Stay with us and our animals in our beautiful old Maison de Maitre and gardens in Saint Marcet, South West France



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    UPDATED October 2020

    We are now looking for help with over the coming months:

    *️ Clearing of attic space and preparation, laying wood ready for insulation and flooring
    * General Garden Maintenance, plant cuttings in greenhouse
    * Tree and hedge trimming
    * Erection of fencing
    * Renovation of furniture (sanding, staining, painting and upholstery)
    * Caring for animals and their accommodation
    * Renovation of fruit cage

    Winter project and for anyone wanting to get stuck into a bigger project
    *️️ Creation of a Winter 'snug' from the original old kitchen

    PLEASE NOTE: Previous experience of using petrol equipment such as a chainsaw, professional strimmer, hedge cutter ESSENTIAL if you are wanting to be involved in tree and hedge work.

    We would like help to renovate and maintain a beautiful old Maison de Maitre and gardens in Saint Marcet, a small rural village in South West France, 1 hour south of Toulouse.

    16 years ago we fell in love with this beautiful house despite the work it needed. For us the amazing space and rural location was perfect for our young family. Its been our greatest pleasure bringing up our 2 daughters with the freedom and relaxed lifestyle we have found here.

    However whilst doing this we haven't managed to get as much work completed as we would have liked. But now our girls are 'all grown up' ..... well kind of ...... the time is available to get on with the renovations.

    We are English and in our late 50s.
    Brian works full time and travels back and forth to Toulouse 3 days during the week, working from home on a Monday & Friday. He has the weekends free and loves all sport and in particular Rugby.
    I, Caroline, am based at home and run a small business selling greetings cards and work part time for a local milliner. What I enjoy most is renovating the house and garden but I need help. I am interested in Permaculture and Eco living. Cooking, anything crafty and animals are also my passions and my hobbies include sewing, stained glass, pottery and willow weaving.

    Our daughters, Harriet, 25yrs, lives and is at University in Montpellier, and Alana, 20yrs, lives and at University in Toulouse. Both pop home occasionally.

    We have some lovely pets; Mowgli our 10yr old dog, Lilly a young dog that arrived in December 2018, who surprised us by having 6 puppies not long after we got her from a rescue centre. We have kept one of the puppies and he is called Teddy !

    We also have Matilda and Harry our cats as well as miniture goats and chickens. Occasionally horses and donkeys come to help by eating the grass in our fields .... there is really too much land but it gives us great privacy !

    We love being outside in the gorgeous weather we are lucky to have in the Summer months, so if you like the idea of coming to Saint Marcet, sharing a glass of wine alongside a good home-cooked meal in exchange for some help, then we would love to meet you.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Improve their language skills, we are predominately an English speaking family. Brian is fluent in French so would be happy to help with French when he is around. Caroline would be able to help with English.
    Learn to use DIY and renovation tools and outdoor machinery.
    Renovation of furniture and a variety painting techniques
    Learn concepts of permacultural living, recycling, upcycling (and real cycling if you fancy riding a bicycle up and down the hills ! ), knowledge of plants, propergation and other general gardening skills.

  • Help


    We are looking for workawayers to help with both indoor and outdoor projects and have listed those currently being undertaken above.

    PLEASE NOTE: Some of the help required is physically demanding so you need to be fit, and have experience working in outside environments.

    *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️ You will need to have your own suitable outdoor clothing, work shoes, gloves etc *️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️*️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️️

    It is very important you can work independently and without supervision at times. You should be someone who likes the countryside, rural locations, the outdoors and animals.

    During Winter months the weather can be extremely cold and variable.
    In the Summer it can be VERY hot and because of this we are happy to be flexible with working times ie. to work early morning and late afternoon/early evening.

    Knowledge of working with electric and petrol tools is necessary for some outdoor work.

    Help with caring for the animals, dog walking and some general household jobs would be expected . Cooking occasionally would be nice too.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    We currently offer a bedroom with a double bed and a sofabed.
    There is use of two shared bathrooms.
    There is also plenty of room outside should anyone want to camp or come with their own motorhome.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We live in a rural farming community area and the village is small with a church, a local baker, tennis courts, a small fishing lake and a very large village hall that occasionally has an event or two happening.

    We have bicycles available to explore the area although they are not new and it is pretty hilly around here. There are some lovely places to go on walks.

    When possible we are happy to take you to and from our nearest towns Saint Gaudens or Boulogne sur Gesse which are approximately 10kms away.
    The nearest main line train station is in St Gaudens and there is a cheap bus service to Toulouse running from Boulogne sur Gesse.

    Local towns have all the shops and amenities you may need, lovely lakes, walks and markets to explore and offer rail and bus links to bigger cities such as Toulouse, Tarbes and Pau.

    The Pyrenees are an hour away by car with a host of activities, including mountain trails for walking and cycling. There are also many places for canoeing, rafting, paragliding, tree climbing adventure parks, Balnea Spas around the villages between us and the Pyrenees.

    Spain is just over an hours' drive away if you fancy practising another language !

    Nearest Airports are Toulouse, with budget airlines Easyjet and Ryanair flying in and, Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrenees (sometimes just known as Lourdes) with Ryanair flying in. There are many other airlines that connect with Toulouse.

    There are train links from both Toulouse and Tarbes to Saint Gaudens and a bus link from Toulouse to Boulogne sur Gesse.
    We can collect you from Saint Gaudens or Boulogne sur Gesse.

    Car shares are often available through blablacar

    Coach/buses to and from Toulouse through megabus, flixbus and ouibus. All offering cheap deals from city to city.

  • 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

    The bedroom available has an area with a sofa and desk to work from and has Wifi access.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have a large gated driveway 20 metres off the road suitable for motorhomes

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We can accept pets but they need to be house trained and able to get along with dogs and cats as we have these ourselves. Prior discussion and agreement is required before we can agree the acceptance of any pet with a host.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Accuracy of profile: (5.0)

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Host ref number: 927722941526