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THE HOUSE THE GROUNDS THE INCOME OPPORTUNITY

Price - 320,000 euros (no agents fees)

Contact Richard & Alex Johnson Tel: 00 44 (0)753 952 0288
To email us CLICK HERE

THE LOCATION

St Cere market Typical view of the countryside
The Lot department is an area of contrasts, ranging from high hills and deep valleys to magnificent limestone cliffs and wonderful medieval villages -there is a high concentration of "Les plus beaux villages de France" within a short distance.

We are in the north of the Lot close to the very popular town of St Cere and the Dordogne Valley. You can also easily visit the surrounding departments of the Aveyron, the Correze, the Dordogne and the Cantal for even more variety. For anyone who enjoys skiing and other winter sports there is an excellent ski resort at Le Lioran about 80 minutes away.

The house itself sits on the edge of the small village of Lacam Dourcet surrounded by wonderful countryside. The people in the village are very friendly and welcoming, people will stop and have a chat with you at any time of the day. We were made to feel at home immediately.

We fell in love with our local town of St Cere and its attractive old centre. It has a very "laid back" atmosphere but all the services you could require - indeed the area around St Cere has become very popular with the French as well as overseas buyers because of its location and atmosphere. We do most of our shopping in St Cere, a short drive away where you will find a bustling town centre and regular market plus a range of larger supermarkets and hardware stores and of course, cafes and restaurants. There is also a very good hospital with A&E and a well respected school. In the summer the town is home to a classical and operatic music festival each year that draws people from around the world.

If you don't want to drive into town there are two mini-supermarkets, a chemist, and bakers in Sousceyrac just 4km up the road. There also a number of bars and restaurants including one that has a michelin star which offers quality cooking and presentation at a reasonable price.

The area has always been popular with english speaking ex-pats, some are now second generation, but this is most definitely not like some areas of France where whole villages are british enclaves. Here the ex-pats tend to blend in and become part of the community. We would recommend that you do maintain contact with fellow countrymen as there will always be the occasion when you need to talk to someone in your own language. If you want to improve your french we can thoroughly recommend the french/english get-togethers organised by one of the local tourist offices. You will make new friends and learn a new language at the same time.

We operated the bed and breakfast for 12 years and we had many guests returning, some for 4 or 5 occasions, because they love the area so much and there is so much to see and enjoy. We offered specialist walking holidays as well and the guests were amazed at how peaceful the countryside and villages are compared to the UK and elsewhere.

To give you a better idea of what you will find in the area we have included at the bottom of this page an extract from our B&B website listing places to visit and things to do.

Beaulieu sur DordogneChateau de Montal at St Cere St Cirq Lapopie

View down towards St Cere Figeac Lac du Tolerme 5km from the house

Chateau de CastelnauLoubressac View in the Cantal

 

The Climate

Draw a line across France where the Lot department is located and this is where the southern part of France is generally considered to start. This means the weather is usually milder and sunnier than northern France and a lot better than the UK. In mid-summer the temperatures can regularly reach the high 20's to low 30's and occasionally higher but we are lucky as the house is in the hills so benefits from a slightly lower temperature and hopefully a cooling breeze (the house is also built to keep cool). In the Spring and Autumn the temperatures hover between the high "teens" and the mid-20's with clear blue skies. In the winter you will find in common with most of France (don't let anyone tell you differently!) the temperatures fall away for a few months and you will get cold frosty nights and when the sun shines, sparkling blue days - in fact during November and December we can often be warmer than towns in the valley! Yes it does rain and we do get quick heavy downpours. Like much of France it also snows a couple of times most years but here they live with it and it doesn't cause problems - in fact it adds to the magic of the area.

Access

The nearest north/south autoroute is the A20 and is about 35 minutes drive away.

There are several airports serving the area but the closest is the brand new airport south of Brive 40 minutes away. For more international destinations you can drive to Toulouse or Limoges in just over 2 hours.

The nearest railway station is 20 minutes away at Biars with a shuttle service to the main Paris/Toulouse line at Brive.


St CereAN EXTRACT FROM OUR B&B WEBSITE

You are spoilt for choice if you want to explore wonderful historic towns and villages. The Lot and neighbouring departments, the Correze, Cantal and Aveyron all have their own identity. From our Bed & Breakfast you have easy access to each of these departments and the chance to experience the very different cultures that have evolved.

Locally and within a few kilometres of each other are the pretty medieval villages of Loubressac, Autoire, Carrenac, Curemonte, Collonges, Cardaillac and Turenne, all members of "Les Plus Beaux Villages de France" . Each member of the association has been rigorously selected on the quality of their architecture, environment, and patrimony.

St. Céré (left) our local town is a typical market town with a lovely historic centre. Guests often comment how friendly and unaffected by tourism St. Céré is despite it fast becoming a centre for tourists to explore the surrounding area.There are restaurants and cafes to suit all tastes and a "real" French market where you can buy anything from lovely cheeses and bread to pots and pans or a brand new bed if you have room in the car!St. Céré has a lovely outdoor swimming pool and several tennis courts and just a short distance outside a proper 9 hole golf course beside the Chateau de Montal.There are a good selection of shops including supermarkets if you need to stock up on anything.

AutoireAutoire
The manor of Latoque and the château of Limargue below the village. At the top, the Castle of Peyrusse de Banze, late 16th c, rises up above the brown-tiled roofs of the village. Autoire is located in a very beautiful valley which eventually leads to the spectacular cascades. For the energetic, a walk climbs the side of the valley to offer far-reaching views and the chance to see a wealth of wild flowers and the birds of prey that circle above the village.

CarennacCarennac
One of the most picturesque villages in France, overlooking the Dordogne, Carennac has hardly changed since the 16th century. The fine romanesque church Saint-Pierre has a stunning 12th century tympanum. The cloisters were rebuilt in the 15th century following the Hundred Years War. Stroll around the tiny streets with their leaning houses and over-hanging wooden balconies before lunch at the delightful creperie.

FigeacFigeac
The riverside town of Figeac has a wonderful market every Saturday morning. Founded by Bendictine Monks, the picturesque old quarter has many houses dating from the 12th to 18th century. A prosperous medieval town, it was an important stopping place for pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compestella.


Rocamadour
Reputed to be the second most visited site in France, this village is on many people's list of places to see. The English King Henry II came here to repent for the murder of Thomas a Beckett. His son pillaged it to pay his soldiers and died soon afterwards in nearby Martel. You can see more information on our separate page for Rocamadour.


Martel

Martel
Also know as the village with seven towers, Martel is definitely one of our favourites. The wonderfully preserved centre boasts many medieval buildings, notably in the Rue de Four-Bas which leads to the 13th to 16th century church Saint-Maur. On the Place des Consuls is the Palais de la Raymondie built around 1280 and the remarkable covered market with a chesnutwood framework and stone pillars - the old cereal measures can still be seen to one side.
Loubressac

Loubressac

The streets in bloom lead to a square in the shade where the 12 and 14 th c church rises. The village offers a vast view of the Dordogne and Bave valleys. Many trekking paths start from Loubressac to all the other hamlets in the vicinity. Also close by are the Caves at Padirac which are open to the public and contain underwater lakes and interesting cave formations.


Beaulieu sur Dordogne
Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne
Just inside the border of the Correze but only 30 minutes drive from the house, Beaulieu has one of the prettiest river frontages along the Dordogne. You can take a boat trip along the river or watch the many artists that set up their easels along the river bank to paint the wonderful reflections in the river.



TurenneTurenne
Between the remains of the castle and of the walls, a square keep and the round tower of Caesar still survive. Rich sandstone mansions lean up against the fortress. There are also 15th c rich mansions with pepper-mill shape towers. 2 religious monuments can be visited: a 16th c college church and chapelle des Capucins.

 

SalersSalers
Salers is one of the wonders of the Cantal. Its buildings are typical of a village established in the 15th c. with fragments remaining of the ancient walls and gates. The houses with “poivriere” roofs are flanked by corbelled towers. The road from Salers to Puy Mary is spectacular with immense views across the high mountains.


Argentat Argentat
A few kilometres upstream from Beaulieu, this village also has a picture postcard quay with cafes and restaurants. From here you can venture further up the Dordogne and follow its route as it carves its way through the steep valleys. There is a marvellous "street music" festival in Argentat each summer.

 

If the above are not enough to keep you occupied there are even more wonderful places to visit, including:

Cahors is the fascinating capital city of the Lot department with its famous medieval bridge the "Pont de Valentre" and the centre of the AOC wine region named after the town. Ever wondered who the "Gambetta" was that has a road named after him in virtually every French town? Well he is Cahors' most famous son, the one-eyed lawyer who during the Franco-Prussian War escaped in a hot-air balloon from the seige of Paris.

A recommended day trip in the car visits Figeac and then follows the beautiful valley of the Lot river passing a number of interesting villages to reach the picture-postcard medieval village of St Cirq Lapopie. A very popular destination, this village rises above the river and contains many well preserved buildings and a number of interesting artisan shops. The return journey follows the equally dramatic valley of the Cele river and passes through the historic village of Marcilhac.

For a different day out, the Lot has many spectacular caves open to the public. These aren't just dark holes in the ground but massive networks of caverns with extraordinary rock formations. The entrance to the giant Gouffre de Padirac is an impressive hole in the ground 77m deep and 99m in circumference and an underground boat ride takes you to the Grand Dome cavern which is 91m from top to bottom. A little further afield is the Grotte de Pech Merle, one of the finest Prehistoric sites in France. The paintings are as remarkable as Lascaux but here you can see them in the original!

If you visit Rocamadour, then we thoroughly recommend the bird of prey centre "Rocher des Aigles". Normally we don't support captive wild animals but this centre has an outstanding history of breeding endangered raptors and returning them to the wild. Plus the flying display is one of the most breathtaking you will see - guaranteed!

The "red" village of Collonges in the Correze and the remarkable village of Conques in the Aveyron are both about 1 hour by car.

For those willing to travel a little further you can reach the very popular towns of Sarlat and Domme in the Dordogne in about 90 minutes or even Bergerac in about 2 hours. For a complete change we can strongly recommend a trip into the Cantal to see the stunning "Parc Naturel Regional des Volcans" with its extinct volcanoes such as the famous Puy Mary.

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