In the depths of the Pays de la Loire, Mayenne department of France sits a beautiful calm space of 9 acres with a converted farm house and outbuildings. Bordered by the Colmont river, on one edge and surrounded by working farm land, the house has four bedrooms, two with completed ensuite bathrooms and two with bathrooms in progress.
We bought the uninhabited property over 20 years ago and completed lots of work such as re-roofing the house and barns, connecting to electricity, water and building our own "Fosse Septic" for sewerage. Sadly after many years of my husbands' illness, works slowed and eventually came to a halt.
For the last 3 years I have been trying to get back on track with renovations and have had the grounds around the house cleared of brambles and landscaped, as well as getting a new staircase and flooring in the house. The house is perfect for lots of people and I often have friends that come to visit and help with the many jobs that need more than one pair of hands. I love to host and always have an open door for any visitors
The nearest village is 4km away and has a traditional bakery, a bar restaurant, village shop and post office. The nearest town is 10 km with several places to visit within 30 minutes drive. There is no public transport so some form of transport is required.
Well behaved pets are more than welcome but the land is not enclosed and there are sometimes cattle in neighbouring fields so please be sure that you can keep them under control.
Types of help and learning opportunitiesGardeningGeneral MaintenanceCreating/ Cooking family mealsHelp with Eco ProjectsHelp around the house
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
Emersion into the local rural culture, small village life, improve your French and English. By preparing meals for everyone and sharing food and cultures we can all learn from each other.
The property consists of a converted stone farm house with outbuildings. The house itself has 4 bedrooms, all planned to have bathrooms en-suite, two are finished, two need fixtures and fittings plumbing in, so experience in basic plumbing / DIY would be great. There is also some interior decorating to be done.
On the outside one barn needs clearing of ivy and all need the stone walls pointing. All is quite time consuming but am after a rustic look so perfection is not a requirement.
The land is mainly self seeded woodland with some riverside water meadow and has paths, both natural made by deer and wild boar and mown to allow access whilst keeping as much to nature as possible. Some clearance of brambles and tree maintenance is always needed and there is a project this year to start a vegetable garden near the house, which will need to be protected from the wildlife. Again whilst experience in land management/ garden planning would be great it is not necessary so just bring your imagination and passion to make a difference.
There are two double en-suite rooms. Also available are two twin rooms with bathrooms in progress and use of a house bathroom.
For anyone wanting to sleep in the great outdoors, there are several places to pitch your tent or string your hammock, with use of the facilities in the house.
Breakfast, of fresh French bread, croissant with Jam's etc, tea and coffee will be supplied along with either a lunch or dinner. Food uses local ingredients where ever possible. The kitchen is available for anyone to use and if you like cooking or want to have a go at feeding everyone, you are more than welcome.
What else ...
A short drive away there are historic towns of Mayenne and Fougeres with their chateau open to visitors. For the more adventurous the Mayenne river has Kayaking, horse riding, great cycle routes. There are also lots of amazing market towns with fresh local produce for sale.
One of my favorite day's out is to the many brocantes in the areas, there are also a lot of fairs in the neighbouring towns and villages. The closest villaage has several dinner/dance nights that are great fun and an amazing way to join in with all the locals at leisure.
Fishing is possible in the river and local ponds (day permits required). Plenty of wildlife and bird watching, rural walks all available from the house. Cycle routes following old railway lines start 10km away.
There is no local public transport, the nearest train station is Laval (40km), so some form of transport is a must.
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
How many Workawayers can stay?
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week