|Les Hiboux||Self Catering||Saturday||2||6||1||z-bed|
The 2 bedroom gite is all on one level and has a good-sized cottage style kitchen, a large living area, 2 large bedrooms (one double and one with 3 single beds) and private fenced garden with a barbecue. The living area has large windows on three sides letting in lots of light. The entire gite has been recently redecorated and furnished. The kitchen is equipped with a gas cooker, fridge-freezer, dishwasher, microwave, toaster and kettle, and there is a small washing machine in the bathroom.
The gite has a private fenced garden, and guests in the gite also have the run of the two acres of land in which the main house is set. The large garden has a swimming pool, plenty of spots to sit and relax, great views out over the surrounding countryside. For young guests there is a trampoline, swings, a wendy house and lots of space for games.
Pets are very welcome.
The gite is in a quiet rural location, but is close to shops and supermarkets, markets, lake and river beaches, kayaking / canoeing, chateaux and many other great days out.
All guests are provided with a small welcome pack (milk, bread, wine) and welcome drink on arrival. We are able to provide cooked meals using fresh local ingredients (many from our own garden!) and barbecues on our sun terrace.
The gite has a log burner if you wish to visit in spring, autumn or even winter and take advantage of the local walking and cycling routes outside of the summer season.
The gite has wireless internet and a television with UK Freesat channels and dvd player.
A good-sized cottage style kitchen
A large living area with beautiful views
2 large bedrooms, one with a double bed and one with twin beds
1 bathroom with shower
Central heating and log burner
Swimming pool, television, internet and games
Private garden, swimming pool and access to our extensive grounds.
Outside private parking
Families with young children
We have been visiting France since our children (now grown up) were young and had some fantastic holidays. We bought and renovated a small French farm house seven years ago and in 2013 we decided to move to France full time. <br/><br/>We bought this property in October 2013 and spent the last two year refurbishing and renovating the Gite and and B&B rooms as well as clearing the two acres of garden.<br/><br/>We want to give people the chance to enjoy a holiday in France as much as we always have.
|Year property purchased||2013|
|Why this location?||We chose to settle in the Charente region because of the scenery, weather (second best weather in the whole of France) and availability of lake beaches, beautiful towns, countryside and local produce.
Although our location is rural, we have easy access via the N10 to many historic towns such as Bordeaux and Angouleme.
|Unique benefits of property||We primarily cater to family holidays in France. The region is ideal for families with young children. We offer the perfect place for parents to relax, while providing a safe haven for children to play and enjoy themselves.
The 2 bedroom gite is contained in one end of a 17th century stone farmhouse and has full amenities and a private garden. It is set in 2 acres of land, to which you and your family have full access, and there is a 10 metre long, 1 metre deep fenced swimming pool that is ideal for children. There is extensive room for children to run and play safely within the grounds of the main house. As well as the shallow swimming pool, there is a secret wendy house hidden in our bamboo forest where children can play, and we have a large trampoline and swings, as well as a large selection of toys and games to keep your children entertained.
A visit to the swimming lakes and lake beaches is a great day out for all the family. All of the swimming lakes have sandy beaches and shallow water areas that are very safe for children. They all also have lakeside playgrounds to keep children entertained for hours, allowing parents the opportunity to relax and take in the beautiful scenery. There are many lakes in the region, but here are 3 we would recommend:
Etang Vallier (Brossac)
Near to Brossac and only 7km away from the gite. The lake is a lovely location to spend some time during your holiday in France. The swimming lake is set in tranquil countryside and has a sandy lake beach with shallow water for wading and in which children can play, and deeper water for swimming. There are kayaks and paddle boards available for hire, and there is a mini golf course and bouncy castle to keep the children entertained. There is a small resort offering a restaurant, indoor swimming pool and spa facilities.
Lac de Beauvallon (Montguyon)
Located in Montguyon, 17km away from the gite, and is well worth visiting for a day or two during your holiday in France. The swimming lake has a large sandy lake beach with shallow water for wading and in which children can play, and deeper water for swimming. There are kayaks, pedalos and remote control boats for hire, and a playground for children. You are able to take a walk the entire way around the swimming lake and there many spots for picnicking. There is a lakeside restaurant offering à la carte dishes and meats cooked on a wood fired barbeque.
Lac Sensation Frisson (Guizengeard)
A 5 minute walk from the gite and offers things to do for those seeking some more ‘energetic’ activities during their holiday in the form of jet skis and quad bikes – great for older children and those who are big kids at heart! There are water slides and areas for swimming in the lake. There is a lakeside restaurant serving sandwiches, salads and meats cooked on a wood fire.
The rivers in the area provide a great opportunity for boating, canoeing/kayaking and fishing. The two rivers closest to the gite are the River Dronne and the Charente River. River Dronne – Beaches at Aubeterre-sur-Dronne (30km) and Saint-Aulaye (35km) There is an excellent river beach on the River Dronne at the picturesque town of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne. From the 15th July to the 20th August swimming is supervised. There is a café onsite for refreshments. Canoeing / kayaking are available (see the canoeing / kayaking section). There is a playground for children. You can fish from the beach - mostly you will find zander, trout and carp in the area. (You will need a fishing permit which is available from the grocery shop ‘Vival’, in Aubeterre). There is another very pretty river beach at Saint-Aulaye. The river beach has water slides that are open during July and August from 3pm until 6pm. There is also a café and children’s play area. Charente River – Boat Trip from Saint-Simon (50km) A great way to see the Charente River is on a boat trip. From the village of Saint-Simon (50km) west of Angouleme, you can enjoy the scenery of the river from aboard a gabarre - a traditional boat once used to carry goods up and down the Charente. The most famous cargo carried by the gabarres was local cognac, which was transported down from the warehouses of the Charente to be loaded onto ships at the mouth of the river, from where it would be taken to destinations such as London or St Petersburg. From late April or early May until October you can take a trip on the River Charente aboard ‘La Renaissance’, a replica of an 18th century gabarre. The trip takes just up to 90 minutes. The full adult ticket price of around €6.25 covers admission to the museum plus the boat trip. Tickets for one or the other cost €3.50. Tickets covering both for children and concessions are €4.
Kayaking/canoeing is a great family activity that allows you to see the Poitou Charentes area from the river. The closest kayaking / canoeing to the gite and bed & breakfast accommodation in Brossac is on the River Dronne at Aubeterre-sur-Dronne. Kayaks and canoes are available for hire from the town of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne. You have the option of renting the kayaks to start and return to the same point for one hour or for half a day, or you can take advantage of the company’s transport service and travel in one direction for two, four, six or eight hours. The prices are as follows: One hour (Returning to start point) – €7 per person Half-day (Returning to start point) – €14 per person Two hours (With drop-off/pick-up) - €11 per person Four hours (With drop-off/pick-up) - €14 per person Six/eight hours (With drop-off/pick-up) - €19 per person Address: Road Riberac, Aubeterre, 16390 – Exit the town of Aubeterre down the hill, cross the bridge and you will see the kayak/canoe hire to your right-hand side. For further information: snpa.aubeterre.pagesperso-orange.fr or +33 (0)5 45 98 51 72
Arbor Adventure Park - Saint-Aulaye (30km)
16480 Beach Saint-Aulaye +33 (0)6 01 49 41 45 email@example.com www.arbor-aventure.fr
The Arbor Adventure Nature Park at Saint-Aulaye has something for all of the family. They have a number of exciting ropes courses through the trees, ranging from an 80 metre long zip line, to an 8 metre high ropes course, to a 1 metre high course for small children. The park also offers canoeing/kayaking, climbing – tree climbing and small walls, Skywalker trampolines and archery. The park is open 10am until 7pm every day during July and August, and 2pm until 6pm at weekend in May, June and September.
The prices for entry (unlimited time) are as follows:
Adult (18 years and older) - €17
Children 11 years and older - €16
Children 7-10 years - €12
Children 3-6 years - €6
Poltrot Adventure Park – Nabinaud (35km)
Poltrot 16390 Nabinaud +33 (0)7 85 39 52 39 or +33 (0)5 45 98 56 31 poltrot.wix.com/poltrot
An adventure Nature Park on the site of an old mill, which is perfect for a family day out. The park has a high ropes course for ages 7 years and older, canoeing/kayaking, a nature trail, a labyrinth, fishing (you must bring your own day fishing licence, which you can buy from tabacs) and lots of open areas for walking, picnicking and barbecuing. The park is open 2pm until 7pm every day except Mondays throughout July and August.
The prices for the high ropes course are as follows:
Adults (over 16 years) - €12
Children 9-16 years - €9
Children 7-8 years - €6
The prices for the labyrinth are as follows:
Adults (over 16 years) - €15
Children 9-16 years - €10
Children 7-8 years - €8
Ice cream is a perfect holiday treat for all the family. Within a short walking distance (10 minute walk) of the gite is a dairy farm selling homemade ice cream made with the milk from their own cows. Many flavors ice cream are sold by the cone and by the tub. They also sell local honey. During July and August the farm has a maze cut into the corn field, which is open every day 10am – 6pm.
France is famous for its beautiful chateaux (in French the plural in this case is 'chateaux' rather than 'chateaus') – the French word ‘Chateau’ means ‘castle’ – and many of them in the Bordeaux region have vineyards that offer wine tasting and tours. There are many chateaux within easy driving distance from the location of the gite and bed and breakfast accommodation in Brossac Charentes. If you are looking for something quintessentially French to do on your holiday, a visit to a French chateau with a wine tasting tour is a must.
Chez Martin, 16190, Bors de Montmoreau +33 (0)6 72 80 24 60 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ecuriesdeschenes.fr Why not try horse riding on your family holiday in Poitou Charentes? No experience is necessary and all ages are able take part in horse riding. The horse riding centre at Montmoreau offers guided pony walks in the vicinity of the centre for riders of all abilities and ages. Miniature ponies are available for small children. English is spoken at the centre. The prices are as follows: 45 mins - €21 per person 1 hour - €23 per person 1 hour 45 mins - €34 per person 1 hour 15 mins including a trip to the local mill - €28 per person 2 hours including a trip to the local mill - €40 per person Advance booking is required.
If you are looking for unusual places to visit on your holiday in the Poitou Charentes, Futuroscope should definitely be on your list of things to do. Futuroscope is north of Poitiers and is 180 km from the gite. Futuroscope is a theme-park with a difference - instead of traditional roller coaster rides, the amusements take the form of virtual reality attractions. The buildings are impressive looking jagged glass-covered structures housing 3D and 4D cinemas that use the latest simulation technology. The park is best suited to adults and children over the age of eight. Most of the attractions are inside, so it is a good option in poor weather. Find out more and make bookings at www.futuroscope.com
Le Musee du Cognac et du Vin (The Museum of Cognac and Wine) – Saint-Aulaye (35km) 1, rue du Docteur Pierre Rousseau, 24410, Saint-Aulaye +33 (0)5 53 90 81 33 The small museum is housed in a Chai (where Cognac used to stored) and details the history and process of cognac making through a collection that dates from the 18th century. It is open every day except Sundays and Mondays, from the 17th June until the 30th August, between the hours of 3pm and 6.30pm. The cost of entry is €2.50 for adults, €0.75 for children aged 15-18 and €0.50 for children under the age of 15. Maison Hennessey (The Hennessey Distillery) – Cognac (60km) Quai Maurice Hennessy, Cognac, 16100 +33 (0)5 45 35 72 68 email@example.com www.hennessy.com/int-eu/maison-hennessy/visiting-us The tour at Maison Hennessy starts with boat tour on board the Hennessy Boat along the Charente River during which the guide will detail the key chapters in Hennessey’s story from its foundation in 1765. They then take you through the distillery, storehouses and cultural centre to learn about the Cognac production process. The tour ends with a tasting session. The price of the tour varies depending on which Cognac you choose for the tasting session. Prices start at €9 per person. Bookings can be made in advance on the website, but it is not necessary.
The gentle rolling countryside of the Poitou Charentes region is great for cycling for all the family. We have detailed local maps (1:25,000) of the Brossac area and Poitou Charentes region available for you to use if you would simply like to cycle and explore the area, or there are many marked cycling routes to appeal to a range of interests and capabilities, ranging from easy to fairly difficult. There are bicycles for rent in the local area if you are not bringing bicycles of your own.
On his website about Cycle Touring in the Charente Tom Quayle details a few routes. For a half day cycling tour you could choose either the Introduction to Brossac (13km) cycling route or South of La Giraudiere (26km) cycling route. If you fancy venturing further afield on your cycling trip, you have the option of the Chalais (28km) cycling route, or the Aubeterre (53km) cycling route, and for those with an interest in history there is the The Knight's Templar Route (59km) cycling route.
The government department of the Charente have also set out many clearly marked cycling routes in the local area. They range from easy 5km routes to more difficult routes that are 50km long. We have details and maps of all the cycling routes. A couple of the start points run very close to the gite, but for the cycling routes with start points slightly further away we are able to drop you and your bicycles at the start point of the cycling route and pick you up when you are finished for the day.
Cycling is a great activity for all of the family, but if parents would like a day out cycling on longer or more difficult routes by themselves without children you can take advantage of our babysitting service, just let us know a day or two in advance.
On request we can provide you with a French picnic lunch for your cycling trip.
Walking is a slow and relaxing way for all of the family to explore the gentle rolling hills of the beautiful countryside around the Brossac area.
We have detailed local maps (1:25,000) of the Brossac area and Poitou Charentes region available for you to use if you would simply like to go walking and explore the area, or there are many marked routes that are primarily for cycling but can be followed by walking. For example this Introduction to Brossac (13km) route is a nice day walking route. The government department of the Charente have also set out many clearly marked cycling routes in the local area that include easy 5km routes that are perfect for short walks. We have details and maps of all the cycling/walking routes. We have spent lots of time walking in the immediate area and can advise you of some simple short walking routes that are ideal for families, and also longer day walking routes if you are interested.
If you would like to walk in one direction and not make a round trip we are happy to pick you up when you are finished walking for the day.
Walking routes further afield in the Poitou Charentes region can be found on this website for the Charente region - Walking routes Poitou Charentes.
On request we can provide you with a French picnic lunch for your walking trip.
We had a fantastic week at Les Hiboux. Geoff and Jenny were very welcoming, happy to provide any information whilst remaining very unobtrusive. Communication beforehand via email had been thorough. The gite was spotlessly clean with all the necessary domestic bits and bobs provided. Having stayed in similar properties in the past where even washing up liquid is not provided, this was much appreciated! The welcome food pack of bread, milk, squash and wine was a really thoughtful touch.
We were lucky enough to have the good-sized pool to ourselves for most of the time; we ventured out on a few occasions but were mostly happy to relax and potter after a more active holiday week beforehand. The gite was in a quiet, rural location which suited us perfectly. Some great cycling was had in the area too. There was a Spar in Brossac 10 minutes away which had a good selection of groceries; Chalais was 25 mins away for a larger supermarket shop. Our kids are a little older (10 and 14) but they made good use of the large garden area with loads of stuff for them to play with. Similarly, the wifi was a godsend!
Overall, we would highly recommend Les Hiboux. We were lucky with the weather too which always helps! Many thanks to Geoff and Jenny for a relaxing stay.
The Scorer family