Welcome to our charming fully restored 16th century maison de bourg in the historic quarter of a small riverside town.
You will have a large open plan living room/dining room/kitchen with wood burning stove in an imposing original fireplace, south-facing French doors, a Hi-Fi system, DVD, video player and a UK Sky satellite TV system. The kitchen area is well-equipped with electric double oven, grill, ceramic hob and freezer, together with ample worktops and storage.
There is a utility room/pantry with further storage, fridge, washing machine, microwave and toaster. There is also a downstairs shower room/WC.
The middle floor offers a charming salon with south-facing window above the original stone guard seat and a double futon. This room has double doors opening onto the private covered terrace, which overlooks the River Vienne and offers patio furniture for dining al fresco.
The master bedroom is on this floor. It is west facing with a double bed, feature fireplace, stone washbasin and paneled ceiling.
On the top floor you will have two further double bedrooms. The south facing room has a double bed, exposed roof trusses and features the stone seat used when the house was a guard post. There is a further west facing double bedroom with bunk beds, ideal for children. This room includes a games console, TV, books and toys.
There is also a further room with WC and basin.
La Poste des Gardes offers all the charm of living in old rural France whilst still providing all necessary amenities. The house and the village are steeped in history - why not come and be part of it?
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 3 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||La Rochelle 160 km|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Limoges/Poitiers 65 km, Nearest railway: Poitiers 65 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Pets welcome, Yes, smoking allowed|
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||TV, Video player, CD player, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 En suites and 1 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||1 Sofa beds, Single beds (2), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace|
|Further details indoors|
The ground floor of the house can be accessed from both the street and the seating area to the side. An entrance vestibule from the street leads down a few steps to the large open-plan living room / dining room / kitchen.
The living area boasts an efficient wood burning stove housed in the original imposing feature fireplace. There is a comfortable leather sofa and leather armchairs and plenty of side tables. A television is provided along with a video player and a good selection of films. There is a Sky Freesat satellite system installed to receive UK TV channels. There is also a Hi-Fi and DVD player. The large sideboard holds stationery items and a variety of games for entertainment.
The dining area features a large oak dining table with six traditional French chairs. This is a delightful open and airy room featuring original beamed walls and ceilings, exposed stonework and a stunning tiled floor. The full-height French doors to the south let the sun stream into the room, making this a most enjoyable dining experience. An imposing staircase leads to the upper sitting room opening onto the river terrace.
The kitchen is located in the corner of the open-plan living area. It has an electric double oven cooker with ceramic hob and full-sized grill. There is a large oak chef's buffet with inset granite worktop and storage and a further tiled top free-standing buffet. There is a sink unit and a small freezer. Rustic French wall units provide extra storage.
A door from the kitchen leads into the separate utility room which has plenty of storage shelves, a large original French butcher's table, fridge, microwave, toaster and washing machine.
The main double bedroom on the middle floor faces west and is beautifully warm and bright in the evenings. It has a panelled ceiling, exposed stonework and the original feature fireplace with tiled hearth. A niche houses shelving and the original stone washbasin. There is a traditional French bateau lit, bedside tables, chaise lounge and chest of drawers.
Two further double bedrooms can be found on the top floor. The south facing bedroom has wonderful views up the River Vienne with the original guard post stone window seat. This room has a double bed, triple wardrobe, bedside tables, large chest of drawers and occasional seating.
The west facing bedroom is bathed in light in the evenings with views over the village up to the church. There are bunk beds in this room, a chest of drawers and a large table and chairs. A television is also available and a games console is provided with a large selection of games. An assortment of books and toys are also available in this room and it would be perfect for any children in the party.
The downstairs shower room is accessed from the utility room. It has fully tiled walls and floor, a large shower cubicle, WC and wash basin over a vanity unit offering ample storage. A large mirror and hanging space is provided. There is a further "wet room" on the top floor with a WC, a hand basin and further storage units.
Plenty of magazines, fiction and non-fiction books are provided throughout the house.
The middle floor of the house features a galleried area which forms a charming salon. Under the south facing window you will find the original stone seat used by the guards. This is a relaxing seating area with a futon that can also be used as a double bed. Double French doors lead onto the private covered terrace.
|Further details outdoors|
The house was used as a guard post in centuries gone by due to its prominent location by the river and its views to three sides. The south side offers a small area under the wisteria and vines that can be used for seating. Beyond this is a parking area for several cars.
For guests who prefer more privacy the fully covered terrace on the middle floor is ideal. This is a spacious terrace with both easterly and southerly aspects overlooking the river. The terrace is fully tiled and covered and can be enjoyed even in inclement weather. It offers a dining table and chairs as well as comfy bench seating. The stone walls have been restored to reveal several intriguing niches!
Comprehensive information can be found on our frenchrentalholidays website.
We would ask that guests do not smoke inside the house but we are perfectly happy for guests to smoke on the river terrace or on the outside seating area and we provide an ashtray. We would simply ask that guests take great care not to burn any of the furnishings and that all debris is disposed of properly and not left anywhere on the property.
Free unlimited Wi-Fi broadband internet access is available.
THE VIENNE REGION
The Vienne Département is rich in culture, attractions and activities. In the heart of La Vienne lies the Romanesque city of POITIERS, the largest town in the department and the capital of the Poitou-Charentes region. Poitiers is full of something for everyone: many buildings of historical interest, a lively city centre, stunning architecture, cosmopolitan shopping and regular markets. To relax take a stroll around BLOSSAC PARC, the BOTANICAL GARDENS and the Promenade du Pré l'Abbesse.
Poitiers has been the provincial capital since Gallo-Roman times and its architectural heritage is outstanding. The Chemins de Notre Dame will guide you through ancient neighbourhoods as you discover the city's historical treasures. Exceptional monuments include Notre-Dame-La-Grande church with its evening polychromatic laser light display; Saint-John's Baptistry (the oldest eample of Christian architecture in France) and Saint-Hilaire's church, a World Heritage Monument.
FUTUROSCOPE - POITIERS
The theme park of FUTUROSCOPE celebrates the moving image and is a fascinating melange of theme park, big screen cinema and illusion. Futuroscope offers extreme thrills, images in giant-screen format, breathtaking shows, interactive adventures that will delight your senses, and much much more. Discover over 25 different experiences for all the family that offer a new way of exploring the world in a lush green setting.
There really is something for everyone and one day will not be enough! This year Futuroscope is offering a whirlwind of attractions including the thrilling cinematic ride "La Vienne Dynamique", the breathtaking "Danse avec des Robots", Astromouches, the EcoDingo simulator, Les Animaux du Futur, the eye-opening "Les Yeux Grands Fermés" and the universe of "La Monde des Enfants". Don't miss the sound and light show at dusk as The Blue Note Mystery is a truly magical experience.
MONTMORILLON, the City of Books and the Written Word is a charming Medieval town with winding streets to explore and pavement cafés. There is a well-equipped tourist office here with a comprehensive selection of local guides. Montmorillon hosts a market on Wednesday morning. It has two large supermarkets and can also offer crazy golf, tennis and an equestrian centre.
The abbey of SAINT-SAVIN lies close to Montmorillon and was made a UNESCO World heritage site in 1983 thanks to its exceptional romanesque wall paintings. These are displayed amidst fibreoptic lighting, stained glass windows and wrought iron lamps. You will also find a scenographic tour in the monastic buildings, including films, dioramas and multimedia activities.
ANGLES SUR L'ANGLIN
ANGLES-SUR-L'ANGLIN (north of Saint-Savin) is officially recognised as one of the most beautiful villages in France and is very close to Saint-Savin so there is no excuse not to visit. It's narrow winding streets interspersed with workshops and cafes is simply captivating. The village is also home to the "ROC AUX SORCIERS", a sculpted frieze dating back 15,000 years and discovered in 1950. The visitors' centre offers a fascinating multimedia presentation.
CHÂTEAU DES ORMES - LES ORMES
The CHÂTEAU DES ORMES is a huge presence in the Vienne valley. It was built during the reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV, in 1642 and extended in 1729. It was a regular haunt of many famous writers and philosophers during the Age of Enlightenment.
The castle has now been opened to the public and a visit is highly recommended. The imposing marble gallery, the elegant reception rooms, the original 17th and 18th century kitchens and the refurbished 17th century ice house should all be seen.
DÉFIPLANET - DIENNÉ
DÉFIPLANET at Dienné is a 25 hectare leisure park concentrating on the theme of sustainable development. A unique combination of education and entertainment, this park aims to raise awareness and provides an insight into the life of ancient villages. This is particularly suitable for children as it has many animations and videos as well as "Petit Sabot", the park's mascot.
Petit Sabot shows how man has transformed his way of life and highlights the consequences for the future through the park's five recreated villages complete with gardens and animals. The Magic World of Elves helps us to understand why we must change our lifestyles. We can then pass through the Door of The Future in order to enter interactive kiosks which calculate our carbon footprint.
GENÇAY CASTLE - GENÇAY
GENÇAY is a charming town north of Availles and it highly recommended for a visit. The 18th century fortress was built on the rocky cliff overlooking the River Belle and the River Clouère. It was a supreme defensive location and the castle is an exceptional example of medieval architecture. There is a small fortified castle at the entrance to the main chateau and evidence of curtain walls and towers. The castle made full use of its battery of defences and was almost impregnable. The drawbridge has recently been rebuilt to connect the town to its fortifications.
LES GÉANTS DU CIEL - CHAUVIGNY
Chauvigny, just to the west of Saint-Savin, is a breathtaking sight. The runied Medieval Chateau des Eveques is perched high on a hill and is the showcase for LES GÉANTS DU CIEL. This is a wonderful show - birds from all round the world fly over the ruins of the Bishops' Castle. You can discover kookaburras from Australia, snowy owls, great horned owls, white storks, condors, American parrots, eagles and vultures.
ETHNI'CITÉ - SAINT-RÉMY-SUR CREUSE
The Rémy-Sur-Creuse cave dwellings at ETHNI'CITÉ are a fascinating experience. You will learn about the history of the caves from time time of Richard the Lionheart. There are lots of outdoor exhibitions on a site full of flora and fauna. Ethni'cité is home to the Primitive Technology Centre where you can learn all about the techniques and tools used by our ancestors.
There are plenty workshops for both adults and children. Learn how to make ceramics, jewellery and fire! Use natural pigments to produce colour. Shape and polish flintstone tools and arrowheads. Build wooden dwellings covered with animal skins. Discover the science behind archaeology on the digsite. Try your hand at hunting with javelins. The Garden of Elves and Fairies is a great place for the younger ones to search for the little people.
THE COAST - LA ROCHELLE AND ROYAN
The sophisticated coastal town of LA ROCHELLE can be reached in two hours. It offers some of the best beaches in France, as well as cosmopolitan shops and fine dining. La Rochelle is a historic town that was once the Huguenot capital. The old port in the middle of the town with its two towers symbolises its rich past. Taking time out on a sunny café terrace is a moment of pure pleasure that sets the tone of your holiday. The old town behind the port is perfect for a stroll and is a real voyage of discovery. After passing under the Grosse Horloge (Main Clock) entrance to the city, you can wander through the small streets and under the arches, discover the medieval houses with timber-framed walls and slate, the private luxury residences of the ship-owners and the old market halls. The historic town centre is today bustling with activity with its many shops and events jostling for your attention during the summer days. The University, aquarium (one of the finest in Europe), and large number of events such as the Francofolies, the International Film Festival, the Grand Pavois all bear witness to the vitality of La Rochelle.
At the mouth of the Gironde, ROYAN has been a seaside resort for nearly two centuries. Backing onto the long beach of La Grande Conche – facing due South – the town centre of Royan stands out by virtue of its architecture. The town also has a marina and fishing harbour as well as the landing stage of the ferry for Le Verdon, in the Médoc region. Destroyed during the bombardments of 1945, the town was reconstructed during the 50's. Largely inspired by the Athens Charter, dear to Le Corbusier and other modern architects, Royan was built around an airy urban space, underlined by wide perspectives. The church of Notre-Dame, the central market and the Palais des Congrès are the main witnesses to this. Royan also has a few 'Belle Epoque' villas, spared by the bombs.The sea front, with its restaurants, cafés and shops is particularly lively during the holidays, and especially so in the summer, reinforced with the holding of major events such as fireworks, the 'Un Violon sur le sable' (A violin on the Sand) event, International Jumping…. All along the coast of Royan, there are a large number of walks and bike rides. Finally, located in the middle of a magnificent tourist and seaside resort, Royan is an ideal departure point to explore this exceptional environment and enjoy the many activities on offer.
THE COAST - ÎLE DE RÉ
ÎLE DE RÉ has been linked to the Continent since 1988, but remains an island in every sense of the word. Jewel of the Atlantic coast, the Île de Ré has preserved all its charm and authenticity. Classed as a protected site, it will win you over with the beauty of its preserved landscapes and villages of green-shuttered white houses, criss-crossed with little alleys where hollyhocks abound. With more than 100km of cycle tracks, the whole of the Île de Ré is accessible by bike. Cycling across the marshes in the North of the island, between Ars-en-Ré and Loix is a unique, unforgettable moment. In the middle of these fascinating salt marshes – where a large number of salt makers still work – you will discover flora and fauna proper to the area.
The reserve of Lilleau-des-Niges at the Portes-en-Ré groups together nearly 300 bird species. The light here, alternately bright or gentle, is also a real enchantment. The long, sandy beaches of the East coast are as much places to relax as to enjoy the wide range of activities on offer, such as sailing, surfing and kite-surfing, that is becoming highly popular here. The forests of maritime pines that line the beaches are also to be discovered. Inland, there are vines, market gardens and forests. Right up in the North, an immense beach awaits you, not far from the famous forest of Trousse-Chemise, mentioned in the song by Nougaro. Île de Ré also has the very pretty harbours of Saint-Martin and La Flotte – unmissable stopovers on the dream voyage that is the Île de Ré.
The Limousine city of LIMOGES, world famous for its exquisite china and craft shops, is only an hour away. Limoges is a town of art and history as well as being the regional capital of Limousin. World famous for its porcelain, Limoges is also a city full of other riches waiting to be discovered. Its parks and gardens are amongst the most beautiful in France and its fabulous monuments are breathtaking.
The Benedictine monastery, the Adrien-Dubouché museum, and the cathedral must not be missed. Its streets are full of history and its centre between the "granes halles" and the Denis-Dussoubs square is magnificent. A visit to the Abbessaille quarter and the port of Naveix gives a glimpse into the rich history of the city.
PARC BELLEVUE - LIMOGES
PARC BELLEVUE is situated just north-west of Limoges near Bellegarde Airport. It is a great day out for all the family with all sorts of games and amusements, akin to a traditional amusement park. No matter what age you are, you will find something here for you. It is especially suitable for younger children.
There is an outdoor swimming pool, a small train track, a go-kart track, a four-lane slalom piste, trampolines, boats, dodgem cars, mini golf, motorised carts, an aerial assault course and all the traditional fairground rides. There is a large café and plenty of picnic areas as well as a small animal farm.
MORE PLACES TO VISIT
For those who love the classical world, the Gallo-Roman site at Sanxay to the west of Poitiers is a listed National Monument. and the abbey at Nouaille-Maupertuis is also worth a visit. Other towns that offer a fascinating insight into the Poitou-Charentes region are: Loudun with its old town around the 'square tower'; Moncontour, a small town with a fascinating history and the nearby Chateau Oiron; Civray, for its magnificent medieval buildings and the Saint-Nicolas church and Chatellerault, 'Descartes town' for the Saint-Jacques church and the 17th century bridge.
Availles-Limouzine is a pretty medieval village on the banks of the beautiful River Vienne. It offers all the charm of living in old rural France whilst still providing all necessary amenities such as supermarkets, newsagent, bakeries, butchers, pharmacy, restaurant, bar, bank, post office and tourist information office. There is a farmers' market every Sunday morning selling the freshest produce you can imagine at great prices.
The municipal park just over the river has a small swimming pool and you can hire canoes, water bikes, electric boats, and go-karts. There is also a mini-golf course, boules pitch, basketball pitch, a well-equipped playground and several picnic areas. Availles is a fisherman's paradise. INTERNATIONAL FISHING takes place here due to the easy access and the good river bank length. Bolognaise, English, feeder and cane fishing are very popular. The newsagent sells equipment and licences. The VILLATE EQUESTRIAN FARM is 5 minutes' walk from the house.
It is a ranch on 50 hectares on the edge of the river and has two certified instructors who can take you on relaxing horseback rides in the "Little Switzerland" area on the edge of the river. The team at Les Beaupinières can offer you a fantastic experience at deval karts and it's only 10 minutes' walk from the house. This is a privately-owned facility on 500 hectares where instructors will introduce you to 4x4, quad, via ferata, Tyrolean cable slide, dog teaming and bovouacing. You are guaranteed to have fun-filled adventure here.
LE PARADIS DES FLEURS ET DES OISEAUX - AVAILLES
The ENGLISH GARDEN was created recently and can be found in the north of the village. It is a veritable paradise surrounded by hedges, trees and flower beds. There are over 600 varieties of roses, perennials and shrubs. It is a haven for nesting birds and provides a pond for all the frogs!
CIRCUIT VAL DI VIENNE - LE VIGEANT
This race track at LE VIGEANT is accredited by the Motor Sports Federation of France. It is 3757 metres long and one of the best in the country. The track, its equipment and services are available for private or shared use. Instructors are happy to give you an hour's training session, a weekend meeting or a whole week event! They can offer you an introduction to racing and provide courses for all abilities and budgets. Just visit the CIRCUIT-VALDEVIENNE website and look at "manifestations" for all the upcoming rave meetings and events.
LA FERME DE LA VALLÉE DES CERFS - LUCHAPT
This 54 hectare farm in LA VALLÉE DES CERFS is 10 minute drive from the village and is home to 250 deer. You will also find donkeys, horses and ponies so this is ideal for all the family. You can reserve farm produce tastings, dog cart tours and horse rides. Horse rides will take you through the countryside, helping you to discover the valleys, the history and the cuisine of the region. The horses and ponies are used exclusively for trail rides and are matched to each person's riding ability. Trips range from half a day to a full week. Call in at THE DRAUGHT HORSE MUSEUM onsite.
ABBAYE SAINT SAUVEUR - CHARROUX
Not only is Charroux a charming village with 16th century markets and ancient houses; it also boasts the ABBEY OF ST SAVIOUR, which was one of the most powerful Benedictine abbeys in the Middle Ages. It was ruined during the Wars of Religion and finally destroyed in the Revolution. Its famous octagonal tower (known as Charlemagne's Tower) has remarkable Gothic sculptures and is now classified among the major Poitevin sites of the Middle Ages. Visit the Lapidaire Museum while you are there.
THE MEDIEVAL TOWN OF CONFOLENS
This beautiful town lies directly between Angouleme, Limoges and Poitiers and is only 20 minutes from the house. It takes its name from its position at the confluence of the Vienne and Goire rivers. It is also at the point where the Charente region meets the Limousin region, hence the name Charente Limousine, sometimes used to describe the area. This pictureque medieval town grew up on the right bank of the Vienne at the foot of an 11th century fortress. CONFOLENS still has an abundance of timber-framed houses from the 15th century, the most imposing of which is the house of the Duc d'Epernon on the Rue du Soleil. The left bank began as an area where tanners honed their craft.
The Pont Vieux is said to have originated in Roman times but what you can see today dates from the 14th century. The bridge is an imposing feature of the town. It originally boasted three towers, which are represented on the town's coat of arms and had a drawbridge to the Quartier de la Fontorse. In 1615 the drawbridge was swept away by flooding and several arches had to be rebuilt. The bridge is 126 metres long and has nine arches plus a tenth that was added when the drawbridge was lost. Before the water level was raised in the late twentieth century, low water conditions during the summer revealed the substructures of the original three towers on the first, fourth and ninth arches.
Besides its medieval heritage, Confolens is also a modern town deserving several hours of your time. In particular its FESTIVAL OF ART AND TRADITION, which takes place over several days every August, has become a famous international event, earning the town the name of "Cité Vivante". Wandering through the picturesque streets or along the beautiful river banks is an absolute delight.