Saint Marty

Tarn & Tarn-et-Garonne

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Accommodation

  • Ground Floor: Living/dining room (woodburner,TV, DVD, pool table). Kitchen (oven, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, CD). Cloakroom. Telephone (incoming calls only). Central heating throughout the house (payable locally). WiFi.
  • First Floor: Galleried landing over living room. Two double bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom. Twin bedroom. Bathroom (separate shower).
  • Outside: Extensive covered terracing. Table tennis. Pool shower. WC. Built-in barbecue. Child's swings. Basketball net. Private parking. Boules equipment provided. Two small lakes (unfenced).
  • Private heated swimming pool (12m x 6m) with Roman steps and separate children's section.

This house enjoys commanding country views over fields and woods across valleys and hills from its rear terraces and swimming pool. In the distance your dramatic backdrop is a ruined château, pillaged by locals for its stone during the 18th century although, remarkably, two tall narrow towers still remain.

The house and its extensive network of arched, covered terracing flank the rear garden, burgeoning with roses, palms, willows and cypress trees whilst a large pool sits amidst spacious lawns giving way to open fields sloping down to two small lakes stocked with carp and bass.

Children will surely love the space to unwind and will doubtless appreciate the swing, slide, basketball net and table tennis table. Fishing is also permissible in the lakes.

Inside, the house oozes original features such as exposed wood ceiling beams and open faced stone walls with exposed inlaid holding cross beams. The delightful patterned tiled flooring is original and in the lounge a huge fireplace dominates one wall. Antique furniture is evident throughout and a wooden stairway leads to a galleried landing where the three bedrooms are situated.

Castelnau-de-Lévis offers basic amenities about 2km from the house whilst Albi, 7km away, boasts hypermarkets and restaurants to suit all budgets. You can't miss the Cathédrale de Ste Cecile, which dominates the skyline and is well worth a visit but make time also for the Musée Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a native of Albi. The museum houses the largest permanent collection of the artist's work in existence.

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Location of Saint Marty

Locality

Great Things to Do Near Saint Marty

You can actually visit the ruins of the château

& its tower you can see from the garden. For a far reaching view, climb the 200 or so steps up to the top of the Tour de Guet (watch tower).

If you are in the area around the 21st June,

head into Albi for the evening. The whole of France celebrates the 21st June and it is known as Fête de la Musique - all the villages, towns and cities come alive to the sound of music throughout the day. Albi will no doubt put on a good show with lots of open air concerts.

Gaillac to the west of Castelnau-de- Lévis is famous

for the wine produced from the vineyards in the area. The rows of vines stretch as far as the eye can see, and the area is one of the oldest wine producing regions in France, dating back to the 10th century. Visit the tourist office in Gaillac to pick up more information about the wine and the map for the Route de Vin. And finally, don't forget to buy some of the local produce!

Whether you are 7 years old or 77 years old,

you will enjoy 'Cap découverte' at Le Garric, about 17km away. A former open pit mine, this huge space (about 1600 acres in total) has been turned into a place where you can do just about any sport - watersports, funpool with waterslides, cycling, rollerblading, dry skislopes. There is also a lakeside theatre where shows, concerts, laser light shows take place throughout the summer. And finally, not to forget its past, there is a mining museum. A fun day out for everyone.

Visit a local market to really appreciate why the French take their food so seriously

Friday morning in Gaillac, every morning except Monday in Albi (place Lapérouse).

With Albi being so close,

you will have ample opportunity to spend some time wandering its streets. There is plenty to do in the town for quite a few trips so don't cram everything into one morning. It is a beautiful town, dominated by its red brick cathedral which is of course the first thing you should visit. Some facts - it took 200 yrs to build, is 113m in length, 35m wide, 40 m high and has a tower that is 78m high! Open all day until 18.30 between June & September. The rest of the year, it closes for lunch!

Take a boat ride on the River Tarn.

La Mirandole is a flat bottomed boat called a 'gabarre' which will take you along the Tarn from the foot of the Palais de la Berbie in Albi. Trips last 30 mins or there is a longer one of 2 hrs that goes from Albi to Aiguelèze and back.

Spend the day at Aigueleze (about 8km away towards Gaillac)

a large leisure complex where you can waterski, sail, jetski, canoe, play tennis or gold, go horse riding.

Albi was also home to the famous French painter, Toulouse Lautrec.

A museum dedicated to his works and his life is in the Palais de la Berbie, it has the largest collection of his paintings in the world. Afterwards, have a wander through the French gardens at the back of the Palais, bordering on the River Tarn.

For some peace and quiet,

visit the small medieval church of Saint-Salvy, in the shade of the cathedral and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of the old XIIIth century cloister.

Why not spend a day in Toulouse (76km),

easily accessible by the motorway, and wander through its streets, stop for a coffee and watch the world go by. This beautiful 'ville rose' or 'pink city' so called because of the warm coloured bricks used for many of the buildings is a lively and bustling place. Do not forget to visit the 'Cité de l'Espace' - Space City.

Cordes-sur-Ciel, a beautiful bastide town

perched proudly on top of a hill, is about 23km away, perfect for a leisurely visit. Classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, you will understand why when you approach it. However, it does get very busy so go early or late to miss the crowds. A unique place.

Cordes-sur-Ciel is not the only bastide in the area

make time to visit the following - Vaour, Bruniquel, Larroque, Puycelsi, Castelnau de Montmiral, Cahuzac-sur-Vère are just a few. Prettiest by far - and most spectacular castle - is Penne.

Go buy some pink garlic in Lautrec, to the south.

The area around the town is famous for its production of garlic, with over 380 producers and at least 4000 tonnes being produced a year.

About 65 km in the Castres direction,

you will come across a completely different landscape - an area that retains a sense of mystery - the Sidobre plateau overlooking the Castres plain. Here you will find huge granite bolders shaped by the weather into weird and strange forms - find the one called Roc de l'Oie (Goose Rock) or Les Trois Fromages (the Three Cheeses). Underground rivers and grottos complete the picture. Difficult to describe but worth the visit.

Or simply do nothing at all,

apart from swim, read a few novels, swim in the pool, sunbathe, eat some good food, try the local wines and relax for the whole of the holiday.

Enjoy the lovely covered terrace at Saint Marty

a focal point of the house, with its large wood oven, the huge stone arches through which you can see the pool, not forgotting the table tennis there. A perfect place to escape the heat of the summer sum, or indeed the rain from the occasional storm.

The children will love the large grounds to play in,

the swings and table tennis, the big pool and the ponds in the fields below. The adults will no doubt appreciate the lovely setting - the rolling hills, the ivy covered house and the well cared for gardens full of flowers and plants.

It is feasible to walk into the village of Castelnau-de-Lévis

along the country road, and have either a good simple meal at the Restaurant Caramel or, for a more refined, gastronomic experience, a meal at La Taverne. Be aware that the walk back to Saint Marty is slightly uphill and so a bit more of an effort, especially after some food and drink!

Art Lovers...

...should not miss the gallery Les Abbatoirs in Toulouse which houses more than 2,000 examples of modern and contemporary art from World War II to the present day (www.lesabbatoirs.org)

Nearby

Towns

Albi 20 mins
Gaillac 20 mins
Cordes-sur-Ciel 30 mins
Castelnau-de-Montmiral 30 mins
Graulhet 35 mins
Castres 55 mins

Airports

Toulouse 55 mins
Rodez 90 mins
Carcassonne 95 mins
Pau 165 mins
Bergerac 180 mins
Bordeaux 180 mins
Times are approximate

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