|Vue du Monde||Self Catering||Saturday||5||8||2||Sofa bed in games room|
Set high up on the edge of a forest in the Parc Livradois Forez, the south-facing property stands at the front of a small hamlet with views across to Cantal in the south and the ski resorts of Super Besse and Mont Dore to the east.
Star gazing is particularly good when the sun goes down, given the pure air and no light pollution. The house is one of only 5 in the village and was once on an important path connecting villages in the area but now only sees vehicle traffic coming to the village. There is a water trough and lavoir (washroom), used only for drying clothes on wet summer days nowadays (but the property has a dryer). The house itself has 5 bedrooms with flexible accommodation to meet the needs of larger groups, 2 living rooms on the ground and first floor, 2 bathrooms and a cloakroom. There is also an upstairs games area on the third floor with pool and darts, a table tennis table in the first barn, a wall which could be used as a climbing wall for young children in the hanger and various outside and indoor games. You will never be bored in this house!
There is central heating as well as a large stove in the downstairs dining area, so it can be used all year round - for skiing in winter, seeing the daffodils in spring or as a wonderful retreat in summer. As the house stands at just under 1000 metres, the days can be hot in summer but the evenings are cooler – perfect for sitting outside on the patio. Many paths and cycle tracks set off from behind the house, which is great for mountain biking, walking and horseback riding. Just a short two minute walk away you can get a view of the whole of the Puy-de-Dome area.
Other things to do in the region include fresh water swimming and boating on nearby lakes, canoeing on the Allier, and enjoying the high mountains and famous cycling routes of the Sancy range. The ski resorts of Super Besse and Mont Dore are just 45 minutes away. The city of Clermont Ferrand has its own attractions with its historic centre, Puy de Dome with its railway and its spectacular views from the summit and the nearby Parc des Volcans theme park.
There are hundreds of kilometres of tracks and paths to explore both on bike and on foot, while for those seeking more leisurely pursuits the area offers fishing in the rivers, a range of options to see how traditional farming operates now and in the past which leads one to the various culinary delights of the region; whether it is St Nectaire, Bleu d'Auvergne or Cantal cheese, Auvergne ham, Charolais beef from Salers or the local myrtilles and mushrooms from the surrounding forest, there is something to appeal to every palate. Local restaurants serve all the above along with the iconic dishes of the region such as Truffade and Potee Auvergnate. There is an English-run restaurant just 15 minutes away. The nearest shop is 10 minutes away but there are delivery vans that visit most days of the week with fresh produce (everything from baguettes to fruit and vegetables). The larger supermarkets are in Ambert (25 minutes on a beautiful road with stunning views) or Issoire (30 minutes down at the foot of the valley). Both are traditional towns with great markets.
Ambert is a centre for cross country skiing and has a tourist train which takes you down the valley to Chaise Dieu with its Benedictine abbey. Issoire with its Romanesque church has lots of craft and artisan food shops to potter around and the central square is the place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a leisurely lunch.
Well-equipped kitchen with American-style bar and dining area with large chateau oval table for those convivial family meals.
Two living rooms - one downstairs and connected to dining area and one upstairs with tv, boardgames, etc
Two doubles on first floor and 3 on second floor - one with bunk bed, and additional sleeping accommodation available in the form of a futon bed in the games room and fold-up bed.
Two bathrooms, one on ground floor and one on first floor. Also separate cloakroom on first floor.
Gas central heating plus firestove.
Pool table and darts board in top floor gamesroom. Table tennis.
Patio in front of house for al fresco dining. Wisteria and roses around front door. Lawn for games and field. Surrounded by fields and views over the Parc Livradois and right across to the mountains of Cantal.
Hanger and off-road parking.
Suitable for family groups or more than one family. Or groups of adults for walking and/or cycling holidays. And those wanting peace without solitude.
Outdoor games - badminton, boules, ball games, etc.
My wife and I have spent a good part of our lives overseas and always lived out of suitcases during the holidays when we came back to Europe. When we bought our property in the Auvergne that all changed. We had found our haven, a retreat to come to where we could enjoy nature, engage with simple rural pastimes such as mushrooming as well as the more energetic ones like walking and cycling, and generally recharge our batteries.
|Year property purchased||2009|
|Why this location?||It was a case of love at first sight. We chose the Auvergne because of its peace and tranquillity, its proximity to mountains and the wide range of rural pursuits available. When we first saw the property we all went 'wow' , (including our teenage children!)'. Probably the main reason being the view from the terrace down the valley over the Livradois National Park with the distant mountains of Cantal away in the distance. The seasonal changes means there is always something different to catch our eye, whether the snow topped mountains, the harvested fields in the distance or the meadows of daffodils in Spring. Wildlife is abundant from the local buzzards who you hear every morning, the occasional deer and of course the ubiquitous sanglier (wild boar) occasionally make an appearance along with other small mammals such as stoats, etc. And the night sky is difficult to beat - we spend many an evening around the bbq staring at the Milky Way and the hundreds of constellations you can see.|
|Unique benefits of property||The outdoor living in summer, the rural pursuits all around and the size - it is big enough to accommodate 2-3 families but not too big to feel lost and the top floor gamesroom is always popular with darts, pool etc. The area is a haven for walkers and cyclists, whether in the mountains or the forests. For mountain bikers and walkers there are endless tracks and country lanes around the area and for the more intrepid there is climbing up the Sancy range. There are many historic villages in the area such as Ambert, Chaise Dieu, Le Puy and others. The summit of the iconic Puy de Dome can be reached on foot or by train and the Parc des Volcans, a real hands on experience of volcanos, is a must for those with children (and adults too!). There is canoeing in the Allier, horse riding in the forest behind the house, swimming in the lakes (Cunlhat,Vernet, etc) and of course enjoying the culinary delights to enjoy and learn about. We even have a recipe book for those who wish to go further!|
Takes place every Thursday morning in the narrow street of the historic market town of Ambert. Particularly worth seeing is the cheese selections to be found under the old 19th century round town hall.
This is our nearest swimming lake. You can either cycle there through the woods or drive along the winding road with some great views. Best to have car on return journey as it is a long climb! The route through the forest takes you past a Go Ape type tree climbing park which is a lot of fun and a separate excursion in itself. Cunlhat also is our nearest supermarket with longest opening hours. It is a pretty village and quite lively in summer when there are numerous events going on.
The surrounding area has hundreds of tracks (not all marked) and offer something for everyone. Road biking is also very popular due to the quiet roads and gradual inclines (unless cycling in the Sancy range!)
Great for a day out and can be combined with visit to other mountain villages in the Sancy range. There is boating on the lake and there is a path all the way round - good for walking and or cycling. Could be combined with going to the top of Sancy by cable car for the view. For intrepid ones you can cycle down from the top but wear adequate protection and don't get a puncture!
Famous for its cathedral, its lentils, its lace and its narrow cobbled streets, Le Puy is well worth a visit. It is the starting point for one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela.
Great day trip to the top either on foot or taking the tourist train with spectacular views from the top
Viewpoint with view over whole Puy-de-Dome range with discovery information - you can walk there through the forest or take bikes. By car it takes about 10 minutes