What do they love about it?
We love the Frenchness of where we live, on the peaceful village square, nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees, surrounded by wildflower meadows, woods, lakes and mountains. Close to beautiful medieval Mirepoix, Carcassonne and Toulouse airports are an easy drive.
Do as much or as little as you like - the walking, cycling and wild swimming are fabulous. Horseriding, white water sports, sailing, tennis, all available close by. Step out the back door onto the GR7, a path that leads to Spain, watch the Tour go through in July, shop at the many farmers' markets, the brocantes are great for quirky antiquities, or if all this is too much, simply put on a CD, chose a book from our library, and take a day out on your priate roof terrace with the sound of cowbells for company. A chance to step off the corporate treadmill for a while will be a good choice for many, late, leisurely breakfasts and suppers lasting long into the evening to be enjoyed on your own private roof terrace or for a break from self catering, are available to you at our chambres d'hotes next door. Nick's food has great reviews, traditional French home cooking with a fine dining twist. the food is fresh and local, much of it produced organically ourselves. Put the kids to bed and in summer enjoy supper on the square by the church or on the candlelit terrace. In the cooler months, the exposed stone walls of the dining room create a lovely ambience.
Languedoc enjoys exceptionally good summers, it can be baking hot from June - August, the warm temperatures lasting long into the evening. In Spring the fields behind the house are filled with wild flowers, tables and chairs begin to appear outside the cafes and the first bounty of the hedgerows appears. April - May and September - October can be very warm and perhaps more manageable for younger children. Lovely times to explore the region, avoiding the summer crowds - and lower prices for the cottage too.
What do the kids love about it?
We offer family friendly accommodation. Baby equipment, books, toys and games for all ages, childrens' DVDS. The scooter is a great hit for whizzing round the fountain. For a break from self catering, high teas for children and delicious 4 course dinners for mum & dad.
The house is on a peaceful village square, closed to traffic (except for loading & unloading) so a safe place to play. No need to use the car every day. Loads of exploring from the house, scrambling up the hills at the back, fishing for tiddlers in the river, cycling along the myriad of tracks and quiet roads that lead from the village, bike hire is available locally. The wild swimming is a treat, the sandy beaches and warm waters of Lakes Montbel and Puivert are close, and Carcassonne Plage makes a great alternative to the coast.
Explore impenetrable medieval Cathar castles on rocky outcrops, the history of the region is fascinating for more studious types. Learn how to make fire and to hunt at the Prehistoric Park in Tarascon, the cave paintings are worth a visit too, some are reached by boat. There are cavaliers and sword fights galore at the fairy tale cite of Carcassonne, the butterfly farm and dinosaur museum are great for younger children, and older kids can risk life and limb white water rafting. Horse riding, sailing, tennis are all close by.
Children of all ages can experience the ancient French culture of this unspoilt region of Languedoc and the Midi where French, not English is still spoken, the older people still using words from the ancient language of Occitaine.