Gite | 1 bedrooms | sleeps 3
La Petite Grange is attached to the last house as you leave the small hamlet, and looks out on to open fields down to the stream and up again to the hills beyond. It is on the border between the Hautes-Pyrénées and the Gers and is an idyllic peaceful getaway for couples, a place to relax and unwind and get away from everyday stresses.
There are many beautiful walks that can be made from the house, some with views of the Pyrénées, and you may see deer, foxes, hare, coypu, badgers, hedgehogs... even wild boar! Or you could just lie back and watch the buzzards and kites as they circle the valley, and listen to the woodpecker and the cuckoos. You can also fish in the lake, 5 min walk away, without a permit.
The hamlet has a church and a mairie, and it is 10km to the nearest small supermarket in Rabastens-de-Bigorre, where there is also a small market every Monday. At 14km is Trie-sur-Baïse, founded in1323 and 'France's biggest pig market', where on Tuesdays you can sit under the cloisters with a drink and watch the large market unfold. The 12th century Abbey at St-Sever-de-Rustan is 5km away, a lovely spot for a picnic on the bank of the slow-flowing river Arros.
|Size||Sleeps up to 3, 1 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||7 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Tarbes-Ossun-Lourdes 46 km, Nearest railway: Tarbes 31 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, Yes, smoking allowed|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, CD player, Telephone, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||1 bedroom, 1 bathrooms of which 1 En suites|
|Furniture||Double beds (1), Cots (1), Dining seats for 4, Lounge seats for 4|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available|
|Further details indoors||
La Petite Grange has been recently decorated to be clean, airy and comfortable. The bedroom upstairs is spacious and has hanging cupboards, the en-suite has a heated towel rack. There are two french windows, one leading out to a small balcony where one can sit, the other to the balcony that leads round the barn to the B&B room (accessible also from the main house). The third window faces east over the fields.
The downstairs area is open-plan and has a log-burning stove - logs provided free of charge. There are books and a DVD library available, iPod dock, games, and a fully equipped kitchen.
|Further details outdoors||
As well as the upstairs balcony, there is seating outside the cottage under a parasol, also in the open barn there is a table for alfresco meals and a 'plancha' gas-fired grill. There are 4 sun-loungers for relaxing on under the walnut trees.
The garden is mainly grass, with a vegetable plot at the back to which visitors are welcome to help themselves in season, and hens in an enclosure - eggs available when they feel like it! The garden is unfenced.
A welcome pack will be provided on arrival, but extra shopping can be provided on request.
The garden is shared with the owners of the house (and their dogs).
English and French spoken.
The Midi-Pyrenees region
Gascony is one of the most unspoilt areas in France. It is given over to agriculture and the raising of ducks, a local speciality. In the summer the temperatures can average around 27-30C, whilst snow is not unknown in the winter.
The spring and autumn are mild and most agreeable. There is very little traffic, it is clean, quiet and relatively inexpensive. The cooking is solid and hearty, washed down with local wines such as Madiran, Pacherenc and - of course - armagnac,
In the spring many villages have a 'Floralie', where local folk go to buy their flowers and vegetables for early planting, as well as getting together for a drink and a bite to eat - sometimes to music!
From spring through to autumn there are always 'brocantes' and 'vide-greniers' (like a car boot sale) to go to, where bargains can still be picked up.
There are several golf courses nearby, including the first one laid out on the Continent by the English at Pau. There are wildlife and eagle sanctuaries, grottos and caves, and wonderful walks - plenty to do and see!
It is 20km to the beautiful medieval town of Tillac with its half-timbered buildings, and a very good restaurant, then on the the 13th century bastide towns of Miélan and Bassoues, where lunch can be had outside the Auberge under umbrellas next to the old market 'halles'. Yet another bastide town, 25km away, is Marciac with it's lovely arcaded square dotted with cafés and restaurants, laid back for most of the year until the first two weeks of August when it hosts the famous Marciac Jazz Festival (www.jazzinmarciac.com). The 14/15th August also sees the annual Madiran Fête du Vin, where you can buy from local producers who bring their wines for free tastings amid stalls selling local produce and artifacts.
Yet another typical bastide town is Mirande, 25km NW from here, with a lovely arcaded square and a small Musée des Beaux-Arts. For five days each July Mirande hosts the largest Country Music Festival in France - line-dancing included!
An enjoyable day-trip would start in Auch with a visit to the Cathédrale Ste-Marie, begun in the 14th century but made spectacular in the Renaissance, with magnificent choir stalls and stained glass windows. Then on to Condom, stopping at the Abbaye de Flaran en route, founded by the Cistercians in 1151 and unusually still mostly intact. In Condom, after visiting the splendidly gothic Cathédrale St-Pierre, you may feel the Musée de l'Armagnac calling, or the cellars at Château Cugnac-Armagnac, or a tour of the antiques shops.
For garden lovers, Tarbes (30min) has the gracious Jardin Massey, laid out by a local who for years was in charge of the gardens at Versailles, then in 1829 came home to turn his own 35 acre estate into a lush, English-style park. Just outside Boulogne-sur-Gesse (45min) is the charming and unusual Les Jardins de la Poterie Hillen, created over 20 years by a German couple and well worth visiting (www.poterie.fr).
Another enjoyable day out is a visit to the wine growing regions of either Jurançon or Madiran, both within easy reach and with plenty of domaines to welcome you and encourage you to taste their produce! With a stop for lunch, one can fit in 3 to 4 visits, some also do tours, and how satisfying to arrive home in the evening with a bottle of local wine bought from the producer to accompany dinner!
Towards the mountains there are many spa towns, notably Bagnéres-de-Bigorre with its Aquensis Spa. The ski resorts of Barèges, La Mongie and St Lary are 1hr 20min away, and between them have the biggest ski area and greatest number of pistes in the Pyrénées. Or why not take the cable-car from La Mongie to the top of the Pic du Midi, where the viewing platforms and terraces have spectacular views over the mountains, and a restaurant (www.picdumidi.com).
For a day of tapas and cava, Spain is a 2hr drive away, or try the white water rafting in the Val d'Aran. The Tour de France passes close by at the Col de Tourmalet, and the area is hugely popular with cyclists - and even motorcyclists!
For a truly memorable experience a trip in a hot-air balloon can be arranged - weather permitting of course! Soar quietly over the valleys with the Pyrénées as a back-drop - heaven!