Converted Barn in rural village in Normandy - NM003341

1km from Saint-Clair-sur-l'Elle, Manche, Normandy Reference: NM003341 Advertiser since: 25 June 2013
Property Board Arrival Bedrooms Sleeps Bathrooms Additional info
Harold's Place Self Catering Flexible 2 4 3 1 z-bed

About this property

Charming Barn Close to Tourist Interests. This cottage/gite is in a rural setting.

Harold's Place is a charming barn converstion completed in June 2013.
Within easy reach for places of tourist interest - D-Day landing sites, Bayeux, Mont St Michel, Caen, Suisse Normandie and so much more.There are some lovely walks just minutes from the gite and a stroll into the village takes 25-30 minutes.

We have lovingly decorated and furnished it in a traditional style. Paintings, pottery and shabby-chic give it a warm homely feeling. It is cosy but practical, a good place to come back to at the end of a busy day. Or just relax in the secluded private garden.
It is so called because an American Soldier called Harold was killed here 10 days after D-day. He was awarded the Purple Heart and is buried at Colleville, the American Cemetery featured so often on tv and in the film Saving Private Ryan.

There is a plaque on the wall outside our cottage thanking him for his sacrifice. So this is a tribute to him and all who died in World War II.
For the star struck, the clear night skies with minimal light pollution is a wonderful way to view the firmament. Accompanied by the glow worms in the hedgerows and the occasional hooting of the owls - who needs discos?
The village is just over 1 mile away and has just about everything you need. Bank, La Poste, well stocked village shop, baker, butcher, petrol station, bar, dentist, doctor - but I won't go on. Except to tell you about the charming little market on Tuesday morning, great for fresh produce and local fish.
The large town of St Lo is 15 minutes away and has an array of shops, bars, restaurants and a cathedral with a brass shell still stuck in its side. The market day is Saturday and is one of the best in Normandy.
We are flexible with changeover dates and are happy to discuss any special requests you may have.



Kitchen and dining

Bright kitchen with fridge-freezer, microwave, electric oven and gas hob, toaster and numerous pots pans, cooking utensils.

Living rooms

The lounge/diner is cosily furnished and has the benefit of a pot belly wood-burner, comfy chairs, dining table, English Free-sat TV and radio, DVD player, books and DVDs. The modem for free broadband and Wi-Fi is is situated in the lounge and covers the patio and part of the garden.


There are 2 double bedrooms. Both have traditional French beds and are stylishly decorated and furnished in a "shabby-chic" country style. There is a wc and washbasin in each of the bedrooms. Linen is provided.


The downstairs shower room comprises of a good tiled shower, wc washbasin and washing machine. All recently completed.


There is a pot bellied wood-burner in the lounge and electric heaters in all of the rooms.

The first basket of wood is provided and subsequent wood is charged for at a reasonable rate. During colder months it may be necessary to read the electric meter on arrival and again on departure. A fair amount of electricity is included, but, if for example guests go out for the day and leave the heaters on then there will be the appropriate charge.


Broad band Wi-Fi covers the gite and some of the outside area. UK TV, radio and DVD player with quite a few DVDs plus books and games are available.

Garden and outside

Own private garden and parking area with independent entrance from the lane. BBQ, patio area, fire pit, open views across the south and west facing meadow.

We keep hens which are next to the garden but no cockerel so no early morning wake up calls! Fresh eggs can be purchased when available (some of our hens are old!).

There are recycling bins for guests use which we empty when guests depart.

Smoking is permitted outside and facilities are provided for ash and cigarette buts.

Parking and garages

Adequate outside parking for 2 cars, safe and off of the lane.

Visitor suitability

The downstairs is almost on one level so limited mobility is possible if a z-bed is located in the lounge.

The stairs are fairly open and the "pink bedroom" has an open plan mezzanine type area over the stairs which could be tricky for young children. The "blue bedroom" is secure however.

We also have garden ponds in our private area.

We operate an internal no smoking policy but there is provision outside for smokers.

Information about any additional facilities

I am a chiropodist and treatments are available at a reduced cost for guests.


  • Cleaning

  • No smoking

  • Linen

  • Meals


Antiques/Brocante Market

Name of nearest antiques/brocante market: Trocante St Lo
Distance: 8 km


Fishing nearby

Species of fish: trout
Name of nearest fishing location: There are many
Distance: 5 km


Name/number of nearest marked trail: St Clair sur Elle Cerisy La Foret

About the Owner/Advertiser, Mrs Susan Tesseyman

John and I have been together since 1992, in 2008 we (eventually!) got married packed up our belongings and moved here to Normandie. All in one weekend, it was the best move iether of us has ever made. <br/>We lived in Brighton, I was a Chiropodist and John was doing building work and buying and selling antiques. Working to pay bills. Then with our inheritances we bought this place.<br/>For 6 years we renovated the buildings hard work but worth it. <br/>Now we live the dream & welcome guests to

Year property purchased 2007
Why this location? The serentiy of it, considering the horrors of war in the 1940's that occured right here on our doorstep. We are close to the U.K. if we want to go back to see family. No too far from the beaches, shops and restaurants The lushness of the countryside around us is stunning and the wild birds and flowers make me smile every time I walk down the lane. I used to have high blood pressure in the U.K. - I don't anymore. It sounds too good to be true, but it is true. We are living the dream out here.
Unique benefits of property We tried to make the gite into the cosy homely place we would like to stay in. With paintings and pottery, comfy furnishings, wood burner and well equiped kitchen. A sunfilled garden to relax in overlooking a meadow. Secure parking down your own drive. We are so close to all the tourist spots in Normandie it is easy to get around. See a new site everyday and return in the evening still refreshed because the driving is so easy . We also take pride in Harold a young G.I. who was fatally wounded here 10 days after D Day following a battle. I have written to his sister in Maryland and she is so happy that we have named the gite after her brother. Harold is in the American Cemetry at Collville. His mother refused to accept that her son had been killed. She always believed that one day he would walk through the gate and up to her front door, home again. A mothers love never dies.
Come here, understand and respect the history of the place. Then soak up the peace that we now enjoy.

The Owner Recommends

St Lo

Apart from all the usual tourist sites. St Lo has a variety of restaurants and bars, shops and cafes. It was almost demolished by the allies but parts of it still remain, like the ramparts around the original town. Th river Vire runs through it and from St Lo you can reach most parts of France. The roads fan out towards their various destinations.

Walk to the Fountain in St Claire

On the other side of our village, down a wide path is a secret fountain, it is said that the powers of the water there help heal sight problems. Fabulous walk.

3 Reviews
  • Cleanliness: 9.7
  • Comfort: 9.3
  • Condition: 9
  • Facilities: 9.7
  • Local Amenities: 8.7
  • Setting: 9.3
  • Value for Money: 10
10 / 10 Pye Family 12 August, 2019

This was the perfect gite.We were attracted to it by the pictures & when we arrived, we discovered that the pictures don't do it justice. A superbly renovated barn in a lovely quiet setting. If you want things to do, it is within easy reach of Bayeux, Caen, the Normandy Beaches & the south Normandy coast. If you want downtime, the garden is a joy to sit in, while reading & relaxing accompanied by the gentle humming of the bees in the lavender. If the weather is unkind, the gite itself is very comfortable to sit & unwind in.
The gite was very clean, well maintained & beautifully & thoughtfully decorated. This includes a collection of small curios & antiques on display upstairs which are available for sale & every day, you spot something new! The bedrooms are lovely & the beds very comfortable & both rooms have their own toilet, which is very handy! The kitchen was well stocked with crockery, cutlery, etc.
The owners are lovely and very, very approachable. They reply to any initial booking queries very quickly & as they live next door to the gite, would be very easy to get hold of if you needed them. We had an issue with our charging cable for our car, & they couldn't have been more helpful. They have a lovely friendly spaniel and they also keep chickens & we enjoyed making friends with them!
All in all, a great place for a very relaxing holiday.
Thank you.

9 / 10 Jeni Bruno 2 August, 2018

We had a wonderful stay at Harold's Place. The hosts Sue and John are lovely, we were made very welcome. They are very knowledgeable about the area. The situation is idyllic, very peaceful and relaxing. If you want a slice of rural French life this is the place to come. The garden was a lovely place to unwind after a day of site seeing, but it's also good if you just want to have a lazy afternoon reading. There are walks locally too.
We will be back, thank you so much .

Owner response

It was a real pleasure to have you staying with us and on such a celebratory occasion as well.
We missed you when you left but hopefully you will return to us in the future.
Thank you for your kind review and for leaving the place so clean and tidy!
We hope you had a good time on your onward journey in Bruges.
We WILL go there one day - fingers crossed!
Kind regards
Sue and John @ Harold's Place

9.5 / 10 Clare 9 September, 2013

Good points
Really helpful owner lives behind gite, very friendly with local knowledge. A bit off the beaten track which is ideal for the "Rural Normandy" feel. We received a welcome pack of local produce which was a great bonus. Rustic setting, FANTASTIC !!!

Bad points
Can't fault this property or owner in any way if looking for this type of accommodation.