The medieval town of St-Antonin-Noble-Val is a 10-minute drive from La Petite Maison. The town was named after both "Saint-Antonin the evangelist" and also its magnificent riverside location - its "Nobilis Vallis" (noble valley). Set on the banks of the River Aveyron, the town's strategic location has been the site of many deadly battles over the years. St-Antonin-Noble-Val is also famous for its narrow winding streets and its architecturally beautiful buildings, including the oldest civic building in France, which was built in the 12th century. More recently, the town has been used in films, which include "Charlotte Gray" and "The 100 foot Journey", which starred Helen Mirren.
Every Sunday, St-Antonin-Noble-Val hosts a magnificent market which attracts locals, tourists and even celebrities! During the summer, there is also a monthly "Marché Nocturne". In addition to the market, the town has two supermarkets, two estate agents (one English-owned), boulangeries, Tourist Office, bank, post office, garage, pharmacy, cinema, bars and restaurants. A larger selection of shops can be found in Caussade or Gaillac (both 30 minutes). Gaillac also has a hypermarket.
Further afield, we recommend visiting the historic town of Albi, the centre of which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town has a Museum dedicated to the artist Toulouse-Lautrec, along with a magnificent cathedral. You could also explore the dramatic scenery of the Aveyron Gorge, the Gaillac & Cahors vineyards, the remains of the hilltop castle at Penne and the many gorgeous villages and bastides – most notably Najac and Cordes-sur-Ciel, with its contemporary garden "Le Jardin des Paradis". The cities of Carcassonne and Toulouse (famous for its concerts & shops) are both within easy reach.
Throughout the summer, St-Antonin-Noble-Val and many of the neighbouring towns and villages have their own fêtes and entertainments, including fireworks, street theatre and music festivals.
This is a great area for cycling. There are several signed routes using a mix of car-less tracks and quiet scenic roads. They vary between long smooth valley roads and undulating climbs which can be quite testing. There are some very close climbs of up to 10km with gradients of up to 10% if you really like your hills. For walkers, the area abounds with petites and grandes randonnées (designated footpaths), many of which traverse St-Antonin-Noble-Val.