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Mr. Edmund McManus

Member since: 2012
Speaks English

Luxury Country Cottage Close to Lively Village on Lot Dordogne Border

44 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 7 nights

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Photos and Description of this 3 bedroom holiday cottage in Cazals - Nyumbani

3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps from 2 - 6

This is French country living at its best with all the charm of traditional character but within light, open and uplifting spaces – brand new and designed especially for you by the architect owner! Access to the property is through a covered walkway which presents a first tentative glimpse of the shady half acre wood beyond the garden. The two storey cottage, with open plan living spaces on the ground floor, leads to an extensive shaded verandah facing south over the 9m x 4.5m salt water heated swimming pool. The master bedroom and en-suite bathroom at this level (designed to be wheelchair friendly, see below) also gives access to the verandah. The luxury kitchen with its breakfast bar facing the open plan dining and lounge is fully equipped to a high specification. A Harmony wood burning stove provides a focus and comfort through those winter evenings. Upstairs are two delightfully furnished double bedrooms which share a second luxury bathroom. Bedrooms are dual aspect with wonderful views across rolling countryside. Bliss!!

The architect owner has pursued his passion for the design of residential and vacation developments over a forty year period in various parts of the world. This property is the distillation of all of that, purpose designed to provide exactly what you want to find on your holiday to the French countryside. The site has been chosen close to a quintessentially French village which has shops and restaurants set around a tree lined square. Its lake, even closer to the site, has boating, tennis and a café, a place where the kids would be happy all day long. It is, however, firmly in the country, up a little winding lane, quite secluded. It slopes gently down to the south east allowing extensive views from the verandah beyond the pool across open countryside. Half an acre of woodland offer endless opportunities for childrens’ play and maybe too for those a little older that quiet doze in the hammock out of the sun’s glare. A natural circle in the trees is the site for King Arthur’s round table which seats up to 12 and with the portable gas bar-B-Q not far away. Hiawatha's wigwam and the tree house are also to be discovered hiding n the undergrowth. Internally, living spaces are designed open plan, interconnected and sociable. The island induction hob in the kitchen faces the dining area so that the cook doesn’t need to miss out on the conversation! Appliances include dishwasher, double eye-level fan oven and full height fridge / freezer. The dining area leads out onto the shaded verandah from where steps lead down to the pool terrace. Bedroom 1 also opens out through French doors onto this verandah. The wooden stair leads up from the lounge to the other two bedrooms and shared bathroom above. Everywhere there is daylight and views over quiet countryside. All rooms are furnished and equipped to a high standard. Externally the property is finished in stone, timber and clay tiles in traditional style including it’s own pigeonnier. It is full of french character but within has bright open spaces designed for modern living. A winter holiday here would be spent warm and cosy in front of the roaring log burner without all those nasty draughts old properties find it impossible to get rid of. Everything of course is brand new and supplied to a high standard to include all of those little things for the baby that you don’t want to have to squeeze into the suitcase.

Wheelchair Access: The property is designed to be as wheelchair friendly as possible without commitment to full 'disabled' access as defined by UK Building Regulations. A one metre wide level path leads from the driveway across a level threshold at the front door into the open plan living spaces. Wider doors allow wheelchair access from the Lounge into the ground floor bedroom (Bedroom 1) and to the ground floor Bathroom (door opens out) with walk-in shower enclosure (30mm high lip to the shower tray). There are no wall-mounted grab bars. Level thresholds lead from the Dining Area and Bedroom 1 onto the wide shaded Verandah with its view across the pool terrace to open countryside. While access to the pool terrace from the Verandah is via steps there is separate ramped wheelchair access (assistance may be needed) from the parking area across the lawn to the pool terrace. (See reviews Philip H.July 2014; Anonymous August 2013)

This part of France excels at all times of year, not just in the hot summer months. Winters are predominantly dry and sunny with crisp, clean air, perfect for a walking holiday in the low season. there are many hundreds of trails through wooded valleys and over open hills, all clearly waymarked and described in booklets available from tourist offices. (See reviews Anonymous(2 No.) March 2014). More information is available about the property, local area and activities of all sorts with links to relevant websites in our personal website at - www.luxuryfrenchcountrycottage.com. We recommend a look.

More Details
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible
Mr. Edmund McManus (Owner)
Member since: 2012
Speaks English

About Mr. Edmund McManus

Averil and Edmund are irish in our sixties. We settled in France in 2011 in time to start building Nyumbani in August of that year. With a great local builder and lots of hard work we were able to receive our first guests in July 2012.

Edmund is an architect with in excess of forty years experience in the design of residential space. We lived and worked for over a dozen years in tropical climates in parts of Africa and the Caribbean where we both developed our love of living outdoors as much as possible, in the shade and open to the breeze. Edmund's work also included the design of holiday resorts where the spatial requirements of short term living accommodation are somewhat different from those acceptable for a permanent home. Internal areas need to be easy to move through, open and inclusive, immediately inviting and cabable of being warm or cool depending on the season of the year. When the weather is warm, ease of transitition between inside and outside is so important.

We have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to design and build a number of new houses for ourselves and others over the years and Averil has used these opportunities to develop her skills in the choice of colours and interior furnishings.

Mr. Edmund McManus purchased this cottage in 2012

Why Mr. Edmund McManus chose Lot

We have loved this part of France since our first visit to friends some 20 years ago. We have always entertained the thought that it would be wonderful to retire here but on a visit in the summer of 2010 we made a sudden joint decision that now was the time to make it happen.

We bought land rather than an old structure so that we would have total control over the design and so that we could create a 'warm' building capable of being comfortable throughout the whole year. We chose the location because of our belief that people on holiday want the peace and quiet of the countryside in contrast generally to their normal existence but also want to be close to a village which has shops and restaurants. Our location close to Cazals but firmly in the country achieves, we think, that perfect balance.

What makes this cottage unique

The village of Cazals is quintessentially french with its tree-lined square containing the cafe-bar, the restaurant and the shops, especially the boulangerie for those morning croissants. It even has a cash machine, a medical centre and a small but well stocked local supermarket. Just on the edge of the village and half way along the ten minute stroll to our property is a lake with swimming, boating, tennis and a cafe.

The countryside is beautiful with wooded hillsides and deep valleys, perfect for walking. The local roads are quiet with very little traffic, perfect for cycling.

We like to believe that our holiday cottage works in all the ways we had planned. Certainly the very positive reviews and repeat bookings we have so far received suggest this to be the case. Our heated salt water swimming pool has been a great success offering a refreshing swim but not one that feels cold after a few minutes. Our sun loungers have been very popular also for gazing into a night sky free of light (and every other kind of) polution. Our raised verandah has been extensively used for dining in the relative cool of the evening. The kids have enjoyed exploring the wood and those a little older have loved a doze in hammocks in the shade of the trees.

This area of France does, of course, have a winter also. We have invested in an 11Kw log burning stove capable of heating the whole cottage and of staying in overnight. The stove even has remote control so that the you can raise or lower the flame without dragging yourself out of a comfortable seat. We have portable electric heaters also for that exceptionally cold night - thankfully quite rare.

Winter too can present surprisingly warm days, great for taking in wonderfully clear air walking across wooded hillsides.

All in all, we believe that what we have here, in this glorious corner of France, offers a very unique opportunity for a totally relaxing holiday.

Guestbook comments from the owner

We have had a fantastic holiday here in this gorgeous house and its surroundings! We've utilised the pool to the extreme and we're all completely relaxed. Thank you for all your help and hospitality, you have made all the difference to our stay! We look forward to coming back very soon!
Jul 2012
  • 1 of 2


based on 44 holidaymaker reviews

Luxury Country Cottage Close to Lively Village on Lot Dordogne Border
average rating of 5.0 based on 46 reviews

Lovely house, attentive hosts

  • 5 of 5

There's not much I can say that hasn't already been said. This is a beautiful and incredibly well-equipped house with a fabulous pool, in a very pretty area about 10 minutes walk from the charming and utterly French village of Cazals.

The week we were there was incredibly hot, which we took as an excuse not to do much more than muck around in the pool, cook, work our way through the host of games provided and stroll down to Cazals to buy bread and eclairs (the best bread is at the boulangerie to the right of the square, the best eclairs at the bottom of the square) and food from the surprisingly well-stocked Casino supermarket. However, judging from the visitors' book, other guests have been much more industrious and there is plentiful information on where to go and what to do if you're not feeling chronically indolent.

Edmund and Averil are solicitous but discreet hosts who genuinely want nothing more than for their guests to have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.

Altogether an excellent house in which we enjoyed a very happy week.

PS: When I say 'incredibly well equipped', I mean that every time I thought "x would be handy", it was there: air pump for inflating pool toys, cafetiere cover, cling film/foil/plastic storage bags, plentiful dishwasher tablets and washing powder, salad spinner, extra fans, three hairdryers, pool toys, dozens of towels.......

  • Review Submitted: Aug 1, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Perfect and Peaceful

  • 5 of 5

What can be said that hasn't already been said?

Our party of six women (sisters and mother) found the perfect place to celebrate a significant birthday, enjoy each others' company, take in the surrounds of the region, be in awe at the environment and sense of adventure, and enjoy perfect, peaceful relaxation. Our considerate hosts provided to our every needs, without imposition on our privacy - guiding and advising when sought.

Gite Cazals is indeed a piece of heaven and we will remember our special time there we love.

Our sincerest, heartfelt thanks to Edmund and Averil for our wonderful week -

The Mulcahy Women

  • Review Submitted: Aug 1, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Tranquil, and relaxing Gite with everything suppli

  • 5 of 5

Second time we have stayed at this beautiful Gite, and we are not the only ones who have stayed more than once! It is fully equipped with everything you could need. A perfect, peaceful and tranquil place to relax. The owners, Averil and Edmund, are great hosts and will go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your time there . You will love the peace and quiet, yet with a 15 min gentle stroll you can be in the local village and enjoy a coffee, or meal and the local Sunday market. Its a great base for exploring the local region (and the wine), and we are only sorry we can't go back again next year, and will struggle to find anywhere as good. We will certainly be going again in the future.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 22, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Our second stay.

  • 5 of 5

We cannot praise the hosts or cottage enough.although the weather wasn't as hot as last year but still good,there was plenty to do.Edmound and Avril were as helpful and welcoming as they always are and we look forward to seeing them again next year.Roll on next year.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 15, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Lovely home with great amenities in rural France

  • 5 of 5

All the reviews are accurate about the beauty of the home and surroundings, as well as the amenities available at the property. Edmund and Averil are great hosts who truly want to make sure every guest has a wonderful stay. The home, while newly constructed, fits in nicely with the countryside and is up a hill in a very rural area of France. The hosts have everything you might need, including a wide selection of baby items and children's toys. The nearby village is small but has a great butcher, a few bakeries, a restaurant and a great farmer's market (on Sunday when we stayed).

There are a few things we wished we knew going into our stay at this property. I don't think any of these are negative, but simply things that we wished we had known ahead of time:

1. The location of the property is in the middle of some wonderful sights. From castles to canoeing to caves and historical towns, it's all within driving distance. However, it is not in very close proximity to anything. Most of the sights we went to see were 45-75 minutes away by car on narrow, winding French country roads. As such, we were usually away from the home from about 10am until 6pm in order to experience the best of the Lot and Dordogne. If you are looking to see sights specifically in one of those two areas, you may want to consider something closer. This property is in between both but not a short drive to anything notable.

2. The hosts do a wonderful job welcoming guests. They are available and eager to help with just about anything, and their home is directly adjacent to the vacation rental (i.e. their front door is five steps from the front door of the rental unit). This may be common in European rentals, but was a little surprising to us. Again, I don't think it's a negative for everyone, but just something to be aware of ahead of time.

3. The town is a little farther than we imagined based on prior reviews. With children, it was a 15-20 minute walk each way. We had pictured a stroll into town each morning to enjoy the bakery, but that was an hour round-trip and the way back has quite a steep hill. As such, we ended up driving to town most days for provisions. Also, note that essentially everything in Cazals (and most of the surrounding area) is shut down Sunday afternoon and all day Monday. Stock up at the Sunday market and prepare ahead for meals on Monday!

Overall, this is a top notch rental and we would definitely stay here again!

  • Review Submitted: Jun 29, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We have not had many American visitors so we are delighted this family with four young children (11, 8, 2 and <1) had such a good time. Hospitality comes naturally to us and we always invite questions about the property, accommodation, facilities and any particular interests our guests may wish to know about in advance of their arrival. We were able to research most of this family’s queries by email following this up with a short chat, by their invitation, once they had settled in. Our accommodation is separated from the cottage by a covered link which permits any queries on site to be answered quickly and easily. We advise guests on arrival that we will be as invisible as they want us to be but as close by as they need us to be. We rarely use our front door when guests are in the cottage and we are careful not to be intrusive in any way. We believe the location of our property offers that wonderful peace and quiet of the countryside with clean air, shaded woodland, valley views and wonderful star-filled night time skies. We advise that the walk into the village is 10-12 minutes. We can well understand that with a family as young as this, it must necessarily take somewhat longer. No doubt the short rise up to our property can seem somewhat steeper too for short legs. It is unusual for a village in rural France to have as many shops and facilities as exist in Cazals. That is why we chose to build Nyumbani here. All of rural France closes down on Sunday afternoons as well as Mondays (except for supermarkets) and we make a point of this, not just by warning guests about this before they arrive, but by offering to buy in for them if it is likely to be a problem. One of the joys of this area is the drive along windy narrow roads, free of traffic, through gorgeous countryside with time to enjoy it – no deadlines, no urgent need to be anywhere for a particular time. Midway between the Dordogne and the Lot rivers, our position offers access to both (the Dordogne is 25 minutes away, the Lot is 20 minutes away). It would be impossible in a rural area to expect short drives to all activities. What all of our guests’ reviews seem to agree on above all is the joy of that peaceful pool to cool off in at the end of each day. We are pleased that this family, despite some disappointment, are still happy to consider a return visit. We are encouraged to continue to improve our communication with guests and to be sensitive to their differing needs and aspirations.
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Another wonderful week in Cazals

  • 5 of 5

This was our second visit and it was particularly good to visit in the spring when the woods in the grounds are fresh with new growth and new life. It was so relaxing and enjoyable to sit in the garden and watch and listen to the many birds at their most active time of the year.

As per our first visit in 2014, the house is in great order and very well equipped as a home from home. Averil and Edmund were away visiting family most of the week but made us feel very welcome on their return.

The house is in a very peaceful spot but has the advantage of being a short walk from the centre of Cazals which is very much a living small town with a couple of simple restaurants, 3 boulangeries, butcher and a well stocked small supermarket. this is quite unusual for French rental properties.

Cazals is a good centre to strike out in all directions to find many pretty and interesting towns including the best of the Dordogne region just 30 minutes North.

I cannot recommend the property high enough for a family holiday or, as we were, just a couple looking for a relaxing break without having to compromise on the quality of the accommodation.

The Casey's

  • Review Submitted: Jun 6, 2016
  • Date of Stay: May 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
75 Kilometres
Nearest Barpub
600 Metres
Nearest Ferry
640 Kilometres
Nearest Train
33 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
25 Kilometres
Cahors Nord
Nearest Restaurant
600 Metres
Car: necessary

Cazals is located almost midway between the Dordogne and Lot rivers offering all of the attractions of the Dordogne without the price tag. Your morning croissant is only 10 minutes walk away (less if you borrow one of our bikes). The nearby lake (5 minutes walk) has boating, swimming and tennis. The rolling heavily wooded countryside offers wonderful walks winter as well as summer. Canoeing on the Dordogne; fishing in the Lot; strolling through those gorgeous villages of Rocamadour, St. Cirq Lapopie, Domme, Sarlat; exploring the prehistoric caves at Peche Merle and elsewhere; wine tasting through the Lot valley - are all less than an hour away. Visit the owners’ website (www.luxuryfrenchcountrycottage.com) for more details. We warn you, however, that after you have experienced a dip in our heated pool, a doze in the hammock slung between the trees and that glass of wine on the shady verandah as the sun goes down, you may not wish to go anywhere else!


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday cottage in Cazals, Lot

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
High Summer 2016
2 Jul 2016 - 2 Sep 2016
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Late Summer
3 Sep 2016 - 30 Sep 2016
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Low Season 2016 / 17
2 Oct 2016 - 24 Mar 2017
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Spring 2017
25 Mar 2017 - 9 Jun 2017
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Early Summer 2017
10 Jun 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
High Summer 2017
1 Jul 2017 - 1 Sep 2017
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Late Summer
2 Sep 2017 - 29 Sep 2017
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
My Standard Rate

Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable Damage Deposit £200

We have full building and contents insurance for the Property as a holiday rental (gite) but in France this does not cover for accidental property damage caused by the client.Travel and many home insurance policies include such third party cover as a matter of course. We require that you arrange to have adequate insurance to cover your liabilities and that you confirm this to us prior to arrival.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Cancelled bookings will not receive a refund.
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Cazals in Midi-Pyrenees

Property Type:
  • cottage (detached)
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 110 m²
Location Type:
  • rural
  • village
  • Family
  • Luxury
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Firewood
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Printer
  • Scanner
  • Thermos Flask
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Freezer ...
  • Gourmet Kitchen
  • Grill
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , ground floor en-suite
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Bath with Shower , first floor
  • Bathrooms are finished to a high standard with ceramic tiles to walls and floors. Bathroom 1 has a large walk-in shower enclosure with thermostatic shower. Bathroom 2 has a thermostatic shower over the bath.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , ground floor
    Bedroom 2 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , 1 Cot , first floor
    Bedroom 3 - 2 Single Bed , First floor. Beds can be put together as a super king double
  • We recognise the importance of a comfortable bed. You will not be disappointed. The single beds can be placed together and made up as a double bed. A (proper) cot is available to be placed in either of bedrooms 2 or 3. All bedrooms have clothes rails, shelves and drawers with a separate store room for suitcases.
  • Books ...
  • Books - Fiction / Non-fiction
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • MP3 Dock
  • Music Library ...
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Games ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck Furniture
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Large Cooler
  • Garden ...
  • Outdoor Furniture
  • Barbecue ...
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Veranda ...
  • Tennis ...
  • Terrace
  • veranda
  • Wood Decking
  • 6 garden chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets not allowed ...
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Heated Pool
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Private Pool ...
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • museums
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • horse riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • rafting
  • swimming
  • tennis
The property was completed and furnished in early July 2012. The gardens are now fully matured. Every party of guests has been extraordinarily complimentary and all have awarded us a five star rating. We have three hammocks strung up between trees in the wood for that so relaxing laze in the shade. We have developed the wood further with Hiawatha's wigwam, King Arthur's round table for his twelve knights (also usable by adults) and a treehouse for that cooked breakfast among the trees.

Learn more about this holiday rental at the owner's website:

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