We have just had a week in the most peaceful beautiful setting on earth. We rented a cottage at the Chateau de Bussas in the Cevennes area of France. The owners are British but don't live there all the time, but they bought the 12th century chateau 18 years ago and refurbished it themselves. Now they rent out four apartments and one cottage, and have a French couple on site who look after guests and the property. It is set in 200 acres of grounds and is in a valley surrounded by mountains all covered in pine forests. A river runs right by the property which is warm enough to swim in during July. In the early evening sunshine you can sit out and listen to the crickets and the bees buzzing around the lavender and roses and feel as if you are miles from civilisation. But you are not. A short 10 minute drive takes you to local St Jean du Gard, a typical small French town, with a weekly market and excellent restaurants. There's a swimming pool on the terrace and cooking facilities in each apartment. If you're very active you can spend all week walking, river walking or even boating, but if you just want peace and quiet you can have that too.
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