Bungalow | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 7
A spacious yet cosy Charentais bungalow home of honey-coloured brick with large grounds offering peaceful respite. Backs onto 12th-century church, next to Charente river and lavoir in delightful village of Barro in one of France's sunniest regions.
The 110 sq m French country home has 3/4 acre of land (once you shut the gates the kids can run around safely) and is just off the N10 south of the market town of Ruffec. The fairly modern house benefits from being in a rural location next to the Charente river and a short walk to the village lavoir where you can picnic (and even take a dip in the river if you fancy), while also making it a good base to explore the region. The area is known for its sunflower fields.
It's also a very relaxing spot and ideal for those looking to decompress. Previous guests have used the house as a base for painting or yoga.
|Size||Sleeps up to 7, 3 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Chatelaillon-Plage, Charente Maritime 117 km|
|Will consider||House swap, Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Nearest Amenities||2.5 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Angouleme (Brie-Champniers) 35 km, Nearest railway: Ruffec 6 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||Central heating, TV, CD player, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (3), Double beds (2), Dining seats for 8, Lounge seats for 7|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
Within the property, there's free Wi-Fi broadband (bring your own computer/printer). The main TV has satellite television and all UK freeview channels. The triple room (1 bunk bed and 1 single) also has a TV/DVD player (no channels but you can watch DVDs) and a Playstation. DVDs/games are available at the property to use free of charge.
All rooms have stand-up fans, and are equipped with shutters to keep the heat out in summer. In winter, there's a log fire and heaters in all the rooms.
The kitchen is fully equipped, and is ideal for people who like to cook. There's also a Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee machine. (A Phillips Juicer can be available on request).
The dining room has plenty of space, with its own CD player/radio. Previous guests have used the room for yoga or painting.
|Further details outdoors|
The property has large flat grounds where children can play. Children's scooters are available, as well as a child's wooden swing.
NB Please note that since July 2013 the barbecue and pool are no longer available, due to storm damage. However, there is now a small charcoal barbecue that guests can use.
Please note that the interior of this property is NO SMOKING.
This property is all laid to tiles and is flat throughout. There is a 6-inch lip up into the main door and small lips up into the patio doors,. Internal door widths 86cm. Brick corners on the fireplace (see pic Lounge/Salon View 2) may make some see the property as unsuitable for toddlers.
***ENQUIRIES*** Please note that after enquiry, I will return your call between 9am and 9pm British Summer Time.
The Poitou-Charentes/Vendee region
The Charente is one of the sunniest departements in France, renowned for its sunflower fields and Cognac. Once a busy industrial shipping inland waterway, today it is a tranquil land full of vineyards and châteaux, dunes, pine forests and long beaches. Home to the pretty and distinctive towns of La Rochelle, and Vendee, this sun filled region with glorious landscape boasts many resorts and holiday hot spots, all with their own unique charm.
The area was also a strong Resistance area, and you can discover memorials in the area, as well as the Angle d'Or hotel in Ruffec where the Cockleshell Heroes ended up before being taken back to the UK.
Barro, in north Charente and a commune of Ruffec (4km away), is a quiet village lying on the banks of the Charente, only 1 1/2 miles to the picturesque village of Verteuil with its Chateau, where you can pop to the boulangerie for bread, croissants or pains aux chocolat, stop for lunch in the Moulin for pizza or at the Cafe Portebleue for an exceptional value set meal or spend the evening at the Dixieland bar.
The market town of Ruffec (6 mins away) has large supermarkets (Leclerc, Lidl, Leader Price, Intermarche) and a market on Wednesdays and Saturdays (with a British market on the first Wednesday of the month). The town itself has all the amenities you might require from banks to newsagents, cafes and a cinema to estate agents.
Other nearby attractions include Aire de Rejallant where you can picnic, swim in the river, or even take a 2-hour canoe trip downriver back to Barro.
Popular things to do are to browse car boot sales (vide grenier/bric a brac/braderie) on most Sundays in villages in the area. Check the local press for events (also see below).
Other Attractions (within reasonable driving distance) include:
- At Poitiers - FUTUROSCOPE high-tech theme park with Arthur the 4D Adventure. *NEW IN 2011* - Sea Monsters 3D; Giant Vault climbing game.
- La Vallee des Singes (MONKEY VALLEY)--Monkeys, chimps, apes and gorillas where children can join in at feeding time; *NEW IN 2011*=largest area in France for chimps and biggest group of gorillas.
- COGNAC--the home of Remy Martin and Martell -- is only 1 hour away. On the way, stop at Jarnac--the final resting place of former French president, Francois Mitterrand.
- Le Vieux Cormenier (The Old Scarecrow)--a history of rural France as told by the Old Scarecrow;
- Parc Animalier de la Colline Enchantee--Animal park with llamas, ostriches, wallabies and dromedaries;
- Chateau de la Rochefoucauld--16th-century castle where children can dress up; then the town of Rochefoucauld known for its timber-framed houses (although I also know it for the fab chocolate shop);
- Velorail (near Confolens)--a type of railbike;
- Les Grottes de Queroy---Prehistoric Caves at Montbron
- Car & Bike racing at the Circuit Val de Vienne
- Parc Aventure--Adventure Park with rope bridges and zip wires
- La Rochelle and Ile de Re, with its picturesque capital of St-Martin de Re, are about a 2-hour drive, so can still be visited in a day.
For the more adventurous, take the TGV to Paris (one TGV a day to/from Ruffec to Paris), taking 2 1/4 hours each way (www.raileurope.co.uk).
More nearby activities include CYCLING (bikes can be hired in the summer from Rejallant); fishing in the Charente (May-Dec holiday permits available from the hairdresser in Verteuil); rock climbing; karting, ice skating (in winter) and a golf course in Angouleme (40km). Also from March to October, Trois Fontaines lake at Villefagnan for swimming and for fishing (head to Villefagnan mairie for a permit).
2011 EVENTS in Poitou Charentes:
April 25 - Bric a brac - Champagne Mouton
May 1 - Vide Grenier - Nanteuil en Vallee
May 8 - Vide grenier - Aunac
June 16 to 18 - La Rochelle Cliff Diving World Series
June 22 to 3 Aug - Summer Sales
July 5 to 9 - Cognac Blues Passion - 5-day eco-festival with top blues-style performers. 2011 - Morcheeba, Moby, ZZ Top, Jamie Cullum, Texas
July 8 - 11 - Fetes de Cognac - celebration of Cognac, the drink, at the old quay in Cognac
July 17 to 18 - Verteuil en Musique - festival of rock and jazz in the grounds of Verteuil's chateau. Bands include Dr Feelgood and The Big Figure.
July 25 - La Vie Parisienne opera by Offenbach in Civray
August 4th to 7th - Hot Air Balloon cup in Mainfonds (20 miles south of Angouleme)
August 5th to 7th - Charroux - Painters in the Streets
August 7th - Bric a Brac - Ruffec
August 8th to 14th - Confolens Festival
August 21st (3rd Sun in August) - Barro Frairie - 3.30pm Village Fancy Dress Parade; 8pm Hog Roast on lavoir field (can be booked in afternoon); 10pm Dancing on the lavoir field.
September 11 - Braderie/vide grenier - Confolens
September 17 to 25 - Barrobjectif - Photojournalism Exhibition in Barro.
September 17 to 19 - Circuit des Remparts (Vintage car rally/race) - Angouleme
October 2 - Vide Grenier (car boot sale) - Confolens
For more information on the area visit
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10 Apr 2013
"A great relaxing retreat"
Villa Valmary is in a really pretty French village with friendly locals. The villa is spacious and peaceful with a fantastic garden, boasting a beautiful stained glass window at the end, as the village church backs on to it. It's a fantastic base to explore the surrounding countryside or just chill out if you're feeling the need for a tranquil holiday. A great break, thoroughly recommend.
25 Aug 2012
"a great bolthole from the busy world"
I spent a wonderful two weeks with my children staying in Villa Valmary. The house and the garden is extremely spacious which allows lots of freedom for children. Location is excellent - and there i… More
2 Jun 2011
"Wonderful tranquil setting"
Stayed for a long weekend in this lovely bungalow in Barro near Ruffec.Absolutely picture perfect French village surrounded by countryside, but still easy to get to places of interest and even onto Bo… More
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