A Haven of Tranquillity in the Languedoc Mountains

Jo Bullock explains why she and her family love their house, Villa Lavande near Lodève, so much. | Villa Lavande - LODE101

Lodeve is a lovely old town nestled in the hills of the Haut Languedoc National Park. It’s really well situated for a holiday as it’s fairly close to the Mediterranean beaches but within striking distance of spectacular walking and other outdoor activities.

Jo Bullock’s dad knew the Lodève area well and so when he decided to buy a house in the south of France he had no hesitation in settling on this beautiful region. Likewise, when Jo and her family decided to claim their own little piece of France they wanted to be close to dad and to enjoy all the benefits that this hillside area has to offer.

Jo and her husband, Peter, were looking for a family-friendly venue where their children could enjoy freedom and sunshine. Eventually they found exactly what they were looking for just across the valley from Jo’s dad’s place. The property had a good-sized garden and opened on to vineyards but it was the view that Jo loved so much; the rugged hills of the upper Languedoc were almost on the doorstep.

At the same time, the house was within walking distance of the village of Soubès which has a bar/restaurant and a shop and just a few minutes’ drive from Lodève which has several cafés and bars. Lodève is a market town and the family make sure they always visit the Saturday market when staying at Villa Lavande. As Jo herself says, ‘Lodève is great because it is full of normal people, not tourists or holidaymakers. This is the real Languedoc’.


Building works went surprisingly smoothly. Jo and Peter commissioned an English builder based in the area to undertake the major works and Peter did the rest.

The house has other benefits, too. Summers in the south of France can be very hot but the house itself is always cool inside. The décor is homely, not posh. Jo wanted her family and guests to feel relaxed and at ease, not constantly worried about keeping the place pristine.

The family is now grown up. Jo’s sons are now 24 and 23 but they still enjoy visiting Villa Lavande and it’s a great venue for family gatherings. Jo’s sister and her children come down too and since the house can sleep 9 people, there’s room for everyone.

Guests love Villa Lavande too. The Bullocks have had couples to stay but the house is really geared up for families. With the pool, the table tennis, the garden and so much space, kids can go wild and still be safe. The pool is securely fenced which is very important for parents with small children; they can let the kids run free and know they aren’t going to fall in the water.

Villa Lavande has been advertised on the South France Holiday Villas website for nearly five years now and the company has found some lovely clients to stay at the house. When the Bullocks had a crisis a couple of years ago with their pool, and with guests actually en route from Australia to come and stay in the villa, they contacted SFHV and one of the property management team was on the spot within 24 hours to deal with the situation.

All in all, a great summer holiday venue for all the family!