Sunday Times: Top no-fly French holidays
With travel to France from the UK made easier by the recent announcement that France has been re-classified from amber-plus to amber, meaning that UK citizens no longer have to quarantine on their return home, it’s the perfect time to think about making the most of the remains of summer with a holiday in Gascony.
With its wonderfully mild climate, low population density and outdoor, healthy way of life – there’s no better place to venture for a holiday to extend the summer. We’re looking at three of our fantastic properties, including Château Pélat, as featured in the Sunday Times as part the Sunday Times: Top no-fly French holidays:
As featured in the Sunday Times: Château Pélat (sleeps 10 + 4 children)
Château Pélat is a very special property. With over 800 years of rich history, the property reveals its own stories through the many fascinating ‘objets d’art’ on display, as well as its wonderful architecture and design. Built in around 1180, Château Pélat is a real castle, complete with heavy oak doors to resist battering rams. The château also has a vast 10ft fireplace, a gatehouse and round stair tower.
Set in 40 acres of park and farmland, the property has stunning views that extend across the rolling hills of Gascony as far as the Pyrenees mountains about two hours’ drive to the south. The house and connected buildings are beautifully sited around a large walled garden with lawns and trees, offering lots of sitting areas in sun and shade. On the far side of the garden from the house, stone steps wind down to the pool and tennis court, both well sited on a lower, sheltered terrace. There’s also access to the property’s own vineyard, and when you stay at Pélat you will receive a complimentary half case of Chateau Pélat Single Estate Gascon Red wine.
The history of Pélat is closely linked to that of the very attractive nearby mediaeval ‘bastide’ village of Jegun, which you will enjoy exploring. Pélat and three other outlying fortresses were built at the same time as Jegun, around 1180. In fact, so closely linked are the house and village that there are the remains of a ‘secret’ tunnel linking the two places!
Pélat provides very flexible accommodation. It can sleep up to ten adults in great comfort in the main house together with the one-bedroom “Bergerie’’. There is further space for an additional 4-6 children/teenagers, depending on ages, in the (summer only) “Tower” and “Owl” bedrooms.
If you like the look of Château Pélat, discover two other fantastic Simply Gascony properties:
Domaine de la Queyrouse (Sleeps 10)
This beautiful Gascon farmhouse sits on a hillside with far-reaching views over gently rolling countryside. Bordered by horse paddocks and pasture, La Queyrouse is a perfect family retreat offering a real taste of Gascon country life. To the rear of the property in the beautifully maintained gardens, the swimming pool (6m x 12m) and sun terrace have superb panoramic views. To the right is a cottage occupied by the owners, who maintain a discreet presence but are on hand provide a cooking service (at an additional cost), should you wish. Tucked away among magnificent oak trees is a hard tennis court for the more energetic holiday makers!
Serres is a fine, south-facing, late 18th century (date-stone 1791) farmhouse with perhaps the best panoramic views of the Pyrenees anywhere in Gascony - truly stunning! The rooms are comfortable, well-proportioned and the house has been imaginatively and elegantly restored. The pool (12x6m) is opposite the house, linked by old farm buildings to create a courtyard effect. Part of the farm buildings now form a very attractive shady outside sitting/eating area. And if you’re looking to book later in the year, then the ski stations of the Pyrenees are only 1.5 hours' drive away, offering excellent winter skiing and a huge nature reserve in summer with hill-walking, paragliding, rafting, canoeing, etc.
We understand that Covid-19 is making international travel difficult during 2021, that’s why we’re offering a ‘No-Risk’ booking promise for all holidays this year. Learn more here.
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