|Le Gite du Chat Blanc||Self Catering||Saturday||3||8||1||Baby cot provided|
This traditional stone cottage is set within gardens and fields belonging to the owner. The hill top location gives immediate access to all the amenities of the beautiful Suisse Normande - walking and cycling trails, rock climbing, horse riding and the river Orne. It is perfect for combining activity days with visits to the Normandy landing beaches and all the historical sites connected to William the Conqueror, plus the ancient cities of Caen and Bayeux.
The cottage itself is traditional stone, built over three floors, and sleeps up to 6 adults and 2 children in 3 bedrooms. The open-plan ground floor has kitchen and dining facilities for 8 and two sofas. There is wi-fi and British and French tv. The first-floor family bathroom has a bath with shower, and there is also a separate toilet with basin. The main bedroom has an en-suite shower.
Washing machine, dishwasher, fridge/freezer, oven and microwave, and a full range of cooking equipment will enable you to make the most of the weekly markets nearby at Conde-sur-Noireau and Thury- Harcourt. Outside there is bbq equipment and plenty of space to eat and relax on a choice of loungers, armchairs and benches placed around the garden. Children can enjoy the swings.
This cottage is animal-friendly and your well-behaved pets are welcome. The owner's dog and two cats roam the garden and love visitors including children, and there are four ponies, two of which can be ridden under supervision. The house is carefully cleaned with a pet-hair vacuum but if you or your children suffer from allergies it may not be the best place for you.
Open plan design on the ground floor provides facilities for 8 people, with electric oven, gas hob, dishwasher, microwave and all utensils including coffeemaker and toaster. French windows open onto the terrace and garden.
This is part of the open plan ground floor. Two sofas provide a comfortable place to watch tv in either English or French.
There are three bedrooms, accessed by a spiral wooden staircase. On the first floor is a double-bedded room with wardrobe and drawer space, with view over the valley. This room has an ensuite shower. Next to it is a bunk-bedded room, with full size beds, and a large wardrobe.
Up another flight of stairs, in the converted beamed attic, there is a large room with two single beds and a bed/sofa with truckle bed underneath that pulls out and is furnished with a full-size bed. All beds have deep-sprung or thick foam mattresses, and have been pronounced by guests to be very comfortable.
There is also a baby cot available on demand, suitable for a baby/toddler up to 2 years old.
The tiled bathroom is on the first floor and has a bath with shower and screen, toilet and handbasin. Next to it there is a separate toilet with lowlevel wc and washbasin with mirrored cabinet. The main bedroom has an ensuite shower.
The house has electric radiators in every room, locally controlled. In the living room there is an electric stove-type electric heater that gives the impression of real flames. As well as heat, this gives a welcoming focus to he room. The house is well insulated and holds heat well, so most people find they are too warm rather than too cold. Hot water is provided by a large electric immersion heater, and is constantly available.
The house is not within walking distance of bars and restaurants, though there is a small bar down in the main village, accessible with a 30 minute walk through the forest (a 5 min drive by the road). Clecy, a beautiful little town on the river, is 5 mins away and there are bars and restaurants, shops, a museum of model railways ( it is actually very impressive) and kayaks and pedalos for hire. There are also tennis courts. A little further, in Thury-Harcourt and Conde-sur-Noireau you will find parks, cinemas and two very good swimming pools with flumes.
This area is great for outdoor activity. There are great facilities for golf, horse-riding, rock-climbing, mountain and road biking, walking and fishing. All these pursuits can easily be arranged.
There are many historical sites that make good day or half-day outings. Most visitors want to visit the Normandy landing beaches and the Bayeux tapestry, but there are also many sites connected with William the Conqueror.
The large garden has lawned areas, gravelled terrace and a pond with goldfish for you to enjoy. There is no traffic noise, no commercial aircraft but birdsong and the singing of the frogs will help you relax. Children can play on the swings and there is an inflatable toddler pool available. New in 2016 is a full-size table tennis set. In the evening sit outside with a glass of wine and watch the ponies graze while you wait for the bbq.
I have a vegetable garden that provides a selection of produce and I am happy to share. Home-made jams are a specialty of the house.
Cars and bikes can be parked outside the gite on the gravel drive, or put under cover next to the barn. The property is the last one in the hamlet, and the road ends at my wooden gates that are secured with a chain. So there is no passing traffic and no security problem.
This cottage is perfect for families who enjoy walking or want to spend quality time together in a peaceful setting. The local trails are not ideal for pushchairs, though if you always intend to go into towns then there is of course no problem. Teenagers who want bright lights and discos will be disappointed.
Inside, the bedrooms are accessed by a spiral wooden staircase, though it has a good handrail. My parents were using it into their 90's, but it might be difficult for some infirm people.
I have two bikes available for visitors. Bring your own helmets.
Pony rides onsite are possible for children after consultation between their parents and me! I have very good relations with local riding stables so can arrange hacks for experienced riders
I am a retired journalist and TV producer, British by origin, who always wanted to live in France. Having spent the last 10 years of my working life in Bosnia, I moved to my dream location on a hilltop in Normandy, where I live with my ponies, cats and dog, and take great pleasure in welcoming holidaymakers into my little corner of paradise.
|Year property purchased||2006|
|Why this location?||It has the hills, rivers, and quiet location I always wanted, in a country I have loved since I was 15. The quality of life here is amazing. I have the space I need and access to all the facilities I require, but easy travelling back to the UK to visit family and friends there.|
|Unique benefits of property||The quiet, the fresh smell of the air, the isolation combined with easy driving to all the interesting sites that Normandy has to offer, only 50 minutes from the ferry at Caen. As I live next door, you have the services, if you need them, of a French-speaking tour advisor and guide to everything our beautiful countryside has to offer.|
Medieval castle, birthplace of William the Conqueror 20 mins drive
Tapestry depicting Norman conquest, beautiful cathedral, medieval city
European Heritage site - a must-see just over an hour away
US cemetery and memorial, Arromanches for floating Mulberry harbours, Pegasus Bridge, Merville Battery
See the countryside from the river - it is possible to take a kayak for 1-25 km and navigate weirs, rocks and bends, but possible for all ages and abilities.
I have very good arrangements with local stables, who can take people of all abilities on rides through the beautiful countryside, with little or no road work. For young children, my own ponies are available for a little ride around the garden and field, or there is a pony club on Saturdays at the local stables. If you are interested it is advisable to give me notice in advance, as places get very booked up, especially in summer.
There is a full size table tennis set, a swing for younger children or play boules on the gravel drive.
Masses of choice here - the sea at Ouistreham has wide sandy beaches with good swimming and paddling. There is a paddling beach on the river at Clecy. Or there are very good swimming pools locally, in Falaise, Thury-Harcourt and Conde-sur-Noireau, indoor and outdoor pools with flumes and wave machines. If you wish to swim, bring your own towels as I do not provide beach or swimming towels.
We very much enjoyed our stay at this pleasant and well equipped gite in a delightful rural situation. We just wish the weather had made it possible to sit outside and enjoy the pretty garden and the lovely views. Our hostess was very friendly and welcoming, and we appreciated all her help and advice with places to see and things to do. We enjoyed meeting her animals who would be a particular attraction for young families. Days out to Falaise and Caen were very good and interesting, we enjoyed our walks in the area and thought Clecy a most attractive village, especially the riverside area where we enjoyed a very tasty meal.
Absolutely gorgeous gite in stunning countryside. We had a week here in August 2017 with 4 kids aged 2,5,6 and 8 and we all thought it our best holiday to date. The 5,6 and 8 year olds (girls) were able to ride the ponies belonging to the owner, under her guidance. The owner is so friendly and helpful and able to give ideas of what to do and where to visit.
The gite is clean and tidy with a washing machine and there is both French TV and Freesat for English TV (enabling us to get cbeebies - hugely important with a small child). There is a radiator for heating the house which works which is fab for early starts with little people. The advert very accurately describes the house. It is surrounded by mature trees and amazing views across the valley. An oasis of calm and tranquillity.
There's heaps to do in the surrounding areas too, from kayaks and pedalo's, cafe's and tabacs at Clecy to Falaise castle which our lot loved going round, and all the steps completely wore them out!
I thoroughly recommend this gite to everyone, 10/10 from us, in fact we're going back to visit again in October!
So glad you enjoyed your holiday here at Le Chat Blanc! I look forward to seeing you again.