You can splash in a lake five minutes away, meander down to charming Montcuq, join a guided walk or swim in the saltwater pool, hedged-in and prettily private. This simple stone cottage with a tiled roof – 18th century and extended over the years – is a great little base for an unspoilt part of France, with a relaxing décor, steps up and down and vast views from a first-floor terrace. It’s a place for lovers of utter peace and tranquillity, and welcoming to families too, thanks to the owners who live in the adjacent house, helpful and fun but respectful of visitors’ privacy; you get the pool all to yourself! There are two bedrooms on the ground floor, one opening to the garden, and the quirky, delightful third is upstairs, its bath in the bedroom, its loo separate. Also on the first floor is the large, light, open-plan living area, with squishy white sofas and a simple but pleasing ‘coin cuisine’. Wood floors, jolly pictures, Indian throws, well-equipped kitchen; nothing is flashy or redundant here. Enjoy the restaurants and wines of bustling Cahors and stock up at its wonderful twice-weekly market.