Building, gardening, self-sufficiency, chaos and creativity in Pas-de-Calais, Northern France :)



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  • Description


    We; Nik 52yrs (English/German) and Donna (New Zealander) have bought a run-down farmhouse and outbuildings on 1/2 acre in Northern France.

    Nik is a potter by trade and also an experienced builder and we are attempting to renovate the property, to a very high standard - so the process is slow. We have completed our guest accommodation (B&B and small holiday cottage) and we offer these spaces to our workawayers when they are not booked by clients. We have a fab kitchen/dining space in our house and how we need to tackle the rest of the house...

    We are tackling the renovation ourselves; doing all the concreting, woodwork, repairing old mud walls and making our own roof tiles, floor tiles and bathroom tiles etc. We have built a woodwork shop and a pottery in our old barn.

    We have been Workaway hosts for 5+ years and really enjoy meeting a huge variety of people - we learn as much from our guests as they do from us :)

    We have an extensive garden and we keep chickens. And we have 2 cats and 2 Jack Russells. We eat well from the garden and orchard, and love to process our own produce when we have the time (time being the key word!).

    Our life is a combination of self-sufficiency, good living and utter chaos!

    This part of France is charming and unspoiled - but local transport is not easy and it is not a usual holiday destination. That said, if you want to experience a different culture and maybe learn some new skills, we would benefit greatly from your help and enthusiasm!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Help in the house

  • Help


    Depending on the state of our project, you could help with building (timber framing, concreting, repairing mud walls) or limewash, painting and decorating. There is always help needed in the garden (weeding and planting) and in late summer, processing the produce (sauces, jams, pickles etc). Most of the tasks are physical, often dirty - but hopefully always rewarding. We don't ask you to do any physical tasks that we wouldn't undertake ourselves.
    We try to make your role varied and sociable (working with one of us or another workawayer if possible). We eat together for lunch and dinner and we like to socialise with our guests most evenings - that said, you are also very welcome to do your own thing.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, French, German

  • Accommodation


    You will have your own private bedroom and bathroom.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    UPDATE Jan 2019: Bonne Annee. Donna is working this year (to pay for the renovations!) so is away 3 nights a week. We are still taking workawayers over winter, though we will admit the region is kinda dull and there is not as much happening. We still love to meet new faces though and we have a lot of clearing and demolition to do Jan-March before hitting the garden in the springtime.


    In all cases, do please get in touch because the situation can quickly change.

    No previous skill required, just a willingness to muck in and learn on the job.

    In the summer, we generally recommend a stay of 10 days to 2 weeks - we will fit in as much variety & socialising as we can during that time, but there is not a lot to do here on your time off, particularly if you don't have your own transport.

    The north of France is not as glamorous or warm as the south! Spring and Summer are normally lovely but it can be cold and damp in Autumn and Winter. We live in a quiet rural region which is charming and unspoiled. We are within easy biking distance of a town with shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars (and you are welcome to borrow bikes). But no clubs... and be warned, in rural France, the nightlife is over by about 9pm :-)

    We are about 40 minutes drive from gorgeous sandy coastal beaches. If you have a car there is lots of explore - if not, we will try to include you in anything we are doing.

    We are 1-1.5 hours from Calais & Boulogne and we would make an ideal first stop if you are planning to explore more of France.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week - or equivalent there-of.

Host ref number: 14692996244b