Privately owned dwelling with 3 bedrooms,2 bathrooms,pool,& garden views
Available in May and August our Barn in Murcens in the Lot is a beautiful, relaxing holiday destination. The Lot is home to stunning scenery, picturesque honey coloured stone villages, three lovely rivers, the Lot, Cele and Dordogne, first class rustic cuisine and the renowned Cahors appellation wine. This sparsely populated region offers natural, peaceful and unspoilt countryside for a delightful "escape from it all" vacation.Nature, man and time have conspired to create a wonderful landscape of dramatic limestone cliffs, mysterious forested causses and fertile valleys. The abundant flora and fauna have been cared for by its people who in turn have built agreeable places which form a delightful backdrop for today’s visitors.
The Barn is set in the heart of this spellbinding landscape. Relaxation starts as soon as you arrive. A sheep’s bell, birdsong or the occasional tractor down the lane are the only sounds. We spend most of our time enjoying the garden, clean air, lovely sun-kissed pool and woodland. It’s an easy going place for reading, listening to music, lazing about outside and spending time with family and friends. Food shopping in the markets, preparing and cooking meals and eating on the sun-kissed patio are always fun. There are scenic drives nearby or strolls down the shady lanes. For the more energetic there are many marked tracks for hiking and biking as well as canoeing on the rivers.
Our careful conversion has saved original features which characterise a barn and complimentary modern additions give a comfortable, distinctive experience for our guests. For a few hours travelling you have arrived worlds away from everyday life and there's the sun For those seeking tranquillity, clean air and relaxation, the Barn at Murcens has all that you could wish for in a holiday and to complete your dreams there are fabulous butterflies by day and glorious starlit skies at night.
About the Owner
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.
Guestbook comments from the owner
We had a great time at the Barn. The night skies were so clear, brilliant for star-gazing.
From the Owner
“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.”
Activity and Interests
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.
Additional pricing information
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable Damage Deposit||£200|
Please make enquiries and bookings via email or telephone.
It is best to check availability first and if you are happy we will send you a booking form.
To reserve the property you should complete and sign the booking form and return it together with payment of the initial non-refundable deposit of 25% of the total rent. The balance must be paid no less than 8 weeks before the start of your holiday.
Changeover Day- Wednesday.
Arrival at 4pm. Departure at 10am.
A Security Deposit cheque for £200 will be held to cover breakages/damage.
Owner's Cancellation Policy
- Available arrival
From the Owner
“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.”
- Hair Dryer
- Iron & Board
- Linens Provided
- Living Room ...
- Towels Provided
- Washing Machine
- Wood Stove
- Dishes & Utensils
- Kitchen ...
- Dining ...
- Dining Area
- DVD Player
- Music Library
- Ping Pong Table
- Video Library
Pool / Spa
- Private Pool
- children welcome
- non smoking only
- pets not allowed
- wheelchair inaccessible
- bird watching
- eco tourism
- scenic drives
- sight seeing
Local Services & Businesses
- massage therapist
- medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities
- fly fishing
- mountain biking
- 2000 sq. ft.
- Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath with Shower, and wash-hand basin
- Bathroom 2 - Toilet, Shower Enclosure, there is a wash-hand basin
- Bathroom 1 is for general use and has a bath with shower fitting, wash-hand basin and w.c.. Bathroom 2 is ensuite with Bedroom 1 and has a large shower enclosure, wash-hand basin, w,c. and a vanity unit with large mirror. All bathrooms have windows, electric heaters and shaver sockets above mirror lights. There is an additional w.c. in the UTILITY ROOM.
- 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
- Bedroom 3
- Bedroom 1
- DESCRIPTION OF SLEEPING CAPACITY;- : There are 3 bedrooms which will sleep a total of 6 people. NOTES ON BEDROOMS;- Bedroom 1 has a double bed with bedside cabinets and lights, a round table and chairs for quiet reading/writing, a chest of drawers, large mirror, wardrobe, robe pegs and hair dryer There is direct access to the garden through glazed doors. Ideal for dawn gazing. Bedroom 2 has a double bed with bedside tables and lights, chest of drawers, mirror, wardrobe, hat and coat hanging and 2 chairs. As in Bedroom1, there is direct access to the garden. Bedroom 3 has twin beds, bedside tables with lights, two chairs and clothes storage facilities All bedrooms get morning sun.
- Notes on accommodation: Although the Barn has all the ingredients for a relaxing holiday the site is unfortunately not suitable for wheel chair users. Sorry but pets are not accepted and smoking is not permitted. Ample hot water is provided by a large electrically heated storage cylinder. For a wide range of produce do visit the splendid Wednesday and Saturday markets in Cahors or Saturday market in Sarlat. OUTSIDE The limestone area of The Causses defines the natural character of the garden and its wild life. The garden, which is not overlooked, is a private, informal setting of meadows and woodland of oak, box and honeysuckle. Guests are invited to pick herbs and lavender. The pool is managed weekly. UTILITY ROOM Washing machine, sink. WC. Vacuum cleaner, brooms and cleaning equipment. Iron and ironing board.