People of my age will remember a book called ” The Railway Children ” – later made into a series – and it is true that there is an excitement and glamour about old railway stations – this property has all of this. The current owner has created an immaculate, imaginative sympathetic restoration, taking the best the modern world has to offer yet marrying it seamlessly to the history and total charm of the old station building.
The ex railway line to the front of the house and its gardens and driveway has now become a ” Voie Verte “, literally ” a green road “, all fueled vehicles vehicles banned, existing solely for walkers, people on bikes of all types, dog ( on lead ) walkers and the occasional horse rider. The Voie Verte network stretches for miles, you can use it to walk into Bastide Sur l’Hers, your nearest village with shops, a bar, soon to be restaurant, trout river running through it and a keenly supported Petanque court next to the post office and village town hall – plus one of the best butchers in our region. Add to this a regular night market in the old town square in the summer that is seriously good fun. Living about 10 minutes walk away you can dip into all the village has to offer or retire to the peace of your home and just watch the hills opposite – particularly lovely at this time of year as the leaves change into their Autumn coppers, reds and golds – Jennifer claims that New England is even brighter – but I suspect bias – no matter – the hills here are stunning.
The station house is a joy, it has a seriously generous terrace to the rear of the property, a very large ” abri “, solidly built to the side of the property – currently used as a carport housing a camper van and two cars. Jennifer and I both thought that, given the gravelled are next to it that it would turn into a fabulous area to put in a pool, it would make a wonderful pool house / summer kitchen. Below the terrace, and to its side are lawn and garden areas, linking to the wrap around gardens and driveway. It is even more of an idea when we tell you that in addition to the detached Station House there is, the other side of the gravelled inner courtyard, an equally immaculate, two bedroomed detached bungalow.
So, two houses, both detached, both with glorious views across to the foothills and, further away, a side view of the mountains and both with generous gardens surrounding them. The Station House is wonderfully deceptive – to the ground and first floors you have all the charm of the old building, but, due to the slight slope of the site there is a vast space below the entire house – it is currently used as a home gym, storage space for the current owners mountain climbing, biking, walking pursuits and has a semi kitchen and laundry area. We both felt that this could turn into a self contained apartment overlooking the pool just so, so easily – and would be utterly charming.
The main living room in the Station house, also the kitchen, leads onto the terrace, french windows flooding the space with light and with blinds to the terrace that can give shade in the heat of summer – it’s gorgeous – and we both were lost in admiration at the electric lift that has been fitted to carry logs up from the woodstore directly to terrace level – so much easier than carrying them by hand. The 3 bedrooms are all themed, two have a rustic chic feel at the 1st floor level and the RDC master suite is seriously modern with a seriously luxurious bathroom en suite complete with spa type bath.
The combination of the two detached houses – for once we have floorplans – very unusual for us – gives incredible potential and flexibility to this property immediately. Live in one house gite the other ? Gite both when you are busy elsewhere ? Use one house for family members or friends who need single floor living ? To convert the gym and storage areas to an apartment ? At the moment you have 5 double bedrooms, add the apartment and you could sleep 12 people in real comfort, swap the current office in the Station House to a single bedroom and you are up to a 13 person rental opportunity. This could produce a very comfortable income stream when you don’t want to use it yourself.
Both houses are ” designed “, the interiors are all immaculate, some furniture can be available by private treaty, the exteriors are of the same quality. This really is a combination of properties where you can arrive with your suitcases and start to enjoy immediately or set up a business instantly in an area that is a total joy.
To precis :
- Central Heating - Oil
- Office space