English couple, living in beautiful, rural France for over 18 years, looking for help with gardening (large vegetable garden) and general maintenance of our 50 acre property.
DIY and building projects
Help around the house
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
The Dordogne, in South West France, and particularly the Perigord Noir, the area in which we are located, is so full of interesting sites that it would be impossible to visit them all during even a lengthy visit. The area is particularly well known for its 'Pre-history' and the best known site here is Lascaux 4 located in Montignac, a 25 minute drive from us and which is definitely worth a visit.
The Dordogne has hundreds of Chateaux ranging from ancient ruins to beautifully restored buildings, many of which are virtually on our doorstep. There are markets every day and night markets where you can buy your food from the various stalls and sit down at long communal tables to eat your meal - you will have the opportunity here to talk to locals and other visitors from all over the world. There are musical concerts, again, almost every evening and in terms of outdoor activities there is canoeing, horse-riding, cycling, walking, swimming in the pristine rivers, zip-wiring, etc, etc, etc.
I am a very keen cook and amongst other things, I enjoy making preserves. I am happy to share this knowledge.
One thing that is not available is 'night-life'. The area is most suited to people who enjoy nature and outdoor activities, visiting historical sites, good food and peace and tranquility. If you are looking for an exciting, 'party' time, then the Dordogne is definitely not for you!
If our workawayer is not a native English speaker, then we can help with improving English. My husband and I are both competent French speakers.
We live in an idyllic, restored farmhouse surrounded by approximately 50 acres of fields and woods, a stream and a little lake. We have a large second home on our property, also lovingly restored, which is rented out, fully, during the high season, to guests. There is a stunning, large swimming pool for the guests and our use.
We try to keep the land and gardens looking as beautiful as possible for us and our guests but the upkeep can become extremely time-consuming for just 2 people. We are looking for an additional person (or a couple) to help us with the gardening and outside maintenance in return for being able to spend time in this truly stunning part of South West France.
I have a large potager (vegetable garden). I require assistance in order to remain on top of all the weeding and heavy lifting that is required to keep the potager in shape over the summer. Daily weeding, planting, harvesting and watering is required here. In addition we have a flower garden which requires weeding and there are several other areas which require daily attention and watering.
We have several animals including 2 dogs, 2 cats and several chickens. The chickens need cleaning out once or twice a week and the (extremely friendly but very energetic) dogs love going on regular walks.
My husband does regular grass cutting, but there are many heavier outside maintenance projects which need to be done during the stay. For those Workawayers who have chain-sawing / tree-cutting experience, we would really appreciate the clearing of some of our extensive woodland . There are fallen trees that need to be cut up and there are trails that need to be cleared so they are more accessible. In addition, we constantly need brush-cutting done, along the stream and in many other areas. The more you would like to do, the more we can find for you!
I am a qualified English teacher (TEFL), and during the summer, from time to time, I host French students (one at a time) who stay with us for a week on an English immersion basis. We are also very social and our workawayers will be included in our activities in our home, meeting new people from all over.
We have a very comfortable fully en-suite guest bedroom available to our workawayers. It has a double bed and therefore, as mentioned above, we would ideally like to host a couple. The bedroom is part of our 2nd house, but has a separate, private entrance. There is plenty of storage in the room and there is also a mini-fridge. The bathroom has a large shower, WC and sink.
The guest bedroom will obviously be spotless on our workawayer's arrival but the daily cleaning of the room will be their own responsibility.
We have recently installed a new internet system which works very well in our house, however, the speeds may be slightly reduced in our Workawayer's room, in which case, access to the internet will be available to our workawayers in the main house.
Our workawayers will be welcome to take all meals with us, unless they wish to eat out from time to time or at a different time from us (in which case, they will need to prepare their own meal). We tend to have a light lunch and our main meal is in the evening.
Please note that our paying guests have priority over the swimming pool, but if they are out, then the pool is also available for use by our workawayer, assuming correct observance of our pool 'rules'.
We do not allow any smoking in or around our property.
A driving license is ESSENTIAL for our workawayer. If you do not come with a car, it is possible that we can loan you ours. Whilst we are not isolated, we are a good 20 minute walk from the nearest small village, but by car, everything is very accessible. We are a 6-7 minute drive from one local village (with a train station, bars, cafes, small shops and important tourist sites) and a 10 minute drive from another. We are 45 minutes drive from Perigueux, our nearest small city (which has a train station with major city connections) and an hours' drive from Bergerac where there is an airport. (Ryanair and Flybe).
Once here, a bike is also fun.
Regarding food, I will provide 'full-board' on the 5 days you are working (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and 'half-board for your 2 days off (breakfast and either lunch or dinner).
From a tourist perspective, the towns of Sarlat and Montignac are each 30 mins drive from us. Les Eyzies is our nearest town (less than 10 mins drive) and although only a very small town, it hosts the National Museum of Pre-history. As such, it is very busy in the season and has several bars and cafes as well as other facilities.
We have just completed our second year with Workaway. Last year, we had a really excellent experience with a young Italian couple who initially came to us for one month but ended up staying for almost 2 months. We were incredibly sad to see them leave! This year, we have had 3 lovely, charming couples stay with us for a month each. It has been great!
We have also had a lot of experience with language students staying with us when we lived in London. At the same time we had au-pairs from all over the world to help with our young twins. When we moved to France and I became a qualified teacher, we started hosting students (children and adults) for immersion in English and have been doing this for over 12 years. We also do 'home exchange' and have done this successfully for 8 years, visiting countries all over the world while living like a local.
I volunteer 3 or 4 times a month at a nearby Old Age Home and have done so for about 4 years. I find it an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience and can therefore appreciate others who like to offer their time, just for the pleasure.
I would re-iterate that the Dordogne offers many, amazing things, a lot of which I have listed above, however, if you are looking for a buzzing night-life, then our project is definitely not for you.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have space for your camper van or motor home
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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