Gîtes Guest Guide

Gîtes Lily and Poppy

The house

In 1995 we had been looking for a house to buy near Oxfordshire, which was turning out to be a depressing task on a small budget. We were sent a brochure by an estate agent that had its foreign properties on the back. When we saw what we could potentially have we decided to use the long Easter weekend to come on a fantasy shopping trip. The aim was not to buy a house, just to imagine buying one.

In total the estate agent we contacted showed us 6 houses on the Saturday, but when we saw La Réauté, we said if we can afford it we are going to buy it. He put an offer in for us on Easter day, which was accepted, and with no more thought or planning than that we completely changed our lives.

The house and gîtes are down a track about 80m long, down an alley of young trees. There are fields of horses and cows all around. The area is very green. The buildings are made of a local stone, which is almost purple in colour, and completely unique to the area.

Being 800m, or half a mile from the village of Moyon, the house is very peaceful. People who come to stay are always surprised by how well they sleep. Our nearest neighbours all have 4 feet. We are surrounded by greenery in every direction, for as far as the eye can see, mostly because the area is dotted with natural springs, and Normandy has a generous amount of rainfall! There are lots of walks around us, and the area has lots of footpaths which are suitable for mountain biking and walking.

When we first bought la Réauté our intention was to convert one of the two barns into 2 gîtes. The first one, Gîte Lily was completed in 1996, but for financial reasons the second, Gîte Poppy wasn’t finished until 2006, around the birth of my second daughter. Initially both gîtes were rented out on a permanent basis but in 2010, we rerenovated both gîtes completely, furnished them and started letting them out as holiday cottages.

I hope you’ll feel at home here too. We have put a lot of thought and work into making the gîtes as comfortable as possible, and I hope you will enjoy your stay. We make as much effort as possible to respect the environment, and you should find all the necessary environmentally friendly cleaning products, in the gîte.

The region

The house is located near the village of Moyon, which has a good bakery, butchers, post office, hairdressers, 2 bars and a restaurant, which is open for lunch, and a small supermarket. So most of your daily needs can be accommodated without ever having the need to even take you bicycle.

15 minutes away is the larger town of Saint-Lô, where pretty much everything you could need is available. Unfortunately Saint-Lô was 80% destroyed by the Allied bombings in the Second World War, but if you search you will find some beautiful old buildings that survived. Saint-Lô is the administrative head quarters of La Manche, but is still a quiet town. It has a beautiful National Stud, which is open for visits all year round, and daily during the summer. It has also has a selection of museums, but perhaps most importantly of all it has an excellent swimming pool complex, with 5 basins and a gym, sauna and hamam. On Saturday there is an excellent market in the central square in St- Lô, and with persistence you will normally find a parking place in the old town.

Heading West from Moyon you will soon come to the West coast of La Manche with its beautiful sandy beaches, and the sea is warmed by the ? current. Granville is the main town along this part of the coast and was the birthplace of Christian Dior, and now houses his museum. Granville is a beautiful town, surrounded by the sea, indeed the British once tried to turn it into an island! It has lots of excellent restaurants and boutique shops. A little further along the West coast is the UNESCO site of Mont Saint Michel.

Going North, you travel through the Cotentin, which is a marsh area, often flooded in the winter, and not built on. It is said of this area that when the sea levels rise, the Cotentin will flood permanently and Cherbourg will become an island. In Cherbourg there is the Cité de la Mer, which has one of the French nuclear submarines available to visit and a giant aquarium with huge ray fish that come and stroke you hands when you put them into the basin. My children love this experience (as do I if I am honest). The North coast of La Manche around Cherbourg is certainly worth a visit and is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. You can follow the old Customs Officers path for mile upon mile, which follows the length of the coast.

Going East you come to Caen, which is the largest town in the area, and is the administrative head quarters of Calvados. This also has the areas largest shopping centres Mondeville 1 & 2.

Going South you drive through another area of astounding natural beauty. I have been know to drive an extra exit on the motorway just to look at the view. South is the town of Villedieu-les-Poeles, know for its copper work and bell making facilities.

For those looking for a holiday with a few adventures there are a lot of sporting activities in the area: closest is the riding centre in the village, then canoeing and kayaking on the local river – the Vire, which has rental points in two neighbouring villages. A little further afield is bungy jumping off the Viaduct at Soulevre near Vire. They also have other slightly less terrifying activites which involve being propelled at terrifying speeds, but not necessarily down! There is also a parachuting centre near Granville where you can jump tandem or learn to jump solo, this gives you views of Mont Saint Michel, without the queues. From the same airfield there are also microlight flights.

Facilities in the property

The gîtes, sleep a maximum of 4 adults (or 2 adults + 2 children + 1 baby), and comprise a living room with a sofa, chairs and dining table, a kitchen, a shower room with a washing machine, and upstairs there are two bedrooms. There is a television set with English freeview and French satellite TV. The kitchen has a gas oven, a fridge, a coffee maker, toaster and kettle, pots and pans, crockery and cutlery. We have made it a policy to ensure that the house will be stocked with the following items before your arrival: toilet paper, washing up liquid, tea towels, dustbin liners, all cleaning equipment, and basic kitchen condiments – salt, pepper, sugar, mustard, herbs & spices, etc. Bed linen, bath towels and tea towels are provided.

There are games and activities for children, carefully chosen by our own small kids. There are also dozens of books films in English and French.

You can read more about the gîtes and see more photos on our website:

www.normandierentals.com

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+33 (0)666 803 308

+33 (0)233 05 48 37