Small Estate/ 6 bedroom Villa close to Carcassonne, - Beautiful and Peaceful rural location,15 Minutes from Carcassonne and the Airport, 60m from the sea.
- english, french
About John Nickell-Lean
We have owned the house for more than 19 years now and there isn't a waking moment when we have regretted buying it. I have always loved France and have lived here and speak French as well. I am a retired nursery/primary teacher and have taught English to the French and French to the English. John sadly broke his neck and retired early from headhunting as a result. We love the countryside and especially this region with its beautiful vineyards and the rolling countryside which thankfully remains truly unspoilt France. Walking and cycling in the area is wonderful and the views from our house are frankly spectacular. We greatly enjoy slow outdoor lunches, swimming and playing tennis with our friends. With 2 hours for lunch when the traffic wardens don't work as parking in the towns and villages is free, we think that the locals have got their priorities absolutely right
John Nickell-Lean purchased this Chateau / Country House in 1999
Why John Nickell-Lean chose Roullens
We bought this staggering house because of it's absolute tranquility and the breathtaking views. These are ever changing with shade and light created by the clouds of which one never tires. The house faces due south and on a clear day we see fully six valleys to the back-drop of the Pyrenees. The wonderful layout of the house was built especially with families and parties in mind and we have hosted many family groups ranging from the very youngest to octogenarians which has worked wonderfully well. There is always somewhere quite to get away from the noise and bustle of the family! This is true provincial France with it's traditional values which frankly we greatly prefer to the glitzier and much more crowded areas such as the Cote d'Azur. Although close to Carcassonne, the house is off the beaten track, giving it total privacy. The nearest village, Roullens, is 2 miles away. Preixan which has some shops is 4 miles away, however it is only 15/20 minutes to the centre of Carcassonne and to the airport. Thus we have the option of being at home and far away from the crowds or alternatively, joining them in Carcassonne or Limoux.
What makes this Chateau / Country House unique
The real and unique benefit which other properties cannot have is the beautiful view from here. despite Les Hauts de Gaubil being only 15/20 minutes from Carcassonne airport (a Ryanair destination), we do not hear the planes as we are just over the adjoining valley. Flights to the city come from Stansted, Bristol, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Cork but do check this as Ryanir change their flights annually. Toulouse Airport, with its greater reach, is only an hour away. There are few properties locally that provide such exquisite views from its own land with complete privacy and yet such incredibly easy access to Carcassonne and other local towns. The house is exceptionally well equipped and there really are few key items that we do not have. We have a newish kitchen (which you can see in our photographs) with double ovens, an American sized fridge, a second kitchen (cuisine d'ete), a small gym with a running frame, a cross trainer, a recumbent bicycle, a cross trainer and weights. We also have a huge pool where we have recently installed the most modern water treatment equipment, a beautiful illuminated tennis court enabling play in the cooler hours of the evening, table tennis and almost all the things that a family might need to keep fit.
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
Extra Special family holiday
All our family of ten ranging in age from nine to eighty agreed that our holiday at Haute Gaubil was a very special experience.
The spacious villa is located in its own estate in the lovely unspoilt Aude landscape of gentle trees, vineyards and sunflower fields with superb panoramic views to the pyrenees. The huge pool and floodlit tennis court were star attractions.
The owner's suggestions for restaurants and visits proved very popular and we are now diving and white water rafting enthusiasts! The villa is clearly a charming home . Thank you so much John and Lisa for allowing us to share.
Bruce and Kate and family.
Dear Bruce and Kate
Thank you so much for your most kind review of our house and we are so glad that you really enjoyed yourselves. I do think that the Chantovent in Minerve is such a special place to go to. We enjoy every greatly each we go there and the Framboisier is a hoot too.
Anyway thank you for the review and we do hope that you may come back again!
All the best
John and Lisa
Peaceful and relaxing
Wonderful week. Lovely house. Pool is fantastic. We were worried the pool wouldn’t be warm enough because it had solar heating but it was perfect temperature and we didn’t need to put the pool cover on at night. The house is really well equipt. Lots of pots and pans. Big plus was the larder with spices , oil, etc. We used some and left some behind. Loved to barbecue in the outside kitchen. Really convenient . Two fridges in two different kitchens meant we had plenary of room for food & drinks for twelve of us. Wi-fi is pretty good. Didn’t turn any tv on all week but they looked good size and pretty new. We brought lots of games & table tennis rackets etc but we didn’t need to as there are loads at the house. Tennis court is excellent. Really well maintained and marked up. Lots of spotlights for playing during cooler evening temperatures. I’m summary we had a lovely stay & really enjoyed the house and the fabulous view
Wow! stunning, peaceful location with amazing views, plenty of space, large pool.
Les Hauts de Gaubil has everything you want for a relaxing, peaceful family getaway in a stunning rural setting. The views across the countryside to the mountains are utterly amazing, you can sit back and stare out, gazing peacefully for hours, days ... weeks! There is plenty of space for a large group to cook and eat, and everything is very well equipped, and clean. The gorgeous swimming pool is big with a diving board and very deep end, where our children played for hours on end. There is good tennis court where we also played for ages, and it even has a large back wall for solo practising when everybody else is too busy lazing by the pool! The nearest shops for fresh bread, croissants, milk etc are about 20 mins drive away, so a car is certainly needed, but this didn’t detract at all. We would definitely love to return to this fabulous place, and thank you John for being so helping in your communications and explaining everything we needed to know.
Thank you very much for your kind review of our house. We have spent many years getting the house up to this standard and we will continue quietly to improve it year by year. But we are so glad that you all enjoyed being there.
As I mentioned to you, leaving that view behind really can cause withdrawal symptoms!
Do come again. We would love to have you and the family back.
All the Best
John and Lisa
We were an extended family of 14. We enjoyed a most wonderful holiday: the views are stunning, dinner on the terrace every evening is magical; the property is extremely well appointed, and well looked after, with an exceptional pool ( and barbecue , important for us!); there is just so much to do, both on the property and in the surrounding area, it is ideal for an active group.
The proximity to Carcassonne and Toulouse is also very handy.
Thank you for your most kind review and we are so glad that you had such a terrific holiday. The view from the house and its total tranquility are so extraordinary it really is very difficult to tear oneself away from it! And we know because we hate leaving it!
Do let us know if you want to come back again!
All the best
Fantastic Family Retreat.
We spent 7 relaxing days at this beautful property. Our group comprised of 10 adults,ranging from the ages of 22 - 60.The location is rural and secluded,yet local services are accessed by car ( 15 minutes ). This is an area which has something to offer everybody,from beaches to mountains,castles to fine dining.The property is immaculate and very well equiped,catering for all weathers. You will not find a more spectacular vista,anywhere !! Our hosts were very attentive and welcoming - when the time came,NOBODY wanted to leave........
In summary, it was FAULTLESS to the core.
The Gordon/Dunshea Family. Huntly.Aberdeenshire.Scotland.
Thank you so much for your very kind review. We hope that you will return before long.
This is a house that is truly very hard to leave. The tranquility and the stunning views are simply beguiling and very hard to replicate. Apart from the nearness to Carcassonne Cité it was these factors that made us buy it in the first place.
Since then we have really changed just about everything in the house, from top to bottom, from brand new central heating to lighting the garden throughout, to a new kitchen and new bathrooms and an ultra modern water treatment centre for the pool and solar heating and on and on! And clearly it has worked!
So we are really glad that you have had fun here.
All the vest best
John and Lisa
We spent a fabulous week with friends in this stunning home which is totally secluded, but yet only a short journey from the magical medieval city of Carcassone. The panoramic views of the distant snow capped Pyrenees are timeless and truly amazing whether at sunrise, midday or sunset. The owners have taken particular care in providing every detail you need for a perfect holiday including the well appointed kitchen and comfortable bedrooms. The covered bbq is a fantastic outdoor eating area where you get a cool breeze after a hot day and enjoy a glass or two of Blanquette de Limoux!
There is much to see and enjoy in this region from the spectacular Cathar castles, to the beautiful medieval villages, country markets, the Mediterranean coast, interesting walks and lots of good food and wine.
However, you can just spend lazy days around the gorgeous pool and maybe an occasional game of tennis and add the most spectacular views you have a piece of heaven! We highly recommend it either with friends or large families as there is plenty of space for everyone, together with a separate annexe. We will return!
Thank you so much for your most generous comments about Gaubil. We have made much effort to make it as private and comfortable as possible. It seems to have worked!
Do come back again!
John and Lisa
Special interest holidays:
The region boasts that one in every ten bottles of wine drunk in the world over the last 100 years has come from this region. With the strong influence of Australasia, in recent years there has been a great move away from producing bulk wine to where the money is, at the better end of the market. There is an ever increasing variety of good and great wines produced in the area. From the outstanding Rothschild Domaine Baron D'Arques www.domaine-de-baronarques.com at Saint-Polycarpe (definitely worth visiting) Domaine du Météore, Les Léonides Blanc 2009, Faugeres, through to James Kingslake and Domaine Begude www.domainebegude.com and his wonderful Pinot Noir to the many excellent and greatly underestimated sparkling Blanquettes from Limoux. This entire area is an Oenophile's delight!
We have also had a number of artists who have stayed with us over the years because the views form the house are exceptional. The landscape is captivating, spellbinding in reality and provides the widest range of opportunities for landscape artists.
There is excellent white water rafting and canoeing on the river Aude especially higher up the river near Esperaza.
The region is famous for it's walks, horse riding, bicycle rides and the Randonnée.
The area is also ideal for cycling and there is a fantastic route from here to Monréal. The Tour de France frequently travels through Limoux.
Narbonne which is on the edge of the Mediterranean is an hour's drive away and there are many great beaches such as Narbonne Plage and La Gruissan with its salt marshes and seafood are there. Port Leucate with its pretty port is just over an hour’s drive away and has one of the very best fish restaurants in the entire region, Le Jardin de Filoche (definitely needs booking). Port Leucate has a fine sandy beach with swimming, windsurfing and parasurfing to entertain and occupy everyone. It also sports a nudist beach.
Carcassonne Airport is only 15 mins away whilst Toulouse, Beziers and Perpignan Airports are all an hour to an hour and a half's drive. Calais and other such ports are a 12 hour drive.
Although we are close to Carcassonne, car hire is essential.
10 min drive to Preixan, 15 mins to Carcassonne town and 20 mins to Carcassonne Cite. 20 min to Limoux. Cathar Chateaux are all around the region and at a variety of distances. Rennes le Chateau which is fascinating is only 45 mins away. St Hilaire, a monastry where the local sparkling white wine, Blanquette (the original source of Champagne was discovered) is 15 mins away across wine country.
There is also a small supermarket (Superette) in the village of Preixan. Various small shops in La Valette (great butcher, tabac and grocers). Major supermarkets (Geant and Leclerc) and banks in Carcassonne and Limoux. Restaurants all over but also in Roullens, Preixan, St. Hilaire (Le Clos de St. Hilaire) and Carcassonne (Comte Roger). Various Cathare Chateaux nearby with kayaking on the Aude at Alet les Bains. Riding at the nearby campsite. Wine caves in Arzens and Rouffiac. There is a very good wine school called Vinecole which is only 20 minutes away from the house and is very professionally run. There is a challenging aerial walkway at Carcassonne Plage.
For those interested there are a number of excellent vineyards within easy driving distance of Gaubil who will show visitors around their estates and who of course sell their wines directly. Perhaps best of all these is the Rothschild Estate, Baron Arques, just outside Limoux. Here the most modern techniques have been introduced from Bordeaux to provide the highest level and quality of wine making. Prices match accordingly!
There are many others however.