by religious pilgrims (and latterly more secular-minded coach tours), whose constant stream has turned the place into something of a nightmare, with every house displaying mountains of unbelievable junk. The reason for its popularity since medieval times is the supposed miraculous ability of the cathedral's Black Madonna. Nowadays, pilgrims are outnumbered by tourists, who come here to wonder at the sheer audacity of its location, built almost vertically into its rocky backdrop.
Legend has it that the history of Rocamadour began with the arrival of Zacchaeus, husband of St Veronica, who fled to France to escape religious persecution and lived out his last years here as a hermit. When in 1166 a perfectly preserved body was found in a grave high up on the rock, it was declared to be Zacchaeus, known in France as St Amadour. Rocamadour soon became a major pilgrimage site and a staging post on the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. St Bernard, numerous kings of England and France and thousands of others crawled up the chapel steps on their knees to pay their respects and seek cures for their illnesses. Young King Henry, son of Henry II of England, was the first to plunder the shrine, but he was easily outclassed by the Huguenots, who tried in vain to burn the saint's corpse and finally resigned themselves simply to hacking it to bits. What you see today, therefore, is not the real thing but a nineteenth-century reconstruction, carried out in the hope of reviving the flagging pilgrimage.
Coming out of figeac on the road to Villefranche-de-Rouerge, you pass one of the so-called aiguilles, or stone needles, that used to ring figeac. They are an incredible 8m high and date from the 1100s; no one knows whether they were milestones, boundary markers for the abbey, or something completely different.
Some 20km further south, and west of the road to Villeneuve, is the village of FOISSAC, which has given its name to a local cave (April, May & Oct daily except Sat 2–6pm; June & Sept daily 10–11.30am & 2–6pm; July & Aug daily 10am–6pm; €6.50); in addition to a variety of weird and wonderful formations, there's an unusual prehistoric potter's workshop dating from about 4000 BC.
To the east of Foissac, about 20km by a beautiful lane across the causse, you happen upon one of the most remarkable old villages in this corner of France, PEYRERUSSE-LE-ROC. The "modern" village sits astride the head of a narrow wooded valley: a tiny huddle of long-eaved, half-timbered houses abutting the ancient walls. In the valley below, hidden in the steep woods, lie the remains of a medieval stronghold, abandoned around 1700, that once stood guard over the silver-rich country round about, and which is only now beginning to be excavated. A cobbled mule path leads to the gate towers and on into the woods, where the stones of a Gothic church, synagogue and hospital stand roofless beneath an unscalable pinnacle of rock crowned by twin towers. A path crosses the stream and climbs along the overgrown bank to an ancient packhorse bridge and ruined mill. From here you can scramble back up the valley side to a bridge of rock where a vertiginous ladder gives access to the towers. For the moment at least, it remains a moving and atmospheric place.
Thirty-seven kilometres south of figeac, Villefranche-de-Rouerge lies on a bend in the River Aveyron, clustered around its perfectly preserved, arcaded market square. From Villefranche the Aveyron flows south through increasingly deep, thickly wooded valleys, past the hilltop village of najarc and then turns abruptly west as it enters the Gorges de l'Aveyron. The most impressive stretch of this defile begins not far east of St-Antonin-de-Noble-Val, an ancient village caught between soaring limestone cliffs, and continues downstream to the villages of penne and bruniquel perched beside their crumbling castles. bruniquesl marks the end of the gorges, as you suddenly break out into flat alluvial plains where the Aveyron joins the great rivers of the Tarn and Garonne.
The Gouffre de Padirac (daily guided tours: April to mid-July & Sept & Oct 9am–noon & 2–5/6pm; last two weeks July 9am–6.30pm; Aug 8.30am–6.30pm; €7.70) is about 20km east of rocamandour on the other side of the main Brive–Figeac road. An enormous limestone sinkhole, about 100m deep and over 100m wide, it contains some spectacular formations of stalactites and waterfalls created by the accumulation of lime, and beautiful underground lakes, but is very, very popular – so much so that it's best avoided at weekends and other peak periods, or you'll wait an age for tickets. Visits are partly on foot, partly by boat, and the guided tours last an hour and a half. In wet weather you'll need a waterproof jacket. If you have no car, the nearest gare SNCF is Rocamadour-Padirac, more than 10km to the west; the only alternative is walking or hitching.
East of padirac and about 9km from Bretenoux on the River Bave, a minor tributary of the dordogne, you come to the medieval town of ST-CÉRÉ, dominated by the brooding ruins of the Château de St-Laurent-les-Tours and full of ancient houses crowding around place du Mercadial. The two powerful keeps of St-Laurent, partially rebuilt, date from the twelfth and fifteenth centuries and were part of a fortress belonging to the Turennes. During World War II, the artist Jean Lurçat operated a secret Resistance radio post here; after the war he turned it into a studio, and it's now a marvellous museum of his work, mainly huge tapestries but also sketches, paintings and pottery (mid-July to Sept daily 9.30am–noon & 2.30–6.30pm; also two weeks at Easter; tel 05.65.38.28.21; €2.50). The site is spectacular at over 200m altitude, with stunning views all round.
75km west and downstream from cahor, is a pleasant, workaday sort of town but otherwise does not have a great deal to commend it: there are no very interesting sights, though the handful of attractive timbered houses in the old town go some way to compensate. If you're reliant on public transport note that there's no train station in Villeneuve itself, but SNCF runs regular bus services to agen, which is on the Bordeaux–Toulouse line.
The town's most striking landmark is the red-brick tower of the church of Ste-Catherine, completed as late as 1937 in typically dramatic neo-Byzantine style, but rather unusually built on a north–south axis; inside, the church retains some attractive stained glass from the previous fourteenth-century building. In the streets around the main square, place La Fayette, a couple of towers alone survive from the fortifications of this originally bastide town, and to the south the main avenue, rue des Cieutats, crosses thirteenth-century Pont des Cieutat, resembling the Pont Valentré in cahor but devoid of its towers.
If you have your own transport you could easily make a side trip from cahor to the cliff-edge village of ST-CIRQ-LAPOPIE, 30km to the east, perched high above the south bank of the lot. The village was saved from ruin when poet André Breton came to live here in the early twentieth century, and though it's now an irresistible draw for the tour buses with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered houses and gardens, it's still worth the trouble, especially if early or late in the day
The nearest town is Figeac 10 minutes away from the cottage offers a wide range of activites and liesure including canoeing, horse riding, tennis, walking, cinema. Half an hour away Gramat offers a large animal parks and near by there is a bee centre and spectaculer sites to visit. Fine archetecture museums and delicious french cuisine. The wine region of Cahors is only 45 minutes away. In the holiday season there is also a wide range of theatre, markets and music in the area.
There are so many activities and places of interest the local tourist information centre (English speaking) can help you choose from the wide variety of things to do and see.
FIGEAC lies on the River cele , 71km east of cahors and some 8km north of the Lot. It's a beautiful town with an unspoilt medieval centre, not too encumbered by tourism. Like many other provincial towns here abouts, it owes its beginnings to the foundation of an abbey in the early days of Christianity in France, one which quickly became wealthy because of its position on the pilgrim routes to both rocamandour and Compostela. In the Middle Ages it became a centre of tanning, which partly accounts for the many houses whose top floors have solelhos, or open-sided wooden galleries used for drying skins and other produce. Again, as so often, it was the Wars of Religion that pushed it into eclipse, for Figeac threw in its LOT with the nearby Protestant stronghold of montauban and suffered the same punishing reprisals by the victorious royalists in 1662.
Roads and train line both funnel you automatically into the town centre, where the Hôtel de la Monnaie surveys place Vival. It's a splendid building whose origins go back to the thirteenth century, when the city's mint was located in this district. The building now houses the tourist office, as well as a none-too-exciting museum of old coins and archeological bits and pieces found in the surrounding area (same hours as tourist office; €2). In the streets radiating off to the north of the square – Caviale, République, Gambetta and their cross-streets – there's a delightful range of houses of the medieval and classical periods, both stone and half-timbered with brick noggings, adorned with carvings and colonnettes, ogees, and interesting bits of ironwork. At the end of these streets are the two small squares of place Carnot and place Champollion, both of great charm. The former is the site of the old halles, under whose awning cafés now spreads their tables.
Jean-François Champollion, who cracked Egyptian hieroglyphics by deciphering the triple text of the Rosetta Stone, was born in a house at 4 impasse Champollion, off the square, and the building now houses a very interesting museum dedicated to his life and work (March–June, Sept & Oct Tues–Sun 10am–noon & 2.30–6.30pm; July & Aug daily same hours; Nov–Feb Tues–Sun 2–6pm; €3). At the end of this alley, a larger-than-life reproduction of the Rosetta Stone forms the floor of the tiny place des Écritures, above which is a little garden planted with tufts of papyrus.
On the other side of place Champollion, rue Boutaric leads up to the cedar-shaded church of Notre-Dame-du-Puy, from where you get views over the roofs of the town. More interesting is the church of St-Sauveur off place des Herbes near the tourist office, with its lovely Gothic chapterhouse decorated with heavily gilded but dramatically realistic seventeenth-century carved wood panels illustrating the life of Christ.
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