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Whitney Leigh Morris is the blogger and designer extraordinaire behind Tiny Canal Cottage. She lives with her husband, son, and two dogs in a 362-square-foot home in Venice, California, and makes small living look oh so good. Every summer, she trades her cottage for a castle in the French countryside. Here, she shares her latest trip.

In late July, we journeyed from our tiny house in Venice to a tiny village in France for a two-week vacation in Belcastel. This little medieval town is nestled in the Aveyron Valley, and has been my home-away-from-home for a decade. The Château de Belcastel, which sits atop the village, is a striking and stunning historic monument, owned by my dear friend Heidi Leigh.

I usually stay in her castle during my visits, but this year I was joined by more friends and family members than ever before, so I rented us all a gîte instead. It was the best of both worlds—we were nestled in the heart of the village, and we were also fortunate enough to have access to the gorgeous castle.


This year’s trip was particularly magical for a few reasons: it was our first time in Belcastel with baby West, it was the first time my sister visited the village, and we all got to see and celebrate an original mural that two of my close friends from LA—Chandler Wood and Darren Le Gallo—painted for one of the art galleries within the castle. It was extraordinary to be in one of my favorite places with so many of my favorite people.

We packed pretty light for our trip: We only brought two carry-on pieces by Away, a leather backpack / camera bag from ONA, and our diaper bag / changing mat backpack. (We missed our rescue beagles Sophee and Stanlee so much while we were gone!)

What was once the castles moat is now the swimming pool.

Both the village and the castle are spectacular. My husband Adam and I are seriously considering finding a little cottage in the area…


Even the laundry is beautiful in a place like this.

We took a trip to visit my French family in Médoc, a few hours from Belcastel. Here’s me and West in a vineyard.

If you have to work on vacation, the setting could be worse.

The courtyard of the castle hosts many events and meals.


For more photos, check out my blog and the #FromCottageToCastle hashtag on Instagram.

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