Mas Saint-Cernin

How we fell in love with Mas Saint-Cernin

For years we had dreamed of giving up our hectic lives in the UK and running gîtes in France. Holidays were spent in various areas of France trying to decide where it would be best to start our new life.

In 2010 we found what could be our ideal new home and gîtes near Castres in the Languedoc region in South-West France. To make sure we booked a weeks holiday to enable us to get to know the gîtes and the area. By the end of our holiday we had decided, this is our ‘ideal’ location for our new life and we went back home to sell our house and prepare for our new adventure in France. The housing market in the UK 2010 wasn't great but in 2012 we had sold our house and were in a position to buy in France. We spoke to the vendors, arranged a date to meet their notaire to start the buying process and booked our flights; and were ready to go!

We were still on the mailing list of some estate agents so we contacted them...

It was a couple of weeks later that we found out that we had booked our trip over a bank holiday in France and the notaire wouldn't be available! Rather than waste the flights we decided to come over anyway, have a look around the place once again and maybe look at some other properties, 'just to make sure we were making the right decision'. We were still on the mailing list of some estate agents so we contacted them, described our requirements and asked them to pull together an itinerary of some likely candidates.

We had a gruelling 800km trip set up, starting off in Orange in Provence before heading to Bergerac in the Dordogne...

The look around the gîtes and our future home confirmed we were making the right decision and we set off on our trip to look at the other properties, confident that nothing else could compare to our chosen purchase. We had a gruelling 800km trip set up, starting off in Orange in Provence before heading to Bergerac in the Dordogne, 7 properties in just 2 days. Each property we viewed confirmed our decision, some were too small, others required too much work or weren't in good tourist areas.

We set off across the beautiful Dordogne countryside...

Before the final property we stopped for a coffee with the estate agent and she talked through the final property with us. She hadn’t seen the property before, she didn’t have many details but her husband had seen the property and thought it would suit our requirements well. We set off across the beautiful Dordogne countryside through rolling vineyards and eventually arrived at our destination.

We began to think that this was somewhere really special...

As we drove up into the drive-way we began to think that this was somewhere really special. The gîtes were well set up, close enough so guests would be able to share their holiday times together but far enough apart to allow people their own space and privacy.

Really pretty, suitable as a romantic hideaway...

La Vieille Grange sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms and the living area and terrace are easily big enough to accommodate people from both gîtes when required. Le Pigeonnier with its two bedrooms was really pretty, suitable as a romantic hideaway, family accommodation or a 'granny annex' where grandparents could relax whilst the younger family members can be playing in the Grange or the pool. The pool was easily big enough to accommodate all the guests and there was loads of space for loungers etc.

The extensive grounds were set on top of a hill with far reaching views across the valley to the village of Saint-Cernin and the surrounding countryside. Being just 10 minutes from Bergerac airport with regular flights to so many UK airports was a great bonus yet the Mas Saint-Cernin was set in a quite rural location within easy reach of all the tourist areas of the Dordogne.

The beautiful village of Issigeac was just 5 kms down the road with fantastic restaurants and lively Sunday market (voted best market in Aquitaine in 2018). This place really could be a game changer.

The rest of our trip and the flight back were all about the pros and cons of both places. We had already invested a lot of time and energy in the first place we were looking at, in our minds we had already moved in, but the Mas Saint-Cernin had blown us away.

By the time we had landed back in the UK our minds were made up, we had to buy the Mas Saint-Cernin.

The next day we made an offer which was accepted. Our next priority was a very apologetic phone call to the owners of the first place we were looking at to explain our decision. From then on, we were in planning and packing mode.

We eventually moved into Mas Saint-Cernin in January 2013 and we can honestly say that we have never had so much as one moments doubt that we made the right decision.

We are living our dream and love it!


Living room in Mas Saint-Cernin

Living room in Mas Saint-Cernin

Private pool

Private pool

Dining terrace

Dining terrace

Mas Saint-Cernin

Mas Saint-Cernin


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This article may contain or reflect personal opinions and cannot be considered contractual.
Full property details and booking terms and conditions are available on the relevant property page(s).
Entry fees, opening hours and other information correct at the time of publishing, June 2019.


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How we fell in love with Mas Saint-Cernin | Pure France Holidays