Heart-of-Cévennes magic among rocks, rivers and woodland. After a couple of hairpins and a river causeway you meet the strong stone walls and arches and the gentle inner courtyard of the ancient domaine. Dating back to 1197, it stands in a secret valley surrounded by 200 acres of nature and pure air. Nothing has changed over the years other than trees being cleared for more light, a bow window being added for more indoor space, and careful gardening. You will rejoice in the pool, the huge garden, the games room in the old barn, the river for picnics, adventures and cool plunges. Each apartment (La Source was beautifully renovated in 2016) has its own terrace and the whole place is a dream for family gatherings. Attractive, comfortable rooms are just right: not over-smart or vulnerable. There are antique armoires and colourful fabrics, good modern kitchens and open fireplaces. The caretaker grows organic eggs and veg – just ask. You will only hear bird calls, sheep bells – and yourselves. With so many spaces to explore and those fabulous views on the spot, you may never get round to the other beauties of the Cévennes.