France is a country of exceeding diversity. This diversity is both geographical and cultural. However, one thing that you will find, no matter where you travel in France, is that the countryside is worshipped to an extent not found in most parts of the UK. In fact, as a tribute to the fact that industrialisation came late to France, many French, even in the large cities, will be proud to think of their country as pastoral and rural in character.
Because of this, there is really no better way to really get a feel for the French mentality than to spend some time in a French cottage. This is becoming an increasingly popular option for visitors to France from the UK who are eager to separate themselves from the some 80 million other tourists who flock to France’s tourists hotspots each year.
If you are considering a holiday in a French cottage, something you would do well to remember is that France is a country of many regions. The French are notoriously proud of their regions and if pays is how the French refer to their country as a whole, you will frequently find that mon pays is a reference not to France, but to the individual region of the person speaking.
The first thing to note about each region is that the geography will be different. This could range from ragged Brittany coastlines, to sandy bays, verdant forests, Pyrenees canyons, Alpine glaciers, and even rolling farmland. Whatever your mood, choosing the right region will have a big impact on your stay in a French cottage.
As well as geographic diversity however, you will also find that the culture, the food and even the language will vary significantly as you move around France. Another thing to remember is of course the weather. While many cottages in France are modern and provide absolute luxury all the year round, others will be decidedly seasonal and you will not want to be in one of these cottages in the wrong season. While the north of France has a climate very similar to that of the South of England, this is not the case for the entire country and it can be positively balmy in Nice, while being sub zero in parts of the Alps.
Before booking a cottage in France therefore, be sensitive to the fact that each region has its own culture, geography, and climate, and book a cottage appropriate to what you are likely to experience.