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 two double bedrooms and large shower-room upstairs. There is a second toilet and shower-room downstairs.

Here are some comments from our guest book

Dear Pauline & Jim
Thank you so much for such a lovely beautiful experience in the Loire Valley. We came for 5 days and stayed for 9 in your beautiful home, it made us feel that Sydney, Australia was just around the corner. Your marvellous hospitality was very much appreciated. I wish we could say that we will be back but we are so far away...but we will recommend you to as many people as possible travelling to your wonderful part of the world.

Sharon & Gavin
June 2016

June 30th 2016

Dear Pauline & Jim
Thank you so much for providing such a lovely home for me for my stay in Barrou. You have created a tasteful, peaceful atmosphere in which was a pleasure to stay at home and a treat to return to after a day of exploring nearby villages and countryside on the back roads of rural France. I particularly enjoyed the flowered patio courtyard area for eating meals in the open air and getting inspiration for painting. The 'blue room' was my meditation space. It almost felt like a Vermeer painting come to life. I appreciate your hospitality. The soiree at the restaurant was delightful. You have a lovely group of friends...I am so happy to have found you off the beaten path,

Susan Weeks,
New Mexico,USA

2nd July 2016

Pauline & Jim

It was nice to spend a weekend with my friend Sandy painting and exploring life in the French countryside. I felt totally recharged and I am ready to move on to my next travel destination. I've been to this part of France before and was touched by the kindness and hospitality of the people and inspired by the landscapes and charming villages. Hoping to return here in the near future as I come to France every year!

Thank you and best wishes.
Keiko Tanabe.
San Diego, USA

23rd July 2016

Dear Pauline & Jim

Thank you once again for this lovely home and all your kindness. I stayed here in the 'Old walnut Mill' in 2011 and if anything it is more wonderful than before. I have enjoyed painting in Barrou and the surrounding villages and enjoyed meeting all the locals. Thanks for notifying me of the village walk and patrimoine talk, it was extremely interesting and I met a number of locals. You have wonderful taste in decorating. I look forward to returning next year.

Sandy Beck, Sedona,
Arizona, USA

10th Sept. 2016

Thanks Pauline and Jim for the use of your lovely house. We were blessed with good weather so we were able to make the most of your delightful courtyard for every meal. This is a very beautiful part of France and there are just to many beautiful villages to take in in just one week. Particularly recommend the guided tour of the chateau at La Guerche. Also had a lovely lunch at the 'salon de the' in Angles-sur -l'Anglin...also a nice visit
Thank you for your hospitality and excellent advice.

Until next time,
Richard & Roz Brown,

23rd Sept. 2016

Jim & Pauline, we have enjoyed our stay at the 'Old Walnut Mill' in Barrou so much. We feel relaxed and refreshed after spending a week here. Your cottage is beautifully fitted out and you have thought of everything we could need. The beds were very comfortable and we enjoyed cooking in your well equipped kitchen. We have enjoyed catching up with locals at nearby villages and trying out some very basic French!
The recommendations you gave us proved to be excellent. We loved the restaurant in Le Grand Pressigny, 'Grand Ma's' - wonderful owners. We also enjoyed our visit to Maire and the country feel of the 'Auberge de Vieux Port'. Again, great food very fresh and generous for an incredibly reasonable price!
All in all it has been an experience to remember and we appreciate how easy you have both made it for us from the initial enquiry, to the last day...thank you.

Kate Weir,
Melbourne, Australia

Dear Jim & Pauline,

We were truly delighted to see your lovely cottage. sorry to have been late in arriving but you made us very welcome right from the beginning. The space of the cottage after hotel rooms was wonderful. You even arranged for us to have something to eat at the local restaurant that night, how thoughtful. Tumbling down to brekky each morning in our PJ's was very relaxing. Thank you for the use of everything...and the bubbly. Your hints on places to visit helped us decide on where to go and what to avoid. Thanks for the week. We're very happy to recommend your cottage.

Enjoy your life,
John & Denice
Melbourne, 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 or toddlers.

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!