Looking for a horse riding holiday in Europe? You can't beat the south of France...
Do As Much Or As Little As You Want – the choice is yours
Horse riding holidays in Europe don't come better than this - because this part of the south of France is so beautiful and varied. Apart from the horse riding itself, there are many other activities to enjoy – fishing ( excellentLake & River fishing very close by ), walking, cycling, canoeing, golf, potholing, climbing, hang-gliding, paragliding, pleasure flights, hot air ballooning, boat trips – and of course, sampling the delicious French cuisine!
Despite all the activities, this is a peaceful region, where everything happens at a calm pace because that is the way of life here. So you can choose to do as much or as little as you like. There is time and space for everyone. You can be surrounded by as many people as you want, or totally alone – the choice is yours. One thing is for sure – this is the perfect place to relax and unwind – and recover your equilibrium!
Steeped in History
This region was originally part of Aquitaine – owned for many years by the British and ruled by one of the most outstanding women in history – Eleanor of Aquitaine 1122-1204. She was married to Henry II, and was the mother of one of our most famous Kings – Richard the Lionheart - who was born in France.
Since arriving we have, on several occasions, been met (quite benevolently) with the phrase, “We spent 100 years fighting you and still you come back!”.
The area has a long and turbulent history, including the 100 years war (1345–1453) (which began in Aquitaine); the Wars of Religion (1562-1685); and the Revolution (1789) - all of which have left their mark on the area. The Bastide at Carcassonne and the numerous Châteaux, built both by the French & the English, attest to this - as do the Bastides (fortified walled towns). Carcassonne is a stunning example where, once inside its walls, you can wander along the narrow streets and imagine yourself having been transported back through time.
Eat And Drink Like A Roi!
South West France is famous for its delicious cuisine, which uses the best and freshest local produce - ensuring a thriving market culture. At the heart of every town and village is the local market, where you can mingle with the local people and chat to the stall holders, who are delighted to offer advice on the best way to cook their produce. Having explored the many stalls, you can relax and refresh yourself at one of the pavement cafes, watching the world go by with a coffee or aperitif - before deciding where to eat.
Eating in this part of Europe whilst on a horse riding holiday is a culinary treat with local specialities including fois gras, many delicious dishes of duck and the unbelievable dessert – Pastis Cake...This consists of layer upon layer of filo pastry built up into something resembling a fairytale castle with apple, and a base absolutely swimming in liqueur – not for the faint hearted but truly an experience!
Château de Laumière is just 4.5Km from Limogne en Quercy which, with Lalbenque, forms the heart of Truffle country. Known as black gold, truffles provide a memorable flavour to many dishes and a truly gastronomique experience is a large fluffy truffle omlette which, even if available, will not taste quite the same in any other part of the world.
We actually have a truffle oak wood at Laumière but as yet are still waiting for Maisy (our Newfoundland) to sniff some out – watch this space!!
Restaurants and Bistros
There are several good restaurants close to Laumière and more within 30 minutes drive, with prices to suit all pockets. Generally, you will eat very well for considerably less than you would pay in England. Two of our favourites are:
The Petit Folie (evenings only, but not every night) in the village only about a five minute walk from the Château. Very informal, it is run by a friendly Belgian couple who both speak excellent English and offer good, simple fare. Pizzas are very popular here and are all freshly made and cooked in a wood fired oven.
The Rince Cochon about 4.5km away in Limogne, is again informal, with a bistro type atmosphere and offers exttemely good, regional cooking.
Superb Towns, Villages & Castles
There are myriad fascinating villages and towns for you to discover while on your horse riding holiday in this part of Europe and we are happy to offer suggestions of places to visit within easy reach of Château de Laumière. You’ll be spoilt for choice!
Villefranche de Rouergue, Figeac and Cahors
Saint-Cirq Lapopie, Rocamadour, St. Antonin de Noble Val (used in the filming of the movie ‘Charlotte Grey’ ), Najac, Belcastel, Bonaguil and Roquefort
This part of Europe is well known for its famous, ancient caves which contain some of the most important, early figurative drawings open to the public. The most well known is probably Pech Merle, but there is also Phosphatieres du Cloup d’Aural, Padirac, Cougnac (which has one of the finest cave ceilings in France) - and Roquefort (more for the cheese than history).
Horse riding holidays in Europe don't come more action-packed than this. There are many beautiful gardens and parks offering a range of activities, or simply for an afternoon spent peacefully at ease. Walking on the limestone causse is a pleasant and interesting experience, and you'll discover the numerous little stone shepherd huts and the varied wildlife and fauna.