Farmhouse with B&B and gîte
1.3 hectares land – vegetable garden and orchard
poney enclosure and stable
€385,000 * (ref 227)
Carcassonne – France’s second tourist attraction after Mont St Michel – lies in the plain. Canny holiday-makers prefer to rent (or live) either north or south of the city in the hilly regions, surrounded by woodland or vineyards. This property is in a tiny hamlet just 25 minutes north of Carcassonne, facing south with views across the plain to the distant Pyrenees.
There are four dwellings in the hamlet, two of which are second homes used 3 or 4 weeks a year and a third abandoned since the sixties. The only property occupied all year round is this one, a fine farmhouse, which is used as a family home. One end of the house has been converted into a two-bedroomed B&B space and an independent barn has been turned into a superb gite duplex.
The land falls away in front of the farmhouse in a series of ancient walled terraces where generations of hamlet-dwellers have grown their vegetables and raised their chickens. On the hilside there’s a paddock for poneys and goats. Over one hectare (about 3 acres) of land in all.
A feature of the property is its near-autonomy in energy: not only are there solar panels on the roof producing electricity for re-sale to the grid, but more panels contribute to heating the domestic water supply and ensuring a constant supply of electricity to the household appliances. Wood is in abundance on the estate and feeds a number of wood-burning stoves. Rain-water is collected and re-used for vegetables and soft-fruit production. And, of course, the current owners drive an all-electric car…
The main house is a vast, stone-built (slate and schist) farmhouse dating back to the start of the 19th century. The ground floor is open plan with a large kitchen/dining space (seating for 20 odd hungry clients) and a separate, cosier, lounge. Upstairs there are two bedrooms and a spacious bathroom on the ‘home’ side and two guest bedrooms and a bathroom on the ‘guest’ side. There’s a big two-car garage at the end of the house – now used for storage, geo-thermic water heaters and freezers and such. Could easily be transformed into more accommodation.
The gite is across the way in its own building. A surprisingly bright and luminous duplex with clever design and décor features crafted from locally-sourced Merisier (cherry) wood. Although it only has one bedroom, there is room next door to extend the gite with another bedroom and maybe another bathroom. On the other side of the gite is the woodwork workshop which, again, could be adapted to other uses.
There is no mains drainage of course but they have put in a state-of-the-art mini-treatment plant which provides clean water for the veg patch.
Our opinion: This is a little jewel of a property, well located not far from Carcassonne, but in deep countryside near the lively village of Cuxac-Cabardès with all its amenities. The gite and B&B elements are important but not essential to the lifestyle attraction of this property. But properly exploited – or extended – one could create an ecological niche for guests who are looking for sustainable development, home-produced food and total peace. Not only does the farm produce veg, soft fruit and goats’ cheese, but there are bee-hives all over the place turning out delicious woodland honey! The price is very reasonable for this popular area: go for it!
* agency fees included reference n°: 227
more information or to arrange a viewing – email
- Ref n°: 227
- Summary: Although only 20 minutes north of Carcassonne (and its airport) this property is hidden away on the south-facing flank of the Black mountains in a tiny hamlet. Run as a successful B&B with a lovely little gite in an independent building, it combines both lifestyle (enormous veg patch and animal paddock) with laid-back business. Well worth a viewing.
- Address: Cuxac-Cabardès, Occitanie
- Price: €385,000
- Commission: 4% (included in asking price)
- Surface Area: 1.5 hectares
- Bedrooms: 8
- Bathrooms: 3
AUDE and the Cathar Country
The département of the Aude, in the Languedoc, prides itself as being the home of the Cathar, a famed religious sect of the 12 and 13th century, who dared defy Rome with their brand of humble, scaled-down Christianity. They failed in the end, but their story of defiance, struggle and eventual extinction is etched into the landscape, villages and castles of the region.
Throughout the 12th century the Cathar faithful were slowly pushed out of the low-lying plains towards the hostile, mountainous uplands where they found refuge in fortified villages or in castles and keeps perched on the most inaccessible crags of the Corbières or the Pyrenean foothills. In the end the French State allied with Rome, sent Simon de Montfort to root out and kill the last 'heretics' in what was known as the 'Albigensian Crusade'.
In the western part of Languedoc the most notable feature is the Lac de St Ferréol, specially conceived by Riquet when building the Canal du Midi, and designed to supply water to the canal throughout the summer period. This it does by means of a mini-canal - 'le rigole' which carries water from the resevoir to the highest point of the canal on the watershed (between Atlantic and Mediterranean basins) near Avignonnet-Lauragais.
The Eastern part of the Aude département is wild and nearly uninhabited, a region of rough hills, maquis-clad outcrops and vines as far as the eye can see. This is the Corbières, renowned for its rough, strong red wines, olive groves and castles. The Corbières start just outside of Carcassonne where well-kept vineyards slowly give way to pine forest and more dramatic terrain.