Welcome to our renovation and permaculture project in the Cotentin, Normandy, France

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  • Last activity: 14 Jun 2024



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    Hello everyone!
    We are Upe and Marieke, both artists who fell in love with this old priory. At the moment we are with 3 people, a semi-permanent guest/volunteer, permaculture specialist Chantal from Belgium and a funny cat, a dog and three chickens.
    Our native language is Dutch, but we can also welcome you in French, German, Spanish and English.
    We are working on a major project for the renovation of a beautiful old manor (manoir) and its 9 outbuildings in Normandy.
    The whole site is actually more of a hamlet, set on 6 hectares of meadows with its own pond. It's actually in two communes, Varenguebec and Montsenelle, it's huge. We have two mayors. :))
    We have a variety of jobs to offer including gardening, landscaping, assisting with internal and external renovations of the buildings, building two gîtes, helping to build stone walls, plastering, laying bricks, installing underfloor heating, there is plenty to do!
    We are mainly looking for professionals who have experience with bricolage and other construction work.
    Usually we eat together, a hot meal in the afternoon. We like to cook for you, but we also like it if you surprise us with your own specialities. We grow our own fruit and start growing our own vegetables.
    Although we are in rural France there is a good mix of culture and activities to meet and mingle with the locals or other travellers. There is an excellent bakery 1 km away and the town of La Haye du Puits 5 km away with many facilities such as bars and restaurants and shops. The endless beaches are 15 km away with nice historic villages such as Port-Bail, Sainte Mere-Eglise and Barneville-Carteret. You can walk for days on the many capes along the coast. In the summer there are many flea markets and (jazz) festivals. If you are interested in the ancient culture that lies underground on the property, we have a metal detector. Since the building was founded in 1156, there are probably interesting things waiting to be excavated.
    For those who don't have transport, we are happy to take you to nearby beaches, towns or public transport by car.
    For more impressions of our project, ask us for our links.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    - Restoration projects
    - Gardening
    - Permaculture
    - DIY and bricolage projects

    We offer an versatile and ambitious plan in which we can use (a lot of) specialist (technical) construction supervision. Experience with renovation and masonry is super welcome.

    The regenerative way of farming, learning and making use of nature and its circular processes really appeals to us and a permaculture setup would fit in well with the structure and our plans, so experience and knowledge are very welcome there too!

    If you enjoy cutting down trees and branches with a brushcutter and pulling weeds there's plenty of work to do too.

    Knowledge of food forests, permaculture and the like are most welcome.

  • Help


    Help needed:
    - DIY bricolage
    - plastering
    - bricklaying (with old stones)
    - gardening
    - cooking

    We could really use the help of people with experience in plastering and restoration.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent
    German: Intermediate
    Spanish: Intermediate
    French: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    - four bedrooms in the house
    - two toilets, for the moment one bathroom but soon it will be two
    - unlimited wi-fi
    - bicycles available
    - car transport if needed
    - train station close by
    - outdoor with camper/caravan or tent

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Activities and interesting places nearby:
    • The site of Mont Castre is nearby: ancient stony carrier has remnants from neolithic, gallo-roman et medieval periods.
    • Hikes & Walks along Cape Carteret and La Hague with possibility of paragliding
    • A variety of beautiful and endless beaches along the coastline of La Manche from Avranches to Cherbourg
    • Lovely city of Bayeux, rich in culture and of course the famous Musée de la Tapisserie
    • The lovely historic capital of Contention Coutances with the Notre-Dame Cathedral an example of Norman Gothic art.
    • The Jazz sous les pommiers festival takes place every year in Coutances in the heart of the Cotentin
    • The lovely city of Caen rich in culture
    • Hikes & Walks in Le Mont-Saint-Michel
    • Musée D-Day Omaha Beach, Mémorial de la Bataille de Normandie

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    People who want to work online and use our internet can do so in the common living room. We have Wi-fi, fiber has not yet been installed on the property. Last summer, several people worked online, despite the fact that it is not a super-fast connection, there were regular zoom meetings that could take place without any problems.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    The site certainly offers enough space for campervans. In the courtyard, which is flat, there's room for at least 3 or 4. In the fields is enough space for (many) tents.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We have a cat of our own, her name is Charlie, usually she goes along fine with all the dogs staying with us.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 565595714733

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