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