|Soulac Beach House||Self Catering||Saturday||3||6||2|
Soulac Beach House is a New England-style timber beach house, just 200m from the beach at the the Gironde coastal resort of Soulac. Its woodland garden backs onto the dune system and there is easy access to the safe sandy beach via a footpath 20m away. Furnished in 'American summer-house' style, and with a huge shady terrace, it offers relaxed summer living in a charming Belle Epoque resort, with loads to do for all ages.
We holiday here with our family, so our Beach House is fully equipped to a high standard as a real 'home from home'. To take full advantage of the woodland setting and the south orientation, the main living accommodation is on the first floor.
On the ground floor, there are 2 bedrooms, a bathroom with shower over bath and a separate toilet. There is also a small garage which provides secure storage for bikes and surfboards.
Internal stairs lead to the main accommodation on the first floor.
The large living room has a sofa, two easy chairs and a formal dining area, with limed pine table and white wicker chairs. There is a high-quality flat screen tv and hi-fi system. French windows lead to a covered terrace with a wooden table and directors chairs for alfresco eating, as well as two hammock chairs for siestas or a quiet read. It's sheltered enough for you to breakfast, even in winter, if it is sunny. External stairs lead from the terrace to the garden - safety gates are available for families with small children. The kitchen area leads off the living room and is well-equipped with multi-function oven, ceramic hob, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, and fridge-freezer. Also off the living room is the master bedroom with king size bed and en suite shower room.
Each bedroom has duvets, pillows and bedspreads. We also provide high quality bed linen and towels, as well as weekly cleaning. A cot, highchair and safety gates are also provided.
Electric heating, good insulation and double-glazing also make this house perfect for spring bird watching, autumn surfing or walks on the deserted beach out of season.
Soulac Beach House is a low carbon house, commissioned by us 15 years ago to sit sympathetically among the pine trees and maritime oaks of the site. It is built from timber from the pine forests of the Gironde, with good insulation throughout and double glazing. Low energy light bulbs and energy efficient electrical appliances have been used wherever possible. We use ecological household products and encourage our guests to do the same. As many of the trees have been kept as possible and the back garden area is a 'woodland garden' with nest boxes. There is a 'dry garden' border with yuccas, phormiums, and other exotic plants, as well as Mediterranean herbs, in the front garden. We harvest rainwater and water plants from from the water butts. The trees around the house are home to squirrels, pine martens, and many bird species:- firecrests, longtailed and crested tits, treecreepers, blackcaps, jays. Rarer bird species pass through on migration.
Our summer repeat bookers are drawn by the Beach House's location. Close to the house are the “Piscines' - shallow pools created by the concrete beach stabilisation works of the 1930s – very popular with families with small children. And when the sea is too rough, nearby Le Verdon's la Chambrette beach is sheltered.
May, June, September and October are the best months for an activity or wildlife break. There's easy cycling on the bike trails. One trail starts right by the Beach House, running 5 miles through the forest to Pointe de Grave, port for the car ferry to Royan. There are walking trails too and the long distance path GR8 also passes the Beach House. Tennis, horse riding, sand yachting, windsurfing , dinghy and catamaran sailing, even a forest adventure park, parachuting and microlight trips are also available locally.
In Spring, the dunes at the point provide a spectacular vantage point of the spring migration, as swallows, martins, and swifts pass overhead.
The kitchen is well equipped with multi-function oven, ceramic hob, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine and fridge-freezer. There's also a Nespresso, coffee-maker, blender and teapot. You'll find a cupboard stocked with food basics, so there's no need to bring tea, coffee, or cooking herbs and spices. We supply cleaning materials as well as washing liquid and dishwasher tablets.
The large living room has a sofa, 2 easy chairs and a formal dining area, with limed pine table and white wicker chairs.
French windows lead to the first floor covered terrace with a wooden table and directors chairs for al fresco eating, as well as 2 hammock chairs for siestas or a quiet read. It's sheltered enough for you to breakfast, even in winter, if it is sunny.
Off the living room is the master bedroom suite, with a king size bed, a large built-in wardrobe with shelves and hanging space. On the ground floor are 2 further bedrooms - a twin bedroom with french windows to the front garden and a double bedroom with Victorian-style bedstead and furniture with french windows opening onto the back garden.
The master bedroom has an en suite shower room with walk-in shower, double washbasins and a separate toilet. There is also a bathroom with overhead shower and a separate toilet on the ground floor.
Soulac Beach House has electric radiators, but with double glazing throughout and excellent insulation, the heaters are only needed in winter.
There is an high quality lcd tv with UK free-to-air satellite and European satellite channels, dvd player, hi-fi music system with cd player, iPod dock, and wi-fi. Dvds, cds, books and boardgames are provided for those rare rainy days.
Much of the garden is woodland, with pine, maritime oak trees, flowering shrubs, and a "drought-resistant" border , including herbs. There is a grassed area to the front and a decked area to the back, with Adirondack chair, as well as a "plancha", Spanish style gas barbecue. There is an outside shower, so that you can rinse sand off from the beach.
There is a small garage for safe storage of bikes and surfboards plus outside secure parking for 2 cars.
Not suitable for people with limited mobility (stairs).
Not suitable for dogs or other pets, due to wooden floors and wildlife friendly garden.
Suitable for children - garden is secure with lockable gate. Safety gates are provided for the interior & exterior stairs. Cot, high chair & bed guard are provided, as well as beach toys & childrens' DVDs.
There's no need to bring beach toys - we provide everything from buckets and spades for toddlers to bodyboards for teenagers, and a windbreak and parasol too. Like most French beaches, there are children's beach clubs during July and August, and life-guarded bathing areas. Surf lessons are available too, and there's a skate park to the south of the town.
My family have had a holiday home in Charente Maritime for over 30 years, so my husband Richard & I have spent many happy family holidays in this part of France. We are now retired and spend several months of the year in France. We love the French lifestyle - the food, the wine, as well as watersports and cycling.
|Year property purchased||2001|
|Why this location?||We found the plot of land on a cycling trip across the Gironde, one hot day in July 2001. We loved the location , backing onto the dunes, and had our dream summer house built - of pine timber from the region, to high environmentally friendly standards.|
|Unique benefits of property||We spend several weeks a year here and so the house is equipped as our own home, to a much higher standard than most holiday rentals. We love the location so close to the beach, and waking to the sound of the waves|
Close to Soulac Beach House (a few minutes walk through the dunes) are the “Piscines" - shallow pools created by the concrete beach stabilisation works of the 1930s – these are very popular with families with small children. And, on those rare (in summer) occasions when the sea is too rough, a short trip to Le Verdon, takes you to the sheltered river estuary beach, la Chambrette. There's no need to bring beach toys - we provide everything from buckets and spades for toddlers to bodyboards for teenagers, and a windbreak and parasol too. Like most French beaches, there are children's beach clubs during July and August, and life-guarded bathing areas.
Soulac Beach House makes a great base for birding breaks. Pointe de Grave, just 5 miles up the coast, is a major migration hotspot and the LPO has a regular migration count here from mid-March until late May. The dunes at the point provide a spectacular vantage point of the spring migration as birds following the coastline are funnelled towards the Gironde river crossing. Hundreds of thousands of swallows, martins, swifts pass overhead. Ospreys, kites, harriers, peregrines, hobbies, merlins, as well as rarer honey buzzards, short-toed eagle, goshawks, bee-eaters, purple herons, cuckoos, golden orioles, pass through along with storks, waders, black-winged stilts, wagtails – over 150 species in 2010. But you don't need to leave the Beach House to birdwatch - the deck provides a good vantage point for our garden birds, including nesting great tits, goldcrests, firecrests, crested and long-tailed tits and jays, as well as red squirrels and the occasional deer. Owls, cuckoos and hoopoes can be heard all around in the woods, and bats provide evening entertainment
If you love good food and great wine, you'll love Soulac. The covered market in the town centre is open daily until 1pm, and in the evenings in high season. You can buy really fresh fish and shellfish to cook on the plancha back at the Beach House. You will find vegetables and salads straight from the farm, olives and tapenades, fruits in season and wine not just from the Medoc, but also from other areas of South-West France. There is also a wonderful cheese shop, and several "traiteurs" selling takeaway food several notches above ready-meals. The world-renowned Medoc vineyards (and tempting restaurants) are less than half an hour's drive away
Soulac is a great place for watersports. Surfing, bodyboarding and stand-up paddle lessons are available, and there's a skate park to the south of the town. There's also tennis, horseriding, sandyachting, windsurfing , dinghy and catamaran sailing, even a forest adventure park, parachuting and microlight trips. As the area is mostly flat - dunes and pine forests, there's easy cycling on the bike trails. One trail starts right by the Beach House, running 5 miles through the forest to Pointe de Grave, port for the car ferry to Royan. There are walking trails too and the long distance path, the GR8, also passes the Beach House.
A lovely house, very helpful owners, everything we needed was there including body boards and beach games, a garage to store our bikes, bike racks, in side the house too was everything we needed. It was very clean and well maintained. The beds were comfortable. Loads of DVDs to watch and books to read. There is a beach with no life guard a few mins walk from the house or you can cycle for 5 mins (or walk or drive) to the main beach which has lifeguards. The house is so close to the beach we didn't need to pack a picnic, we just cycled back home for lunch. The waves were great for body boarding. There's lot of shops right near the beach for souvenirs, clothes etc. We ate out one night at a lovely friendly bistro. There are lots of restaurants. We went to a tree-top place one day and a long cycle another day (cycle path is right outside the house) but apart form that spent every day at the beach. We used the BBQ 3 times which the kids loved as we never have BBQ's at home.
Absolutely lovely house in a superb location. 5 mins walk over the dunes from the beach and a short walk from the local town with restaurants and markets.
The house is clean and equipped with everything you are liable to need for a perfect break. Car hire is advised.
Be careful walking to the town however, especially with young children, the footpath is actually a major cycle route, and the cyclists will force pedestrians to walk in the road. However the road fortunately is very quiet on the plus side but one still needs to be careful.
We have just returned from a wonderful and hugely relaxing stay at Soulac Beach House. It is ideal for anyone who wants to have a restful holiday with amazing leisure amenities. It is literally only a minute from the beach (you could hear the ocean at night) over the dunes, with lovely forest walks and cycle paths literally on the doorstep. It was so lovely staying in the property. The place was immaculately clean and felt like a home rather than a sterile holiday rental. My only (minor) issue was the bed was harder than I would have liked but that is personal preference.
To be thoroughly recommended.