Like most things in life, chance plays a big part—and it was mostly by chance that we ended up buying our property here, after touring round most of the Midi-Pyrenéées. But for us, we couldn’t have wished for anything more. Lovely country, wonderful walks with breathtaking views. There is forest and woodland, river and gorge—and deer, foxes, boar and badger for the keen sighted. The area has had a turbulent past, fought over for centuries during the Cathar period in the early Middle Ages. There are many “bastides” to explore—the fortified hilltop villages, such as Penne, Cordes, Castelnau, Bruniquel, Najac and Puycelci. Leisure activities are plentiful with kayaking, rock-climbing and hang-gliding for the more adventurous, river bathing and restaurants for the rest of us.