managing our large garden, house maintenance projects and dog walks in lovely Gascony, Pyrenees, France

  • Favourited 168 times
  • Last activity: 2 Apr 2024



 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks



  • Description


    Help needed

    We are a friendly, outgoing English couple and have just turned 70 this year! Still young at heart and pretty active but we need help managing our large garden and potager(vegetable plot). We also have some redecorating to do and a room renovation project to finish upstairs. We are also now in the process of selling this beautiful house in order to downsize and so still need help with a lot of sorting, organising and clearing stuff before we move. We haven't sold yet so will be here for a few months yet! We'll be very sad to leave our lovely home of 19 years but it's just getting too big and too much work for us now.

    We fell in love with this house, while touring the region to check out areas we might like to live, about 19 years ago. It was rustic and full of typical Gascony farmhouse character. But it was the breathtaking views to the Pyrenees mountains that won our hearts and we decided to buy it without looking any further. We have been enjoying the French way of life ever since whilst also restoring the house and converting a barn into a gite and running a small business.

    We are situated outside the village of Escanecrabe, in the Haute Garonne, surrounded by rolling countryside, woodland and farmland. It is a haven of peace and tranquility, with wonderful bird and animal life and plenty of wonderful dog walks. There are pretty villages and interesting towns nearby with weekly markets, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants some of which have live music at the weekends. If you want to visit the city of Toulouse, it is only an hour's drive away as is Spain, just over the mountains.

    We love growing our own veggies, cooking, eating and sharing good food and wine with friends, as we will with our workaways! We eat out on our lovely terrace as often as possible enjoying the stunning countryside around us and the mountains beyond.

    We both do a bit of painting and have joined a local art club. Nikki is also a member of a writing group.

  • 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
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We speak English at home, but both have passable French. We have friendly French and Dutch neighbours to chat to. We love to exchange ideas, skills etc. Tony loves to share his practical knowledge and has been a teacher of modelmaking and special effects for TV, stage and film in Scotland. He is a master of recycling and making useful things out of 'nothing'. Nikki was an actress, singer and teacher of drama and also expressive arts before coming to France. She has also lead workshops and taught relaxation and meditation techniques. We both love to paint, when we have time! We are both good cooks and love nothing better than enjoying good food and conversation with friends on our delightful south facing terrace, watching the sun go down over the mountains and listening to the nightly frogs' chorus on our mare (lake). We love bonfires and barbecues.
    We have a reasonable knowledge of the local bird and wildlife.
    We would hope to both impart what knowledge and experience we have but also learn knew things from our workaways.
    We have really loved meeting people from many different countries and backgrounds through 'workaway' and have very much appreciated these cultural exchanges over the last couple of years.

  • Help


    We are looking for either singles or couples to help generally around the house, help look after our animals, walk the dog etc.; help with the gardening, so some gardening knowledge/experience would be useful. We also need help with some maintenance work on the house so any building skills/experience would be great too, but not essential.
    We appreciate people who can show initiative as well as be willing to learn new skills.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

  • Accommodation


    We have a large double bedroom with views of the mountains and separate shower room facilities.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are in a fantastic location for lovers of nature and countryside pursuits, walking, cycling, bird watching, fishing etc. There are some great villages close by with good restaurants and small cafe/bars, some with live music at weekends.

    There are local markets to visit most days. One of our favourites nearby is Boulogne where we enjoy meeting friends for a coffee. There are a couple of bicycles which can be used for recreation. If you have your own transport, great. We can recommend plenty of places to visit. If not we usually take our workawayers out to shop with us to local towns and markets. We have also taken our workaways to evenings with friends, local village repas and get togethers. We always include our workaways in whatever social events are happening during their stay.

    When the sun shines here, which it does a lot, even in winter, we have our meals, including breakfast out on the terrace looking across the garden to the fields and mountains. We love to use the summer kitchen for barbecues with friends and the old bread oven, which Tony re-built outside, for making pizzas.

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Around 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 977363783492

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