The Region

The Auvergne

When you visit the Auvergne you come to a land steeped in majesty and beauty. From the mighty volcano to the small and fragile orchids that inhabit the region, you will find a variety of life available in few other places in Europe.

Whether you are interested in a quiet and relaxing holiday, swimming in the mountain lakes and visiting the local chateaux, or perhaps you would like an activity holiday filled with white water rafting, horse riding or even parascending, then we can offer you the opportunity to fulfil your holiday dreams.

What’s Here?

The Auvergne is often described as a paradise of space and when you visit you will understand why. The region contains two national parks, a variety of lakes and mountains and some of the most stunning architecture in the world. The towns of the Auvergne, once famous for their industries such as paper, wool, leather and lace making, were also home to some of the most important historical characters in France.

On the 4th June 1783 the Montgolfier brothers launched their balloon in the town of Annonay. The balloon flew some two kilometres and the forerunner of the Aeroplane was born. In the same area Marc Seguin redesigned the boiler on Stevenson’s Rocket and increased the train’s speed from 9 to 60 Kilometres per hour. In Clermont Ferrand, the capital of the region, you will find Michelin, the home of the famous Bibendium.

The region also houses the most important cathedral in France after Notre Dame in Paris. It is home to the real battles fictionalised in the Asterix the Gaul stories, boasts a village which became prison for a queen and has a village where all of the buildings are made from black volcanic rock.

For lovers of the great outdoors the Auvergne offers a plethora of variety. From the mighty Puy de Dome, once feared as the most formidable challenge of the Tour de France, through to the beauty of the waterfalls on the imposing Sancy peak. During the winter these falls freeze and the local sport of waterfall climbing becomes a truly breathtaking spectacle.

The beautiful river Allier also runs through the area, in places a tranquil home to a variety of wildlife, like the otter and European beaver, in others a raging torrent catering for a challenging day’s white water rafting. These mountains and lakes also contain some very interesting natural geologic occurrences, such as the thermal springs at Vichy, Mont Dore or Chaude Aigue or the ice caverns at Puy le Vache, which are covered in ice even on the hottest summer’s day.

If you are a wildlife lover the area boasts a staggering array of birds, insects and mammals. There are three varieties of deer, Chamois, Otters, Marmots,  Pine Martins, Red Squirrels and the mighty Wild Boar to name a few. For the bird enthusiast there are Kites and Buzzards, Eagles and Harriers, Hoopoes, Woodpeckers, Buntings, Skylarks, Herons and if you are lucky a sight of the rare and protected Stone Curlew or the formidable Golden Eagle.

If for you it’s castles and chateaux there are again many varied and exciting examples in the region, from the beautiful and preserved Chateau de Balaine to the imposing ruins of Murol overlooking the small town of the same name and the immense Mont Dore range.

Local Cuisine

The area also has a fine range of authentic local cuisine and boasts not one or two but five award winning cheeses (Bleu d’Auvergne, Cantal, St Nectaire, Forme d’Ambert and Salers) it is the home of the Puy lentil, pink garlic, potée ( a delicious form of Pork Stew), perch or pike, smoked eel and, of course, the millard, a tart made from cherries or grapes. See also our new Restaurants page.

See you Soon!

With such variety and choice no one will fail to find something they like in France’s hidden region.

Come and join us and see what you can find.

The Weather

The climate is fantastic for spring, summer and autumn breaks. In winter, there can be as much as four feet of snow which makes things a bit harder to cope with. In the summer, daytime temperatures on a clear day can reach the mid 30s. Even in spring and autumn, if the sky is clear, the sun can be hot enough to burn and t-shirts are more than enough, though if it clouds over, it also cools off quite quickly. Now we have our own weather station, we are starting to build up wind and temperature data for our precise location (specifically, at the north end of the stable block!) To see the weather for the current 24 hours, click on the link below. To see the weather data for any previous day, or the monthly trend graphs, from the following link follow the options on the right. We’ll be adding pressure and humidity sensors to the weather station this year, and next spring a rain gauge – we may need to take the rain gauge in over winter, however, not sure if it’ll survive snow and ice.