Location

The Dordogne, the Lot and the Tarn are sister rivers. Their streams give life to a beautiful region of France, where the towns have hardly spread beyond the limits of their ancient walls, and the countryside is untarnished. The stranger, looking at it, will cry, Now I know why they say ‘La Belle France’! To lovers of beauty, to lovers of history, this land has everything to offer. Let them come here, and beauty and history will fill their minds as water fills a spring. Freda White – Three Rivers of France, 1953

Freda White’s famous 1953 description still applies at Nougayrede Bas. The beauties she describes lie on every side. The house stands on its own sunny spur of hillside, encircled by countryside, still as untarnished as she describes. Spellbinding landscapes unfold in every direction, bathed in ever-changing sunlight. From the external dining terrace you see it all …


Activities

The region offers many holiday activities, both energetic and relaxing.

  • Restaurants – You will be delighted at their range and quality in the area, and reassured by their price. Visitors’ suggestions and impressions are logged in the Visitors’ Handbook at Nougayrede.
  • Festivals abound, and every day there is a market in one or other of the surrounding villages.
  • Concerts are also widespread in the summer evenings.
  • Tennis in Montcuq, and a 9-hole golf course a short drive away.
  • Visiting local vineyards – suggestions are logged in the visitor’s guide.
  • Walking, cycling, riding – along well-marked routes. Good large-scale maps are available at Tourist Information Offices.
  • Canoeing on the local rivers.
  • Visiting Caves – These abound in the region. The Grotte de Pech Merle, NE of Cahors, has fascinating prehistoric wall paintings. In the Gouffre de Padirac, near the Dordogne, you can go boating on an underground river.

Nearby towns

Montcuq

Five minutes away is the ancient hilltop town of Montcuq. From Nougayrede Bas it can be seen two miles off across the valley.

Although occupied by English armies in the 100 years’ war, Montcuq now stands in tranquillity, still hardly spreading beyond the limits of its ancient walls. Its castle surmounts a cone-shaped hill, encircled by the tree-lined high street. You will find there:-

  • a doctor and a pharmacy,
  • banks with cash machines,
  • good country restaurants,
  • a supermarket plus specialist butchers and bakers,
  • petrol stations,
  • a tourist information office with detailed information about the region,
  • a newsagent selling English and French newspapers,
  • an open-air market every Sunday morning.

OWNERS PAGE - PICTURE 2 - THE SUNFLOWERS GROW VERY CLOSE

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Cahors

Cahors is the regional centre. Built on a narrow peninsula formed by a meander in the river Lot, its history goes back to Roman times, and it was a centre of Cathar resistance in the middle ages. For shopping, you can be confident of finding in Cahors any of the few things that you cannot find in Montcuq.

There are supermarkets and other utilitarian shops on the outskirts, while shops in the town centre are chic and elegant in the French style.

The mediaeval part of the town is still a warren of narrow streets. The C12 cathedral has celebrated Romanesque carvings. The fortified mediaeval bridge over the Lot is unique and justly famous.

 

 


Valley of the River Lot

The River Lot is one of the loveliest in France. Its valley snakes between white cliffs, around fertile green meanders. Every valley in the region has its mediaeval castle, prehistoric cave, hilltop village or pilgrimage town.

The local economy is agricultural. To the south is the world-famous abbey and cloister of Moissac. On the river Lot are the town of Puy L’Eveque and the village of St Cirq Lapopie, voted the prettiest in France. On the river Aveyron is the town of St Antonin, Roman in origin, where the film “Charlotte Gray” was made. The hill-town of Cordes sur Ciel lives up to its name.

The region is widely regarded as a gastronomic paradise with outstanding restaurants. Its cuisine is famous throughout France and beyond. Local specialities include dishes based on duck, goose, foie gras, endless varieties of wild mushrooms, truffles, plums, peaches, apricots, and walnuts whose oil is used for cooking. The deep red wines of Cahors were being raised on these stony hillsides before the Romans came, and in recent years have seen a lively revival of quality and reputation.


Start planning your French countryside holiday at Nougayrede Bas

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Contact Tony & Judy Lane T: 01749 670652 M: 07713 489845

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