Our secluded mountain hamlet of Cumminges (alt. 3000ft) is set in 3 acres of forest and wild flower meadows, and provides a lovely environment to rest, recuperate and plan cultural and outdoor activities. Other guests come simply to drink in the stillness.
We live permanently in the hamlet with with our guests in the cottage. Our children now 19 and 25 years old, are studying away, but return frequently.
Our self catering cottage has been restored in stone, using traditional materials, oak and chestnut from our forest, always with the emphasis on conserving the natural habitat.
The cottage faces South East and catches the early morning sun.
We have always found our guests to be restpectful of the environment and other people.The hamlet has a very low carbon footprint. Drinking water comes from a mountain spring, our renewable forest provides all the fuel for heating, and newly installed solar panels provide our electricity. We recycle and compost for our vegetable garden.
We can accept animals (not too exotic!) but only by prior arrangement (there are sheep in the surrounding meadows). There is a charge of £3 per night per dog.
We would be grateful if smokers would only smoke outside the cottage.
The kitchen is fully equipped with a gas cooker, fridge/freezer, microwave, washing machine, and free wi-fi.
The dining area has a dining table and four chairs.
There is a raised lounge area around a wood burning stove, the soul of the cottage, with soft furnishings.
There are two bedrooms, entirely separate, one with a double bed and wash basin, the other with two single beds and wash basin.
All bed linens are provided.
Both bedrooms have beautiful views over the valley onto Mont Fourcat (6000 ft).
There is a separate tiled walk-in shower room approx. two sq. mtrs, with shelving for toiletries.
The wc is separate.
There is a wood burning stove, fuel for which in the winter is charged at £30 for a half metre cube.
There are electric off peak storage heaters in the dining area and in the bedrooms, but these are unlikely to be needed in the summer. In other seasons reasonable heating is provided free of charge.
There are a number of board games provided in the cottage, and having had our children around in the past, we have more available.
A tv and video player could be provided if necessary.
There is a private garden area available to the guests just outside the cottage, complete with garden furniture and bbq. There are two sun terraces overlooking the rooves onto Mont Fourcat.
Private parking is available outside the cottage for guests vehicles.
Wheelchair access is difficult.
Children of all ages are most welcome, and having children of our own we can offer lots of ideas for interesting excursions.
We have a wealth of local knowledge which we would be very willing to share with guests.
There are a couple of bikes and pairs of snowshoes that guests are quite free to borrow.
I'm an old alpinist, been climbing for the past 50 years, a bit calmer now, sea canoeing with my wife Mary, easy mountaineering, cycling and maintaining the property. Interested in Economics and Politics (used to be an Economics teacher), love travelling.
|Year property purchased||1987|
|Why this location?||It had always been my desire to live in the mountains - this location has it all - only 15 mins down to Foix, walks available from the hamlet and a great spot to bring up our children. The seasons are very distinct, the snow comes and I can enjoy it, no need to get the children to school now, and if we get snowed in, so be it.|
|Unique benefits of property||Very much 'à la nature', beautiful views, abundant wildlife, flora and fauna and always the ever changing light.|
For the more adventurous there is paragliding on Prat d'Albis just above Cumminges with instruction and dual flights available.
With two large lakes only 45 mins drive from Cumminges, guests can partake of fishing, boating/canoeing, swimming or simply have fun in the water. The Ariège river hosts kayaking, white water rafting and canyoning. Water skiing is available in summer at our local 'base nautique'.
There are a number of mountain bike pistes in the surrounding area - our son knows them all!
Road and mountain bikes can be hired locallyThere are a couple of 'supermarket' mountain bikes available for guests to borrow.
There are walks at all levels from the Hamlet, and in the wider area there are 10,000ft mountains available ; There are a number of 'via ferratas' accessible in the area.We are both mountaineers with an intimate knowledge of the local mountains and forest tracks and would be only too pleased to share our knowledge.
The market town of Foix is only 15 mins drive away and as the prefectural centre of Ariège it boasts a wide variety of cafés, restaurants, festivals and artisinal markets as well as a skatepark, tennis courts, children's playground, a popular 'centre culturel' with films, theatre and music, 'son et lumière' performances in the summer in the outdoor theatre and a wonderful new (2015) water centre with indoor and outdoor pools (jacuzzi, hammam and sauna). There are also two nearby Cathar Abbey fortresses to visit as well as Foix castle. In the surrounding valleys there are 'acrobranch' areas, pre-historic caves with paintings, a wolf park, the Lordat Eagles and a 'base nautique'.