WELCOME TO OUR HOME IN VIEILLEVIE
The house lies in a region of France known as La Châtaigneraie, a delightful area of outstanding natural beauty; a mixed landscape of mountain ranges, forests, lakes and rivers, rolling countryside, valleys and steep gorges in the south-west of the department of Cantal, close to the valleys of the Rivers Lot and Truyere and the spectacular mountains of the Auvergne and the Aubrac.
La Châtagneraie has, in the distant past, been relatively isolated from much of the rest of France by a lack of modern roads and air transport links. With the extensive upgrading of the road system this wonderful countryside can now be easily accessed in a day’s drive from Britain.
With the availability of inexpensive flights by Ryanair and EasyJet short breaks of a few days as well as long summer stays or long-term living are feasible with travel time just a few hours from home. You can also travel by rail from Britain and arrive at Aurillac railway station, just 45 kms away from the house.
Although basic provisions are available from the village of Vieillevie and the nearby towns of Entraygues-Sur-Truyere and Montsalvy, Aurillac, the main town of the Cantal and Rodez, the main town of the Aveyron and both within an hour away by car, are the largest shopping centres for the area where you will be able to buy everything you need for your life in France.
Our home is located near to the village of Vieillevie in the far south-west of the region of the Auvergne Rhone Alpes above the Lot Valley. The house enjoys a countryside location with splendid panoramic views of this most beautiful area of France. It's proximity to Aveyron, on the opposite side of the valley, provides easy access to the Occitanie region. The house is reached by a small country lane which ends just beyond the property.
This house was built from a renovation of an old farmhouse and barn that has maintained a style that is traditional Auvergnat yet very atypical for the region. The house is fully double glazed but for two bedroom windows.
The house is centrally heated by an efficient and modern zoned electric heating system in all rooms.
The ground floor of the house comprises a large kitchen/dining room, a laundry/utility room and shower room.
The ground floor of the barn comprises a large room that is currently used as a store room cum workshop.This room could easily be used for living accommodation if required.
Between the barn and the house is a large open garage car port area.
A wooden staircase leads to the first floor of the house where there is a very large but cosy lounge dining room with wooden floors and a wood burner. The first floor of the barn has a large bedroom with a high vaulted ceiling. The connection between the house and barn provides a large glazed balcony, two double bedrooms and a family bath room.
A staircase leads from the lounge dining room to the second floor of the house. Here you will find a large master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom.
In front of the house there is a small garden with a large wooden terrace, lawn and flower beds with mature plants and shrubs. To the rear and side of the house are areas of natural woodland with oak, beech and chestnut trees. Across the small lane is a large area of garden with an abundance of flowers, shrubs, trees, a vegetable garden and a stand of productive walnut trees.
The countryside surrounding the house is a delightful mix of valley views, undulating fields and forest. Dense ancient forests of chestnut, oak, beech, pine, and precipitous river gorges suddenly give way to soft, rolling pastures to form some of the most beautiful scenery in France. Deer and boar occasionally roam the surrounding fields and woods which are also home to many other smaller wildlife and birds.
It is fascinating to observe the nature of rural life in the countryside. You can spend a rewarding time exploring La Châtaigneraie on foot. There are many marked footpaths, colour coded according to walking time, which will eventually return you to the starting point. The house is situated near to one of these routes which takes you past farms up into some dense forest and open views across and along the beautiful Lot Valley. The local scenery and, indeed, the whole of the Cantal, provides superb subject matter for photography and painting.
Although the countryside is stunning, there is so much more to see and do. The pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela passes nearby on its way to Conques, a medieval pilgrim town and one of the most renowned of the Plus Beaux Villages de France. Similar medieval sites will be found within an easy drive from Vieillevie that include Salers, Estaing, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Cordes-sur-Ciel, Najac and Belcastel.
The nearby rivers of the Lot, the Truyere and the Doudou provide plenty of opportunities for swimming, fishing, paddle boarding and canoeing. The valley area is very popular with cyclists. There are beautiful walks in the immediate area of Vieillevie but if you want to go further afield then the mountain range of the Monts de Cantal and the upland plateau of the Aubrac are within easy driving distance.
The weather during the summer months is generally sunny with temperatures reaching the low to mid 30’s in July and August. Periods of really hot weather are often punctuated by thunderstorms, sometimes with spectacular lightning displays and torrential rain. But these storms don’t last for long and the days which follow are again calm and sunny. Although the temperatures can be quite high the atmosphere is rarely humid.
The days in late autumn are less predictable than in the summer months. However, you can be sure of spells of warm sunny weather and you will still be able to enjoy meals outside. The third weekend in October sees the celebration of the chestnut at the Foire de la Châtagneraie at Mourjou, nearby.
The winter time opens up a whole new field of activities in the Monts du Cantal and the Aubrac. Just over an hour's drive away these areas provide the opportunity for alpine skiing, snow-boarding, cross-country skiing, ski-touring and trekking the high uplands on snow shoes. Snow conditions suitable for these activities start to develop mid-December and they are still possible up to the end of March. The most reliable time for winter sports is the end of January and throughout February.