We are a couple of ex-teachers originally from the UK, with 2 lovely lively lurchers and one elderly mum, living in a small village in the Hautes Pyrenees - Sariac-Magnoac - just over the border from Gers. We recently moved into the local chateau - although the castle itself was taken down some centuries ago, we are left with a collection of old buildings including a pigeonnier, two large vaulted rooms and even a large chapel.
We both worked with disadvantaged children and young people with special needs in the UK, so we have a real interest in the area of mental health and wellbeing. Eventually, our aim is to offer a relaxing and welcoming space for families and young people dealing with mental health difficulties or SEND.
We offer a relaxed and fun place to stay, with plenty of variety in a quiet rural setting.
Help with Eco Projects
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
We offer a relaxed village life, living the way we do. We are French-speaking and can offer language lessons (if you like!) as well as wonderful views of the countryside, including the Pyrenees themselves.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
We have 8 acres of land split into several fields and a lovely woodland garden, as well as a very overgrown path down to the river Gers. We are looking for help with cutting back overgrown areas: weeding, mowing, digging and planting. We have machines to help (strimmer/brush cutter/ride-on mower/tractor etc) but need outdoor lovers to help us with this part of our project.
We also want to develop some areas into spaces for relaxation - eg a sensory garden, rose garden etc - so we would welcome people with an interest in these kinds of project too.
You will be helping alongside us while we do the work - we will ask you for some strong help but we won't ask you to do anything we would not be doing ourselves.
This host offers a language exchange
This host has indicated that they are interested in sharing their own language or learning a new language.
You can contact them directly for more information.
We can offer a double, twin or single room with private bathroom in our recently renovated house. Kitchen and living room facilities are shared and we have a lovely outdoor terrace and garden with great views for when the weather is good.
We love travelling ourselves, Howard loves his motorbike trips and will be looking forward to going out on rides to discover more about the local area, whilst Ali has visited many countries and speaks several languages.
Our village is small but very international and very friendly. Many of the villagers have lived there all their lives and remember the chateau from their childhood. Everyone we have met has been excited at the thought of it being restored back to life as it is a bit neglected and unloved.
Sariac-Magnoac is a wonderful place to explore the local area, including Gers and the Hautes Pyrenees. There is a small local market on Saturdays in Castelnau-Magnoac (7 mins away) as well as a beautiful lake for swimming etc. Further afield, there are several more lakes for water sports, plenty of beautiful old towns and lovely countryside for walking.
We are 1h 15 from Toulouse, 3 hours from Bordeaux and 30 mins from the foothills of the Pyrenees - for the skiers, we are 1h 20 from the nearest ski resort. So plenty to do including mountain-biking, parachuting, climbing, watersports, hiking, skiing etc.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have fibre internet on site which means that we have excellent wifi.
We have several fields available to park a van if necessary and all facilities available in the main house.
We can accept well-behaved dogs (but please note we have 2 dogs ourselves!).
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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