In the rolling green hills of the Aveyron, the Pitkins’ renovation of their barn is impressively innovative: original beams and exposed stone walls remain intact while light floods in through modern Velux windows, the staircase is constructed of wood and glass, and there are cut stone floors throughout. You’ll love the roomy communal living space with its arched beams, plenty of seating, a music system, UK TV and internet. The kitchen design is clever too – a happy mix of old and new with much upcycled from the old barn and plenty of kit for a foodie group. Big, clean-lined downstairs bedrooms are light and airy with great views; bathrooms are large and swish. Outside living centres on the terrace off the dining area with another long view and seductive swimming pool beyond. There are bikes to pedal off on, good local walks, plenty of Viaur river swimming spots, fine hilltop villages, like Cordes and Najac, to explore and advice on hand for anything else you may want to do – owners Richard and Anna are in the farmhouse next door.