- Travel and Places
Country Cottage Limousin France
A Hideaway Country Cottage or Gite in Rural South West France
Have you ever thought of running away to a secret hideaway in the sun? Did you never dream of that picture-postcard country cottage in rural France? Do you day-dream long to live the the good life in some quiet and tranquil place? I had such dreams and I turned them into reality when I bought an old French farmhouse in Limousin, deep in the heart of forgotten France.
Over the years we renovated the main house and opened a chambres dHotes, a guest house or Bed and Breakfast. An impressive piggery and tractor barn became a lovely three star gite and we still have barns to spare. We created gardens and kept goats for milk and cheese, sheep and geese to mow the lawns and chickens for eggs. Sadly thought, with only two of us to do the work, the gite and B&B have taken over and now we only have the hens to provide us with fresh eggs for breakfast.
Read our story if you would like to escape to France, whether to live for good or just a while or even to escape for a week. I do hope youll enjoy my family and my dream country cottage that eventually became a reality.
This work by Barbara Walton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Please note that all images, unless otherwise attributed, are the property of Barbara Walton
What is a Gite?
A holiday cottage or a vacation rental
Have you thought about renting a gite in Limousin, South West France? A gite is a French self-catering holiday home or holiday cottage, (vacation rental in America). In France they are regulated by Gites de France, a national organisation that ensures high quality and value for money. Great for family holidays in France summer 2013.
Introducing our gite in France
A gite is a French self-catering holiday home or holiday cottage, (vacation rental in America). The name 'gite' comes from the French word for the home of a small animal and suggests cosiness, a refuge and country living. We think our gite at Les Trois Chenes embodies all of that! Come to Limousin to experience rural France, sunshine, clean air, open space, greenery, open fields and lakes full of fish. When you come to Limousin, you step back in time a full fifty years. Come here and just relax.
Interested in finding out more? Contact us on email@example.com, +33 (0)5 55 48 29 84 or check our our web site www.lestroischenes.com
Where is Limousin?
We are situated deep in the heart of rural France
We are situated right at the south-west corner of Limousin, next to the Charente and the Dordoge. Videix is a tiny hamlet about ten minutes away from the quaint, medieval town of Rochechouart, half an hour from the towns of Saint Junien and La Rochefoucauld and about 50 minutes from Angouleme and Limoges.
We are within the Parc Naturel Rgional de Prigord-Limousin, an area designated a natural park because of its natural beauty, resources and wildlife. This is an area of sweet chestnut and oak woodlands interspersed with wild flower meadows. Limousin has been called 'The Lake District of France' because of its magnificent lakes and rivers.
Our rural gite is surrounded by the beauties of nature.
What you can expect in a gite in Limousin
Gites in France are very varied indeed. You can rent tiny little hide-aways or huge buildings for large numbers of people. The standards vary as well. Some are mansions, even chateaux, with grounds and swimming pools, while others are cottages in village.
One thing that all the gites that I've seen in Limousin have in common is excellent value. Compare the price of a low-cost flight here plus a gite and then compare the price with a holiday cottage in the UK.
Our gite is very middle-of-the-road holiday cottage - not a hovel and not a castle. I would say that we are typical-to-top end for comfort and value.
The gite is quite new. We finished converting our gite from a barn in 2010. Most of the work we did ourselves and it was quite a learning curve, but we were able to lavish love and care on it and build the gite that we ourselves would like to live in for our own holidays.
There are three bedrooms. Bedroom 1. has a double bed and french windows that open onto the private garden. Bedroom 2. has a double bed. Bedroom three has three single beds and french window that opens onto the garden. All three rooms have en-suite, private showers and WC. We also have a cot for babies and folding beds suitable for small children. There is a changing mat, potty, high chair and baby bath.
Open-plan kitchen, dining and living room
This is a large space with a kitchen at one end, the dining table and French dresser in the centre and sofa, chairs and TV at the other end. The kitchen is well-equipped with washing machine, dish washer, fridge-freezer, microwave and plenty of cutlery, china, pans and general kitchen gadgets.
The living area has a TV with French and English channels, a CD and video player. You can get WIFI. There are also books, games and toys. French doors open onto the garden. (See below for details of the exterior).
How Much Does a Gite in France Cost?
SeasonsDatesPrice in euros
Low seasonAll times except the following:310
Mid-seasonSpring and autumn450
Three nightsNormally only low season250
Week-endNormally only low season175
Do feel free to contact us for more information or availabilty firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Incluced in the Price?
And what extra payments would you need to make?
Much as I hate having to fork out yet more money when I feel that I have already paid for something, I had to admit that I couldn't see a way around having some 'extras' in our gite.
Many gites charge extra for sheets, towels, tea-towels, table cloths, fuel, electricity etc and Gites de France have tariffs for these. I hate this, but when I began to think about it there were two main reasons to have these additional charges:
To enable families to reduce their costs
To protect us from abuse
As an artist, I've lived on a budget all my life so I'm sympathetic to clients who want to keep costs low. Bringing sheets and towels from home can save a family a lot of money. We charge 9 euros per bed for sheets and 6 euros per person for towels. All kitchen towels and linen is free.
Gas and wood for the wood burning stove are free for weekly bookings, but we do charge for additional electricity to guard against electric radiators and lights being left on all day. We take a meter reading when you move in and again when you leave and we only charge you what EDF charge us.
A Caution We take a caution of 300 euros against damage. This is refundable at the end of your stay.
What is Gites de France?
And how can they help me?
We used to be members of Gites de France
Gites de France is a National organisation that rates, labels and advertises holiday accommodation in France and is now one of the largest in Europe. It has 55,000 holiday homes , guest houses and camp sites on its books.
How it works
Representatives visit gites to advise the owners, ensure that the properties meet the high standards required and to rate the tourist accommodation. The Gtes de France label guarantees good quality accommodation that complies with a national charter. Under this system, each gte is awarded 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 ears of corn, or epis, a rural equivalent to stars.
Each gte is rated according to its surroundings, its level of comfort, the quality of its furniture and its amenities.
Sadly, we found that we simply were not getting enough bookings with Gites de France and so in 2012 we changed our agent for the gite to HappyHomes. We'll have to see how this goes. As time goes by the word is spreading and we have more bookings by word of mouth.
In the meantime our B&B continues to shelter under the Gites de France umbrella.
Bed and Breakfast (two epis) at Gites de France No.8713
My Google Maps - A hidden corner of South West France
There is Plenty of Space in France
The gite has a large garden and a play area
Outside, the gite there is a generous south east facing terrace shaded by roses, kiwi and grape vines. There is plenty of garden furniture and a small BBQ. Beyond the terrace is a large enclosed garden laid to lawn and planted with peach trees. Come in August and gorge yourself on peaches!
From the garden there is a small gate leading to a play area shared between our family, the Bed and Breakfast and the gite. There are swings and a 13' new trampoline with safety net.
The property is set within flower gardens, and leads down to a field and vegetable garden where we keep our own hens and bees. We try to grow our own vegetables, time permitting!
To each side there are open fields and you'll see wonderful sunrises and sunsets. Just have a look at some of these articles:
Things to do around and about Videix
There are just so many things to do that I'm going to give you a list of links to some of the articles I've written about things to do and see. Here are just a few:
Getting to Limousin
Driving is straightforward on France's generous and near empty roads. Avoid Paris and cities and take the payage where possible - it's worth paying the charges.
Train we are right between Limoges and Angouleme and you can get the train to either city and hire a car from the station. The TGV goes to Angouleme and Eurostar tickets are easy to buy. Change at Lille - an easy, over-the-platform change-over.
Flying is quick and cheap. There are so many low cost carriers and good deals. Have a look at Ryanair, Easy Jet, BMIBaby, British Airways. You can fly to Limoges and Angouleme, but also Bordeaux and Poitiers.
If you have any queries, do drop us a line email@example.com. We're looking forward to seeing you here! In the meantime, I leave you with these tranquil pictures of Videix Lake:
Riding Holidays in France
Rural France is a great place for horses and riding
You can bring your horses to our gite in Limousin
We can accommodate equine guests at our holiday cottage too!
From summer 2011 we can welcome riders and their horses to Les Trois Chenes gite or to the Bed and Breakfast. (Well, not actually in the holiday cottage or the guest house, but you can stay in the houses and they can enjoy the fields behind the house.
We are just five minutes away from two riding stables, the Centre Equestre des
Lacs de Haute Charente and the Centre Equestre du Barrage de Lavaud, and we can join with them to organise a riding holiday for you. There are excellent bridle ways starting just outside our house, and it is possible to drive along some of these lovely shady paths with pony traps.
You can also stop off at our B&B for a night or two with your horse as you travel through Limousin.
Your horses will stay in our field and help us to manage the grass!
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