|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
An individual stone and oak-beamed traditional barn in a very tranquil setting at the end of a single-track road. A wing of the last house in a hamlet of five houses, just below the summit of a 1000ft hill with twenty-mile views from the south-west facing pool and balcony down wooded valleys. Early risers see the beautiful mists down in the river valley (the house is called Hors des Brumes – out of the mists – because we are usually in the sunshine above).
Peter Dixon and Bridget Wright moved to France in 2000 with the plan to renovate Hors des brumes as two properties. We would live in the house and let the barn as a gite. As so often happens the best laid plans never work out. For our first year of lettings the barn was not ready so we let the house and moved into the barn which was very rustic and so the pattern has continued for a mixture of reasons. Firstly, we have had so much repeat business that people have wanted to return to the house. One family have visited us six times; also it has taken us a long time to completely finish the renovations in the barn. After nine years we were ready to let the barn for the full season. The barn is a magical space, quite unusual and we have tried to keep many of the original features.
Peter Dixon purchased this barn in 2000
The experience of French rural life in a beautiful and uncrowded part of the countryside. Driving around some of the local roads you will be surprised to see another car, even in peak season.
Small town fêtes are a fun night out in the summer with giant paella, accordion-led dance bands, and fireworks at midnight.
Cordes and Najac are a very relaxed drive away, Albi just a little further but all worth a visit. Albi has a remarkable cathedral, an attractive river and pedestrianised mediaeval centre and the Toulouse Lautrec museum.
There are markets almost every day somewhere. Villefranche on Thursdays is considered the best, but our favourite is St Antonin on a Sunday morning.
Each year we have over thirty visitors and most of them prefer relaxing by the pool to anything more strenuous. We have a growing paperback library if this is your choice. However, there is plenty of good walking around. The French come to this general area to walk, cycle, climb and cave, and kayak down the Aveyron, or jump off the cliffs at St Antonin (with parachutes).
‘Thank you! Hors des brumes lived up to all our hopes. Wonderful views, always changing. No two sunsets the same. A vast expanse of stars – two electrical storms – one with a marvellous wave of brume (mist) moving up the valley. Also, for all the thoughtful provisions for our 6 year old twins. The holiday delivered beyond our expectations. We admire the vision that has driven your creation – what a success.’
Roger and Liz from Herts.
‘I have had a great stay here. The food was DELICOUS! The pool was FANTASTIC! And the views lovely. I think Copper and Oscar (our apricot poodles) are adorable and will be sad to say goodbye to them. The frogs by the pond were funny and very amusing watch, there were loads. – Thank you.’
Anna aged 9 from Surrey.
‘A wonderful two weeks – this is the perfect antidote to city life. Everything has been excellent, even down to the advice on when to look for shooting stars. Prepared meals were fantastic.
Sarah, Chris and family from Paris.
Beaches are available by the rivers or lakes, 20 minutes away.
The nearest airports are Toulouse (90 minutes) or Rodez (75 minutes). Car hire is essential. Driving from the Channel ports takes about ten hours. Motorail runs from Paris to Brive or Toulouse.
Nearest village shops are Laguepie or Mirandol (15 minutes), nearest big supermarkets 25 minutes, Cordes 25 minutes, Najac 25 minutes, St Antonin 45 minutes, Albi 45 minutes.
You will probably see wild deer and hares, and possibly wild boar, pine martens or otters, as well as red squirrels. There are buzzards circling and kestrels hovering overhead, and other birds of prey including peregrine falcons, kites, and hen harriers. Eagles and a type of vulture have been seen. Herons and kingfishers are by the rivers and other smaller birds include black redstarts, who nest in our porch, swallows who fly into the barn if you leave the door open, robins, wrens, nuthatches, tits, hoopoes, hawfinches, rock buntings, stonechats and golden oreoles. There are four kinds of woodpecker.
Background music on summer evenings is provided by crickets, frogs, and midwife toads (who go ‘peep peep’). Bats zigzag by at dusk and sleep behind the shutters during the day. The hooting of owls or the singing of nightingales may send you to sleep at night.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable damage deposit||$308|
25% deposit on booking, the remainder 8 weeks before arrival. £250 damage deposit.
We will try to accommodate any changeover days and any length of stay (minimum 7 nights). Please ask. Arrival 4pm, departure 10am.
25% on booking, remainder 8 weeks before arrival