Le Moulin des Essards
Gite | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 4
Set in peaceful, beautiful surroundings beside an old mill, this former bake house overlooks a tranquil wooded valley, waterfall and millstream. Restored by the English owners who live next door, it is the perfect spot to relax and unwind. Less than 10 minutes away is the pretty town of Balleroy, famous for its château, while the coast, with its fishing ports and miles of sandy beaches, is just ½ hour by car. Also nearby is Bayeux, home of the famous tapestry, while Caen (45mins), offers everything you would expect from the regional capital, including excellent shopping.
Seafood and dairy food are the specialities here and there are many fine restaurants in the area, including a Michelin-starred restaurant in Balleroy itself. Balleroy also has two bars, a supermarket and two boulangeries where you can buy bread, croissants and mouth-watering cakes. In the surrounding countryside are pretty villages, forests, a lakeside leisure centre and wonderful opportunities for walking or cycling, starting on your own doorstep. (Bicycles can be kept under cover in a nearby barn.)
The cottage offers an excellent base for those wishing to explore the D-Day beaches and the many war museums, including those at Arromanches, Bayeux and the renowned Peace Museum at Caen. Mont St Michel is only 1½ hours drive away, and should you fancy a day in Paris, a regular train service runs from Bayeux taking only 2 hours. Just north of Bayeux is the fishing village of Port-en-Bessin, and the Sunday morning market on the quay is well worth a visit.
The area around the cottage is a haven for wildlife, and visitors have reported seeing deer, hares, foxes and kingfishers to name but a few. Egrets, and for the last four years black storks, are occasional visitors.
The owners are happy to answer questions about the area - from the best places to eat to buying a house! - but are equally happy to respect your privacy. You will find lots of information in the gite to help you plan your holiday, including up-to-date leaflets on places to go and things to see.
|Size||Sleeps up to 4, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer (Omaha Beach) 28 km|
|Nearest Amenities||5 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Carpiquet 40 km, Nearest railway: Bayeux 20 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||CD player, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (2), Double beds (1), Cots (1), Dining seats for 4, Lounge seats for 4|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
The cottage is set on a slope overlooking a valley and has accommodation on three floors. On the main floor is the living/dining room, with views of the valley and waterfall. There is an open fireplace with woodburner, and seasoned wood from our woodlands is available and included in price. Stairs lead to the upper and lower floors. At the rear is the kitchen, fully equipped with electric oven, gas hob, microwave, fridge and dishwasher.
On the lower floor is a double bedroom with beamed ceiling; a shower room with WC; a washing machine; and a door leading out to the garden. On the top floor is a twin bedded room with exposed (low) roof timbers and a view of the waterfall.
All rooms have electric convector heaters.
Gas for cooking is included in the price.
Each bed has a non-feather duvet and 2 non-feather pillows per person. The double bed is a standard double. Bedlinen (100% cotton) and towels are available for hire and beds will be made up for when you arrive. Beach towels are not included.
A cot is available on request.
** Free WiFi available on site **
|Further details outdoors|
The private fenced garden has a small area of lawn and a terrace (approached by steps) with garden furniture and a barbecue. There is a private parking area a few yards from the cottage.
Please note -
• Because of the nature of the site and the fairly-steep stairs, the cottage is unsuitable for disabled persons or those with reduced mobility.
• There is unfenced water nearby.
• For practical reasons, we cannot accept dogs.
A security deposit is payable at the time the balance is paid and will be returned after your visit.
The Normandy region
The cottage offers an excellent base for those wishing to explore the D-Day beaches and the many war museums, including those at Arromanches, Bayeux and the renowned Peace Museum at Caen. A visit to the American cemetery at Colville is a moving experience. Below the cemetery lies Omaha Beach with its vast expanse of golden sand, a favourite with children.
A little to the north, in the Manche region, are the wetlands of the Marais, much praised by birdwatchers.
Other attractions that have proved popular include William the Conqueror's castle at Caen, The Haras National at St Lô, Jurques Zoo, picturesque Honfleur (a favourite with artists), and for the more adventurous, A J Hackett's Bungy jump from the Souleuvre Viaduct.
Mont St Michel is only 1½ hours drive away, and should you fancy a day in Paris, a regular train service runs from Bayeux taking only 2 hours.
Balleroy lies on the edge of the beautiful Foret de Cerisy. Its Chateau, designed by Mansart and now owned by the Forbes family of America, offers daily guided tours in English and French. Within the grounds are a Hot Air Balloon museum, a gift shop and a cafe overlooking the knot garden. 4 kms to the north are the beautiful gardens of Planbessin, several times featured on English television.
The historic town of Bayeux is famous for its tapestry depicting the Norman Conquest and the Battle of Hastings. In July it hosts a Medieval Festival, with street markets and entertainers. Just north of Bayeux is the fishing village of Port-en-Bessin, and the Sunday morning market on the quay is well worth a visit.
Also at Port-en-Bessin is the renowned Omaha Beach Golf Course (Two 18-hole courses)
Availability Your dates are available
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16 Oct 2014
"Peaceful, calm and convenient location"
We thoroughly enjoyed our week's stay in this pretty little cottage. The ground floor living accommodation is very comfortable and well equipped and the log burner kept it warm and cosy. The bon… More
16 Sep 2014
We stayed for a week at Le Moulin and it was perfect. A total tranquil peaceful place to stay, the weather was great and it was just perfect after a days sightseeing. It is only a short distance to balleroy and Bayeaux is easily reachable. Regarding the Gite, ,comfortable bed, nice comfortable lounge, the shower was great and all in all couldn't have wanted more. It looks small on the photo which doesn't do it justice, it is on two levels with a further attic bedroom. we really do want to return sometime
Thanks for the lovely comments, pleased that you had such a good time here. Stephen
17 Jul 2014
"Perfect venue for quiet and relaxation"
My wife and I found this a perfect venue from which to base ourselvres in Normandy, and from there reach out to the various WW2 museums and sites. Being fairly centrally located (between the various landing beaches), we found it very easy to plan trips which did not require extensive travelling.
The gite itself met all our needs - comfortable, with all necessary amenities provided. Stephen Buss was a very helpful host, and provided us with guidance on the area, both from a tourist point of view, as well as where to shop, etc.
Very happy with our choice of venue.
Thanks for those kind words & pleased you had such a good time here. Welcome back anytime. Stephen
4 Jul 2014
"The perfect setting for relaxation after full days of exploring the D Day beaches, Bayeux and Falaise."
This little piece of heaven was such a joy to stay in. The Gite covered all our needs and more. Thank you Stephen and Caroline.
You're very welcome, glad you had a good time during your stay here. Pleased to see you again anytime! Stephen
14 Jun 2014
"Fabulous gite in a fabulous location"
My Partner and I had a very pleasant week in this gite. Peaceful and quiet, yet within easy reach of the beaches and towns. The gite was cozy and everything that was needed was provided, it made an excellent base from which to explore, we visited the Normandy beaches and went for walks in the lovely surrounding countryside, cities and towns. Steve and Caroline were the perfect hosts. We would not hesitate to recommend this place and hope to get back there soon again ourselves. Susanne and Kev
Thanks for the great review, pleased you had a good time here, come back anytime! Stephen
2 Jun 2014
Our third time at this gite and it just gets better every time .Peace and tranquility , with lovely views and comfortable beds!!
Glad you're still enjoying it here, and that you still keep finding new things to do in the area. Hope you had a safe journey home, see you again soon I hope. Stephen
23 Apr 2014
"All we could ask for!"
This is a very well maintained property decorated to the standards required in order to have a relaxing holiday. The hosts were always available if needed, but kept themselves well out of sight so as to give guests the utmost privacy! We enjoyed the stay so much that we re-booked for later this year before we left!!
Really pleased you enjoyed the stay, look forward to seeing you again so soon! Come back as many times as you like... Stephen
7 Apr 2014
We stayed at Le Moulin Des Essards for 2 weeks, having arranged the holiday on a bit short notice! The owners were so helpful and welcoming, and we had everything we needed during our stay. We had a fantastic holiday in a truly beautiful part of France- so much to see and do in the area.
Glad we gave you a taste of life in France, good luck with your move, bon courage! Steve & Caroline
24 Mar 2014
"Heaven in France Yet Convenient to Attractions"
That's right... I opened my cottage door every morning to the sound of heaven. All that could be heard were the chirping of birds and the quiet gurgling of a beautiful stream running feet from our cottage. I could turn left and leave the pavement as we were literally at the end of the road. Imagine strolling up a sunken road with Frence hedgerows on either side just breathing the clean air and experiencing true peace. I thought I had stepped into an enchanted fairy tale.
But we were also busy guests because there was much to see and experience regarding the WW2 history of the nearby beaches and small villages. Our cottage was very convenient to all the touristy attractions.
Added fun: A two hour horseback ride through the French country side. I literally rode through a yellow field as if I had jumped into a Van Gogh painting! Bucket list.... Check.
We speak zero French so it was awesome to have our English -speaking host. He was very kind, friendly, and accommodating. Each night he made sure we had adequate wood for our cozy fire where we would sit and plan our next day's adventure.
I want to go back right now! This is the kind of cottage to which you wish to return again and again.
So pleased you enjoyed our little piece of heaven, come again for a top-up! Steve & Caroline
19 Jan 2014
"Perfect getaway in lovely quiet location"
This was a very last-minute getaway to celebrate a joint 50th birthday. The brief was simple: somewhere cosy and out-of-the-way, but close enough to a variety of locations to keep us occupied during the days. Le Moulin des Essards was just that.
We booked with the owner just the day before and Steve couldn't have been more accommodating, even greeting us personally when we arrived at 11pm and showing us around the gite. There is no central heating in the gite - and it was freezing cold when we arrived - but a well-stocked log pile for the log burner, coupled with convector heaters in each room helped take the chill off the place. The generously-supplied bottle of wine helped provide internal heating too!
The gite itself is deceptively spacious, with a lounge area/kitchen on the entrance level and bedrooms above and below. There are steep-ish spiral stairs to the other floors, which would make this unsuitable for anyone with limited mobility. All the facilities you're likely to need for a week or two are provided, including washing machine, ironing facilities, etc. The TV player can be used with the supplied DVD player, but there is no TV reception here.
Despite its remote location (ideal for birdwatching during the day and star-gazing at night) the gite is ideally located for visiting many of the must-see attractions in Normandy. Bayeux is just 30 minutes away, the D-Day beaches and museums (including the American Military Cemetary at Colleville-sur-mer - a very moving experience) just a little further. Even Mont St. Michel is only just over an hour away and well worth a visit. And the best bit? You can leave it all behind in the evening and come back to your own island of calm.
There are many restaurants close by, including a Michelin-starred restaurant just 10 minutes away. We'd highly recommend Le Pommier in Bayeux for the quality of food and friendly service.
Come again in summer, it's even prettier & warmer! Steve & Caroline
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