La Vieille Maison

beautiful Limousin (lake district), central France
Guests: 7       Wifi: available       Pets? Pets welcome (more than 3 contact us upon booking), fee applies

La Vieille Maison

more about La Vieille Maison

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about the property

A late medieval family holiday home in the heart of the Limousin, France, situated next to the ancient church in Bellac village. Dogs welcome.

Officially one of the best places to stay in Europe! No. 7 in the Sunday Times top 50 'Sensational Villas' list!

"This 15th-century townhouse in the village of Bellac has been exquisitely renovated by a British stonemason. Granite fireplaces, medieval floor tiles: the place is bursting with French flavour, and there are lovely views from the terrace at the back. At this price, you wouldn’t expect a pool — but Bellac has a public one with slides for kids, so who cares? Limoges airport is a 40-minute drive." Sunday Times

Enjoy a peaceful holiday in this truly ancient French medieval townhouse in Bellac - a 'cite de caractere' in the beautiful Limousin region of central France. This is the smaller of our two properties on the old Church square which were originally part of the original fortification of this small medieval town. Restored by one of the best stonemason conservators in the UK, this unique house dates back to the 15th Century and has been carefully conserved, retaining original features including a magnificent staircase over 500 years old, late medieval floor tiles and cut granite fireplaces.

If the Landmark Trust had properties in France then they'd rescue a building like this - with original and ancient features in every room. It is even home to a traditional full French 'box bed' - possibly the only place left in France where you can sleep in such a piece of history. There is also a choice of other antique and modern beds to suit a family, and a patio with glorious views across the valley and to the local viaduct.

There is a swimming pool with slides for kids a short walk away, in town.

Please see sister property Maison d'Eglise if you would like to book both properties. 



latest review

We had a lovely stay at Le Vaille Maison. The views are breathtaking. The house is quirky and comfortable. The thick stone walls kept us cool. Bellac was sleepy but fun and kids loved the local pool....

Deirdre M, August 2019

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good to know

arrival at
depart by
7 nights from
£415 (based on 2 staying)
7 nights up to
£940 (based on 2 staying)
pets welcome (more than 3 contact us upon booking)
bed layout
Twin (ground floor), Double, Single, Twin

facilities at La Vieille Maison

open fire / woodburner
pub nearby (walkable)
media & technology
television and reception
wifi broadband available
cleaning services
washing machine

map - location

travel info


How to Arrive?

By air: 40-minute drive to Limoges airport 

  • Ryanair - from London Stansted, Bristol, East Midlands, Liverpool & Leeds
  • Flybe - Newcastle and Southampton.
  • Air France flies in from Edinburgh, Dublin, Birmingham and Manchester.

Or Bergerac airport (2-hour drive, flights from Bristol etc).

By road: 6 hours from Caen and 8 hours from Calais. Good access from A20 or N147

By train: Eurostar Paddington London > Lille or Paris with TGV rail to Poitiers, & local train to Bellac station (10 min walk). Car hire available at Limoges airport and Poitiers & Limoges railway stations.



in detail


  • Small gravelled patio to the front, facing the square.
  • Walled terrace to rear with views over the valley, with patio set.
  • There is plenty of parking (no charge) in the public square in front of the house.


  • Entrance Hall: limewashed green, with spiral stairs to first floor and doors to shower room and ground floor bedroom.
  • Shower Room: With 'dinner plate' shower head. Loo downstairs. Washing machine.
  • The 'Box-Bed' Bedroom: A twin bedroom with two singles (both full-size mattresses). Remarkable, original antique French box bed fully restored - perhaps the only surviving bed of its kind in use. Windows to side and rear with great views to the viaduct.


  • Salon: Comfortable sitting room with fine views to the viaduct and down the valley from window & 'Juliette' balcony. Wood-burning stove in antique limestone fireplace, antique dining furniture and dresser with Limoges porcelain. TV with (French) digital channels & DVD player. Radio & iPod docking station. Internet Wi-Fi.
  • Kitchen: Simple, modern kitchen with gas stove, electric oven, microwave, dishwasher, fridge with small ice box (no freezer). Views over the church square.


  • Master Bedroom: A large comfortable room with an antique bed and armoire. Lie in bed and enjoy the views down the valley to the viaduct. A lovely room.
  • Toilet: Separate modern toilet adjacent to the master bedroom
  • Bathroom: The bathroom (shower over bath) sits midway on the corridor between the two bedrooms on this floor.
  • Single bedroom: Large antique 3/4 beds (a single, but could at a push sleep a couple) and view over the square.


  • Attic bedroom: Large twin bedroom with views to the church.

The property is heated via a large, modern and efficient woodburning stove in the lounge, which has a newly-installed heat-transfer flue system to the rooms above. There are also newly installed electric storage radiators in these and other rooms. Wood for the stove is supplied in the holiday price at this property, but guests will need to buy kindling.

local area

  • Cinema, theatre, pool, restaurants, river - short walk
  • Ancient Notre Dame Church - square in front of cottage
  • Limousin - the 'garden of France'/'French Lake District'
  • Coussac Bonneval , Chateau de Bonneval - fine chateaux
  • Nearby ancient village of Mortemart
  • Limoges - 25 minute drive
  • Poitiers - medieval town & Futuroscope , great for kids - 1hr
  • Parc Animalier de la Colline Enchantee - 30 km/ 45 mins
  • La Vallee Des Singes - a monkey sanctuary.
  • Oradour - village untouched since WWII - 30 min drive

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customer reviews for La Vieille Maison

We had a lovely stay at Le Vaille Maison. The views are breathtaking. The house is quirky and comfortable. The thick stone walls kept us cool. Bellac was sleepy but fun and kids loved the local pool. Age 45 I was genuinely scared of falling down the medieval stairs but I wouldn’t change them for the world.

- Deirdre M,
August 2019

Delighful house, with sympathetic restoration, and a few nice quirky touches. Very comfortable for the 2 of us once we got used to the stairs (both in our 60s). At this time of year the area is very quiet - which suited us - with good weather the whole time except for one rainy day. Too warm to light the fire most of the time - when we did it heated the house well. We hope to return.

- Philip luscombe ,
April 2019

Amazing house with so much character and incredible views. Our boys loved watching the trains crossing the viaduct. Many lovely evenings spent watching the sun go down eating dinner on the terrace or trying out some of the local eateries. We enjoyed the swimming, pedalos and high ropes at the very beautiful Lac de St Pardoux, went on some lovely walks around Bellac and enjoyed a beer in the cafe down by the river. We also had a fabulous day out at Futuroscope. Would definitely recommend!

- Emma H,
August 2018

We had a fabulous stay at No.4. We loved the unique and ancient house and the sympathetic and quirky renovations. Although the children were convinced it must be haunted it was so atmospheric! The setting was spot on and we enjoyed being in Bellac. and the walks down to the river the restraunts and the town swimming pool Further afield a visit too the lake to swim and to some of the villages and to Oradour. We were able to catch the train to Limoges and found the area a relaxed and friendly place to be.

- Darren eaves ,
August 2018

"a thoroughly enjoyable break in this comfortable and peaceful house. So quiet and relaxing here in this picturesque village." Shirley from Nuneaton

June 2014

"We have loved staying at this remarkable is full of atmosphere, wonderful surprises and great has enabled us to completely relax!"

June 2014