Welcome to MANZAC D'EN BAS, traditional luxury self-catering holiday "gites" set in the truly spectacular, peaceful and relaxing countryside of the Ariège in South West France
Three rural, self catering holiday gites/cottages with large saltwater swimming pool and panoramic views of the Pyrenees.
L'ÉCURIE - self-catering accommodation for 4 - 5 people
Self-catering gite accommodation in rural SW France with stunning views of the Pyrenees.
LE LOGEMENT - Self-catering accommodation for 4 - 6 people
A self catering holiday gite in the Ariege of south west France
LA GRANGE - self-catering accommodation for 4 - 8 people
Holiday gite rental with stunning views of the Pyrenees
Discover the Ariege, The Pyrenees and South West France
Discover the Ariege, The Pyrenees and South West France
Art Courses & Painting Holidays / Retreats in South West France
Professionally Tutored Photography Holidays in the Ariege of SW France
Comments from people who have stayed at Manzac d'en Bas in the Ariege
Booking, deposits, terms etc
Travel options to Manzac Gites in the Ariege, Midi Pyrenees, SW France
Giles and Louise Nevill
Local weather conditions from Meteo France and the BBC
Manzac d'en bas avec vues des Pyrénées à vous couper le souffle.
L' ÉCURIE - Hébergement meublé pour 4/5 personnes
Maison de charme avec les vues magnifiques sur les Pyrénées
LE LOGEMENT - Hébergement meublé pour 6 / 7 personnes
Maison de caractère située dans la campagne preservée de l'Ariège et qui donne sur la chaine des Pyrénées
LA GRANGE - Hébergement meublé pour 8 - 10 personnes
L'ancienne étable avec deux loggias spacieuses qui donnent sur la campagne et les Pyrénées
Gilles et Louise Nevill


You have come to www.manzac.com, a website for three traditional, luxury self-catering holiday "gites" in the truly spectacular, peaceful and relaxing countryside of the Ariege in SW France.

Click here to return to the Home Page for more information on this special holiday location in SW France

The detailed programme of art holidays at Manzac d'en Bas for 2014 is at the bottom of this page - please scroll down and have a look!

But In Summary ....

29th May - 5th June -        SUE TOWNSEND :                 Watercolours and Acrylics                          Spaces Available

8th - 15th June -              SUE DEIGHTON :                   Watercolours and Acrylics                          FULL

17th - 24th June -            JACKIE DEVEREUX :              Sketching and Watercolours                       Spaces Available

25th June - 2nd July -       TONY SLATER :                     Painting Clean and Fresh Watercolours        Spaces Available

1st - 8th September -       MAGGIE READ  :                    Drawing and Watercolours                         1 place available

10th - 17th September -    CAROLE MASSEY  :                Watercolours and Pastels                          FULL

19th - 26th September -    ANN SWAN :                          Botanical Art with Coloured Pencils             FULL

29th Sept - 6th October -   BRIDGET WOODS  :              Watercolours                                           Spaces Available

Painting on Location ;  Bordes Sur Arize, Daumazan and Sabarat

The peacefulness and beauty of the surrounding countryside and the flexibility of the accommodation make Manzac the ideal location for specialist courses in any number of activities - painting, photography, writing, language courses, yoga retreats, walking and golfing holidays etc etc.

Painting Demo of view from Manzac d'en Bas

We would be delighted to welcome anyone who wishes to use Manzac D'en Bas as a location for a specialist course either as a tutor wishing to bring a party of students / clients or as a participant. Please contact us on 00335 61 60 71 17 or by e-mail for further information and our pricing structure for specialist courses.

Click here to contact us by e-mail

Specialist activity holidays can take place any time outside the high season, ie during May, June, September and October which are often the best times to visit Manzac d’en Bas and the Ariege, as invariably, the weather is cooler and the countryside is at it’s most beautiful. Holidays can start and finish on any day of the week, thus enabling participants to take advantage of cheaper mid week flights.

Due to the spacious nature of the accommodation and facilities, course participants are most welcome to bring their husbands / wives / partners with them who can then enjoy a relaxing holiday at Manzac with everything that it and the surrounding area has to offer.


To improve the facilities that are available to our artists here at Manzac d'en Bas, we have built a new studio which has been extremely well received by those artists who have used it thus far - it is 50m2, light, spacious and the design is such that it remains cool when it is hot outside and has spectacular views towards the Pyrenees across the rolling countryside in front of Manzac.  This is a valuable new asset as it provides, both a place for artists to paint when the weather isn't suitable for painting en pleine air, but also a place in which the art group and keep all their equipment without having to clear it away every evening.

Testimonials for Painting Courses held at Manzac d'en Bas

“We have been planning this trip for over a year and the reality has far surpassed whatever I could imagine! - Much more fun, much better painting, superb food and wine. Great company and conversation. I felt completely at home!” - the course tutor

"The best painting holiday we have been on by far" - Colin

“Thank you so much for a lovely holiday – you’ve looked after us so well, we’ve been able to concentrate on the painting which was so much appreciated. Wonderful place to relax and unwind.” - Sue

“The painting holiday has surpassed all expectation. The food delicious, the wine flowed and the laughter wonderful. I look forward to another time spent with you and your lovely family.” - Gill

"It could have been just another painting week but this one was special." - Geraldine

“Our painting holiday was super and set in such a delightful place. With many thanks to Giles and Louise for being perfect hosts.” - Valerie

"Thank you for all your energy, good spirits, creativity, hospitality, nurturing and support - lovely time with lovely people!" - Annette

"A true get-away-from-it-all and emersion in La France profonde" - Jane

"Difficult to know where to start when describing it as it was all of such a high standard. Giles and Louise are the perfect hosts making everyone welcome and at ease from the moment of arrival. The standard of accommodation and food were faultless and the location in this little known part of France is just delightful." - Colin

"This has to be one of the most relaxing places anywhere. Giles and Louise ... cannot do enough for their guests, definitely going that "one step more" to offer the ultimate service." - Frank

We are really pleased to announce that according to our Tripadvisor entry, Manzac d'en Bas is currently No. 1 in the "Speciality Lodging" category (ie. not a hotel or B&B) in the Midi Pyrenees Region and the Ariège Department of SW France.  In addition, in 2013, we were very pleased to be presented with a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence

We are obviously delighted about this and thank you very much indeed to everyone who has taken the time to give us such kind and generous reviews.

Click here to visit TRIP ADVISOR - a website for traveller reviews and opinions. Read what our guests have said about staying at Manzac d'en Bas

Pre-dinner drinks and a Buffet lunch in the garden


Here is the list of the painting holiday courses which are currently scheduled for 2014. They represent a selection which we hope will provide something for everyone - different media and different subject specialities.

If you are interested in attending one (or more) of these courses, please contact us for much more information, including prices, on 00335 61 60 71 17 or via e-mail on manzacgites@yahoo.com

Click here to contact us by e-mail


The price per person per week for the Manzac aspects of the holiday (less two visits to local restaurants which are payable at the time) - ie. accommodation, food, drink and transport, is €715. If you share a room, then each person will benefit from a 10% discount - a rate of €645 per week. 

The tutors fees normally vary between £200 and £300 depending on the tutor - please contact us to confirm individual tutors' rates.

Click here for access to a Currency Converter


SUE TOWNSEND - Watercolours and Acrylics

Thursday 29th May - Thursday 5th June 2014

Sue Townsend is a talented and dedicated artist living in the beautiful Cotswolds of Gloucestershire. Sue's work reflects her love of the outdoors and she uses colour and light to give vitality and variety to her work. Her subject matter however comes from many different sources and is often surprising. Her trips abroad, particularly to France and Venice and other parts of Italy, give her fresh inspiration everywhere she goes away.

She is a painter in a contemporary impressionistic style using colour and light to depict my very broad base of subject maatter.

She runs local painting groups, gives demonstrations and workshops. During the summer she takes day excursions to local beauty spots and country houses. She also takes small groups to France and Venice on painting holidays and visits other cultural cities and places in Europe.

She exhibits locally and nationally and has exhibited abroad in France, Majorca and Malta. Her customers are from many different countries including the USA. She travels whenever she gets the opportunity for renewed inspiration.

"A talented and dedicated artist who is well known locally and who has exhibited nationally and in other countries." Paint Magazine

For much more information on Sue and some examples of her work, please visit her website - www.suetownsendart.co.uk

Click here to visit Sue's website

Click here to contact Sue by e-mail

SUE DEIGHTON - Watercolours and Acrylics

SUNDAY 8th - SUNDAY 15th JUNE 2014

Sue holds demonstrations and workshops in Acrylics, Oils and Watercolours. Her workshops include "Paint in the Impressionist Style" using Artisan watersoluble oils and "Improve Your Drawing" using both graphite and coloured pencils. 

Sue has 30 years teaching experience in Schools, Colleges and Institutes of Further Education, with the last 15 in Community Education. She has recently completed a two-year Consultancy to set up a Teaching Gallery, from the purchase of the property, to the establishment of a retail outlet for art materials, the creation of a portfolio of artists to exhibit in the Gallery, the planning of courses to run in a Teaching Studio (and the furnishing and equipping of the studio), the training of staff to advise on Art materials and the recruiting of tutors to replace her. 

She also works as a guest tutor for the British Army in schools in Germany, and gives painting workshops and specialist tutorials with Gifted and Talented Children. 

Sue was twice selected for the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy and has exhibited at the Mall Gallery and Open Exhibitions of the RI, RBA and the NEAC. She currently has an exhibition of works executed whilst tutoring in Zimbabwe at Woburn Safari Park. 

Sue is a regular guest tutor for Asekela Painting Holidays in Zimbabwe, and has appeared as Guest Tutor for Art Safari painting Holidays in Malawi and Zambia, and is a Professional Associate for the Society for All artists. 

Sue has two videos available - "Colour Theory for Flower Painters" and "Landscape Painting using Watercolour". She is a guest presenter for YORK TV and is a regular contributor of features in The Paint Magazine.

Click here to visit Sue's website

Click here to contact Sue by e-mail

JACKIE DEVEREUX - Sketching and Watercolours

TUESDAY 17th - TUESDAY 24th JUNE 2014

Jackie is greatly influenced by the graphic quality of Japanese art, and the light of her adopted country, France. Her first love is pure watercolour, but she is equally at home with pen and ink as well as pastels and fine art printmaking. 

She will quite often incorporate an element of calligraphic work into a collage with fine hand embossing, which she has pioneered. All of these disciplines have evolved over a number of years during which time she has shared her knowledge and experience by running workshops and courses, painting holidays and latterly writing. 

Unusually, Jackie is just as happy producing small intimate paintings as her large watercolour compositions with a simple but pure and bright pallette. Her subject range is wide, from still-life to people in places, to architecture and landscapes.

Click here to visit Jackie's website

Click here to contact Jackie by e-mail



Tony was born in 1942 and lives in Nottinghamshire, England with his wife Doreen.

He is the official UK demonstrator for Sennelier Extra Fine Watercolours and Isabey and Raphael Brushes.  He is also a Studio Associate of the Trevor Waugh Studio and a Professional Associate of the Society for All Artists as well as a founder member and past chairman of The Kirby Bellars Group of Artists based near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Tony began painting in the 1970’s and, apart from seeking instruction from those artists whose work he admires, he is completely self taught.  It is Tony's great love of, and expertise in, painting watercolour, together with his communication skills, that has led him into the teaching of watercolour. In the last seventeen years he has acquired an enviable reputation in this field, proving himself able to pass on not only the basics of painting but his own techniques, hints and tips in a way that gives confidence to beginners, and for those with some experience, can make a reasonable painting good, and a good painting great.

He regularly runs painting holidays, workshops, teaches painting courses and demonstrates at the annual Patchings Art Festival in Nottinghamshire. He is also available to give one-to-one tuition. His aim is always to promote confidence, increase skill, but - and this is of prime importance to him - also to help his students enjoy their painting. Tony also exhibits regularly, his paintings now forming part of collections in many countries of the world. His work has featured in International Artist Magazine, while Leisure Painter commission and publish articles by him.

For much more information on Tony and some examples of his work, please visit his website.

Click here to visit Tony's website

Click here to contact Tony by e-mail

MAGGIE READ - Drawing and Watercolours


Maggie was trained at Surrey Institute of Art & Design where she studied Graphic Design and Illustration. She worked as a freelance illustrator for several years before having a family and re-launching her career as an Art Tutor in Adult Education. She continued to paint and accept commissions for portraits and illustrations. She is founder/leader of Pirbright Art Club in Surrey and regularly organises & runs exhibitions, outdoor painting days, workshops, holidays and private classes.

Experienced in teaching most media, Maggie's strengths are in pencil & charcoal drawing; watercolours; pen & wash and pastels. She is skilled in showing students how to achieve interesting compostion & prepare sketches for paintings. Her demonstrations are clear and colour-mixing is kept simple. She demonstrates to art groups & societies as well as in her regular classes. Figures & portraits, landscapes, buildings & still-life are among the many subjects Maggie teaches.

Running two consecutive courses at Manzac each Autumn - Maggie hopes to give students more confidence in their drawing/painting skills when working from nature and the outdoor environment. The courses are structured to cover drawing and composition; pencil/pen & wash drawing; watercolour painting and using pastel with watercolours. Artists of all abilities are welcome - the many varied painting subjects in wonderful locations ensures that each will find inspiration and success!

Click here to visit Maggie's website

Click her to contact Maggie by e-mail

CAROLE MASSEY - Watercolours and Pastels


Carole studied art at St Albans and Leicester before following a successful career as a commercial artist running her own design business. 

She returned to her first love of painting initially gaining a reputation as a portrait painter. Her subjects have included members of the royal family and show business personalities, including Rolf Harris, the celebrated painter and TV star. Amongst several TV appearances Carole debuted with Rolf on the BBC’s ‘The Big Event’ which featured a giant reproduction of Constable’s "The Hay Wain." 

Today Carole is a professional artist, popular tutor and demonstrator whose work is in private collections in Europe, the USA and the Far East. She is an accomplished all rounder working in watercolour, water soluble pencils, acrylics, pastel, water based oils and mixed media. 

As a best-selling author she has published teaching books on "Figures in Watercolour", "Water Soluble Pencils" and "Flowers in Acrylics", each in several languages (see publications page on her website). She is a professional associate of the SAA and is a regular contributor to their "Paint" magazine in addition to being invited to run workshops at the SAA’s exhibition in London. 

Carole leads many courses in the UK at Flatford Mill, Suffolk for the Field Studies Council, Earnley Concourse, Sussex and at Watershed Studios, Essex. In 2010 she won an award in the “Artist of the Year Competition” organised by the Artists & Illustrators magazine. 

As well as returning to Manzac, she will be leading painting holidays in Brittany where she now lives.

For much more information on Carole and some examples of her work, please visit her website - www.carolemassey.com

Click here to visit Carole's website

Click here to contact Carole by e-mail

ANN SWAN - Botanical Art with Coloured Pencils


Ann works primarily in graphite and coloured pencil and is well known for her exquisitely fine detail, vibrant colours and strong contemporary style.  She champions the underdog in the plant world, drawing our attention to Brussels sprouts or beetroots feeling they are just as beautiful as the iris or tulip.  She is passionate about coloured pencils believing they are easy to master, forgiving and accessible so that even a complete beginner can quite quickly produce work of quality. 

She began to exhibit in 1990 and now shows her work worldwide. Exhibitions include The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in 1994 and the Hunt Institute's 8th International Exhibition in Pittsburgh USA. Ann is a regular exhibitor with the Society of Botanical Artists and until recently exhibited annually at the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows.  She is also a member of the RHS Picture Committee.  Her work is represented in the prestigious Shirley Sherwood Collection and features in many private collections around the world.

Click here to visit Ann's website

Click here to contact Ann by e-mail

BRIDGET WOODS - Watercolours


Bridget Woods is an internationally acclaimed artist who has specialized in watercolour, life drawing and portraiture for over thirty years. She is an inspiring teacher who is known for her approachable style and understanding of students’ needs.

She has held many exhibitions in England, France and Iceland where she also leads courses and has exhibited at the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and Royal Watercolour Society.

Her popular first book ' Life Drawing - a journey to self-expression' and the companion double DVD 'Life Drawing - Techniques in Action' are used by individuals and life drawing tutors alike. Her practical book on painting expressive watercolour is due to come out in 2012. All publications are by The Crowood Press.

Bridget’s main aim, stimulated by subjects ranging from weather, landscape and people to still-life and abstract images, is to convey feeling and atmosphere through the unique ‘alchemy’ of transparent watercolour. Dedicated to sharing her enthusiasm and love of these subjects, Bridget has been teaching for over 30 years and has led many courses in Iceland, Madeira and France.

The week will include five days of tuition and the comfortable group size will allow for plenty of individual attention on painting trips out in the glorious countryside to local villages. There will be group projects, one to one tuition and demonstrations when necessary.

 For much more information on Bridget and some examples of her work, please visit her website.

Click here to visit Bridget's website

Click here to contact Bridget by e-mail

Painting on Location - Bordes sur Arize, Daumazan and Sabarat

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