Beautiful gite in rural setting, Normandy - NM003414

Saint-Vigor-des-Monts (11km from Tessy-sur-Vire), Manche, Normandy Reference: NM003414 Advertiser since: 28 October 2013
Property Board Arrival Bedrooms Sleeps Bathrooms Additional info
Le Calipel Self Catering Flexible 1 3 1 French clic-clac or single bed.

About this property

The Perfect Getaway. This cottage/gite is in a rural setting.

Le Calipel is the perfect get away for a couple throughout the year. Enjoy a short break or take a longer holiday. We are flexible! you can stay for as many nights as you like from a minimum of four. If you would like to arrive on a Wednesday, or any other day, that is fine. Whatever the time of year, you can tailor your stay to your needs and the price will be pro rata.

Le Calipel is to be found in an ancient barn which that has been sympathetically restored retaining original and historic features whilst providing modern day comforts. Furnished with a mixture of quality antique and vintage furniture, Le Calipel offers you a comfortable base to explore whatever the time of year.
In the summer, open the windows and watch the swallows swoop over the pond which is home to a diverse fauna; or in the winter, light the vintage Belgian wood burner after a day exploring and snuggle down to enjoy the beautiful local produce bought at a market. On summer evenings, relax in your private garden with a bottle of wine whilst cooking on the barbecue.
After a busy day, whatever the time of year, have a long soak in the antique French double ended bath, perhaps à deux? Bubbles are provided! A refreshing shower will wake you up in the morning after a good night's sleep in your king size antique bed ready to explore some more!

Le Calipel is situated towards the end of a no through road in the heart of the Normandy Bocage so is very peaceful. To appreciate this peace and tranquility, be aware that there isn't a supermarket or shops just around the corner! The nearest bars are 4km and shops and supermarkets are 10km, although there is a small alimentation 4km away.



Kitchen and dining

The kitchen is well equipped and includes a toaster for those of you who prefer toast for breakfast. The 5 burner gas cooker provides you with the means to cook your market buys and more! Although all the equipment is present to cook any meal, anything extra you might require, baking tins, cookie cutters and hand mixer or blender, for example, can be borrowed from the owners. Washing up is easy as there is a dishwasher, with tablets available and washing up liquid for those who prefer to wash up by hand. Everything you need is provided.

There is a traditional hûche pain for your baguettes and a bread bin for your boules, not forgetting bread baskets!

There is a good selection of crockery, including oyster plates and shucking knife and a range of glasses. We even provide a lovely vintage picnic hamper so you can picnic in style. Pick up a baguette on the way!

Living rooms

The open plan living area means you can cook and enjoy the atmosphere with space to be creative in the kitchen then eat at the art deco table or al fresco. Free wi-fi internet access is available with a table available by sockets for your laptop or iPad.

We have lovingly sourced furniture to provide a unique, comfortable living space for you and decorated it simply but with some beautiful antiques.

There is a vintage Surdiac woodburner surrounded by an enormous granite fireplace with historic motifs carved into the stone. Wood is provided during the colder season and the fire will be lit ready for your arrival
Massive original timbers support the ceiling which has been restored to keep its ancient charm.


The bedroom is furnished with an eclectic blend of furniture, including a traditional king size lit capitonné and beautiful Art Deco wardrobe. There is plenty of space to put away your clothes and even a hidden iron to remove the creases from travelling. We can store your cases so you are not reminded that one day you must leave!

All our guests say how well they sleep at Le Calipel - the peace and darkness soothes the most stressed soul.

We are happy to provide a cot or small bed for a young child and will have it ready for your arrival.


The spacious bathroom offers you the chance to wallow in an antique double ended roll top bath, perhaps à deux? A shelf gives you a place to rest your champagne glass...turn off the lights and have a candlelit bubble bath...tres romantique!Then when you are in a hurry to explore the beautiful region, hop in the modern shower...a free standing cubicle designed for speed! The heated towel rail ensures your towels are always lovely and dry and the separate radiator means the temperature of the bathroom is always perfect.


The stunning vintage wood burner provides a wonderful glow on those chillier nights or if you fancy a day in on a cold winter's day, light it and relax, perhaps with a game of Scrabble or do a jigsaw.

Full oil-fired central heating is available from lovely vintage cast iron radiators which all which have thermostatic controls so if it is chilly outside, you can be sure you will be all warm and toasty inside!


There is a 1080 hd 32" Sony television for you to flop in front of after a hard day's exploring! English speaking satellite television is available. Bring your own dvds or you can borrow some of ours! Let us know what genre you prefer and I'm sure we'll have something for you.

Good old Scrabble and, for a change, French Monopoly are available for those times when you don't feel like exploring or how about doing a jigsaw? There are boules for those sunny days when the need for some gentle exercise is felt.

If you wish to bring your sewing, let us know and we can lend you a vintage sewing machine from our collection and if you need a craft lamp for embroidery, just ask!

Garden and outside

A large private garden behind the building is available for your exclusive use with a barbecue and stunning granite garden furniture. It enjoys the last rays of sun and spectacular sunbsets can be enjoyed while you relax in a vintage steamer chair sipping a glass of something chilled and perhaps bubbly? If you need to expend a little energy, have a game of boules or croquet or take a stroll down the lane and enjoy the myriad of butterflies. After sunset, watch the stars appear one by one and marvel at the night sky. Shooting stars often light up the sky.

Nature abounds at Le Calipel and we do provide areas in the garden to attract it. Barn owls and bats can be seen swooping across the garden and we have been fortunate to provide a home for a family of young long eared owls. In the Summer, the garden buzzes from the many species of bees while the butterflies and dragonflies dance for you.

Parking and garages

Easy parking is available directly at the bottom of the steps leading up to the massive old door to the gite. The steps are not steep and there is a sturdy rope on the wall for aid. A short path from the steps leads to the private garden behind the gite.

Visitor suitability

There are steps to the gite, which although are not steep, are not suitable for wheelchair users or the very infirm. Once in the gite, everything is on one level and the shower has very easy access.

If you want a busy nightlife, you won't find it here - unless it is the nature nightlife you like!

Information about any additional facilities

The peace and tranquillity of Le Calipel ensure you will have a restful break but when you want to explore, we are ideally situated so you can reach the well known and not so well known attractions of Normandy. Your discrete hosts are available if you need information or want to borrow a hand blender or anything but if you don't want to see anyone, they are quite happy for requests to be made by e-mail or text!
Having lived in France for many years, they are a fount of information and are always happy to help you if you need it.

We are happy to do a load of washing for you which will be air dried, giving that lovely clean washing smell but ironing is down to you!

On arrival, you will find a comprehensive welcome basket of basic essentials and artisanal goodies, including a light supper to ensure your holiday gets off to a relaxed start.

Bookings of a fortnight or more will have a 10% discount on the second week and short breaks of 3 or more nights are charged pro rata.


  • Cleaning

  • Internet

  • Pets welcomed *

  • Linen

* Vet details: Drs Bozet, Lenjou, Michaux 12, Place Costils (behind La Poste) Villedieu-les-Poeles


Antiques/Brocante Market

Name of nearest antiques/brocante market: Villedieu les Poeles, St Sever-Calvados
Distance: 10 km


Distance: 55 km


Fishing nearby

Species of fish: Trout, perch, tench.
Name of nearest fishing location: River Vire or on our pond!
Distance: 4 km

Fishing on-site


Name and address of nearest golf course: Lac de Dathee, Vire
Distance: 17 km

Horse riding

Name and address of nearest stables: La Renarderie, Mesnil Clinchamps 14380
Distance: 10 km

Mountain biking

Distance: 3 km


Name/number of nearest marked trail: Sentier de Decouvertes


Wine tasting and cookery

About the Owner/Advertiser, Miss Donna Howard

I first visited France as a teenager and fell in love! I never thought then that I would be lucky enough to live here so when my partner, who was in France, suggested I give up my job, sell my house and move to be with him, I thought "why not?". I took a sabbatical from my job with the NHS and never looked back. This background has made it easy for me to switch to hospitality and I enjoy meeting our guests. I am here if needed but otherwise you won't see me!

Owner's website
Year property purchased 2002
Why this location? Le Calipel is a short drive from the Normandy ferry ports and perfectly positioned to explore Normandy and beyond. It is a short drive from the autoroute and very easy to find but far enough away to be in the heart of the countryside.
Normandy is a beautiful area of France with a comfortable temperate climate. Steeped in history from the arrival of the Vikings through medieval times, the Second World War to the present, there is something to interest everybody.

The peace and tranquillity of the surrounding countryside coupled with Le Calipel being at the end of a lane made it a combination too good to miss. However, the location is also perfect if you want to go and explore - 10 minutes drive from the nearest autoroute which in one direction takes you to Caen and beyond and the other to Brittany. Use the small roads and discover quaint villages and sites steeped in history. Marvel at the lack of traffic on the local roads and enjoy driving again.
Unique benefits of property Situated at the end of a no through road, it offers a wonderful base to explore the amazing wealth of natural and man made attractions and sites. It has a natural spring fed lake which attracts all sorts of flora and fauna and the garden is a haven for wildlife all year round. My gite is open all year round so if you want a quiet Christmas where you can just relax, this is the place to do it. The eclectic mix of antique and vintage furniture and decor with the modern necessities offer you a special place to stay. You have the choice of having a bath in an antique double ended roll top bath, or a shower in a modern shower cubicle. There are little additions that you won't notice at first that make Le Calipel a special place to stay. Rekindle the romance in your life!
The gite is detached and while the owners live on site, we are very discreet but are available if you need us and are quite happy to be e-mailed or texted if you have a problem or question; otherwise, we leave you alone!

The Owner Recommends

Festival de Dahlias

If you fancy something a bit more sedate, the Festival de Dahlias in September at Coutances is a wonderful sight.

Local Bars, Shops and Restaurants

The nearest bars are in Montbray (4km) and Pont Farcy (4km). Tessy Sur Vire, 10km away offers a variety of shops including a small supermarket, boulangeries (my favourite is here!), boucheries and a newsagents. There are also a number of bars. Not far, is the Chapeau Rouge, a lovely traditional restaurant hosted by Madame who provides service in only the way the French can - graciously and with style. In Villedieu les Pôeles is a great pizza restaurant and creperie.

There are so many things to do and see in Normandy and if you let us know where your interests lie, we can help you. We can even advise you as to which supermarket you would probably like!


There are plenty of markets within easy reach of Le Calipel, the Tuesday market at Villedieu Les Poeles is a lovely market with plenty of choice and variety. Granville, on the coast, has a fabulous market on Saturday morning which is a must for seafood lovers. The choice of mussels means you need to choose which bay and area you want them from.

Mont St Michel, Normandy Beaches and Christian Dior Museum

There are the famous attractions of Normandy within easy reach, for example, Mont St Michel and the Normandy beaches but there are also lesser known attractions. One of these is the Christian Dior Museum at Granville. Situated in the house of his birth, the museum stages an exhibition of Dior couture which changes annually.

Places to Walk

The hilltop is covered with natural woodland where war time shell holes are still evident and it provides a lovely place to walk and enjoy the nature and peace of Normandy and enjoy the view across the Vire valley from the table d'orientation.


The Souterroscope des Ardoisières offers you a different view of Normandy, then you could go bungee jumping or ride a luge at the Viaduc de Souleuvre.

St Vigor des Monts

Liberated by the allies at the beginning of August 1944, St Vigor des Monts is a sleepy village which wakes up a couple of times a year for its Fêtes; the Fete du Pain held in May celebrates bread and an artisan boulanger bakes in the restored village bread house. The Fete patronale is held in August and the whole village gathers and makes merry.

17 Reviews
  • Cleanliness: 9.9
  • Comfort: 9.9
  • Condition: 9.9
  • Facilities: 10
  • Local Amenities: 9.9
  • Setting: 9.9
  • Value for Money: 10
10 / 10 Geary 10 December, 2019

A beautiful, idyllic hideaway with perfect, attentive hosts. Superbly decorated and equipped in glorious countryside. Convenient for all attractions of lower Normandy or simply to relax and let the world go by. We would recommend a stay here to anyone.
Our tenth visit in eleven years says everything that needs to be said.

9.5 / 10 Sue and Lionel 18 August, 2019

We had a lovely two weeks at Le Calipel. The setting is very rural and we made friends with the chickens and a goose which roam freely around. The gite is attractive, spacious and comfortable. We were provided with provisions and a bottle of wine on arrival to have a light meal. This was extremely welcome! Donna the owner was very helpful and promptly responded to any queries we had. We enjoyed travelling around the area from here. It is a good base to reach the coast at Granville, the D day landing beaches, abbey ruins, markets, local museums, walks and some lovely restaurants. This is a great place to stay to get away from it all. The gite is rustic and so not surprisingly there were some inquisitive mice! We really enjoyed our stay.

Owner response

Thank you for your lovely review - we are sorry it didn’t fulfill your expectations.

10 / 10 Martyn & Angie 8 July, 2019

On arrival we were so impressed with the Gite the photographs really do not do it justice. We were provided with a lovely welcome pack which not only included the basics such as bread and milk but also home made jams, an evening supper and croissants for breakfast. The views and the location are both truly amazing. It is ideally situated for access to lots of fascinating attractions whilst still being off the beaten track. Donna is a brilliant hostess and nothing was too much trouble, she is always available without being intrusive.
If you are looking for a romantic, restful, escape from the rat-race this is the place to come. We would definitely give it a 10/10 and we will return. This is without a doubt the best Gite/locations we have stayed in.

Owner response

I am so happy you enjoyed your stay at Le Calipel and for your kind words. I’m looking forward to welcoming you back!

10 / 10 Geary 10 December, 2018

Our 9th stay at this beautiful gite. Wonderful welcome from the owners and excellent welcome pack which was very welcome after our long journey. Peace and tranquility. Close to many towns with good supermarkets, markets and vet for those travelling with a dog. For those travelling with a dog the Nrittany Ferries L’Etratat offers dog friendly cabins and is an excellent service. Good walking from the gite. We have booked for next year which is the best review for this special place.

Owner response

Lovely to have you stay with us again and looking forward to welcoming you back next year!