Join us to create a space for creativity and community in a special part of the Normandy countryside, France


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  • Description


    An amazing colombage (timbered) house and an outbuilding with five bedrooms and rooms for running retreats, a vast barn, a stream, a plunge pool, fresh spring water and a constant show of wildlife. The estate nestles in a hectare of land in a small valley in the ancient and beautiful landscape of the Pays d’Auge in Lower Normandy, France. An hour from the channel coast and ports, two hours from Paris by train and car.

    We are right by an espace naturel, the Coteaux Champ-Genets, known as one of the most important protected natural areas in Normandy, with 15 kinds of orchid, gentian, plus horses sheep and goats.

    I am Finnish former garment technologist and my English husband is a professional trainer who goes to the UK regularly for work. We took up residency here just before Christmas 2016 and we are very excited about the possibilities of this place which is located in a small commune with just 100 inhabitants. We have recently been joined by two outdoor cats and got married here in August 2017.

    There is space for 21 people, whether on holiday or on one of the diverse courses that are planned to begin in April 2018– from arts and nature to wellbeing and personal development. Courses may include writing, painting, music, dance, ecology, wildllife, flora/fauna, dark sky watching and many other areas.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Help in the house

  • Help


    We need help making the place ready - cleaning, organizing and decorating. We are looking for people who enjoy the quiet countryside and are willing to do what needs to be done.

    From August through to the end of the year and beyond there will be further new projects and ongoing work. We are currently in the process of connecting to mains water which will make opening to the public possible.

    Minimum two weeks, maximum 6 months.

    Projects for the third and last quarters of 2017 include:

    - Restore the little cabin over the stream, including replacing wooden floor and repainting
    - Create simple drainage channel system for two outbuildings
    - Clean and prepare a caravan for use
    - Vegetable garden, various actions for the end of season
    - Clearing and restoring stone step area around an old plunge pool
    - Helping to clear site of scrub and small trees
    - Painting bed-frames
    - Making headboards for beds
    - Clearing out old outbuildings
    - Restoring two bikes for use

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Finnish, intermediate Swedish, beginners French and German.

  • Accommodation


    In the winter travelers would stay in the main house and in the summer the guest accommodation is also available. There are bed-spaces for three-four people on work-away, including a double bed space for a couple. We share the same kitchen and living room in the main house. Food provided will be a blend of vegetarian, French, British and Finnish cuisine. There are new beds in the workaway bedrooms. The main house has WiFi and the whole property is fed by spring water, which is safe to to shower in. Bottled water is provided for drinking.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The small towns of Vimoutiers and Gace are 10 minutes by car, approx. 30 minutes by bike. There are bikes available for use (and an amazing countryside to explore) and there are regular trips to the boulangerie, charcuterie and markets. We are two hours from Paris, by train and car; two hours from Dieppe and one hour from Deauville and Caen, both of which have low cost flights in the season (April - October).

  • 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?

    More than two

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Between the two of us we speak English, Finnish and some Swedish, German and French - if you want to practice any of these we are happy to help! We offer a place for quiet refection in a peaceful setting.

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

My Photo Album

Caravan, facing back towards the house - the caravan, as can be seen, needs a clean up and kitting out.
The view form one of the rooms for workaway people - our neighbours at the Tibetan Buddhist centre. At some times of night the Stupa seen here is lit and acts as a beacon when we drive home.
The Maison des Amies, a double-bed room with its own bathroom. Needs some updating.
Another view of the valley. The stable houses an elderly pony and a sheep, owned and looked after by neighbour. The stable needs painting,
main house from the back. The right-hand cellar is planned to be for food storage. The middle two are currently for garden equipment, bikes and wood, and the left-hand one is for utilities.
Winter view of the valley.
The main house. We live here and this is where the first two workaway rooms are, as well as the first guest rooms.
The plunge pool in a small grove of trees, with a view across the valley. Somewhere in this grove a family of red squirrels lives.
The main house by early morning light, January 2017.
The lane at the top of the property, the circuit de Camembert, winding round part of the the commune of Aubry-Le-Panthou, where we live.
The Grange. Possible venue for our wedding celebration. Currently un-refurbished.
Le coteau Champs-Genets, seen from our place - a protected espace naturel. In the early morning and evening it is bathed in light.
We have two neighbours - this is a view from our place of the Institute Tibetain, where the Dalai lama stayed last year.

Host ref number: 957475551612