Holiday cottage to let in the Loire Valley - VI005054

Barrou (34km from Loches), Indre et Loire, Loire Valley Reference: VI005054 Advertiser since: 19 October 2016
Property Board Arrival Bedrooms Sleeps Bathrooms
The Old Walnut Mill Self Catering Flexible 2 4 2

About this property

A Delightful 19th Century Village House . This cottage/gite is in a village setting.

The 'Old Walnut Mill' is a delightful 19th century Loire Valley house (2 bedrooms) in the village of Barrou in the department of Indre-et-Loire, Centre-Val de Loire France. The village’s location halfway between the cities of Tours and Poitiers makes it an ideal base to explore the Loire Valley, its many chateaux and pretty villages as well as the department of Vienne where you can visit the theme park of Futuroscope. The nearest chateaux at Le Guerche and Le Grand Pressigny are only minutes away. You can have a true French experience as it is relatively 'tourist free' but still take advantage of all this beautiful area has to offer, everything from picturesque villages, citadel towns (many with their own chateau), sandy river beaches, beautiful lakes, safari parks and troglodytes. The village of Barrou sits on the banks of the river Creuse in the department of Indre-et-Loire, within the region of Centre-Val de Loire in France.

Our village is situated 75 km south of Tours on the D750 road between Descartes and Yzeures-sur-Creuse. This small French community within Southern Touraine is friendly and welcoming giving you a true taste of rural France. Barrou has a butcher (boucher), a baker (boulanger) plus a post office/general store which are all very much a part of the community.

There are many gites and self catering properties to rent for your French holiday, but this Loire Valley village house, all you see, is a complete family home, giving you spacious accommodation and with its history, originally it was a mill for producing walnut oil, has beamed ceilings and tiled floors which help it to retain its French charm. It is private and self-contained in its own courtyard. Accommodation consists of a large lounge and kitchen/diner downstairs and 2 double bedrooms and large shower-room upstairs. There is a second toilet and shower-room downstairs.

Here are some comments from our guest book

18th May 2019

Thank you Jim & Pauline for providing such a lovely cottage for our stay - a real 'home away from home'. We appreciated having a few essentials in the fridge on our arrival, the outdoor area that was alive with blooms, a really comfy bed ( we'd like to take it home with us), a well equipped kitchen and all the 'mod cons'. We have loved wandering the Loire Valley and coming back each night to such a welcoming home.
Your warm hospitality deserves a special welcome. Jim, you are the best travel guide ever!
Your suggestions made all the difference in what we were able to see and do. Pauline thank you for your kindness. It was such a pleasure to get to know you both.
Jan & Richard Smith

4th October 2018

What can we say that hasn't already been said, lovely place to stay, Jim's helpful emails and website etc.. Some places to eat that haven't been mentioned, 'Creperie le Kerlouet' in Chatellerault, Chez Grand Ma in Le Grand-Pressigny and just a short walk over the bridge to Lesigny and the L'ere de Temps.
Jim & Pauline were wonderfully welcoming and they even managed to arrange for all but one day of blue skies - some feat for late September, early October!

With thanks and very best wishes
Mike & Helena,
Frome, Somerset. UK

22nd September 2018

We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Old Walnut Mill, especially as the weather has been so good. All the villages mentioned in previous pages are well worth visiting, especially if you follow Jim's very helpful instructions in his emails and on his website. (Particularly useful for visiting the beautiful Angles-sur-l'Anglin.) We enjoyed our shopping trip to Chambray-les-Tours at the large shopping mall Ma Petit Madelaine including eating at the new 'Holly's Dinner'
Many thanks to Jim & Pauline for the lovely warm welcome and for giving us such a lovely place to stay.

All best wishes,
Allan & Ann Slater,
Ashtead, Surrey, UK

15th September 2018

We have had a lovely week here at the Old Walnut Mill. A super cottage & fantastic courtyard (lots of meals outside). We have been blessed with wonderful weather. Lots of suggestions from Jim for things to do and see; our favourites have been the Musee de la Prehistorie at Le Grand-Pressigny, the Lovely gardens at Descartes and a delicious meal at 'Le Gout des Mets' at Angles-sur-l'Anglin.
Many thanks - best wishes!

7th September 2018

Dear Pauline & Jim what can I say that hasn't been said already? The Old Walnut Mill is fabulous! Barrou is quaint with all the facilities we have needed. The local people are friendly but most of all the friendship and help of you two has been wonderful! The emails that Jim sends with suggested highlights were most helpful and directed us to some of the highs-spots of our holiday.
All in all a splendid gite run by two splendid people . Many thanks again!
Jean & Ian Thompson,
Kath & Barry Ashurst,
Sutton Coldfield, UK

25th August 2018

Thank you so much Pauline and Jim for your thoughtful welcome pack and the use of your lovely cottage with its idyllic enclosed courtyard. We have enjoyed our second visit here every bit as much as the first - last year and have felt totally relaxed enjoying picnics by the river and visiting local villages. A favourite day out was to the Parc Natural de La Brenne with its beautiful lakes, teeming with all varieties of wildlife. We had a great lunch at the 'Vieux Port' in Maire - such good value and tasty food. Also enjoyed a very good meal at Chez grand Ma in Le Grand-Pressigny. We loved the musical night, it was so nice to meet your musical friends. Sad to leave Barrou but we will return home felling refreshed and hope to see you again before long xx

Gloria & Gary
Gravesend, Kent, UK

18th August 2018

We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay in your comfortable cosy cottage. We only wish we could have stayed longer! It was great to find a supply of milk,juice,wine etc. on our arrival and we also appreciated the tour and explanation of everything in the house. We enjoyed many meals in the lovely courtyard and coffees in the sunny sheltered seating area.
Jim's emails of ideas of places to visit was greatly appreciated and we went out and saw most of them. Our favourite was the chateau and gardens at Villandry, the art fair and lovely villages of Montresor and Angles-surl'Anglin.

Thank you Pauline & Jim
Val & Andy
London, UK

12th August 2018

Thanks to Pauline & Jim for letting us us use your perfect home. It is a superb base for discovering and exploring the local area and further afield. Your extensive CD collection became a wonderful soundtrack for our holiday.
Liking the quieter places our highlights were Montpoupon, Vespers at Notren Dame, the wonderful small towns and villages, Le Grand-Pressigny, Boussay, Preuilly-sur-Claise to name but a few. Richelieu is nice and Scorbe Clairvau is worth a visit. Once we got our 'clock' in order food was great, Grand Ma's (Le Grand-Pressigny) definitely worth a go. Thanks again!

Phil & Julie Brook
Dorset, UK

4th August 2018

Thanks to Pauline & Jim for settling us into this lovely, quirky holiday home, it is full of charm! We also found it very comfortable and well equipped. The pool at Descartes was great for children plus the local river 'beaches' were good. It was a good jumping off point for visiting Villandry (beautiful gardens), Chenonceau (beautiful architecture and lovely interior) and Azay-le-Rideau. The local prehistory museum at Le Grand-Pressigny was well worth a visit - very extensive and well thought out for children. Thank you for a lovely sta

Mel, Mike & Lily
Gloucestershire / Scotland / Australia



Kitchen and dining

Your holiday cottage kitchen/diner is well equipped with fridge/freezer, 4 ring gas hob, electric oven, microwave and all you need to allow you to serve up some of the local fare should you wish to eat in after a busy day touring the delights of the Loire Valley.
Your internal dining option allows you to comfortably seat four.

Living rooms

The spacious lounge in your Loire Valley accommodation has two sofas and provides a relaxing room to watch tv (UK free serve) or dvds , listen to music, or to take some light relief from the hot summer sun. In the cooler months there is a wood burning stove for your comfort.


The house has two very good sized bedroom with original tiled floors and beamed ceilings.
The generous main bedroom has a king-sized bed plus plenty of drawer and hanging space.
The second double bedroom is also well proportioned with plenty of drawer and hanging space.


There is a modern, well proportioned shower room off a central hall on the first a second toilet/shower room on the ground floor.
There is also a small laundry room with washing machine for your use.


All the rooms have electric panel heaters and there is a woodburner in the salon should you need it.
There is no additional charge for electricity or wood.


There is a television with satellite channels and a dvd player.
There is a comprehensive selection of cds and a player for your use together with assorted games.
We have golf clubs available to rent and can provide bicycles for your use at no additional cost.

Garden and outside

There is courtyard for alfresco dining or simply relaxing.
There is access through the barn to the rear garden for drying laundry.
Your courtyard at the house can be a magical or night.

Parking and garages

There is safe parking in the carpark opposite the house about 100yards.

Visitor suitability

We do not recommend the property for small children, toddlers, elderly or disabled people.

Information about any additional facilities

You have free wi-fi access and international landline telephone calls during your stay.


  • Cleaning

  • Internet

  • No smoking

  • Linen


Antiques/Brocante Market

Name of nearest antiques/brocante market: Various locations throughout the area
Distance: 5 km


Fishing nearby

Species of fish: Carp
Name of nearest fishing location: Carp, Fishing permits are available from the grocer's shop for local fishing, 1 km
Distance: 1 km


Name and address of nearest golf course: La Roche Posay
Distance: 18 km

Horse riding

Name and address of nearest stables: Etableau
Distance: 10 km



Name/number of nearest marked trail: Many options in and around the village and surrounding area


Wine tasting

Name and address of nearest wine producer: Dit vin Descartes
Distance: 15 km

About the Owner/Advertiser, Mrs Pauline Ann Craig

We are Jim and Pauline Craig a Scottish couple the wrong side of sixty who in 2005 decided to invest in a holiday home in France. We chose a house in the small village of Barrou in Southern Touraine ( how and why later ). We say invest as even then we had a desire to one day move here on a permanent basis. We had to look at something that might provide an income stream as we knew we couldn’t actually retire to France. After selling up in Scotland (May 2008) we bought a second house to renovate.

Year property purchased 2005
Why this location? The village’s location halfway between the cities of Tours and Poitiers makes it an ideal base to explore the Loire Valley, its many chateaux and pretty villages as well as the department of Vienne where you can visit the theme park of Futuroscope. The nearest chateaux at La Guerche and Le Grand Pressigny are only minutes away. You can have a true French experience as it is relatively 'tourist free' but still take advantage of all this beautiful area has to offer, everything from picturesque villages, citadel towns ( many with their own chateau), sandy river beaches, beautiful lakes, safari parks and troglodytes.
Unique benefits of property If you choose to rent the house what you also get is benefit of our local knowledge to help you get the most out of your visit to this beautiful part of France. We can help you with ideas on what to do and see plus keep you informed of local events.
The house comes back on the rental market after being our home for the last 5 years ( we have a new project ). It was a popular choice for visitors to the Loire Valley between 2008 and 2011.
Example previous guest comment: "You have a wonderful house which oozes character and reflects your wonderful taste and devotion to making sure that your 'guests' have the best time possible."

The Owner Recommends

Savoie Villars

Auberge Savoie Villars

While visiting the Loire Valley we suggest you should have the 'French restaurant' experience at least once --or more if your budget can stand it! Here in Southern Touraine you are spoilt for choice with many village restaurants offering lunches for under 15 euros.
Le Grand Pressigny boasts two good restaurants with lunchtime and evening menus to suit most pockets. Both offer opportunities for alfresco dinning on their respective terraces. '
La Savoie Villars went through a major refit in April 2013 and now offers good quality food in very pleasant surroundings.

La Promenade, Le Petit Pressigny

La Promenade, Le Petit Pressigny

If you are celebrating something special and want a dining experience then you can dine at the 'Mitchelin Star' “La Promenade” in the nearby village of Le Petit Pressigny.

An unforgettable experience

Chez Grand ma

This resturnt has inside and outside eating areas and lunchtime and evening menus to suit most pockets. They are only a few minutes walk from the house.


Loches at only 35 minutes from our rental house here in the Loire Valley, is very popular with our guests and is one of our favourite places here in the Southern Touraine area of Centre Val de Loire. It has much to offer as it is steeped in history due its royal patronage over the centuries.


This is the 'must see' chateau of the Loire Valley - the iconic Chenonceau is the one, most, if not all, our guests want to see.

Chateau Villandry

If the Loire Valley is known as the garden of France then at Chateau Villandry we must have the garden of the Loire Valley.
Villandry and its gardens is probably one of the most family orientated chateau within the Loire Valley in that it has a children’s maze (not terribly difficult!) and play area as well as the chateau and gardens for the adults. If you only have time to view a couple of chateaux on your visit to the Loire Valley make sure this is one of them.

1 Review
  • Cleanliness: 10
  • Comfort: 10
  • Condition: 10
  • Facilities: 10
  • Local Amenities: 10
  • Setting: 9
  • Value for Money: 10
9.8 / 10 ahtishiwoo 31 August, 2017

Jim and Pauline were the perfect hosts. Extremely knowledgeable about the region and most helpful with ideas for excursions. Their enthusiasm was infectious. The property is very spacious and comfortable.

Owner response

Many thanks for your positive review -- enjoyed having you!