Watermill | 11 bedrooms | sleeps 32
Thue is an 18th century converted Water Mill set in six acres of private land, located in the Vendee region of Western France. Recently converted into The Mill and The Wheelhouse which can be interconnected giving a very large 11 bedroom property, or rented individually. Both are large properties, the Wheelhouse with 4 bedrooms and the Mill with 7.
Each has a private heated pool. Thue is only a 10 minute walk from L'Hermenault, a small farming village. It is ideally situated, combining easy access from Cross Channel Ferry Ports and the fabulous climate found South of the Loire Valley. Facilities include fully equipped kitchens, large lounge areas, two heated swimming pools and large private garden areas surrounded by woodland.
The grounds comprise 6 Acres of garden and woods with shallow stream, cycle track through wooded area, 8m Diameter round pool and a 10m x 5m oval pool, and two large BBQ areas with large fixed stone built BBQs.
3 hours easy drive from the nearest Cross Channel Ferry Port, St Malo and a 50 minute drive to beaches and the bustling fishing town of La Rochelle. Thue is secluded but within 10 minute walking distance of the quiet village of L'Hermenault, which boasts friendly local bars and shops including a fantastic bakery, butchers, post office, supermarket, bank/cask point etc.
|Size||Sleeps up to 32, 11 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||La Tranche Sur Mer 50 km|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||500 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: La Rochelle 50 km, Nearest railway: Fontenay Le Comte 10 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||TV, Video player, CD player, Table tennis, Games room, Safe, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||11 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms of which 4 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (18), Double beds (7), Cots (4), Dining seats for 32, Lounge seats for 20|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Bicycles available, Private fishing lake or river|
|Further details outdoors|
Garden furniture, 2 large stone barbecues, decking area with furniture round pool, table tennis room with table that can be moved outside.
The grounds comprise 6 Acres of garden and woods with shallow stream, cycle track through wooded area
The Poitou-Charentes/Vendee region
Famous for numerous gently sloping beaches which are ideal for water sports or just sunbathing. The region is also noted for the 'Venise Vert' (Green Venice) canal system, and water sports and walking around the Mervent area as well as the Pierre Brune fun park for children. For the connoisseur the Vendee is surrounded on three sides by the Loire, Cognac and Bordeaux. Inland the landscape is dominated by vineyards and sunflower fields with small villages every few miles. Ideal for a quiet holiday in the sun, the Vendee is said to equal anywhere in France for hours of sunshine each year. The climate means the season extends from Easter to late October - the average monthly temperature in September is 70 degrees.
Fontenay le Comte
La Rochelle (www.larochelle.fr/english/index.php) (http://www.larochelle-tourisme.com/en/) is France's 2nd largest boat building port and the historic Vieux Port remains largely unchanged. A daily fish market can be found in the old town until 12:00 midday. The port is very attractive and waterside cafes and restaurants offer arelaxing break. The seafood platters are their speciality and are excellent especially for large groups, where a single huge dish of shellfish is produced. The new marina holds Europe's largest aquarium which is open 365 days a year and has a large selection of fish from highly coloured tropical types to eels and sharks. £4.
Futuroscope (www.futuroscope.com/eng/index.php) is situated near Poitiers, it combines latest cinematic developments with the entertainment and fun of a theme park. there are a dozen or so main attractions comprising some of the largest cinema screens in the world (seven storeys high), 3-d special effects, flight simulators, cinema seats on hydraulic pedestals, all around cinema with picture that extends underneath you, 360degree cinema screens, huge curved screens etc. These all show spectacular 20 minute films on various topics. There are also educational areas showing the history of cinema, and numerous restaurants and cafes. There are a number of smaller attractions also which include pedalos, fun mirrors, slides etc. Be warned though queues in peak holiday periods are massive, best to do this outside main French holiday periods.
Mervent (www.tourisme-sudvendee.com/decouvrezan) is only a short drive ride from L'Hermenault, it has a dam and a large reservoir. The area has been developed with tourism in mind. There are large wooded areas ideal for walking and particularly mountain biking. There are places where pedalos and wind surfers can be hired, and wind surfing lessons are offered at reasonable rates. There are also restaurants, a small zoo and a very extensive fun park known as 'Pierre Brune', which has dozens of rides from castles, crazy bikes, and slides to hamster wheels and see-saws. This is good value at approximately £3.
Venise Vert (www.la-venise-verte.com/english.htm) is the canal system the Vendee is famous for. There are numerous places (Maillezais is one of the best, 20 min drive from L'Hermenault) where small rowing boats can be hired (with or without guides). Maps are provided and you can navigate round canal systems to set routes. The canals range from 20m wide to narrow stretches barely wide enough for the boat. All the canals are completely covered with a very distinctive weed giving them the appearance of flat green land, hence the 'Venise Vert' name. At Maillezais there is also a restaurant, souvenir shop and crazy golf course. A fun day out, though beware, boat hire is more expensive than you would expect.
Puy de Fou (www.puydufou.com/UK) is well worth a visit, by day there is a theme park which includes mediaeval jousting, villages with traditional crafts and actors dressed in the period of the day. The highlight is a twice daily display of falconry. The display is held in an amphitheatre with hawks, falcons and eagles swooping over the crowd and collecting food from the falconers who are dressed in traditional costume. This includes every bird of prey you have ever imagined including some enormous vultures. Great fun and highly professional ! By night during the summer Puy de Fou is renowned for holding France's foremost Son et LumiÃ¨re spectacle. This is a re-enactment of the dress history in full costume by night and includes battle scenes, village life and laser special effects set around a castle and lake. It includes a cast of hundreds of locals and is carried out on Friday and Saturday nights. Every show is sold out in the height of summer, but tickets can be booked in advance. There is also an English translation available on cassette.
Ill de Re is a quiet island off La Rochelle, a new road bridge makes it accessible by car. It is picturesque and has numerous beaches, cafes, towns and parks. Toll bridge approx £10 but free if you cycle or walk out to the island. There is also a very good value golf course on the island.
Cognac (www.ville-cognac.fr/welcome.php3) is approximately 1½ hours drive south and well worth a visit for the connoisseur. In the centre of the town the best tour is that of the Otard distilleries, where cognac has been made for hundreds of years. A sample session follows the tour, but drivers beware, new laws on drink driving are more strict than UK.
Saumur is more for the wine buff, it is similar distance north and this town on the Loire also offers numerous caves (cellars) along with various historic buildings.
St Emilion is 1½ hour drive south of Cognac, this historic wine producing region is for the red wine enthusiasts and boasts excellent tours of vineyards and historic sites.
Beaches in the Vendee are excellent, clean and sandy. The nearest are approximately 40km away and take a little under an hour to reach. There are three resorts next to each other on the coast, la Tranche-sur-Mer, l'Aiguillon-sur-Mer, and la Faute-sur-Mer . All are excellent for families, for the larger more touristy type of resort les Sables-d'Olonne offers full facilities expected of a more commercialised resort. This very popular resort is 70km away and takes approximately 1½ to reach.
Vouvant is a quiet historic town with a church overlooking a valley and river. There is a very good creperie and pedalos can be hired out by the hour. This is ideal for the kids as it is only 15 minutes away.
Equestrian Riding School Farm (www.ripaud-equitation.com) Equestrian Farm riding and discovery school - Beatrice et Bruno RIPAUD, Tel. 02.51.00.81.55 - Fax. 02.51.00.81.55
Karting - Fontenay Le Comte-85
Circuit de la Michetterie.
Route de Niort
Golf: The Vendee is home to five golf courses whose individual characteristics are much-loved by those who play them: five 18-hole courses, four of them on the coast and one in the hinterland. All of them enjoy an exceptionally fine natural setting, with small clumps of trees, woodland, splendid water features and greenery. Each of the courses has its own special characteristics which give them their own charm and subtle playing features. At Saint Jean de Monts, a number of holes on the edge of the beach remind players of the links in Scotland. At Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, the Fontenelles course and its surrounding countryside is one of gentle undulations, maritime pines and green oaks. The Domangere course at La Roche sur Yon is in the Californian style. The course at Port Bourgenay is on an estate covering 85 hectares and is fringed by pine woodland and small lakes. And finally, at Olonne sur Mer, you will encounter the true nature of the Vendeen bocage countryside, with its gently undulating landscapes and lovely lakes.
La Vallee des Singes, Primate Protection Reserve: (www.la-vallee-des-singes.fr/UK/index.html ) 30 species to be discovered at Monkey Valley with shady paths, brooks and waterfalls invite you to explore the calm beauty of its natural countryside. A new sight appears at each turn in the path. Use all of your senses and you will be transported into the fascinating universe of the primates!- 110km, about a 90 minute drive.