Part 7 — Find Your France

Sophie Duncan
10 min readJan 1, 2022


Find Your France is inspired by 22 years restoring a sandstone Renaissance castle in the Aude department in South West France. In fact, the sister Château to Rennes le château of Dan Brown fame.

My writing will amuse you if you are l there already, inspire you if you are thinking about it, and amuse you if you are simply curious about the quirky Brits that still flood there.

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Read on…..


Wilderness and tradition. A less discovered gem of the south west.

Continued from Part 6Nouvelle-Aquitaine

In Find Your France I share my experience of 22 years renovating a Renaissance castle south of Carcassonne, south-west France, and discover the regions my fellow chateaunauts, from the British television programme Escape to the Château DIY, chose for their Château adventure.

My hindsight will inform and entertain those who have done it, are thinking about it and the simply curious, as we continue our romp through 17 châteaux in rural France and their regions. Read on…

Sophie Duncan and James McDonald at Château de St-Ferriol and Alison Ward and Paul Hunter at Château de Brametourte are properly down south in Occitanie. This part of France has been a thoroughfare for Mediterranean traders, invaders and migrants for over a thousand years. Both Picasso and Goya lived the last part of their lives in this region. Occitanie is exotic and different, even to the majority of French people.

Tarn: Alison & Paul

In the department of the Tarn, around Alison and Paul’s Château de Brametourte, industries are fine and ancient. In particular, they have a reputation for rose garlic, silk and hats. There are no big cities in the Tarn, yet in spite of the rural pace of their village, Lautrec, Alison and Paul are only one hour from Toulouse, France’s fourth largest city.



Sophie Duncan

I write about France, Oxford, dogs, love and more. Sign up for my newsletter today, find Beyond Paris - a Short Guide to Rural France on Amazon