Barn conversion in Lot for holiday rental - ML004096

Montcabrier (7km from Puy-l'Eveque), Lot, Midi Pyrenees Reference: ML004096 Advertiser since: 15 April 2015
Property Board Arrival Bedrooms Sleeps Bathrooms Additional info
Fraysse Haut Self Catering Flexible 3 8 3 Sofabed

About this property

Rural Gîte for Family and Walking Holidays. This cottage/gite is in a rural setting.

Fraysse Haut is an old Quercy farmhouse situated in the hills between the delightful riverside town of Puy l’Evêque and the village of Montcabrier. Restaurants, markets and commerce are in Puy l’Evêque and Prayssac, a short drive away. The lovely medieval town of Cahors with the famous Pont Valentré is just 38km east and the wine region of AOC Cahors is all around us.
In a rural setting of 6 hectares of fields and woodland, and with direct access onto hiking trails, our accommodation provides a relaxing base for walking holidays and sightseeing in the Lot and Dordogne.

Flexible accommodation, suits couples or families! Prices shown are for the maximum number of occupants but you may book the Barn only (for 2 - 4) for a lower price!

The Barn and Tower are two adjacent buildings and can sleep up to 8 (please read the description of rooms and beds carefully). The Barn is the main gîte, sleeping 2 to 4, with a fully equipped modern kitchen and a large dining table. Available all year round. 3* rating with the Cahors Tourist Office. The Tower also sleeps 2 to 4 (see bed details) and serves as an annex. It has a kitchenette but the main cooking facilities are in the Barn. The flexible accommodation is perfect for two families holidaying together or for group of walkers. The Barn can be booked separately, without the Tower, at a reduced price.
The owners, Sheila and Dan, have been living here since 1997 and are happy to help you with your holiday if required, with local information and suggestions for walks and sightseeing. We speak both French and English and are well integrated within the friendly local community around Montcabrier.
There is a 7m x 4m wooden frame pool with a "waterfall" and deck, and a restful view over the fields. The gazebo offers a shady place for reading and cooling off. The pool is solely for the use of our guests. For offsite bathing and watery recreation, the river Lot is only 5 km away, at Puy l’Evêque. There are swimming lakes in the area and several bases in the Lot valley between Puy l’Evêque and Cahors for canoeing and swimming, and the popular canoeing sites on the Dordogne and Vézère are less than an hour away.
The rural setting at Fraysse Haut is perfect for bird watching, and the unspoilt countryside of the Lot provides a habitat for many wild flowers and orchids and a variety of wildlife. We have 2 horses and 2 chickens, a vegetable garden and fruit trees, but it is not a working farm. We love and protect our bird life so we do not have cats. This is a haven for wildlife and the calm and quiet of the surroundings are a tonic for people seeking to escape from stress and take a break from work or city life. Not forgettting the excellent opportuniy for viewing the night sky in one of the lowest light polluted areas; telescope available and Montayral observatory nearby.

Please read the guest reviews on our own website which will give you an insight into what previous guests have loved about staying here. We have had many return bookings and happy visitors and met some wonderful people, many of whom became friends and like us, fell in love with the area, and some even bought their own properties.

The taxe de sejour - French stay tax, which is .95 cts per person over 18, per night, is payable only in euros; it is levied by the tourist office and goes to improving local services and facilities.

Please note this is a barn conversion with some low beams and roof windows, not all of which have blinds, due to their accessibility - please do not book a barn conversion and complain afterwards about the features. Please also read the property description carefully and if you have questions, please email before booking.



Kitchen and dining

Large pine dining table seats 8-10. Open plan dining/kitchen with 2 steps up to the living room. Outside the kitchen is an undercover dining area with a round wooden table and an arched opening onto the courtyard (see photos) which provides an additional "room".

Living rooms

Open-plan living room with french doors onto the courtyard. This is a light, bright double height room with Velux roof windows, retaining the character of the barn with the old beams and roof trusses; a wooden staircase leads to the gallery, which would have been the hay loft.
Lots of books for holiday reading.


In the Barn, the large double bed is on the gallery (mezzanine) overlooking the living area. The Velux roof window above the bed has a blackout blind. The twin bedroom in the Barn is off the gallery. One small window.
The bedroom in the Tower is on the second floor, with 2 single beds. Curtains and / or shutters. The comfortable sofabed (with slatted base and a 140 cm mattress) is in the first floor living room of the Tower.
Note: The Tower has a separate entrance and the rooms are not connected to those in the Barn, so do not plan for children to sleep in this bedroom without an adult.


Two shower rooms in the Barn, one upstairs, one downstairs; both with shower, toilet and basin (+ bidet upstairs). The Tower has a compact shower room and toilet on the second floor.


Large woodburner (insert) in the Barn living room. Underfloor heating supports the woodburner for winter lets (November to March). The Tower is not heated so is generally not in use in the colder months. Parafin heaters are available.


The tv in the Barn has a free-to-air satellite (Sky) box and also French tv channels. Dvd player and selection of films in French and English. Lots of books. Some boardgames and jigsaw puzzles. Dartboard. Boules set available. Plenty of maps and information about the area and places to visit. WiFi connection in the Barn; our internet is what it is for a rural location so do not expect town speeds. We find it adequate for emails and general internet requirements, but not suitable for films or streaming. The mobile network is reasonable but may be reduced inside the buildings because of thick stone walls. These services are gradually being improved.

Garden and outside

The buildings are around the sunny courtyard, with various seating and eating areas, including a large round stone table near the barbecue. Herbs for the use of our guests. The courtyard opens onto our fields. The space under the Tower provides a covered but open dining area. The pool, with wooden gazebo, is at the rear of the buildings, overlooking the meadow and woods.

Parking and garages

Guest parking area just outside the courtyard. Extra space in the field. Storage space for bicycles, etc.

Visitor suitability

The property is recommended for couples or group of adults seeking rural pastimes such as walking, or simply to get away from it all, and to discover the Lot and the attractions of French country life.
Suitable for longer lets for house hunters or purchasers in waiting.
Not recommended for small children unless very well supervised due to steps and changes of level inside and outside the buildings.
There are some low beams in the Barn. Narrow stairs up into the Tower.
This is a no smoking property but guests may smoke outside.
We offer longer term lets at a monthly rate.

Information about any additional facilities

A small studio for 2 is also available and may be let separately; we occasionally offer overnight accommodation to walkers on the Pilgrim route de Compostela, according to demand and availability.


  • Internet

  • No smoking

  • Linen

  • Shared pool


Antiques/Brocante Market

Name of nearest antiques/brocante market: Local villages, throughout summer
Distance: 10 km


Family activities

Fishing nearby

Species of fish: River fish
Name of nearest fishing location: Puy l'Evêque
Distance: 5 km


Name/number of nearest marked trail: GR652+Montcabrier circuit+Martignac

Wine tasting

Name and address of nearest wine producer: Chateau de Calassou
Distance: 4 km

Wine tasting and cookery

About the Owner/Advertiser, Mrs Sheila Cosma

We are a retired couple, no children.

Year property purchased 1997
Why this location? The setting. Attractive tracks and walking from the doorstep, in all directions. No main roads. The birdlife, wild orchids; unspoilt countryside around. The wild beauty of the Lot. Surrounded by nature and our own land, fields and woods which are a haven for wild birds and animals. A countryside full of the traces of bygone rural life. The scenery, rolling hills, small fields with big hedgerows, open often unfenced pastures, non-intensive smallhold farms, natural broadleaf woodland, dry stone walls. Dark night skies, little light pollution and amazing star-gazing. Local markets and seasonal produce.
Unique benefits of property Our guests are able to experience the good things mentioned above and enjoy a taste of the dream of rural French life by staying with us. Fraysse Haut is a place where you can leave behind the stresses and strains of work and the city and recharge your energy. A place where you can step back and set your ideas in order before returning invigorated and refreshed with a calm and positive outlook.

The Owner Recommends

Boat trip on the Lot

River trips on the Lot at Fumel and Cahors in wooden gabarre. Choice of short or longer trips.


Visit the town of Cahors, the Pont Valentré fortified bridge and old quarters. Market around the cathedral on Wednesday and Saturday morning. Discover the Secret Gardens. Take a guided tour.

Caves, dinosaurs and prehistory

Lots of famous caves in the area - Pech-Merle, Lascaux, Cougnac, etc. and the Gouffre de Padirac. Count on an hour's drive, and incorporate a stop at St Cirq Lapopie or Rocamadour for a full day outing. Museum of prehistory at Sauveterre le Lemance (30'). Roque de St Christophe and Laroque Gageac for cave dwellings. Dinosaur footprints (well, very small ones) in the rocks at Creysse, or the excellent museum at Luzech.

Nature reserves and walks

Several sites in the Lot, including two within a short drive of Fraysse Haut, have been designated areas of particular natural interest (Espaces Naturels Sensibles) and a short walking circuit marked out with points of interest. In addition, there is a walk from the door into a green and shady little-visited valley with springs, a stream and ancient washing stones.

Visit a chateau

The chateau of Bonaguil is a 20' drive away, set in a tiny picturesque village with small shops, cafés and restaurant. Guided or individual visits; some areas have been renovated but also a great place for kids to play around the dungeons and inner keep. Chateau Biron is a bit further but more of a museum with rooms to visit.

Tour of the bastides

Bastides are fortified new towns built in south west France during the 13th and 14th centuries. They were originally walled towns, founded during the Hundred Years War between England and France. Characterised by a circular or square grid layout, with the houses set in narrow streets, centred around a market square, usually with a roofed "halle" surrounded by covered arcade and shops. Our village of Montcabrier is a small bastide, despite having lost many features, but Monpazier, Montflanquin, Villereal and others are well preserved delightful towns with craft shop and restaurant, all within a pleasant driving circuit, for a day trip.

Rocamadour and St Cirq Lapopie

A little further from home but the two main touristic sites of the Lot (Puy l'Evêque being the third!). Count on 1h30' drive (about 70 km, the last part through spectacular scenery) to Rocamadour, or slightly less to St Cirq Lapopie, which could be combined with visits to either Pech Merle or Cahors.

3 Reviews
  • Cleanliness: 10
  • Comfort: 9.7
  • Condition: 9.7
  • Facilities: 9.7
  • Local Amenities: 9.7
  • Setting: 10
  • Value for Money: 10
10 / 10 Steve and family 4 September, 2018

We spent 2 weeks at Fraysse Haut in August. Communication with Sheila and Dan prior to our arrival was good and any queries were answered promptly. A friendly welcome awaited us when we arrived & Sheila and Dan were on hand if we needed any help or information but were not at all intrusive during our stay. The Gite was beautifully restored and very spacious. There is a covered outdoor eating area and a large indoor dining table alongside a very well equipped kitchen. The Gite had a very welcoming, homely feel and our only disappointment was not being able to fire up the wood burning stove (it was 35 °C most days)! The mezzanine level with the double bed was charming and there was ample wardrobe space. There is a small pool which is enclosed and has a decking area with a gazebo for some shade, beautiful location to relax as it looks out across open fields. There are several fruit trees in the ground and we were able to pick fresh plums daily. The provision of leaflets for local attractions and places to visit was very useful in planning our holiday. We kayaked down the Dordogne, meandered through the vineyards’ on horseback and visited some of the spectacular towns & villages that are in abundance in the area. We especially enjoyed the evening farmers markets, something very French but also very inclusive for everyone who attends. Overall a lovely Gite in a beautiful rural setting with welcoming and helpful hosts.

10 / 10 Chris & Marion 27 July, 2016

We recently had the pleasure of staying at Fraysse Haut for a week. Sheila and Dan Cosma gave us a very warm welcome to their beautiful gite which is an impressively renovated/converted barn, complete with tower. Accommodation is spacious and very cosy with an extremely well-equipped kitchen/utility room. Off the utility room is a very practical wet room with toilet. The gite has no formal garden but there are numerous areas where one can sit to relax or eat, both in the shade and sun. There is also a small swimming pool which is ideal for a cool-off. The extensive grounds have numerous footpaths through the woods and countryside.

Self-catering is no problem at all as there are several supermarkets (Carrefoure, Intermarche), markets and shops within close proximity

The property is remotely situated above the beautiful medieval town of Puy l'Eveque (approx. 10 minute drive) and the surrounding area is lovely with numerous markets, cafes, vineyards etc.
The gite owners were happy to provide detailed information of local areas of interest, events and recommendations for restaurants etc.

Sheila and Dan made us feel so much at home and overall we would have no hesitation in recommending this accommodation, and the area as a whole, to anybody looking for a relaxing holiday.

Owner response

Thanks for the kind review, we hope to see you again! Sheila & Dan

9.5 / 10 sue9906 16 August, 2015

We spent a very happy two week holiday at Fraysse Haut welcomed by very helpful and friendly hosts who had excellent local knowledge of the area and markets activities and walking. The property was as beautiful as the pictures suggested and location stunning. The small but nice pool kept our 3 and six year old very happy, (though no shallow area- we took a paddling pool). Woodland walks, watching shooting stars at night, eating outside at the choice of many garden tables provided and barbecue were highlights, though best of all was the peace and beauty of the area yet with good access to many attractions and activities. Excellent local food and wine producers markets and a welcome break from the busy south east of England.
The property was full of charm and comfortable, clean and homely with all you could need in the kitchen. Only minor drawbacks were that the double room is open plan on a gallery above the sitting room and adjoining the twin room in the barn and there is one large skylight which was a bit bright in the early mornings for the double bedroom area. internet access is limited by satellite performance, and weather conditions but we were quite pleased by this! Overall a superb property in a beautiful setting with lovely owners.

Owner response

Thank you for the warm comments about the property and owners. The "drawbacks" are what we consider to be features of the gîte and are mentioned in the text, we are sorry for any misunderstanding. We advise everyone to read our description of the bedrooms and the property carefully and be aware of the character of the accommodation. This is a Barn conversion!