Holiday let, rural Charente with shared pool - PC004704

Challignac (11km from Barbezieux), Charente, Poitou Charentes Reference: PC004704 Advertiser since: 24 March 2016
Property Board Arrival Bedrooms Sleeps Bathrooms
Le Pommier at Le Jardin du Berger Self Catering Saturday 3 6 3

About this property

Peaceful Location, Beautiful Countryside, Accessible. This cottage/gite is in a rural setting.

We also offer sewing holidays (Textile Holidays France) and retreats and cycling holidays - please see our website for details and contact us directly to discuss.

Any day "Start Day" except in peak season.

Le Jardin du Berger offers a dog friendly*, peaceful, relaxing holiday retreat yet just 10 minutes drive from the N10 and so ideally placed for discovering the pretty towns and unspoilt beaches of this part of France. There are two gites, La maison d'été (sleeps 4) and Le Pommier (sleeps 6) and they share the pool (4m x 11m) but both have their own garden. We are surrounded by fields of sunflowers and corn; just relax and unwind, away from the stresses of life... Bring a book... sit and doze under a tree or by the pool... Explore one of the busy local markets such as Chalais or Barbezieux, then come home to prepare and eat a leisurely lunch in the garden. Take a trip to famous Cognac, Angouleme or Bordeaux or drive out the coast for the day…
There are 2 completely separate self catering cottages at Le Jardin du Berger. Le Pommier sleeps 6, and La Maison d'été sleeps 4; both have their own private furnished garden but share the pool (4m x 11m).

"Le Pommier" at Le Jardin du Berger is charming and characterful, and was newly refurbished for the 2016 season. It forms part of a traditional Charentaise house - adjoining the owners' home yet completely separate and private from it - and has lots of original features and bright, comfortable accommodation. It comfortably sleeps 6 people and the bedrooms/beds allow flexibility so that the cottage is appropriate for both couples and for friends/family holidaying together.

There are three bedrooms - each with its own newly renovated en-suite shower room. One bedroom is on the ground floor with its own little terrace, and 2 are first floor bedrooms. There is a new large, bright open plan sitting/dining room/kitchen with three sets of French windows opening onto a furnished terrace and looking out over the swimming pool to the countryside beyond. There are good quality furnishings and towels/bedding throughout. You are welcome to bring your dog on holiday with you, but please contact the owner directly prior to booking.

The cottage is heated throughout and is suitable for year round holidays. There is a 4m x 11m pool in the garden, overlooked by lovely countryside. There is a spacious textiles studio equipped with sewing machines, so if you'd like to, bring your project or allow the beautiful countryside to inspire creativity. For something more structured, textiles holidays are run throughout the year. The area is ideal for cycling, with miles of quiet, gently undulating lanes and lovely towns and villages for those important rest stops. Please note there is another cottage - sleeping 4 - in the grounds which shares the swimming pool.



Kitchen and dining

Large (approx. 9x5m) open plan room overlooking the gardens and swimming pool. The room is fully-equipped and newly renovated for the 2016 season. There are comfortable, good quality fittings and appliances - oven, hob, fridge-freezer, washing machine and dishwasher - and plenty of cutlery, crockery and ovenware. A high, beamed ceiling and exposed stonework, and frenchdoors opening onto the terrace which leads into the communal gardens provide character. There is a seperate dining area with seating for 6 and table/chairs outside for long leisurely lunches. Highchair available.

Living rooms

The open plan room includes a comfortable seating area for relaxing and includes tv/dvd player and hifi, plus small iPod dock.


There are three large and characterful, en-suite bedrooms.

The ground floor bedroom (25 sqm) sleeps 2 and has a double and a single bed (so can be made up as a double or twin) and is a comfortable room with a Charentais stone “potager”, stone "evier", beamed ceiling, original terre cuite tiling and stone fireplace. There is a large south facing window, and an external west facing door which leads onto a small terrace with sitting area, for watching the glorious sunsets.

The two first floor bedrooms are south-facing and look out over the gardens. One (16 sqm) is a double, the other (24 sqm) has a double bed and a large (1m wide) single bed, so can be made up as a double or twin room. (Max. of 2 people in this room because the gite capacity is 6)
Cot also available.


Each bedroom has its own shower room with modern shower, wc and vanity basin.


Heating throughout for year round holidays - a mixture of electric and oil central heating.


TV, DVD player, hifi and small docking station. Large range of DVDs and novels. Internet available. Bicycles are available free of charge, plus a badminton/volleyball net and bats/balls etc. There is also a small boules set plus board games.

Garden and outside

A private furnished garden leads off the open plan living area and a smaller, west facing terrace leads off the ground floor bedroom. There is a large swimming pool - and gardens - shared with the 4 person gite.

Parking and garages

Parking in the grounds which is completely away from the country road.

Visitor suitability

There is a ground floor bedroom and shower room accessed by a single width door with very low step. There is a small step from the bedroom to the shower room, and a step into the open plan living area. This bedroom/bathroom would be suitable for someone who would prefer not to climb stairs.

Dogs are welcome, however, please contact us directly before making a booking.

Information about any additional facilities

We have an equipped textiles studio if you'd like to be creative while you're here... Bright and spacious with roof window, three sets of French doors and sewing machines, it is ideal for painting, sewing or writing.


  • Internet

  • No smoking

  • Pets welcomed *

  • Linen

  • Shared pool

* Vet details: Clinique Vétérinaire de Barbezieux 1, Boulevard Chanzy 16300 Barbezieux. 05 45 78 04 41


Antiques/Brocante Market

Name of nearest antiques/brocante market: Barbezieux
Distance: 10 km

Creative arts


Fishing nearby

Species of fish: Carp
Name of nearest fishing location: Brossac
Distance: 12 km


Name and address of nearest golf course: Golf de l'hirondelle, Angouleme
Distance: 40 km

Horse riding

Name and address of nearest stables: Brossac
Distance: 12 km


Wine tasting

Name and address of nearest wine producer: Many small producers in the area
Distance: 12 km

About the Owner/Advertiser, Mrs Bronwen Shepherd

The owners are John and Bronwen Shepherd - hence the name of the property! - and we gave up our teaching careers in the UK in summer 2015. We wanted to do something different, to have an adventure... So, we sold our UK house and came out to France to find a new home, bringing with us our elderly cat Henry and our young golden retriever, Pippa. Our aim, for our own lives and for holidays, is to create somewhere ideal for relaxing, being creative and cycling.

Year property purchased 2015
Why this location? Our first visit to this part of France was in July 2015 when we were house hunting in 3 different areas - we were living in the Cotswolds and were looking for somewhere rural, with open views but within easy reach of a variety of towns because we wanted to live somewhere "real". We immediately fell in love with the stunning countryside, the miles of vineyards and sunflowers, and the lovely towns and villages in this part of the Charente. We also like the fact that Bordeaux - a beautiful, vibrant city - is close enough for day trips, and Angouleme within half an hours drive.
Unique benefits of property We're creating a Textiles studio where at certain times of the year we will host Textiles courses and holidays, or where guests can use the equipment and machines and work on their own creative projects. The woodland and surrounding countryside is obvious inspiration... We are also going to run cycling holidays later in the year... We love our private oak woodland which you drive through to reach the property and which makes arriving home feel very special... It's a beautiful, tranquil location surrounded by fields of various crops which add so much colour and interest.. That said, it's not at all isolated - there are lots of places to visit nearby... The property has a wonderful mix of character and charm, but light, modern and - we hope - comfortable rooms.. It's a peaceful place to be creative, to reflect, to relax...

The Owner Recommends


Barbezieux is our lovely, local market town - Market days are Tuesday and Friday - and is typically French and very friendly. Make sure you walk around the old town to admire the local white-stone buildings which cluster in the shadow of the church.


The capital of the Charente department and is 230 feet above the Charente River; there are cobbled streets to explore, plus many cafes and restaurants for al fresco lunches or a sociable evening meal... Around the historic centre (which is classed among the French Towns of Art and History) there are over 2km of ramparts to walk, and the boulevards that follow these walls have wonderful views across the surrounding countryside. In September it hosts the well-known "Circuit des Remparts", when vintage cars are driven around the ramparts. It is also famous for its comic strips and hosts the annual International Comics Festival, in January, but you'll find graffiti works of art throughout the city.


Aubeterre-sur-Dronne is one of France's "Plus Beaux Villages" (Most Beautiful Villages). This medieval hilltop village has a typical tree-lined town square, steep cobblestone streets, and red-tile roofed buildings plus interesting shops and cafes.


A pretty spa town with interesting shops and beautiful stone buildings. Its history dates back to the ancient romans but in recent years has it reinvented itself as a popular spa and leisure centre and several thousand visitors a year now visit to receive benefits of the water from the thermal springs.


The elegant town of Cognac has inspiring architecture and quaint narrow streets; the old town has many lovely 17th and 18th-century mansions. The name of Cognac is known the world over because of the brandy produced in the region, and the chance to visit the Cognac distilleries attracts many visitors. The town itself is interesting, with an attractive riverside and historical centre too.


The area is ideal for cycling on endless, quiet, undulating roads with each corner offering a new view of a vineyard, small village or a Romanesque church.


Bordeaux is a wonderful city full of beautiful and historic buildings - it's impossible to summarise here. This has recently been acknowledged by UNESCO who have classified 1810 hectares of the city of Bordeaux as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wandering around Bordeaux you can enjoy large open boulevards, narrow paved medieval streets, large squares surrounded by cafés and restaurants, and lots of very impressive individual sites. The riverside has recently been restored and is now a key part of Bordeaux’s attraction. The Cite du Vin - Bordeaux's new monument to wine - opens on 2nd June 2016 and sounds fascinating!


Famous for its wine... Inside the town walls there are steep narrow streets with beautiful buildings, and several open squares, each more attractive than the one before. Saint Emilion is not to be missed if you are in the region. Built from the local yellow limestone, it is centred around a large square with a church on one side. You can also climb the steps inside the 53 metre high 13th century bell tower which sits on the square above for stunning views across the rooftops and countryside. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, artisan shops and boutiques to keep you entertained if the historical interest starts to wane.


Royan is the most visited of the beach resorts in this part of the Atlantic coast. Much of the town was destroyed during the Second World War but it has been rebuilt in an attractive style. The Pontaillac quarter has kept some of the Old World atmosphere and contrasts with the ultra-contemporary cathedral with its stunning modern design. The biggest tourist attraction of Royan is nature; there are five sandy beaches.


Périgueux (the capital of the Dordogne department) has an imposing byzantine cathedral and an extensive medieval old town to explore. Tourist classifications for Périgueux include "town of art and history", "secteur sauvegarde"and "ville fleurie 4*"; it is unusual for a town to have 3 awards, which indicates how important Périgueux is as a tourist destination. There are really two towns to see, the medieval town and the roman town, as well as an imposing cathedral. When entering the medieval town you will see the Mataguerre Tower; the ramparts initially included 28 towers and 12 gates but the Mataguerre Tower is the last of these. Throughout the medieval centre there are various examples of houses that were owned by wealthy merchants.


Bergerac is a town on the northern bank of the Dordogne River and in the western part of the Dordogne department. It is one of the largest, most important towns in the region and has several highlights including an extensive medieval centre and a visit is highly recommended. The old town has some lovely streets and squares to explore, and a good selection of boutiques. Wandering around the streets of Bergerac old town you will see lots of attractive, medieval, half-timbered buildings. There are several restaurants scattered around in 'old-town' Bergerac among the attractive medieval half-timbered streets, and some open-air cafes.


Saintes was founded by the Romans in the 1st century AD, becoming the Gallo-Roman capital of Aquitaine; today, this friendly town on the Charente has something for everyone. The magnificent Germanicus Arch with its soaring twin arches and intricate carvings was built by the Romans at the entrance to a bridge and you can also wander the remains of the Roman amphitheatre. Set in a natural hollow, it still provides an atmospheric venue for summer concerts. Saintes was an important religious centre in the Middle Ages. You can also relax on a guided river cruise - a delightful perspective on this fascinating town.


The quiet streets of this village are lined with typical Charentais houses, and there is much to enjoy just strolling around admiring the shop facades. It is best known for the imposing Villebois castle which stands on a promontory above the village. The vast defensive walls and six towers built in the attractive white stone of the area were built in the 12th-13th century give access to the inner castle through a door between two large round towers. Inside the walls of the Castle of Villebois a home was built in the 17th century to provide a more comfortable accommodation.

La Rochefoucauld (Chateau)

The Château de La Rochefoucauld is reminiscent of the magnificent châteaux of the Loire Valley. Built between the 12th and 16th centuries, this wonderful castle blends different architectural styles including impressive medieval towers and majestic Renaissance galleries. The magnificent Grand Courtyard shows an Italian influence and is one of the finest courtyards in France.


We have a large (app 45 m sq) Textiles studio equipped with sewing machines which you are free to use during your stay if you are staying in the "Pommier" cottage or the "Maison" if the "Pommier" is free.

You can work on the creative project of your choice either independently or, if you prefer something more structured, keep an eye on our website for upcoming courses after the high summer season. Or - contact me direct for a tailor made (pun intended) course for a group of friends - perhaps to celebrate a wedding or birthday - let me know what you'd like to learn/ make and I'll see if I can help!

2 Reviews
  • Cleanliness: 10
  • Comfort: 10
  • Condition: 10
  • Facilities: 10
  • Local Amenities: 8
  • Setting: 9.5
  • Value for Money: 9
10 / 10 HHay 4 September, 2017

We just returned from a completely relaxed 2 week break in this fabulous gite. The gite was decorated beautifully, spotlessly clean and the lovely owners have thought about EVERYTHING (even down to offering to buy food supplies for the first day). The gite is in a really tranquil setting, surrounded by open countryside and quiet lanes. Places to visit are at least a 30 minute drive away but this suited us because we chose to spend most of our time relaxing by the fantastic swimming pool. Bordeaux, Cognac and St.Emilion are easy to travel to for a day and well worth visiting. Bronwen and John (the owners) were really helpful and friendly and dealt with any queries quickly without ever intruding on our privacy. If we visit the area again we will definitely return!

Owner response

Thank you for your kind words... It was really good meeting you all and we’re pleased you enjoyed your holiday with us and found our gite so comfortable. Yes, we are really lucky to live in this beautiful, peaceful location, within easy reach – along quiet French roads – of many interesting places. If you’re in the area we’d love to see you again!
With best wishes,
Bronwen and John

9.5 / 10 Martin Bright 9 August, 2016

A beautiful setting among sunflower fields and vineyards. The property itself was recently redecorated and refurbished and is spacious and well-maintained. The owners were welcoming without being intrusive and willing to help at all times.
With a couple of visits to the supermarket, it would be quite possible to stay at Le Jardin du Berger for a week without venturing further afield and the pool is more than adequate for a family with young children. But it would be a shame to miss out on Aubeterre and Angouleme.
I would recommend this property without hesitation to friends and family and it will be even better once cycling is available for exploring the surrounding villages.

Owner response

We're both delighted you enjoyed your stay and thank you for all your positive comments. Yes, the cycling will certainly be a bonus and we hope to offer it very soon. It was a pleasure meeting you all.