The Bergerie is on the western edge of Villardonnel (11600) in south central France. About 18km from Carcassonne, the village is set about 1km back from the D118 road, making access to town easy.

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From here, the Mediterranean coast and the city of Toulouse are within easy reach.

There are a number of ways to get from Britain to south central France, and some are better than others. Of course, much depends on where your journey starts, and whether you're driving or not.

By air – our nearest airport is Carcassonne, served exclusively by Ryanair from a number of UK airports. Next nearest is Toulouse, a bigger airport with more choice of flights.

By road – for the shortest driving distances within France use either Newhaven to Dieppe or Portsmouth to St Malo ferry routes. From Calais or the Channel Tunnel the drive is about 120km more, plus tolls.

Cross-channel prices are very variable. Even within tourist season bargains can be found if your dates/times are flexible. Brittany Ferries are very expensive, although by far the most civilised. You are more likely to find affordable prices on the Newhaven to Dieppe route by DFDS, the Channel Tunnel (out of season), or Dover to Calais.

By train – rail is a relaxed way to make the trip, but very expensive. Worth considering is a France country pass – 2016 price is £177 for 3 day or £195 for 4 day pass, valid one month. Of course, in addition you'd need to get to France.

By coach – this can be a cheap way to travel if booked well in advance, and you can carry more luggage than on a plane. It is quite slow and tiring. Options include Megabus, Flixbus and Eurolines,

Cheapest drive to south central France - tried and tested

By avoiding toll autoroutes? No — it would use more fuel than the tolls saved. And it would take at least 2 days.

In terms of price, the ferry operated by Transmanche between Newhaven and Dieppe is similarly priced to Dover-Calais if booked ahead and you can tolerate odd hours. From many parts of Britain, Newhaven is easier to reach than Dover.

The road route from Dieppe is almost the optimum possible, with autoroutes and a fast national road, the N154, past Rouen, Evreux, Dreux, Chartres to Orleans, then a very long stretch of autoroute, as far as Toulouse if toll-avoidance isn't your objective.

The thing is, almost 300km of this autoroute is free – there are no tolls between Vierzon and south of Brive la Gaillarde. This is an effective saving for a class 1 vehicle of about 40 euros.

If you like to avoid road tolls, save about 25 Eur and 70km but add about 1.5 hours by coming off the A20 at Junction 59 'Le Caussade', going via St Antonin Noble Val to Albi, then Castres, Mazamet and across La Montagne Noire to our village of Villardonnel. This is a scenic route, best if you have plenty of time.

The faster route, saving about one and a half hours, is to continue on the autoroute to Toulouse, following the ring road to the A61 which is clearly signposted for Carcassonne. Leave at Carcassone Ouest junction and follow signs for Mazamet. This is longer and there's 200km more of road tolls involved.