Lovely holiday cottage in rural Normandy - NM004523

9.9/10
Saint-Clement (22km from Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouet), Manche, Normandy Reference: NM004523 Advertiser since: 14 January 2016
Property Board Arrival Bedrooms Sleeps Bathrooms Additional info
Bumblebee cottage Self Catering Flexible 4 7 2 Z-bed if required for 1 extra

About this property

A Quiet, Secluded Cottage, Ideal For families. This cottage/gite is in a rural setting.

Bumblebee Cottage has been fully renovated to a high standard and offers a traditional taste of France with all its furnishings but also offers extreme coziness and practicality with all mod cons. It has a well equipped kitchen, two large shower rooms, a spacious lounge/dining room and a separate sitting room with a good selection of books – if you’re in the middle of one at the end of your stay please take it with you, a good book should be read to the end.
 
The tv has Freesat with most of the UK tv programmes available and a dvd player with a selection of dvd's, and there’s another tv/dvd in the sitting room. There's broadband available, it's slow and the bandwidth is limited (so please don’t download movies) as we're too far from the telephone exchange to have cable.
 
The stone-built cottage was once a farmhouse and is attached to its barn, which is no longer in use, and gives it the air of a traditional French longère with its water pump in front – it works but we wouldn’t recommend drinking the water!
Situated at the end of a lane that only serves two other properties it is both private and quiet, and the garden, about three quarters of an acre, has lots of room for the children to run around in or play ball games. There are swings in the garden, an above ground pool and swing ball. We also have a football net if you fancy a game of football. 
There are apple and pear trees and a ferocious bramble patch down at the bottom corner (help yourself if they are ripe).
 
Really this cottage is perfect for relaxation and chilling out, whether sitting under the awning on the decked bbq area or relaxing in the evening with a glass of wine watching the swallows darting about, and if you are lucky, deer have been spotted at the bottom of the garden  We suspect there’s a fox or two about too, we're sure that we spotted a badger once, and we’re fairly certain that there are a couple of bats living in the barn. If it’s too cool to sit outside, the log fire is very cozy!
 
The tiny village of Saint Clement is only a couple of minutes drive away (we've never actually seen anyone there!) and the small market town of Mortain is just five minutes away where there are couple of bars, cafes, supermarkets and shops. In addition just two minutes down the road is a great Go-cart Track which is popular for both children and adults.

The Abbaye Hotel in nearby Le Neufbourg is run by an English couple and combines French and English cuisine, and does excellent Sunday lunches - advance booking is advisable.
 
The area wasn’t so peaceful in 1944, there was a major battle on the hill above Mortain and the view from the hilltop (La Petite Chapelle) is huge, fading into the misty distance. There’s a pleasant walk and picnic area there.
German campaign maps show SS Panzers advancing from Ger (about 12 km away) down the lane to the cottage and through the garden, there's a tank sized gap in the bocage in the bottom corner behind the bramble patch.

Cyclists and walkers are well catered for two km from the cottage is a disused railway line (ample parking there), which is now a cycleway and runs for miles.

Type

Cottage/Gite

Kitchen and dining

Fully equipped kitchen, washing machine, dishwasher, microwave etc. gas hob/electric oven, fridge/freezer.
Typically French lounge/dining room.

Living rooms

Large sitting room with log fire (all rooms also have electric heaters) comfortably furnished with two sofas, a large armchair and footstool, very cosy in front of the fire!
The tv has Freesat and there's a dvd player and a selection of dvds.
Dining table is also here.

Bedrooms

Two double bedrooms and one single upstairs, one double on the ground floor, the z-bed is kept in the downstairs bedroom.

Bathrooms

Large spa shower, handbasin and wc in both upstairs and downstairs bathrooms, towels provided.

Heating

Log fire (and a good supply of logs in the log pile) in the sitting room and all rooms have electric radiators. We have found that even in winter, after 24 hours the electric heating is hardly needed.

Entertainment

Tv, Freesat, dvd player, broadband.

Garden and outside

Bistro table and chairs at the front door, a permanent bbq on the decked area which has a large table and benches with a sunshade.
Adjacent are swings and a large above ground pool (new for 2016) with another decked area.
There is a swingball and a goal net - lots of space for a kick-about, but please bring your own ball, the foxes keep stealing ours and leaving them chewed.

Parking and garages

Parking on the gravelled area in front of the cottage.
The cottage is at the end of a lane 250m from the main (only just!) road and there are only two other neighbours.

Visitor suitability

The stairs may present a difficulty for those with impaired mobility, however the downstairs bathroom and bedroom eases this problem.
The garden is ideal for children, lots of space to run around in, older ones could even camp out (there's a small tent hanging in the downstairs bathroom), and being at the end of the lane there is no passing traffic.

Information about any additional facilities

The sitting room has a tv/dvd player and accepts input from games machines and laptops, there are some kids games (connect 4, Frustration etc) and a selection of books ideal for a rainy day when no-one wants to go out.

Facilities

  • Internet

  • No smoking

  • Linen

  • Child facilities

  • Private pool

Activities

Cycling

Fishing nearby

Species of fish: Carp, perch, roach, bream
Name of nearest fishing location: Lac de la Dathee
Distance: 25 km

Golf

Name and address of nearest golf course: Lac de la Dathee
Distance: 25 km

Watersports

About the Owner/Advertiser, Mr Tony Sinclair

I'm a retired design engineer, still living in England. My wife and I decided some years ago to buy a property in France to renovate, made a few trips over and then circumstances prevented us from going ahead with the idea. In 2011 we decided to give it another go without the renovation, and bought Bumblebee.

Year property purchased 2011
Why this location? When we came over house hunting in 2011 we wanted to be in Normandy (everyone goes to Brittany) and Swiss Normandy is more interesting than the Normandy plains, this was the first property we looked at and it became the yardstick for all of the others. Basically we fell in love with it, it's secluded, at the end of it's own lane and surrounded by farmland, yet 10 minutes from the local town and 5 minutes from two supermarkets. It's also not too far from the D-Day beaches and most of the other major WW2 battle fields, the whole area is steeped in medieval history
Unique benefits of property The seclusion, peace and quiet, and the large garden for children to play in. The decked area around the pool allows adults to relax while children are in the pool or garden. On rainy days the sitting room has a tv/dvd player so that the children can have their own space, and the downstairs bedroom and bathroom are a boon for anyone with mobility difficulties. We have a manager living local to the cottage who looks after the housekeeping and is available in the case of emergencies.

The Owner Recommends

D Day Beaches

About 2 hours drive, but if you are into WW2 history, worth the trip north just to see the bunkers and Mulberry remains. The Pegasus Bridge museum is fairly good, and the actual bridge is in the museum grounds.
St Mere-Eglish has an excellent Airborne Forces Museum (as an ex-paratrooper I can vouch for the accuracy of their DC3 section), there is a dummy of the parachutist caught on the church tower recalling the actual event and each year a memorial meet of ex-US forces as the town still has very strong links.

Dining

The Abbey Hotel in La Neufbourg (5 minutes drive) is run by an English couple but is very French (except for Sunday lunch!) and the food is excellent.
Bar/Tabacs in Mortain all do plat de jour most days.

For the Littlies

Village Enchante de Bellefontaine - has been well recomended by guests Jurques zoo, again, well recomended by guests

Markets

Most of the small towns in the area are market towns, Mortain, Sourdeval and Vire are no exception, check on-line for market days as they may change. Excellent market at St Hillaire du Harcouet on Thursday
Explore the churches while you are there, their massive architecture was about all that survived when the towns were flattened in July and August 1944

Mont Saint Michel

About 45 minutes drive (you can see the Mont from Le Petit Chapelle in Mortain), get there early, park in one of the well organised car parks and take the shuttle bus to this unique monastery and spend a day wandering around. Absolutely facinating.

Velorail

Ride a cycle/rail car on the old railway tracks, at Conde sur Vire (about 30km away). Absolute peace and tranquility, a novelty for the children and not much in the way of hills!

6 Reviews
9.9/10
  • Cleanliness: 9.8
  • Comfort: 10
  • Condition: 10
  • Facilities: 10
  • Local Amenities: 9.7
  • Setting: 9.7
  • Value for Money: 10
10 / 10 carolena 29 August, 2018

Beautiful cottage in very peaceful surroundings. The grandchildren loved the swimming pool and big garden.
Very good area for exploring Normandy.
We did a lot of self catering and the cottage had everything we needed.
The owners have very good communication and keep you up to date with attractions etc.
Very nice welcome gift of wine ,biscuits and toiletries.
I would definitely recommend this property to a friend or relative.

10 / 10 Family Ross 4 August, 2018

Very clean, well maintained, well equipped, comfortable and spacious holiday home. Nice sized lounge area and kitchen, 3 big double rooms and a smaller single room. The garden is huge, plenty of parking space, probably enough for 3 cars. A little patio with a table and chairs, a nice big covered dining area with night lights and a lovely big pool on a deck with more seating and a couple of sun loungers. There is also a kids swing set and loads of extra lawn space for kids to play around in. The owners kept in touch via email with updates on local events etc really making us feel welcome. Highly recommended for anyone wanting a nice relaxing holiday or a base to explore from. We visited Mont St Michelle, Bayeux, Caen, a couple of DDay beaches, a local Calvados distillery and took in some local sights such as the Petite Chapelle with stunning views and a couple of waterfalls around Mortain. Many thanks for an excellent 2 week stay.

10 / 10 Graeme Ridley 17 July, 2018

A fantastic accommodation with plenty of space and wonderful decor. Description of the property was accurate and very well maintained. We received a welcome pack on arrival of milk, biscuits , a bottle of wine and some lovely toiletries, which was a wonderful surprise. The cottage was very clean and well maintained. The garden was picturesque and the pool was great to cool off in after a hot day. We often sat outside and watched the birds swooping as the sun went down. It was one of the most relaxing and chilled out holidays we have experienced and can't speak highly enough about it. The location was excellent as there were lots of quaint villages/ small towns nearby with excellent facilities. There are also lots of historical places to visit within easy reach in the car and there were lots of leaflets/ information about this for us to look at in the cottage. Mont St Michel and the Bayeux tapestry were 2 of many we experienced along with museums and WW2 memorials. When we were there we sent photos to our friends and family of the cottage because we were so impressed with the whole experience. We felt we had excellent customer service and can't wait for our next visit to Bumble bee Cottage and would highly recommend it to anyone.

9.5 / 10 Tait Family 4 September, 2017

A lovely quiet location. Plenty of room for our family of five. Large garden and the pool was great. Very well equipped kitchen. A bit of a drive to get to touristy places, but Mont St Michel reachable in 50 minutes. Would highly recommend and would like to think we'll return. Owner was easily reached by email and responded quickly to questions before arrival.