Languedoc Hideaways

Aude, Languedoc, France Book from Book from £81 per night

A clutch of rustic chic cottages with 20m lap pool and sunny gardens, 30 minutes from Carcassonne (each sleeps 2-7, or 13 in total)
Will and Tilly Howard had successfully run a nearby village B&B for 9 years when the opportunity arose to move to a farmhouse with barns overlooking a bucolic vineyard valley and small lake. They jumped at the chance to bring their boys up in the country and set about converting the barns into 4 self-catering cottages complete with 20-metre lap pool and south-facing terraced gardens.

Interiors bear Tilly's trademark flair and simplicity: whitewashed walls, splashes of colour, roll-top baths, flowers, exposed beams and the odd print. Will is a dab hand at creating and reclaiming useful bits of wooden furniture. Each cottage has private space to the rear and wonderful views; the smallest is separate from the other dwellings, perfect for couples, while the largest can sleep up to 7, ideal for families. There's a kitchen garden (suppers are offered 4 nights a week and Sunday lunches), hammocks strung between trees, communal weekly barbecues and pizza nights, and a couple of sociable Barns complete with ping pong and pool table, comfy sofas and log burner. And you're in the heart of dramatic Cathar country: ruined castles, rushing rivers, authentic market towns for delicious local provisions and brocante shopping, and a wealth of wineries.


  • Lovely relaxed style and set up, you'll feel instantly at home here
  • Friendly helpful owners who live on site
  • Easy to find, just half-an-hour from Carcassonne
  • Delightful part of the world, with heaps to do in the region, and fascinating Cathar history
  • Great value


  • The cottages have a wonderful rustic style but don't expect immaculate interiors
  • Improvements are ongoing, there have been some changes since our 2015 visit
  • Expect to be sociable; no hardship for most
  • Summers get booked up fast
  • Just set in from the road; luckily it's not very busy

Best time to go

Languedoc Hideaways is closed every January and February. Spring is charming in the region (the hills are full of wild orchids), the summers wonderful and warm (can be very hot at times), and the autumns a riot of colour and harvests. Rain falls mainly in the winter months.

Our top tips

Visiting the Cathar castles is a must: although a bit of a steep climb to the summit for most, they repay your efforts with amazing views and a real sense of a bygone era.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique gites
  • 4
  • Self-catering, drive to shops and restaurants
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 21 Mar 2018 - 31 Mar 2018
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
  • Laundry Service
  • Towels & linen provided


Two of the cottages flank Tilly and Will's home, the whole forms a stone terrace bookended by large barns. The largest, Le Jasmin, where we stayed, has 2 bedrooms – a high-ceilinged double and twin attic room for kids – plus TV snug with sofa bed on the top floors. Below is the kitchen-diner-living space and bathroom with excellent walk-in shower and clawfoot bath.

L'Etoile is also on 3 floors but narrower so there's one room per level. In descending order: the master bedroom with shower bathroom, a living room with sofabed and Juliet balcony for those awesome vineyard views, and the funky kitchen-diner.

Smallest, for couples, in the garden and mini-orchard near the pool, is stand-alone Le Figuier with galley kitchen and shower bathroom (with underfloor heating) beside an airy bedroom.

Since our visit, Le Marin has been added. The owners promise that this ground-floor apartment is a spacious home-from-home, with one bedroom (kingsized bed), a small kitchen, shower bathroom and a private terrace.

All have whitewashed walls, natural materials like rattan or flagstones on the floors, kingsize beds, a private terrace or patch of garden with table and chairs (and your own BBQ) and full kitchens.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Ipod dock
  • Oven
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi


The 3 kitchens have all you need for self-catering. Each has a coffee machine as well as oven, stove and fridge-freezer in which you'll find your bottle of Blanquette de Limoux (the inspiration for Champagne) for booking through i-escape. Tea, coffee and milk are supplied on arrival. The 2 larger cottages have dishwashers and dining tables, Le Figuier's bistro table and chairs are on its private terrace overlooking the orchard and vines.

Your convivial hosts arrange a weekly communal barbecue and pizzas in the clay oven, plus a farm-to-table dinner on Tuesdays, and bar suppers in the The Barn Bar are on offer Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Apero boards can be arranged on request. The Barn Bar has an honesty bar, pool table and ping pong as well as sofas; here Tilly provides a Sunday lunch May-October. Delicious cassoulet and pizza can be delivered too (we partook on our first night). Alternatively head out for dinner to Limoux, Mirepoix, or Belveze-du-Raze, we enjoyed a meal at winery Domaine Gayda, or plunder the local food shops and markets (Mirepoix Mondays and Thursdays, Limoux Fridays - about 10-15 minutes drive away).

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Barbecue
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Communal dining
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Oven
Eating: L\\\'Etoile


  • This is Cathar Country: hike along the Cathar Trail or climb up to soak up the views from these magnificent castles (we visited Montsegur and Puilaurens) and discover a fascinating period of history
  • With a vineyard in the valley below, and wineries all around, sampling local fruits of the vine is a popular pastime
  • Check out the local markets and brocante shops
  • Grotte de Niaux has 14,000 year old cave paintings
  • For active types canyoning, canoeing, white-water rafting, wild swimming and paragliding are all possible nearby; Tilly and Will can make bookings for you
  • It's easy to explore the area and cycle and walk from the property; Tilly and Will can advise

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Canyoning
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Paragliding
  • Rafting
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Wine tasting


We enjoyed bringing our family to these boutique gites which are very well set up for children (Tilly and Will have two sons so know about providing for families). There's even a lovely big rocking horse to ride at the entrance. Our children romped around the grounds, eagerly bouncing on the trampoline, playing football, swinging in hammocks, feeding the chickens, and playing with the toys and games in situ. The pool is gated and the cottages are well-equipped for easy self-catering. And there are lots of child-friendly activities in the area. Fun for all the family!

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Le Jasmin, where we stayed, and L'Etoile are perfect for families: both are over three storeys, with useful kitchens and comfy living rooms. Le Jasmin sleeps up to 5 in two bedrooms and has an additional TV snug room plus a tub in the bathroom, while L'Etoile has a master bedroom and shower bathroom on the top floor and a sofa bed in the living room below. Both have their own small terrace/patio area outside their kitchen doors for valley views, Le Jasmin also has a hammock at the front. Le Marin has room for an extra bed or baby cot, and can work as an annexe to Jasmin or Etoile, or for a family of 3

Baby equipment:

  • Baby bedding
  • Night light
  • Baby bath
  • Stair gates
  • Books and toys

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

All cottages are well-equipped for self-catering

Kids Activities on site:

  • Fenced swimming pool
  • Trampoline
  • Hammocks
  • Chickens to feed
  • Swings and slide
  • Toys and outdoor games to borrow
  • Table tennis
  • Pool table
  • Craft workshops at certain times of year, please enquire

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Tennis
  • Bison farm
  • Butterfly farm
  • Goat farm 2 minutes away
  • Parks
  • Accorparc
  • Caves and castles to explore
  • Water park in Carcassonne
  • Underground river trips
  • Beach is an hour's drive

Families Should Know:

The pool is fenced. A few drops and steps around the property so keep an eye on toddlers


  • Airport: 35 minutes (Carcassonne); 1hr 15 minutes (Toulouse)
  • Hospital: 15 minutes (Limoux); 35 minutes (Carcassonne)
  • Shops: 10-15 minutes (Belveze-du-Razes, Limoux and Mirepoix)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 13 independent reviews from i-escape guests


We went as a three family unit and occupied three of the four gites.
The property is an interesting, older building well situated on a hill with excellent views across a wide expanse of local, vineyard-covered countryside. Whilst close to the edge of a road, this caused little disturbance. The grounds are significant and well planted with a range of interesting shrubs and trees. The pool is longer than the norm and excellent for length swimming. At the same time the steps and shallow areas are prefect for younger children. The communal sitting/eating area was a helpful focal point for an extended family. The proprietors were discreet and friendly and never intrusive. Pizzas cooked on an open oven were delicious and reasonably priced. Figuier had a decent bathroom but is very small with a tiny kitchen area.


We have the most fabulous time at Languedoc Hideaways. Tilly, Will and family were the perfect hosts. Beautiful accommodation and breathtaking views in wonderful settting. Lots of relaxation by the pool combined with trips to Mirepoix market, Limoux and Carcassonne.


A magical and serene place. We had an amazing 4 days. The location, the kindness of Tilly and Will, pizza night, the pool, the chickens, and the views all made our stay very special. Our toddler loved it!


Much like everyone else reviewing Languedoc Hideaways, we would give Tilly and Will an 11 out of 10, if we could. They showed us an extraordinary amount of care, from the super-delicious dinner of Tilly's greens, goat cheese from the farm up the road, and grilled chicken (and then ice cream with peaches) awaiting us very hungry travelers after a long day of driving; the in-house stock of inexpensive, delicious, and local wines so you don't have to go hunting; the restaurants they recommended and reservations they made on out behalf; the incredible "baguette service" whereby Tilly drops off the freshest bread and baked goods outside your door by 8:30 each morning; the B&B-wide home-made pizza night (they built their own pizza oven) that crowned our stay; and so on. (And let us not forget the small miracle of the free washing service.) And the region is so compelling -- driving from Spain, we got off the A9 and took the local way, and we saw beauty, mountains on one side and vineyards on the other, that put Provence to shame. Add to that phenomenal local agri- and viticulture, and no tourists. But as with all such experiences, above all it was the people who made it, and so another enormous thanks to Tilly and Will for making us feel so welcome, so at home. I should also like to add that our lodgings were the perfect blend of comfort and character, and it feels to me a little bit like the iEscape description of the place undersells that aspect. There really were no lows, as far as we were concerned, unless you're looking for five-star hotel amenities.


Blissful rural escape in a beautiful part of south west France. Will & Tilly were superb hosts. We wished we could have stayed longer - will go back another time.


I cannot describe what a wonderful stay we had at Languedoc hideaways. A perfect match for us with daily cycling (Tilly matched us up with elite bike hire) and lazy days soaking up the sun by the pool. The gite was beautifully decorated (the photos don't even begin do it justice) and perfectly equipped for self catering, cosy evenings and also for families. The whole setting is incredibly beautiful, with wonderful views and a serene, beautiful atmosphere. The nearest supermarket is about 15 mins drive away (there are plenty by the airport though!). All in all an absolute steal and lovely generous hosts, we couldn't recommend it more highly. We will be back!


All 4 members of our family cannot recommend Tilly and Will's Languedoc treasure highly enough. The grounds are lush, with a beautiful pool, hidden gardens and a small soccer pitch perfect for kids and parents alike. There are countless thoughtful nooks and crannies: the honor barn bar replete with outdoor lounge, pool table nook, a garden chess table, and outdoor dining alcoves in several spots. The apartments are whitewashed, bright, roomy...we felt instantly at home and spoiled rotten at the same time. All of this in a setting looking out over vineyards, the mountains, and near so many fun adventures. The very best part was Tilly and Will and their boys. They make the whole place light up with their smiles, kindness, and enjoy doing what they're doing. It shows. Go out of your way to stay if you need won't regret it and like us, you won't want to leave.


In a way I don't want to review Languedoc Hideaways in order to keep it a secret but that would be a disservice to all the owners hard work. A beautiful idyllic home from home with a dose of luxury.


A fantastic holiday destination. The views are amazing, there is a great pool and communal area. The description on i-escape is totally fitting. The owners are so helpful and welcoming and their pizza night is awesome!


This review is long overdue as this really was one of the loveliest places in which we've ever stayed. Arriving at the house after dark, having driven from Toulouse, was pure magic - from trundling over country roads and hillsides through the dusk, to picking our way through a fairy-lit garden to our little cottage in the grounds. The whole place is beautiful - all climbing flowers, herbs and fruit trees, opening outwards onto rolling vineyards and woodland stretching away to the horizon. And with a pool! Which was lovely - and long enough to get in some laps when not gazing at the view with wine in hand. We stayed in the little one-bed cottage, which was private and perfect and had everything we needed. Coffee on the little terrace was idyllic, as was a BBQ we fired up with coal donated from other friendly guests. Tilly and Will are fantastic hosts - relaxed and warm, always on hand to help, but never hovering (they v. kindly fired up the pizza oven just for us on an evening when other guests had already checked out). Away from the house, there's a ton to explore - but definitely with a car. In a few days we took in forts, picturesque villages, beaches, valleys, plains and a family of wild boar crossing the road from Carcassonne. We had a really wonderful holiday here - so peaceful, and everything felt like a luxury. I couldn't recommend it highly enough.


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