We are Len and Liz Selby and the proud owners of the 17th century Chateau, located in the Chalosse Region of South West France. The chateau is set within 9 acres of land, and since our retirement from full time work, we have spent the last 5 years on ongoing improvements and modernisation of this wonderful old house. Prior to living here Liz worked in the NHS (UK) and Len, a Kiwi by birth, runs his own motor racing parts business. We are now in the final stages of our work to improve Coye, and could use some help. The area is within 1.5 hours of the wonderful Altantic Coast and the Pyrennean mountains. Although in a rural location its within easy strike of towns, villages, etc.
DIY and building projects
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Travellers will benefit from gaining the experience of living and working in an historic Chateau located in rural South West France. Summer weather is gorgeous. The living is very good. Languages spoken are English and French. The area offers plenty of outdoor activities, sports, entertainment, music and arts, plus commerces, etc. Although rural its not isolated from the main stream if you want to go out and find it. You will learn the skills of working with traditional building materials for example lime plaster, renovation of historic buildings and take pleasure in bringing the grounds back to life. Nature abounds, and there will be plenty to interest anyone keen on wildlife and conservation. There are local active groups which focus on language and social exchanges.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
The projects we need help to complete is....
Dead tree felling, log cutting and ground clearance.
Assisting the resident gardener with the vegetable garden.
Watering plants etc.
Waxing and polishing interior wooden floors
Painting external shutters
Help with clearing barns
Help with digging a french drain
Insect protection to loft and barn timberwork.....(all materials used comply and meet strict French Health and Safety requirements)
Renovating back wall of attached cottage (lime plaster)
We have artisans, labour saving equipment etc, to guide and teach.
We can offer self contained accommodation in Le Pigeonnaire (sleeps 4) It has TV, wifi, all mod cons etc. All bedlinen, towels, You will have access to laundry facilities.
We will offer the ingredients for a 'prepare your own breakfast'. A decent lunch and evening dinner will be provided, if you fancy sharing the cooking that's fine, if not, thats fine too. We have a swimming pool and outdoor kitchen terrace (with honesty bar) for you to enjoy as and when. We have a selection of bikes available, and a car will be available most (but not every) afternoon, (subject to clean driving licences etc). If you have your own car then so much the better as we are in quite a remote area.
There is plenty to do and see in your time off. The Atlantic Ocean, the Mountains, kayacking, cycling, walking, watersports, visiting historic french town and villages, In the summer months there are many local festivals and events. . There are Shopping Malls at our nearest city. At weekends, take the opportunity of visiting glamorous Biarritz or cross the border to Northern Coastal Spain to enjoy the food, welcome and fun at St Sebastion for example.... There is loads to do and see, and all within striking distance.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week