Brave the steep winding road to reach this astonishing place. All alone, half way up a six-hectare hillside is the 400-year-old stone farmhouse that the Goughs have rebuilt outside and redesigned inside, plus more ruins and terraces in progress. Each of the four floors opens directly onto one of those terraces, the views across the deep narrow gorge are pine-green, the only sounds the wind and the odd wild-boar rustle. Big stone bedrooms have great white beds, industrial-style furniture, a restful lack of clutter, and splendid new bathrooms. Kevin and Michèle are resourceful, interesting and love having guests. They keep chickens for breakfast eggs and collect rainwater to protect the house from landslides. You can walk wild to your heart’s content, along the valley and over the hill to deserted coal-mining hamlets or follow Stevenson and his donkey. Take gorgeous labra-springer Barney, he loves to lead the way. It’s a tough and hospitable land whose history includes religious rebellions. Visit glorious Roman Nîmes, Provençal Uzès and Florac for its crazy autumn Soup Festival.