About this listing
About the home
Le Bonheur is situated in a small tranquil village with real character! It is situated approximately 18 km West of Carcassonne. The original village was built in circular form in the 12th Century. La Force is the smallest of the "circulades" in this region of France. The house is one making up the inner circle.
A supermarket, bank, boulangerie, boucherie, cafe, restaurant, pharmacie, garage and tabac are situated within 5 km of La Force.
Size: Sleeps up to 5, 3 bedrooms
Nearest beach: Lac de Cavayere (Carcassonne Plage), 20km
Will consider: Corporate lets
Access: Car essential
Nearest amenities: 5km
Family friendly? Suitable for children of all ages
Suitable for people with restricted mobility
Notes: No pets allowed
No smoking at this property
Luxuries: Log fire, DVD player
General: Air conditioning, TV, CD player, Table tennis
Standard: Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer
Utilities: Clothes dryer, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine
Rooms: 3 Bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 family bathroom and 1 shower room
Furniture: Sofabeds (1), Single beds (1), Double beds (2), Dining seating for 5, Lounge seating for 8
Other: Linen and towels provided
Outdoors: Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available
Access: Parking space
Le Bonheur is a holiday home in a quiet village whilst close to many amenities and activities:
The house is part of the circle in the centre of the village. The original circle of houses was built in the 12th Century - so you will be buying a part of the history of the region!!!!! The rear entrance to the property is South East facing away from the village centre.
The house is suitable for a family (up to 5 adults and children - plus a bed settee for 2 more) but is equally suited to a couple or smaller family.
The accommodation consists of:
Rear entrance door to long hall; large cave (cellar)
large dining/kitchen with open fireplace - large window opening towards small shaded garden area with patio
Equipment includes: Fridge, freezer, washing machine, microwave cooker, oven/grill, electric hob; kettle; coffee maker; toaster; kitchen table and chairs etc. All crockery, cutlery, cooking utensils etc provided.
stairs to mezzanie with velux window and doorway to middle floor.
Large shower room with wash basin and toilet
main double bedroom - with large walk-in dressing room/storage area (note: all bed linens and towels etc are provided)
front entrance door and porch to loungeroom with 5 seater settee, plus 3 seater bed settee, lovely wood-burning fire. Also LCD television, DVD player, stereo with CD player etc.
one double bedroom at front (king size bed plus wardrobe/drawers etc) - with CD/radio
one small single bedroom at back (single bed with drawers & clothes hanging rail
Further details outdoors:
The house is in an ideal spot - safe for children - the location is secluded and peaceful.
Beautiful shady garden patio with garden table, comfortable chairs, coloured lights for evenings, gaz barbeque.
Table tennis table and equipment, bikes etc available on request.
No set changeover day - please see website for availability or email/phone for details.
£100 deposit required on confirmation of booking. Balance payable 8 weeks prior to arrival.
Short term and long term letting possible (during Low and Mid Season) - please email or phone for details.
Nerarby places iof interest:
Approx 4 km away you will find the town of Montreal with an excellent supermarket (Intermarche), a bar and restaurant, bakers, butchers, a garage etc.
In July and August Montreal has an open air swimming pool which is ideal on the hot sunny afternoons. In addition there are numerous entertainment events throughout the year (in the villages and towns throughout the area) - including folklore festivals, village fetes, vide greniers (car boot sales), craft and antique fairs, concerts, theatre productions, art exhibitions.
For swimming outside the main summer school holidays you will find Limoux, Mirepoix and Carcassonne all have heated indoor facilities. Check the times as some may be open for public swimming in the evenings only.
The town of Bram (about 6km) has a busy outdoor market every Wednesday, whilst the much larger Carcassonne, Limoux, Mirepoix and Castelnaudary are within 20 minutes drive.
Ski stations (Mont D'Olmes; Mijanes; Camurac) are all within an hour's drive. Slightly further afield are Font Romeau; Les Angles; Ax-les-Thermes and many others.
Other local places to visit:
A beautiful walled town - lovely walks nearby.
Bram is one of the "circulades" - similar in style to La Force where you will be staying.
Within 20 minutes:
Reserve a day (at least) for time in Carcassonne. During the daytime the old town can be very busy - but in the evenings the atmosphere has to be experienced. Sit down for a meal in the square to be entertained by one of the musicians. Have a charcoal portrait done of the children (or yourself). The cite de Carcassonne is one of those places where you know that if you sit for long enough you will see all the friends who you have missed for many years!
The oldest sign of habitation in this area dates from the 5th century BC. In 122 BC the Romans invaded both Provence and Languedoc, proceeded to fortify the central fortification, which they called Carcasso, and occupied the region until the mid 5th century AD. At this juncture, Spain and Languedoc fell to the Visigoths hailing from the banks of the Danube. The walled city of Carcassonne remained under Visigoths sway from 460 to 725, when in the spring of that year, the city was taken by the Saracens. The Saracens named the city Carchachouna. After the death of Charlemagne, the feudal period began. Between 1082 and 1209 the city of Carcassonne wielded tremendous influence for 130 years under the dynasty of the Trencavels, Viscounts of Albi, Carcassonne, Béziers and Nîmes. These same prosperous times also saw the swift rise of the Cathar religion - better known, perhaps as the Albigensian heresy, founded on a doctrine of Manichaean dualism and bitterly opposed to the contemporary decadence of Catholicism.
Raymond Roger Trencavel, the young Viscount of Carcassonne was sympathetic towards this heresy and offered Cathar heretics refuge on his estates. When Pope Innocent III mounted his crusade in 1209, the young Trencavel found himself in the direct line of fire: on August 15th of that year, after a two-week siege, Carcassonne fell and the Albigensian heresy was over. The city and its landed possessions were assigned to the military commander of the Crusade, Simon de Montfort. On this latter's death in 1218 he was succeeded by his son Amaury, who was incapable of retaining control over his lands. He relinquished them in 1223 and the following year handed over his Languedoc possessions to King Louis VIII.
Carcassonne became a fortress city under the successive reign of Louis IX, Philippe le Hardi and Philippe le Bel, it developed its present day aspect. In 1262 a new borough started to emerge from the flatlands on the west bank of the river, and this would become the "Bastide Saint-Louis". But in 1355, Edward, Prince of Wales destroyed it by fire. It was immediately rebuilt. In spite of the bridge which links the mediaeval walled city and the "Bastide Saint-Louis" the two have led very different existences. While the new town bustled with activity, the walled city consolidated its role as a royal stronghold.
Don't miss a visit to Mirepoix on a Monday morning to absorb the atmosphere of the market....
Mirepoix has a colorful medieval square, in the 13th century Bastide. If you are lucky catch a festival such as this jazz festival; or the Medieval festival and Marionette festival. The countryside around is breathtaking with lots of walks, villages, fortified churches to discover. If coming from Carcassonne, come via Limoux (sparkling white wine - Blanquette de Limoux, medieval market place, carnival) and Chalabre (great views of Lac de Montbel); or via Fanjeaux.
The Limoux Carnival - every week - try explaining how you managed to get confetti in those inaccessible places - go to Limoux carnival and you will understand......
On your way don't miss the opportunity to try the local sparkling wine: Blanquette de Limoux - Appellation for sparkling wines made in the hills surrounding the town of Limoux in Southern France's languedoc-Roussillon region. Mauzac, also called Blanquette, is the main grape, of which the wines must contain at least 80 percent. Clairette, chenin blanc, and chardonnay make up the balance. The wines, sometimes referred to as vins mousseux, are primarily made by méthode champenoise although the méthode rurale (rural method) is still occasionally used. Blanquette de Limoux wines, which are very good, are similar to champagne.
The fate of the Cathars was determined here in the siege of 1244.
The present castle of Puivert dates mainly from the fourteenth century. The castle which the troops of Simon de Montfort besieged, under the leadership of Thomas-Pons de Bruyères, was on a slightly different site, and has almost entirely disappeared.
Standing at the edge of the Ariège region, the fortress guarded the road between Foix and Perpignan. Today, the imposing keep contains several rooms including a musician's chamber with many sculptured stone figures.
Puivert is a charming old town, 50 km from Carcassonne, and is dominated by the well-reserved castle.
According to legend, the castle is where some of the greatest troubadours of the land came to hold a court of love. Time has silenced their voices. The crusade swept across this peaceful country.
What remains are the songs of birds in the eternal wild grasses and these upright walls where love poems and war cries seem together to have given birth to nothing but peace.
The Languedoc climate is Mediteranean, with hot dry summers, mild winters, and moderate springs and autumns. You can expect to get 300 days of sunshine a year in the Languedoc.
The Languedoc region is the hottest in France, with average annual temperatures between 13.5°C and 15°C.
The coastline, sheltered by mountains, tends to be slightly sunnier and warmer than the inland areas. The mountains of course tend to be cooler.
The coastal plains of the Languedoc rarely freeze in winter due to the influence of the Mediterranean Sea. Summer temperatures are frequently above 30C. Generally, the inland temperatures are a few degrees cooler in winter and a few degrees warmer in summer. Carcassonne, recorded a shade temperature of 45C in the heatwave summer of 2003, but is more likely to peak in the mid 30s in summer.
The Carcassonne / La Force area
Le Bonheur is ideal for having a tranquil and peaceful holiday to get "away from it all." But for youngsters it can be a base for a wide range of activities including: walking, horse riding, cycling, fishing, tennis, swimming, rafting, canoe/kayak, canyoning, etc.etc.
In less than an hour the Mediterranean coast is within reach with opportunities to go windsurfing, paragliding, snorkelling, diving, sailing etc.
The European Space Centre in Toulouse is an amazing place to visit - with the actual training modeule of the space station on site to explore to see exactly what it must be like to live for long periods in space.
No smoking anywhere inside the house.
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About the Host, Keith
I am semi-retired after spending my working career in secondary school teaching. I now work part-time for Manchester University where I liaise with schools hosting trainee teachers. In addition I am Chief Examiner for an ICT qualification run by OCR Examinations.
My wife and I have 4 grown-up children. We have two houses in France (near Carcassonne) one which we keep for guests and family to stay and the other (next door) which we use as our holiday home.