Privately owned dwelling with 3 bedrooms,2 bathrooms,pool,& garden views
Mrs Janet Randell
- english, french
About Mrs Janet Randell
We are a retired English professional couple whose long love affair with France led to buying a rural retreat in the Midi- Pyrenees. Here we made a home out of a disused farm building and a garden from a meadow. We live in England, where after qualifying, Geoffrey practiced and taught architecture. We travelled a good deal with our children including many times to France where we built up many happy memories. We still enjoy driving south through the lovely, uncrowded French countryside, stopping off here and there to visit sites and tasting local produce. Sometimes we fly to Toulouse where we hire a car and make the hour and a half drive to The Barn. We feel refreshed after spending time in the Lot and we return as often as possible. We hope that our guests will love the place as much as we do.
Mrs Janet Randell purchased this Barn in 1992
Why Mrs Janet Randell chose Cras
The countryside is beautiful, dramatic and uncrowded. It is tranquil and peaceful but never dull. We were introduced to the Lot by friends who made their holiday home in Cras available to us. The local people were welcoming from the outset and many have become good friends. The climate, we discovered, was generally drier than in England with clear, crisp winters and dry, hot, sunny summers. The sunshine was and is a treat and the air clean and fresh. Although one feels far from the madding crowds, good facilities are within easy reach. A car is necessary but traffic is very light so taking trips out to lovely villages, festivals, historic sites or sparkling rivers, is a comfortable and delightful experience. The area is renowned for its Cahors wine and visiting some of the 200 or so wineries in the Valley for tasting and buying direct from the domaine was and of course remains fun. When the opportunity arose to buy a place of our own, we jumped at the chance. Then began the journey of choosing, buying and working to make a home of our own in a foreign country. It seemed only natural to acquire something in the village which we had come to love and eventually discovered an old, disused barn in Murcens just outside Cras, which we realised had many opportunities for our dream home. The site was large with lots of trees, full of bird- song and was not overlooked. There were houses nearby so we could still be neighbourly without losing privacy. The two-level building, originally for animals and hay, was large enough for our needs. We loved the stone walls, large timber roof, beautiful, calm, location and perfect southerly orientation. Geoffrey drew up plans and we employed local artisans for the work. In realising our dream we have transformed a symbolic building of French rural life with its many interesting features into a much loved home. We hope our guests will enjoy it too.
What makes this Barn unique
The siting of the building and its former use determined its two level configuration, typical of Quercy barns. This in turn led to its unique conversion and the conservation of its traditional features. Amongst these are its "cathedral" roof form and oak structure, former cart openings, oak floor beams and posts, stone walls with vent holes and clay roof tiles Together, these features form the character of a barn, which we wished to retain and restore as part of our design philosophy. All are visible and compliment the alterations and modern facilities. The new chestnut boarded upper floor and clay tiled lower floor give a special quality to the spaces whilst the steep pitched roof has been left exposed inside to give dramatic effect to the open-plan family/living room. A generous galley kitchen and light bedrooms with direct access to the garden are other successful outcomes of the conversion. The southerly aspect and rich vegetation led to the creation of the paved patio directly beyond the dining room to give a convenient place for al fresco dining. The pool is private, gets sun all day and is for the sole use of guests. It has a pergola shaded terrace and is bordered by lavender making it a delightful place to relax. The meadows and woodland give secluded walks around the Barn and fun for all to explore and discover the flaura and fauna unique to the area. On the doorstep are shady lanes around the Oppidum and you can experience its awesome cliff-top location. The air is clear and with no light pollution the night skies are particularly spectacular. For the more energetic there are good well marked hiking and biking trails nearby and canoeing a little further afield. Or for a quieter life there's always a spot in the garden or meadow for reading or day-dreaming.
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
£200 damage deposit is due by cheque or bank transfer to the owner a week before (bank trans) or upon arrival (cheque).
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
A blissfull few weeks away from it all in wonderful accomodation
This is a wonderfully secluded property where you can unwind in whatever way you want. The cycling, running and walking in the area is superb plus there are many areas and attractions to visit. And after all that you can relax by the pool. The bedrooms are on the lower ground which ensured they were lovely and cool in the hot weather. Many thanks Janet for all the information you sent prior to our trip and thanks to Richard for popping in whilst we were there to check we had everything we needed and to look after the pool. I can thoroughly recommend the Barn and we will be heading back in future years.
A get away from it all location
The barn has a great living space and worked very well for our family. The pool was excellent and the gardens delightful. A good spot for exploring the area. The only small drawback is the remoteness of the location.
Perfect family retreat
We have spent an idyllic week at The Barn with our 2 boys and have loved every minute of it. If you are looking for a peaceful holiday home in which to relax by the pool, go for great walks, play games and enjoy the local restaurants, this is the place to be. A charming building, full of character set in lovely grounds. We hope to return next year.
Très bon séjour ressourçant au calme dans un cadre idyllique.
Nous avons découvert cette belle grange rénovée avec une piscine très agréable. La maison quoiqu’un peu loin des premières commodités nous a permis de passer de belles vacances en famille et de découvrir cette belle région qu’est le Lot. Un cadeau de bienvenue nous était réservé et nous avons apprécié cette attention. Il y a tout ce qu’il faut dans la maison. Les chambres spacieuses et aménagées avec goût restent fraîches et la literie est confortable. Je recommande cette location qui est vraiment abordable. La propriétaire ne parle qu’anglais et il n’y a ni wifi ni tv en français!!! L’occasion de faire un break d’ecran Et de lire et jouer aux cartes!
The Barn is an easy days drive from the Channel ports as all but the last 15 miles can be driven on the superb French motorways. Coming from the North, Junction 56 at Labastide Murat is just 15 mile away. From the south, Junction 57, (Cahors North) at St Michel, is 10 miles away.
By air, there is a choice of airports at Toulouse, Bergerac, Rodez or Brive. Car hire is available from all four which are within one and a half hours drive of the Barn.
By rail, trains run from Paris to Cahors from where a car may be hired.
We are in an area of outstanding natural beauty located above the pretty villages of St. Matin de Vers and St Sauveur la Vallee. The Barn is one of 7 dwellings on the former Gallic site of Oppidum de Murcens, little of which unfortunately exists today except as a helpful location name on the map. The diversity of the area gives painters, photographers, birdwatchers, canoeists, hikers and bikers, ample scope to pursue their interests and for families to enjoy. Hot air ballooning is also available for those seeking adventure and a view of their holiday setting from above.
Our hamlet of Cras is 2 miles away. It commands extensive views and is popular with walkers as it is on one of the routes to Santiago di Compostela. Also a tennis court is nearby.
We are just 5 miles from the gorgeous valley village of St. Martin de Vers and our local market town of Labastide Murat is just a further 5 miles away. It has a bank, supermarket, hairdressers, restaurants, bars, a boulangerie for delicious pastries, a butcher for locally produced meat, a farmers market displaying rural crafts, dentist and health clinic and post office. Nadillac with our local restaurant is 5 miles away. Cabrerets, 12 miles away, with the spectacular cave paintings of Peche Merle and stunning mediaeval cliff dwellings, is a must visit.
The Causses and its villages offer excellent walking and biking in beautiful, natural, rural settings.
Cahors, the Departmental capital, has all the facilities, a remarkable 14th.cent. fortified bridge, a noted cathedral with stunning cloisters, fabulous market, 2 cinemas, a theatre and boat trips on the Lot.
Rocamadour, renowned hilltop pilgrimage village with craft shops and St. Cirq-Lapopie, spectacular clifftop village above the river Lot, both within comfortable driving distances, are highly recommended especially for early morning or evening visits.
Gourdon, a nearby hilltop town, has a summer Mediaeval Festival.
Vers, a village at the confluence of the rivers Vers and Lot, has one of our favourite restaurants, La Truite d'Oree and riverside summer games of boules/petanque played by locals. Sarlat, 25 miles north, a lovely historic town, with another super Saturday market, is also recommended
In July there is the Blues Festival. In August there are numerous festivals from village fetes to the celebrations of grand operas and classical music in stunning settings such the courtyard of the castle at Castelnau-Bretenoux where performances are held under moonlight. Also there are open - air riverside performances of Shakespeare at Puy l'Eveque and the fabulous fete and fireworks at St. Martin de Vers.
Country life is displayed at the working Museum of Rural Life in Cuzals.There is a small Zoo at Gramat, which also hosts the Country and Rock Festival in early August.
The gorgeous river Cele can be explored by canoe and a tour of the valley with its hillside villages is recommended.
Figeac, a large town on the Lot, is about 35 miles away. It is the birth-place of J.P Champallion the decipherer of the Rosetta Stone. There is a good museum celebrating his work as well an exhibition of vernacular architecture and town design.
There are numerous bastide towns in the area. They were built in the 13th and 14th. centuries for ease of administration. Planned on a grid layout by the English as well as the French they were found to be easily defended during the wars between the two countries. They are beautiful places, well worth visiting. Good examples are Domme, Montpazier, Villereal and Castillonees. And of course we shouldn't forget the many wineries along the Lot Valley, many of which offer free tasting and where you can buy direct from the Domaine.