La Vallée

Aveyron

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Web Ref: 446
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Accommodation

  • Upper Ground Level: Spacious entrance hall with steps up to... Living room (vaulted ceiling, TV, DVD, CD) with French windows to dining terrace (motorised sun awning). Dining room leading to office area and stairs to lower ground level. Kitchen (microwave, dishwasher) with door to dining terrace. Cloakroom. Telephone (local and incoming calls). Central heating throughout the house. WiFi.
  • Lower Ground Level:  Two twin bedrooms, each with en suite bathroom. Double bedroom with en suite shower room. Utility room (washing machine). Master suite comprising double bedroom with French windows to pool terrace, and en suite bathroom.
  • Outside: Ample grounds (1.6 hectares) of lawned garden and meadows. Open and shaded terraces. Barbecue. Games room (table tennis, table football, darts, boules, cricket and rounders equipment). Badminton net. Private parking.
  • Private heated swimming pool (10m x 5m) with Roman steps.

La Vallée is a beautiful house in a location which is hard to rival. Surrounded by meadows, it sits at the head of a hidden valley and boasts dramatic views over the River Aveyron gorges and the surrounding countryside. Careful thought and attention to detail have created a home that retains all the authentic charming features yet is, at the same time, a modern and relaxing place to stay.

The tone is set by the living room, where an impressive vaulted ceiling and exposed stone walls are the backdrop to comfortable sofas atop oak flooring. A wood beamed square archway leads through to the dining area and on to the stylish, well equipped kitchen. From here, a door opens out to the first floor terrace, a spectacular spot for al fresco dining overlooking the pool and the views. The dining room also leads into the tower which houses an office area with the same fantastic triple-aspect views.

Each of the four bedrooms has en suite facilities, fitted wardrobes and carefully chosen pieces of furniture to complement the origins of this ancient barn. Of particular note is the light and airy master suite with direct access on to the pool terrace.

The same attention to detail is immediately apparent outside too. The sun terrace has a shaded area for those seeking solace from the midday summer sun, whilst the inviting pool is heated, making La Vallée an ideal choice for an early or late season holiday. Children will love the games room and, indeed, the 1.6 hectares of lawns and fields in which La Vallée sits.

Tempting though it may be to stay by the pool at La Vallée, you are only 6km from Najac, a medieval bastide, classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Take a stroll through the village and you will see why.

Picturesque houses and half timbered buildings adorned with flowers form a long line along the ridge of the hill and lead to the ruined fortress (visited by Richard the Lionheart) at one end. The village has a number of small shops and restaurants, including two which are listed in the 'Bib Gourmand'.

The local village, La Fouillade (3km away), has bars, a couple of restaurants and shops for everyday essentials. Further afield, the charming towns of Cordes-sur-Ciel, Villeneuve and Villefranche are all worth exploring.

The owners respectfully request that guests do not smoke inside the house.

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Location of La Vallée

Locality

Great Things to Do Near La Vallée

Cordes Sur Ciel

A must visit bastide town! It is possible to ride in the Petit Train from the lower square to the old town at the top of the hill. It is a climb of 78 metres so to be recommended! There is a wealth of 13th century buildings within the five lines of fortification. Many are now the workshops of artisans so there is an element of tourism. Take coffee at the restaurant in the Place De Bride with superb views over the valley.

Visit St Antonin-Noble-Val

An easy drive and particularly good on a Sunday morning when there is a comprehensive market. It is a fascinating mediaeval town with fabulous buildings. The tourist office is open on a Sunday and it is possible to get a town guide to the sites of interest although just wandering is very rewarding. Buy food at the market and picnic by the river

Walk in the steps of Richard the Lionheart

Around the Najac fortress and be part of the 'second' British invasion of Najac!

Explore the medieval village of Najac

A stunning example of the famous Bastides of the south-west and awarded '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 choices in the Najac area

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 euro 20-60) to the family-friendly Italian. Serving much more than just 'pizza and ice-cream', Il Cappello challenges you with its 6 course 20 euro menu (yes, including wine). For the 'less hungry' try the 5 course menu at Mont Le Viaur (St André de Najac) for just 12 euros (including wine and coffee)!

Be active. Walk the gorges of the Aveyron River

There are several hundred km of marked trails for both walkers and mountain bikers. Start from the house on the heights or walk or drive down into the gorges. Hire a bicycle to explore the level, shaded towpaths which run for miles in each direction and picnic at the secret beaches along the Aveyron.

Be Lazy

Do the Gorges on the cute 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 among the first to see the latest and incredible A380 double-decker. Or, go Out-of-this-World and visit Space City.

Be Sporty

Do the Gorges by raft. Let yourself be wafted along. Or let a horse take the strain and go pony trekking 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: There are several different starting points, just decide how many ancient water mills you want the river to pull you past. Take lunch in plastic bags for those secret beaches.

Get Warm and Wet

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

Take it Easy

Enjoy the different shaded areas and the outside dining with dramatic views over the Aveyron gorges. Watch the birds of prey circling above you on the warm thermals. Drum up enthusiasm for a petanque competition and throw your boules around.

Make your own entertainment (inside)

In the Games Room enjoy table tennis, authentic 'babyfoot' (table football), and darts.

Make your own entertainment (outside)

Use the acres of garden and meadow for cricket, badminton, rounders and boules.

Walk from the House

A circular walk down the lanes and disused medieval roads through the woods, and do some people-watching at one of the local 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. Dont forget the Sunday morning market in Najac itself.

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.

Do a winetasting and chateaux tour

There are many chateaux and ancients sites to visit, such as Belcastel near Rodez but Chateau du Mauriac is a 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. The Gaillac area has marked tours around the Domaines with lots of opportunities to sample.

Nearby

Towns

La Fouillade 5 mins
Najac 10 mins
Villefranche-de-Rouergue 25 mins
Cordes-sur-Ciel 35 mins
Villeneuve 35 mins
Albi 60 mins

Airports

Rodez 75 mins
Toulouse 100 mins
Carcassonne 140 mins
Bordeaux 180 mins
Bergerac 210 mins
Times are approximate

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