La Lande

Aveyron

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Web Ref: 429
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Accommodation

  • Ground floor: Living room (Satellite TV, DVD, CD, iPod dock) with doors to courtyard. Kitchen/sitting room (microwave, dishwasher, oven). Dining room. Utility area and cloakroom (washing machine). WiFi. Central heating throughout the house.
  • First floor: Library with second sitting area. Double bedroom. Triple bedroom with three single beds. Bathroom. Cloakroom. Telephone (local and incoming calls);
  • Second floor: Double bedroom with en suite shower room. Twin bedroom with en suite shower room.
  • Converted barn: Poolside changing room and cloakroom on lower floor (table tennis, boules, badminton net). Open-plan upper floor furnished as spacious library/sitting room (table football) with access onto a south-facing deck with extensive views over countryside.
  • Outside: Garden with lawns and trees. Shaded dining area. In-built barbecue. Private shaded parking.
  • Private heated swimming pool (10m x 5m) with Roman steps and poolside shower.

In a conservation area and surrounded by rolling countryside, this charming traditional converted farmhouse is a longterm favourite in the Vintage programme.  La Lande is set in its own grounds of more than two acres of gardens and organic, wild flower meadow, yet it is only a 5 minute drive from Najac, a medieval historic 'bastide' that was awarded 'Un des plus beaux villages de France' and 'Site Remarquable du Gout'.

Dominated by its Richard the Lionheart ruined castle, it offers many amenities including local shops, bars and at least six restaurants. Within a drive of around half an hour are the other 'bastides' of Villeneuve, Cordes and Villefranche de Rouergue, with its weekly market in the ancient arcaded square and excellent selection of specialist shops.

The roomy house has been comfortably furnished and is full of charm. It retains many of the original beamed ceilings, exposed stone walls and oak floors of a 19th century 'corps de ferme'. Two of the four bedrooms are en suite and there is a library stocked with a rich variety of books. The large farmhouse kitchen with flagstone floor extends into the original living room, which has a quarry tiled floor and huge open fireplace typical of the region. An adjoining salon complete with traditional tiled floor and capacious sofas provides yet another inviting corner in which to relax and unwind in this most welcoming of houses.

Outside, the original 'pigeonnier', well house, house and barn form the four sides of the sunny courtyard, with access to the sheltered heated swimming pool and gardens,which slope gently away from the house to the adjoining fields and farmland offering superb open views. The upper floor of the barn has recently been renovated and is now comfortably furnished with leather sofas and oak bookshelves to form a second sitting room and library, with access to an elevated, south-facing deck overlooking the pool and countryside.

The spectacular gorges of the river Aveyron can be reached directly from the house via quiet lanes and tracks.

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Location of La Lande

Locality

Great Things to Do Near La Lande

Walk in the steps of Richard the Lionheart

Around the Najac fortress and be part of the second British invasion of Najac! Look out for the mayor, the longest serving in France, and beg him not to play his saxophone!

Explore the medieval village of Najac

A stunning example of the famous Bastides of the south-west and classed as 'one of the most beautiful villages of France'. Lunch on one of a number of sunny terraces looking deep into the valley of the Aveyron from this defensive ridge.

Experience the culinary delights of Najac

With at least 6 restaurants open in season, choose from the gourmet, listed restaurants of Le Belle Rive and L'Oustal del Barry (Michelin quality dining with menus from 20-60euros) to the family-friendly Italian. Serving much more than just pizza and ice-cream, Il Cappello challenges you with its 6 course 19euro menu (yes, including wine).

Be active. Walk the gorges of the Aveyron River

Either up and down the tracks and lanes which lead directly from the house or along the level, shaded banks of the river itself. Hire a bicycle to explore the towpaths which run for miles in each direction and picnic at the secret beaches along the Aveyron. There are several hundred kilometres of marked trails for both walkers and mountain bikers.

Be Lazy

Do the Gorges on the single-track railway north and south from Najac. Or just stay on the train past the Gaillac vineyards and on to the red-brick magnificence of Toulouse. Take a guided tour around the Airbus factory: be the first to board the latest and incredible A380 double-decker. Or, go 'Out-of-this-World' and visit Space City.

Be Sporty

Do the Gorges by raft and let yourself be wafted along. Or let a horse take the strain and go trekking (within walking distance) or buggy riding. Play golf at Villefranche and at Albi. Pop up the road to St Andre de Najac for Mini-Golf, or to see an authentic water-driven saw-mill or visit a talented British potter

Go Skiing!

For a great family day out, whatever the weather, try Cap 'Decouverte' near Carmaux, about 45 minutes from Najac. A converted coal mine which has been made into a 1600 acre leisure centre offering a dry ski slope complete with cable cars, zip-lining, tobogganing, cycling, rollerballing, skating and mini-karting. There is also a swimming pool and museum.

Get Wet

Do the Najac Gorges by canoe or kayak, down the rapids and chutes and fall into 6-12 inches of water. Take lunch in plastic bags for those secret beaches.

Get Warm and Wet

Don't move from the house, just enjoy the heated pool and solar shower, relax on your sunbed and read the afternoon away.

Take it Easy

Enjoy the different shaded corners of the courtyard and the outside dining with pastoral views southwards towards the distant Pyrenees. Drum up enthusiasm for a petanque competition and throw your boules around. Take a good book and rock in the hammock beneath the willow trees.

Make your own entertainment (inside)

In the Games Room enjoy table tennis, authentic 'babyfoot' (table football), darts etc or just accompany your singing on the baby grand piano!

Make your own entertainment (outside)

Your own 2 acres of garden and meadow beg to be explored or used for cricket, badminton, rounders etc. Find the spooky hollow walnut tree, watch the lizards chase each other on the stone walls or see how many different birds of prey you can spot.

Walk from the House

A circular walk down the lanes and disused medieval roads through the woods, past an ancient water mill on one of the Bridges of the River Serene, or walk into Najac and do some people-watching at one of the bars before wandering back again.

Visit a superb (and very French) market

In the Bastide of Villefranche de Rouergue every Thursday morning and find almost everything including, yes, really big pants. Don't forget the Sunday morning market in Najac itself.

Harvest Lavender

Pick your own from the house for your own lavender bags. There is so much lavender that the owners are very happy for you to help yourselves.

See other attractive Bastides

Including Villeneuve, Sauveterre and Cordes Up In The Sky within a 40-minute drive.

Do Toulouse-Lautrec

In his dedicated museum at Albi overlooking the mighty River Tarn (40 minutes) and take in the breathtaking cathedral of St Cecile.

See a modern Wonder of the World

Take a day trip to the world's highest viaduct at Millau carrying the A75 motorway to the Mediterranean. A visit to the famous Roquefort cheese producers, water activities at the Lac de Pareloup or an interactive experience with insects at Micropolis are just some of the places to include in your day out.

Enjoy the house and all its facilities

Make use of the well-stocked library or just open another good bottle of vino and curl up to watch a DVD (a wide choice of DVDs supplied) on the 82cm LCD TV which also offers some British channels. There's a separate TV and video for children on the first-floor living area and plenty of games to keep them occupied.

Do a winetasting and chateaux tour

There are many chateaux and ancients sites to visit in the area. Château du Mauriac is a definite must. En route to Gaillac in a very rural setting, this Templar red-brick chateau is the family home of the artist Bistes. Beautifully restored and decorated by this talented man, you can also buy prints (and originals) of his work and get to shake his hand. Finish the day by visiting one of the many wine domaines in the area where there is plenty of opportunity to sample the local wines.

Nearby

Towns

Najac 5 mins
Villefranche-de-Rouergue 25 mins
Cordes-sur-Ciel 30 mins
Villeneuve 35 mins
Albi 55 mins

Airports

Rodez 70 mins
Toulouse 95 mins
Brive 120 mins
Bordeaux 190 mins
Times are approximate

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