Villemur-sur-Tarn in the Haute Garonne (31) departement, just a stone’s throw away from Toulouse and the Forêt de Buzet was founded over 1,000 years ago in a place that was a prime defensive position on the river Tarn.

It is one of only two places, including Le Mont St Michel, in France, that were never taken by the English, who occupied most of the surounding region during the 100 Year’s War 1337 – 1453.

It was besieged in 1592 by the Duc de Joyeuse, but the troops of Henri IV came and relieved the village, throwing the Spanish troops to their deaths in the river, and killing the Duc.

Today was an exceptionally hot day for mid October – this is a crazy season, this year, the terraces of the cafés were full and the streets bustling with people searching for bargains in the “vide grenier” (similar to a car boot sale – literally ’empty the attic”).

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The autumn light is always so soft and bright, which brings out the beauty of the soft, pink brickwork of the buildings, so typical of the region.


The Tarn river, weaves its weary way past the ancient battlements with the sun sparkling like a million diamonds on its dark surface.

There is an art gallery in the round tower that overlooks the river, which often hosts exhibitions from local artists, places to visit are The Grenier du Roy and the peaceful walk alongside the Tarn river.

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