Magical May: The Perfect Time for an Early Riding Holiday

Have you returned to work after the Christmas break yet?
The festive holidays are wonderful – filled with loving family and friends, good food and general merry-making. But, whether your answer to our top-of-the-blog question is ‘yes’ or ‘no’, the impending return of Real Life‚ĄĘ is always there, lurking in the background.
Dappled shade and perfect peace and quiet on one of the horse riding trails near Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re
Dappled shade and perfect peace and quiet on one of the horse riding trails near Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re

There‚Äôs no wonder holiday companies are touting their wares on the TV and internet right now – the promise of another break from Real Life‚ĄĘ is what keeps many people going in those cold and wet and dark and personal battery-draining winter months.

So, how about this?
At the luxurious and tranquil Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re we welcome guests for horse riding holidays from the end of April.
It is a magical time of year in our little corner of southwest France. The sun shines often. It is pleasantly short-sleeved-shirt warm. The sky is usually that clear and utterly enviable shade of touched-up picture-postcard blue.
In fact, late spring here is so magical that we have blogged about it before. We meant it when we wrote that blog post last year. We still do.
In May, daffodils fill the fields in cheery gold and white, and beautiful orchids turn quiet roadside verges into a riot of colour. Meanwhile, exotic and wonderful birds fill the sun-warmed cornflower-blue skies as deer, boar and red squirrels patrol our dappled green forest trails.
6(1)Imagine getting away from it all somewhere like this. Imagine forgetting the hustle and bustle and rush of the real world. Imagine waking up to another perfect day. Imagine feeling deliciously warm sun on your face. Imagine riding a carefully chosen horse on a carefully planned hack through enchanting sleepy French villages and unspoiled, tree-filled countryside.
Here’s the thing. You don’t have to imagine it. You’re more than welcome to join us here at Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re and enjoy it all for real. And don‚Äôt forget ‚Äď if you hurry and book your luxury horse-riding holiday at the ch√Ęteau before the clock strikes midnight and the strains of Auld Lang Syne ring out on December 31, you can enjoy your 2016 holiday in our peaceful and beautiful corner of southwest France at 2015 prices.

The perfect Christmas gift for the horse-rider in your life

Are you still looking for that perfect Christmas gift for the horse-riding loved one in your life who has everything? How about a ch√Ęteau?

We’re not joking.

Obviously, it‚Äôs impossible to fit an entire French castle under the tree (not to mention the climate-changing amount of paper you would need to wrap one) but we think we have come up with the next best – and much more eco-friendly – thing. A gift voucher for a luxury riding holiday at Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re.

voucher

Wouldn‚Äôt you love to see the look on your loved-one‚Äôs face as they open a modest and unassuming envelope on Christmas morning to see something very special like this inside? It contains the promise of a relaxing holiday next year at our friendly and luxurious ch√Ęteau in the picture-perfect Lot, riding along beautiful and peaceful trails, through enchanting villages and unspoiled tree-filled countryside.

A holiday here won‚Äôt break the bank, either. If you book your 2016 holiday at the elegant and tranquil 400-year-old ch√Ęteau before the end of December, you and your loved ones can enjoy a relaxing luxury equestrian break at 2015 prices.

Alternatively, if you have already catered for everyone else this Christmas, how about treating yourself? Surely you deserve a little luxury you-time about as far away from the daily stresses and strains of real world as it is possible to get?

Remember: if you book your 2016 horse-riding holiday before December 31, 2015, you can look forward to a wonderful break in France next year at this year’s prices.

At last ! Time to catch up on the year

The year has been very busy since our April post and here goes with an attempt to bring you up to date.

I think we must start with our big news at the end of the dressage season in May which everyone did extremely well in.  This is that Tanya and Seamus took the title of

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ‘Champion Club Elite Grand Prix’ of the LOT region.

WOW were we pleased! ¬† It certainly got the season off with a buzz.¬†Schooling became less intense through the summer but is up to speed again now and the new season started at the beginning of this month. ¬†This year Tanya¬†is competing on her new mount Atila who arrived in the first week of September – Gillian, Louise, Bev, David and June I’m sure will remember the excitement caused as he was unloaded onto the yard. ¬†At that time he hadn’t any dressage experience as he had been used for jousting displays so his first schooling sessions were rather exciting. ¬†However, Tanya’s instinct has proved right yet again and he very quickly settled down and in only his second ever dressage competition last week he rewarded her by winning a 4th place rosette.

A star in the making
A star in the making

We have thoroughly enjoyed seeing old friends again, some for the 6th and 7th time plus meeting lots of new ones many of whom, from both groups (old and new)  have already booked to come back again next year.  This year we have been truly multicultural with visitors from not only all parts of the UK but  Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Finland, Belgium,  Peru, Brazil, USA and Hong Kong Рnever a dull moment here.  One special booking has been made by Caroline and Malcolm who spent their honeymoon with us in 2011 and are coming back to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary Рchampagne will be on ice guys x.

 

The cross country course has proved very popular from both beginners having their first pop to the more experienced enjoying a full round and we intend to keep this going next year for afternoon sessions, ground conditions permitting.

Sarah & Nao
Sarah & Nao

 

Jodie & Rocco
Jodie & Rocco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new rides¬†were very popular with everyone and the additions / variations to some of the older ones worked really well. ¬†This doesn’t mean that we will be resting on our laurels – Tanya is constantly looking at the map, drawing lines and shaking her head so I think that she and I will be out again early next year exploring. ¬†To see what we find you will have to come and stay.

2015-10-09 11.16.452015-06-03 09.14.14


Two new horses on the team this year were Lena and Traviata both of whom gave several of our guests a very good ride.  Photos and details of these plus of course Atila will follow in the update of the Horses page of the site.

 

As many of you know, this year we changed a few things on the riding and meal schedule which was very popular. ¬†By the end of the season everyone said that it was good. ¬†So, to confirm for next year we will ride every day Sunday through Friday, lunch and dinner every day including Wednesday (the old day off) although Thursday after the huge lunch at Monique’s it will be a buffet supper which everyone found easier to cope with. ¬†Of course as it’s your holiday don’t forget that none of this is compulsory, it just means that once here everything is catered for and you don’t need to stir outside if you don’t want to.

 

Finally for now, a quick reminder about next year. ¬†We have been looking through the diary and some weeks are full already so if you don’t want to miss the dates that suit you best get in touch with us very soon. ¬†Don’t forget that if you book before the end of December you can fix your 2016 holiday at the 2015 price. ¬†We all look forward to welcoming you here to Laumi√®re next year.

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A Warm, Wonderful Summer with Friends Old and New

The trees along the trails near Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re are turning
An autumn ride near Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re

We have enjoyed another super summer at Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re. But now, as crisp autumn in our little corner of French paradise adds a beautiful blaze of burnished gold to the trees, we‚Äôre busy settling down for the winter after a busy holiday season.

The chateau’s friends and guests Рfor that is how we think of you all Рhave all now headed home, leaving lasting, fond memories.

It has been our immeasurable pleasure to welcome so many of you back to Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re for another holiday – not to mention all the new friends who stayed with us for the first time. We hope you all had a wonderful time here, and we look forward to welcoming you again soon.

In fact, previous guests who book their 2016 holiday with us before the end of October can stay here at this year’s prices plus five percent discount.

We can pretty much promise that the weather will be kind next year. It is very easy to be lucky with the elements here, and summer 2015 was no exception.

Sandra & NollieThe sun shone bright and warm for most of the time and the sky was that lovely cornflower blue that looks as if it has been touched-up in photographs. It was, on the whole, another perfect summer for exhilarating morning rides through the quiet Lot countryside, followed by lazy, restful afternoons by the pool. It’s safe to say that the weather did its bit in making so many holidays so special.

The scenery, too, continued to exceed expectations. It is genuinely beautiful here in the gentle, rolling hills of our corner of Lot, where enchanting villages give way unfussily to unspoilt tree-filled countryside. But, of course, you’d know all about that if you have stayed here.

There is, of course still plenty to do at the ch√Ęteau, even though it is no longer holiday season.

Tanya checks out a possible new route
Tanya checks out a possible new route

Our riding school is open all year, even when the ch√Ęteau is closed, and the horses – who give our guests and friends so much pleasure throughout the summer – need plenty of care and attention.

Meanwhile, Tanya has been out exploring more of the stunning countryside surrounding the ch√Ęteau, in search of more routes for you to discover. She has uncovered a couple of routes for next year that she believes will be very special – although she has sworn us to secrecy for now. All we can say is that she‚Äôll let us reveal a few details later. Hopefully, sooner, if we can persuade her.

If we can’t talk her round, you’ll have to discover them for yourselves next year. Just don’t forget about that special offer if you book before the end of October!

Walking Back to Happiness

Wandern

Walking. Hiking. Rambling. Whatever you call it, it is a hugely popular pastime, that is easily accessible to many, many people.

In recent blog posts, we have discussed the variety of options and possibilities available for those who come to stay at Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re whose interests do not necessarily extend to riding a horse, but who may enjoy fishing or cycling.

The good news is that walkers of all levels will be delighted to learn that there are as many beautiful walks near the chateau as there are cycling trails or fishing lakes in our picture perfect corner of southwest France that nestles away from prying tourist eyes.

But we advise you to get your boots on, if you want to discover this wonderful part of the world before everyone else.

The region is fast becoming popular with walkers of all standards – and there really is no wonder. With its enormous network of well-marked higways and byways, it is simple to enjoy a different walk every day of your stay, or follow part of the famous and ancient pilgrim trail to Compostela. For an extensive list of suggested walks, click on the Tourism Lot link here.

Whatever you are looking for, you will find the corner of the Lot near¬†Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re offers a welcoming environment for all levels of walkers. Many trails follow ridges or plateaux and most ascents or descents are quite short – though they can on occasion offer something of a challenge.

Meanwhile, if you are worried about walking on the roads here, don‚Äôt. It is so quiet that road walking is actually quite safe and a pleasant change from what you may have been used to. And, you‚Äôll see some wondrous sights along the way – a pigeonnier here, a medieval church there, a historic town just beyond those trees…

In fact, the biggest problem you are likely to have is whether to stop to enjoy one particularly special view, or to carry on until you have crested the next hill, or rounded the next bend in the trail in case the next vista is even better (Hint: the next one is likely to be equally as impressive).

So, whether you plan to walk for just an hour or for several days, the beautiful Lot countryside is worth discovering step by step.

Get on your bike

The Tour de France is coming to Rodez, near Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re, this summer
The Tour de France is coming to Rodez, near Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re, this summer

Put the words ‚Äúcycling‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúFrance‚ÄĚ together in a sentence – and the mind‚Äôs eye almost inevitably focuses on the Tour de France.

With good reason. The world‚Äôs best-known long-distance multi-stage cycle race is, according to organisers, the third biggest sporting event in the world behind the Olympic Games and football’s World Cup. Whether that‚Äôs true or not – the Rugby World Cup makes a similar claim, after all – doesn‚Äôt really matter. In France, Le Tour is a big deal.

And this year, it is coming to our little corner of southwest France.

Stage 13 finishes at Rodez, the ancient capital of the Gaulish Ruteni tribe, and is not far from Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re on Friday, July 17. Stage 14 gets under way in the beautiful city the following day.

The beautiful cathedral at Rodez
The beautiful cathedral at Rodez

That weekend, the area will be packed with cycling fans basking in the unique glory of one of the world’s greatest sporting events.

Even without the added attraction of Le Tour, cycling is a wonderful way to discover our picture-perfect part of the world. And it is perfect for non-horseriders who want to make the most of a holiday at the Ch√Ęteau.

Like horseriding guests, cyclists can escape from hustle and bustle of the 21st century into a tranquil tapestry of peaceful car-free trails, known as ‚Äėvoie verts‚Äô and meander through shady woods where warming sunlight plays through the gentle green canopy under a cornflower-blue sky.

Breath-taking views will greet cyclists around almost every corner
Breath-taking views will greet cyclists around almost every corner

Meanwhile, sports cyclists – who may be want something a little more taxing than a gentle ride out along quiet country lanes – will be delighted to learn that we have our fair share of testing stretches and hills as steep as you want them around here. If it’s good enough for Le Tour…

And, if you do take to two wheels on the roads of France, you’ll be delighted to know that cyclists are well looked-after here. Bike-riding guests at the Ch√Ęteau have often commented on the fact that cars and lorries here will give you plenty of space – unlike the UK, where you’re always battling inconsiderate drivers for a tiny bit of space on the road.

Fans of off-road biking are well catered-for, too. All the wild terrain you could possibly wish for is within easy reach.

And it‚Äôs easy to hire everything you need. There is an excellent cycle shop in Limogne-en-Quercy, about 4.5km from Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re, which rents out new and well-serviced road bikes, touring bikes and mountain bikes. We believe his rates are very reasonable.

Even better, the owner will deliver and collect your bikes from the Ch√Ęteau, so that all you have to do is turn up with your cycling shorts and helmet. Click here for the shop‚Äôs website.

Photos: Akial, Geert Schneider, Denis

First Team Laumiere Dressage Competition

We had a GREAT day on¬†Sunday 22 March at the first dressage competition at which we fielded a full team with – Karen, Caroline R, Caroline L, Laura and Tanya entered over 3 classes. It was a very long day arriving 8.30 am and not finally leaving until almost 6.00 pm BUT coming home with a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th between us certainly made it worth it. Sorry, but can’t post photos at present as we are waiting to see what, if anything. comes from the official photographer as with transporting, organizing and last minute coaching we didn’t get any ourselves. Very remiss I know so next time we will take along a photographer as well! Will keep you posted about this.

Gone Fishing

We regularly boast about the gentle, peaceful beauty of the little corner of southwest France that surrounds Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re, and how it is the perfect location for a holiday hack along mile after mile of peaceful, car-free trails, under a warm sun in cornflower-blue skies.

But we also know that not everyone rides horses.

Lac de Banac
Lac de Banac

We’re often asked if there is anything non-riders can do here. The answer is plenty. The trails our horse-riders can enjoy are also open to walkers and cyclists, while the area is dotted with bustling towns and picture postcard villages that, quite simply, will take anyone’s breath away.

One of the most common questions for our non-riding guests concerns concerns fishing. Is it any good here? To which the honest answer has to be: No – fishing is not any good here.

It is much, much better than that.

We could wax lyrical about the quality of the lake and river fishing available just a 20-minute drive from Ch√Ęteau de Laumi√®re – from the gorgeous and well-stocked 15-hectare Lac de Banac, to the exceptional fishing on offer in the 15km stretch of the River Lot between Saint Cirque Lapopie and Cajarc.

We could list a few of the fish that could bite at your lure – which include black bass, pike, roach, carp, pike perch, chub, perch, tench, barbeau and rainbow trout.

We could even issue something of a fishing challenge by mentioning, almost by accident, that the largest carp ever caught in Europe was landed in nearby waters.

It is probably more sensible, however, to deal with a few practical matters.

You will need a licence – or carte de peche – to fish in France. Temporary licences for holiday fishing are available for a week, or even just a day, at a time – and they are not expensive.

fishingYou can arrange a licence yourself online by logging on to the cartedepeche.fr website. It has English, German and Spanish-language sections, and is pretty straightforward. If you have any questions, however, please do not hesitate to drop us a line.

If you are flying to France, the best advice is to check with your airline about what to do with all your fishing equipment before you arrive at the airport to avoid any frustrating delays. It is permitted on flights, but usually has to be checked into the plane’s hold Рthough certain articles may be allowed in hand luggage. Your airline will have all the information you need.

Once you have your licence (don’t forget to bring it with you, once you’ve downloaded it!) and have arrived at the chateau, everything will be in place for a perfect fishing holiday.

For more information about fishing in Lot, log on to Pechelot website here. Don’t forget, we’re not far from the Tarn either. The pechetarn website is here.

Don’t Miss This Offer!! There is still some availability in May

The pound is at present getting even stronger so we can pass on some great savings to you for the limited availability we still have in May.

The weather is getting better by the day – May is a really great month for riding here and the countryside for our riding is truly wonderful. You can now ride every day if you want to and the relaxing side of your stay with us is as good as ever.

So come on do it now before it’s too late! Send an email with your dates and we will come straight back

There's a horse in the stables just waiting for you
There’s a horse in the stables just waiting for you

Great Offers for April and May

With the pound so strong against the weak euro now is a very good time to book a Riding Holiday in France.

The strong pound against the euro means cheaper air fares and cheaper fuel if you prefer to drive.

 

Above all this means that you can make some great savings on your holiday price with us here at Chateau de Laumiere because by passing the savings we make on this advantageous exchange rate to you we can offer some really good deals for April and May bookings.

 

Don’t wait too long to contact us by email or telephone with your April or May dates to check availability and see what savings you can make on a super relaxing riding break in the sun

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