La Petite Grange has been recently converted from our barn to become a self-contained, bright and airy 'gîte'.
Upstairs is a double bedroom with en-suite shower-room, and with french windows at either side, one leading out to a little balcony behind an old vine where you can sit and look out over the valley, the other opening on to the gallery leading round to the B&B; room in the main house. The third window at the front looks out over the field down to the stream at the bottom of the valley. There is hanging cupboard space, a heated towel-rail in the shower-room, an electric radiator, and the old oak beams have been left exposed. A cot or child's bed can be provided on request.
Downstairs is the living-room/kitchen/dining-room. The kitchen comes with fridge/freezer, microwave, oven, vitroceramic hob, and all the necessary equipment, also a washing-machine. There is a TV with French and UK satellite channels, a DVD player, an iPod dock, WiFi is available, a telephone, books and use of our DVD library. There is a log-burning stove, free logs supplied.
Outside at the front is a table under a parasol, or you can dine alfresco in the barn to the right of the 'gîte', where there is also a gas-fired 'plancha' type grill. The unfenced garden is all grass, with sun-loungers where you can relax in the shade under the walnut trees, or move to the sun to top up your tan! Close your eyes and listen to the cries of the buzzards, lazily circling the valley, or the tapping of the woodpecker, or the cuckoos in the woods, or a deer barking in the distance... and at dusk you may hear the frog chorus coming up from the stream. You can help yourself to whatever is available in the vegetable garden, and free-range eggs are available from our hens in the next village.
There are some beautiful walks you can make from the house, some taking in high ridges from where you can see for miles over the valleys, some through mysterious woods. You may encounter deer, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, coypu - even wild boar!
When you arrive, La Petite Grange will be stocked with the basics, tea, coffee, milk, sugar, fruit juice, croissants, jam, butter and a welcome bottle of local wine, but if you would like us to go shopping for you prior to your arrival so that you have more time to spend on your holiday, we are happy to do so
There are many beautiful places to visit and things to do which are easily reached using La Petite Grange as your base. Here are a few suggestions:
L'Abbaye de St-Sever-de-Rustan, only 5km away, in a charming unspoilt village on the banks of the Arros, has guided tours every day. The medieval cloister however, with it's fantastic 14th century carved capitals, has been moved to
Tarbes, the departmental capital of 65, where the cloister has been reassembled in the Jardin Massey, a garden laid out by a local who for years was in charge of the gardens at Versailles,then in 1829 came home to turn his own 35 acre estate into a lush, English-style park.
The bastide towns of Tillac, Marciac, Miélan, Mirande and Bassoues, to name a few. Each has its own character to explore, and restaurants to keep your energy up.
Lourdes, of course, which needs no introduction.
Bagnéres de Bigorre, one of the many spa towns, with its exciting Saturday market, its cafés and its ice-cream stalls, makes a most enjoyable day out.
Auch, a lovely little town on the river Gers, has the exceptional Cathédrale Ste-Marie to explore.
Condom, another lovely town, where after you've made the obligatory jokes you can actually visit the Musée des Préservatifs, or if culture is more your thing there is the magnificent Cathédrale St-Pierre, the Musée de l'Armagnac and a tour of the antiques shops.
Pau, a fantastic town which deserves to be more famous than it is, has much to discover, from King Henri's Castle to the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
The ski resorts of Barèges, La Mongie and St Lary are 1hr 20min away, and between them have the biggest ski area and greatest number of pistes in the Pyrénées.
You can take the cable-car from La Mongie to the top of the Pic du Midi, where the viewing platforms and terraces have spectacular views over the mountains, and a restaurant ((website: hidden)).
For a day of tapas and cava, Spain is a 2hr drive away, or try the white water rafting in the Val d'Aran. The Tour de France passes close by at the Col de Tourmalet, and the area is hugely popular with cyclists - and even motorcyclists!
You could take a couple of days to visit the two local wine-growing regions of Madiran and Jurançon: many of the vignerons are open most days for a dégustation, others like a phone call first, but you will always be made welcome and how satisfying to come home in the evening for dinner with a bottle of wine direct from the producer...!
And what visit to Gascony would be complete without a visit to Le Musée du Beret ((website: hidden)) at the nearby bastide town of Nay.......Read more
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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