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Sharing France with you

Every week you'll find new stories, local and national events, comments, recipes and advice on this page. Click on the Archive button to see previous posts full of interesting information and links.

A chateau for £10?

Julie Savill // Thursday, 14 June 2018

Does it sound too good to be true?  A chateau in the Dordogne, valued at 1.7 million euros is to be raffled off and tickets cost £10 each!

The raffle is open to residents of England, Scotland and Wales. Visit the website for details of how to enter.

And if you're not feeling lucky you might still want to browse the best of property for sale in South West France on our sister site, Manoirs et Chateaux



Can we help? Yes, we can!

Julie Savill // Wednesday, 13 June 2018

We timed a recent trip to the UK to meet up with some of our business partners involved in helping people move home to or from France.
We understand the concerns of many of our clients considering a property purchase in France in these somewhat uncertain times, and so either side of a nice lunch in civilised surroundings, with a polo match being hotly contested in the background, we discussed what more we can do to make it a properly considered decision.

You may contact any of these companies directly.
We'd be delighted if you mentioned Beaux Villages.

Read more ...

Walk your way to better French!

Julie Savill // Monday, 11 June 2018

Walking is a passion in France.  Clubs abound and I decided to join the local group (look for Randonées in local papers or websites).  We met in a carpark and off we went. Talking and walking is the name of the game and it's a great way to practice your French and get a bit fitter into the bargain.  I timed it to do most of the talking on the flat or the downhills and became a good listener on the inclines.

Walks are organised on several days a week and you can choose a group that walks at your pace - look out for the kilometres per hour for your local walks. 


Well-fitting quality walking shoes or trainers

Water bottle (more serious walkers have 'camelback' type water rucksacks with built-in straw so they don't break stride when drinking)

Waterproofs for those showery days

Check if dogs are welcome - it varies from group to group

For your nearest randonées check out this website

Some of our favourite walks are in the Tarn. Click here for properties with great walks nearby

Why did the chicken cross the channel?

Julie Savill // Wednesday, 06 June 2018

For all the reasons we did, I suppose. Assuming they had a vote, they’d opt for 3 times the land area with an equivalent population, cleaner air, cheaper land, affordable properties offering potential to improve… Julie Savill looks at making the move with the family pets

We had sold the house in Chelmsford and bought one in the Dordogne, we had sold both the cars, the removals van had been and gone, so there we were on a wet Monday morning piling into the in-laws’ Mondeo with 4 cats in two large dog crates in the boot. There was just enough space left for a small bag each for us but, hey, we were off to a new life in the sun so who needs more than a cozzie and a toothbrush?

Our fears of 12 hours of wailing from the cats proved unfounded. We had lined the crates with disposable baby changing mats just in case of accidents but there was not a peep (or a pee) from any of them for the whole journey. The in-laws were another story…

 Home from home 

Selling up and moving to France is a huge adventure for you and your animals. Getting organised is the secret.
It might sounds obvious, but choosing the right property in France is going to be key to your pets’ (and therefore your) happiness. Land is plentiful in rural areas and you should have no trouble finding a property with space for your pony/donkey/llama. Keen walkers with dogs that love to be off the lead will appreciate the randonées (marked walks of varying lengths from a couple of kilometres to several hundred) through woods and countryside. Riders, too, will enjoy the freedom of these tracks and trails through beautiful, unspoilt landscapes.
If your dream is actually to be at the centre of village life, that too can be suitable for animals. From the centre of a village you are rarely more than a 5 minute walk to open countryside. And if you want to combine village comforts with horsey outings or a taste of small-holding you’ll often find land to rent or buy nearby.

The know-how

You are allowed to take 5 domestic pets from the UK to France.

Read more ...

Castles, Cathars and The Little Red Train

Julie Savill // Wednesday, 23 May 2018

For our exploration of the Aude and Pyrénées-Orientales, we chose the amazing medieval town of Carcassonne as our base.
From here we would roll slowly into the area to the south, enjoying the light traffic of this part of the Languedoc Region, where you can still reckon to beat a Sat Nav safely. Or so the plan went…...

Of course what then happened on day one was we lingered over a rather nice buffet breakfast and too much good coffee, left our hotel late, and suddenly we had 50 minutes to cover an hour’s journey to catch the Little Red Train.

As we flashed past the quintessential lines of plane trees, pastures and vines, the minutes racing away with the Sat Nav stubbornly continuing to predict a late arrival, I wondered how much the landscape had changed since the Cathars fled from Carcassonne and district ahead of their pursuing tormentors. My heart pounded in my chest. I was a fleeing Cathar….
Okay, maybe a tad dramatic.
We were only ever going to miss a train. We were never going to leap off a mountain or be burned at the stake like those who refused to recant.
We breezed through the outskirts of Limoux, most famous for fast-improving sparkling and still wines. The tasting visits advertised at the roadside would have to wait for another time.

Read more ...

"In no other city I’ve visited does history feel so alive"

Katherine O`Neill // Wednesday, 09 May 2018

Anthony Horrowitz recently wrote in the Telegraph his experience of visiting Carcassonne for his 30th wedding anniversary - what a great choice!

Click the link above to read about his experirence of the beautiful, fortified city - the second most visited in France.

"There is more to Carcassonne than the citadel"

Looking for property in the area? We have some great places.

Testing has begun on next generation speed cameras

Katherine O`Neill // Monday, 23 April 2018

Over the course of the last few years, the country’s speed cameras have gone from a series of unreliable static boxes to a vast army of mobile, sophisticated, two-way radars able to distinguish between different types of vehicle.

The latest weapon in the battle against delinquent drivers is the Mesta Fusion, a next-generation radar currently being tested in Marseilles. According to the manufacturers, its high resolution camera can monitor 32 vehicules at the same time over eight lanes with an incredible degree of accuracy.

Read more ...

All that for a conker!

Julie Savill // Monday, 23 April 2018

I've previously only ever lived in places with compact city gardens.  Where conker trees were found in local parks, not in your own back yard.  Fast forward to living in France where, if you love gardening, you can afford more land than you dreamt of and, if you're not careful, more than you can deal with!

I'm eternally grateful to the person (people) who over the past 150 years have had the foresight and generosity to plant trees in what is now my garden. Whoever did the planting would not have been around to enjoy the mature effect. So, thank you, whoever you were. Thank you for the massive cedars of Lebanon, thank you for the towering plane trees, the limes and yes, the spreading, shady chestnut trees. 

They seem such ordinary trees when you walk or cycle past in the park.  But stop and take a closer look at those glowing conical flowers and they seem pretty miraculous.  Convoluted petals in white with splashes of pink and centres of yellow.  The look like wedding dress inspiration.

And then once the prettiness fades you have the joy of the glossy conker to look forward to.  I'm not much of a conker player myself but I still can't help gathering them up in the garden.  They say they keep spiders away if you leave them on the floor in a room.  I might just have to try that.

For properties with space for magnificent trees go to our advanced search and select the amount of land you dream of owning!



It's better together!

Julie Savill // Sunday, 22 April 2018

Beaux Villages Immobilier is celebrating its 10 year anniversary by joining forces with another long-standing and well-respected agency, Guyenne Immobilier.

Based in Eymet, Dordogne, Guyenne have been selling properties in the pretty bastide town and the surrounding area for nearly 25 years.

Both companies share the same passion for property. Our central ethos is a complete respect for the life-changing events involved in buying or selling a property.

If you are looking for property in Eymet or the surrounding area take a look at our new Guyenne sister website

Elon Musk's vision comes to Toulouse with HTT

Katherine O`Neill // Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Independent company, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT)  has announced it is making this futuristic concept, envisioned by Elon Musk, a reality... in Toulouse!

The company will bring air travel speeds to the ground via, well... really big tubes. They are sealed together to form a vacuum that allows a 'passenger pod' to travel along them, free of air resistance.

Musk himself once described the concept as a "cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table". Suffice to say it certainly feels as though what was once the realm of science fiction is becoming a reality.

More information on the announcement of HTT's test track in Toulouse here. Get ready!

Image source: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies 




Your turn...

Let your inner author loose!  If you have an experience to share about moving to, living in or simply visiting France then we'd like to hear about it.  Write a maximum of 300 words, attach a photo and we'll publish the best here.

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