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A former farm building, renovated and equipped to a very high standard.

Le Mesnil-Gilbert, France
  • Cottage1248 sq. ft.
  • Bedrooms3
  • Sleeps6
  • Bathrooms3
  • Half Baths0
  • Minimum Stay7 nights

Three bedroom cottage (sleeps 6) in the heart of the Normandy countryside

THIS SUPERB HOLIDAY COTTAGE CONSISTS OF A LIVING ROOM, KITCHEN, 3 DOUBLE BEDROOMS AND 3 TOILETS. The main bedroom has a king size double bed and an en-suite consisting of shower, toilet, hand basin and heated towel rail. The second bedroom also has a king size bed, while the third bedroom has 2 singles. The bathroom has a bath with overhead shower, toilet, hand basin and heated towel rail. There is ample wardrobe and drawer space in all bedrooms. Satellite TV is provided via a “Freesat” box which receives all main UK TV and radio channels. There is also a DVD /CD player, a selection of games, books, DVDs and CDs. We provide a good selection of walking maps and information about places of interest. INCLUDED in the price of your holiday are - electricity, hot water, bed linen, hair dryers, towels (including beach towels), tea towels, logs for wood burner (initial supply), UK “Freesat” satellite TV and radio, high chair, stair-gates, travel cot and mattress if required, and FREE WIFI broadband. The cottage has its own dedicated WIFI router and so has a STRONG BROADBAND WIFI SIGNAL IN ALL ROOMS.

Local Cafés and Restaurants: There are a number of cafés and restaurants serving wonderful food and wine at very reasonable prices. A 3 course lunch for €12-13 euros is the norm. We can advise you on some of the best locally but you will no doubt enjoy finding some for yourself.

There are two local fine dining restaurants (one of which is nationally famous) which we can highly recommended. Your holiday includes a FREE BABYSITTING SERVICE AND TRANSPORT TO AND FROM EITHER OF THESE TWO RESTAURANTS IF REQUIRED. One of these restaurants even does takeaways which we can highly recommend.

Local Amenities : St Pois, which is 5 minutes by car, has a post office, boulangerie, butcher (who does a take-away dish on Thursdays), mini-market, doctor's surgery, pharmacy, hairdresser, a small restaurant and a bar-tabac.

The town of Brécey (10 minutes) has a supermarket and a good selection of other shops. It also has a leisure area which includes an open air swimming pool, a paddling pool and tennis court.

The gîte itself is situated in 2 acres of garden and is surrounded by farmland and woodland. Ideal for walking, cycling or just relaxing. There are a number of walks through woods , along bocage tracks and quiet side roads, directly from the gîte.

In the cottage you will find maps of the locality as well as booklets of marked walks, many of which we have done ourselves and can recommend.

For Children: For children, there is the zoo at Champrepus (30 minutes drive) and the Enchanted Village (for younger children – 10 minutes), as well as Alligator Bay (over 200 alligators and crocodiles!) near Mont St Michel, and the St Malo Aquarium (sharks!). About 30 minutes drive away is the Ange Michel Water Park with flumes, water chutes and slides, as well as many other rides and attractions. 40 minutes away is a large viaduct over a valley where there is a zip wire and a luge which are great for both children and adults. For the more adventurous, there is bungee jumping here too.

Or you could just spend a day on one of the many wonderful sandy beaches of the region. Our favourite is Carolles-Plage (a 45 minute drive) which combines large expanses of sandy beach and rock pools, cliff top walks and fishing for crevettes (shrimps). The latter is practiced both by professional fishermen and just locals catching their supper. Why not give it a try yourself!

Incidentally, the sea here is surprisingly warm during the summer due to the shallows waters of the Baie de Mont St Michel.


John Costello

Member Since 2010
Premier Partner
This HomeAway partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.
Response rate:
Response time:
within a few hours
english, french
Calendar last updated:
Apr 16, 2018
About John Costello

We are Nina and John Costello. We retired in 2005 and bought this property in April that year. We previously lived in Bracknell, Berkshire, where we ran our own small business.

John Costello purchased this Cottage in 2005

Why John Costello chose Le Mesnil-Gilbert

We bought this property because of its superb location in the tranquil Normandy countryside overlooking the River Sée valley. We are on the slopes of Mont Buon, a 209 meter high hill. The view takes in the whole of the Sée valley as far as Avranche on the coast, 26 kms away. It also had the type of garden that we were looking for. As keen (but very amateur) gardeners, it gave us two acres of garden, orchard and field, and also an old farm building to renovate - which is now this holiday cottage.

What makes this Cottage unique

Living here gives us the peace and tranquillity that we wanted for our retirement while still being convenient for all the local amenities. It is also an ideal location for pursuing our interests of walking, cycling, visiting places of architectural and historical interest, lazing on beaches and good eating.


    • Internet
    • Heater
    • Fireplace
    • Satellite or Cable
    • Kids Welcome
    • Washer & Dryer
    • Parking
    • TV
    • No Smoking


      • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
      • Bedroom 1
        1 king
      • Bedroom 2
        1 king
      • Bedroom 3
        2 twin/ single, Cot Available
      • All beds have top quality feather duvets. There is ample wardrobe and drawer space in all bedrooms. Each bedroom has and electric wall heater which is part of the central heating system. There are beautiful views from all bedrooms.


      • 3 Bathrooms
      • En-suite to main bedroom
        toilet, shower, With hand basin and heated towel rail.
      • Main Bathroom
        toilet, combination tub/shower
      • Main Bedroom Ensuite
        toilet, shower
      • All bathrooms have tiled floors, suspended toilets and hand basins.

      Location Type

        • Near The Ocean
        • Rural


            • Away From It All
            • Family
            • Historic
            • Romantic
            • Sports & Activities
            • Tourist Attractions


                • Guests provide their own meals


                    • Local Maps
                    • Basic Soaps
                    • Firewood
                    • Hair Dryer
                    • Heating
                      Electric central heating
                    • Internet
                      Wifi available
                    • Iron & Board
                    • Laundry Soap
                    • Linens Provided
                      All bed linen provided
                    • Living Room
                      Seating for 6 people, TV, DVD player, WIFI
                    • Local Activities Guide
                    • Fireplace
                    • Local Restaurant Guide
                    • Paper Towels
                    • Parking
                      Ample parking for several cars
                    • Parking Off Street
                    • Shampoo
                    • Toilet Paper
                    • Towels Provided
                      Two towels per person, two kitchen towels and one beach towel per person provided
                    • Washing Machine
                    • Wireless Internet
                    • Wood Stove
                      Firewood provided
                    • Free Wifi


                        • Grill
                        • 4 Ring Stove
                        • Coffee Grinder
                        • Coffee Maker
                        • Cooking Utensils
                        • Dishes & Utensils
                        • Dishwasher
                        • Freezer
                        • Blender
                        • Ice Maker
                        • Kitchen
                        • Microwave
                        • Oven
                        • Refrigerator
                        • Stove
                        • Toaster


                            • Child's Highchair
                            • Dining
                              Kitchen/dining room seats 6
                            • Dining Room
                            • comfy seating for 6 people


                                • Books
                                  A good selection of books available
                                • Books for Adults
                                • CD Player
                                • DVD Player
                                • Games
                                  A variety of games and board games provided
                                • Music Library
                                  A good selection of CDs available
                                • Radio
                                • Satellite / Cable
                                • Television
                                  TV receives all BBC & ITV, Channels 4 and 5 and many more UK channels through Freesat
                                • Video Library
                                  A good selection of DVD films available


                                    • Beach Chairs
                                    • Beach Towels
                                    • Deck / Patio
                                      Outdoor eating area in front of cottage
                                    • Golf
                                      Golf course with driving range and clubhouse with restaurant 20 minutes drive away
                                    • Kayak / Canoe
                                      Kayak and canoeing available at Avranches 30 minutes drive away
                                    • Lawn / Garden
                                      Two acres of garden (se photos)
                                    • Outdoor Grill
                                      Charcoal BBQ available (charcoal provided)
                                    • Patio
                                    • Tennis
                                      Tennis available 10 minutes drive away
                                    • Terrace


                                        • Long-term Renters Welcome
                                        • unsuitable for elderly or infirm
                                        • wheelchair inaccessible


                                            • playground
                                            • autumn foliage
                                            • churches
                                            • cinemas
                                            • forests
                                            • library
                                            • museums
                                            • bay/sound
                                            • pond
                                            • recreation center
                                            • restaurants
                                            • ruins
                                            • water parks
                                            • waterfalls
                                            • zoo

                                              Leisure Activities

                                                • beachcombing
                                                • bird watching
                                                • horseback riding
                                                • paddle boating
                                                • scenic drives
                                                • sight seeing
                                                • walking

                                                  Local Services & Businesses

                                                    • ATM/bank
                                                    • Babysitter
                                                    • fitness center
                                                    • groceries
                                                    • hospital
                                                    • medical services

                                                      Sports & Adventure Activities

                                                        • hiking
                                                        • cycling
                                                        • fishing
                                                        • fly fishing
                                                        • freshwater fishing
                                                        • golf
                                                        • equestrian events
                                                        • mountain biking
                                                        • sound/bay fishing
                                                        • swimming
                                                        • tennis
                                                        • wind-surfing


                                                            • We also supply the following consumables: Washing machine detergent Dishwasher detergent Washing up liquid Toilet tissue Kitchen tissue Dishcloths Bin liners

                                                              24 Reviews


                                                              Latest reviews

                                                              wonderful les Bruyeres

                                                              Barry P.

                                                              just returned from 10 days stay in John and Nina's marvellous holiday cottage. any doubts about holidaying here, stop worrying, you won't be disappointed. a great welcome from John and Nina who were on hand for any problems, not that there were any, but not intrusive in any way, delightful hosts. the cottage is equipped with everything anyone could want and very comfortable. it is in a lovely secluded location yet within easy reach of the village and a host of holiday visit destinations. the garden is a work of art and obvious love and attention.

                                                              thanks John & Nina for making our first French trip minus a caravan an amazing experience.

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Many thanks Barry & Helen for taking the time to give us that lovely review. It is very much appreciated and we are delighted you enjoyed your stay here. Hope to see you again one day.

                                                              All Best wishes

                                                              Nina & John

                                                              Well equipped.

                                                              penny s.

                                                              Very helpful and welcoming owners. A comfortable and enjoyable stay. They offered to take and fetch us to a nearby restaurant one evening, so that we could have a glass of wine. What a great service! Lovely countryside, pity we had such a lot of rain, but we did complete a 1000 piece jigsaw.A lot of interesting history in the area.

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              We are glad you were able to find plenty to enjoy despite the weather. You were rather unlucky with your week weather wise but, as you found, there are lots of interesting things to do and places to go despite the weather.

                                                              Many thanks for taking the time to send your comments.

                                                              Nina & John

                                                              A very pretty and well equipped gite in a lovely setting..

                                                              Tracey C.

                                                              We had a very enjoyable holiday here. The gite is very pretty and well equipped, with a lovely garden. The gite is well situated being not too far from a local boulangerie in the local village and from a supermarket in the nearest town, and from all the interesting places to visit. During our stay we went to the landing beaches at Arromanches, canoeing, Mont St Michel at night to name just some of the places we went to visit and also Alligator Bay, St Malo Aquarium and Champrepeus Zoo to satisfy the kids! We would love to come and stay again!

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Thank you very much Tracey for taking the time to give us your lovely review. Nina and I are delighted you and the family enjoyed your stay here and we would be equally delighted to welcome you back again. All best wishes. Nina & John.

                                                              Very comfortable with lovely garden and welcoming owners

                                                              Frances B.

                                                              Booked Les Bruyeres after reading great reviews, not disappointed. Beautiful cottage in peaceful setting with all mod cons and great base for touring Normandy and eastern Brittany. Book it!!

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Thank you very much for taking time to give us that lovely review. Nina and I are glad you enjoyed your holiday here. It was a pleasure having you stay here and hope to see you again in the future.

                                                              "Our" Summer Cottage

                                                              Sarah L.Roseville, Minnesota

                                                              We had a wonderful three week stay at the cottage and hope that we can come back some time in the next couple of years. The cottage is bright and tidy and has all the modern conveniences--dishwasher, washing machine, TV, and many electrical outlets in the all the rooms. The kitchen is well equipped with nice dishes, silverware and cooking pots. (Sometimes we've stayed in other places where it seems like the 3rd best stuff is in the cottage; not this cottage, it's all the best stuff). Our hosts, John and Nina live right next door to the cottage. They are friendly and we saw them often but they were not intrusive. And what can I say about the garden? It is stunning! Finally, the location is convenient to many of the Normandy attractions. We visited the beaches three times in three weeks. Also a nice day trip from Mont St. Michel as well as St. Malo in Brittany. In addition to the "attractions," many of the nearby towns have market days so we were able to get fresh food several times. There is also a nearby grocery store for everyday stuff. All in all we had a great time and I'm already missing Les Bruyeres.

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Thank you Sarah for your very generous review. Nina and I are so very pleased that you and Stuart enjoyed your stay here. We know how important a vacation is and we do our best to help make it a memorable experience. It's lovely that you think of Les Bruyères as your summer cottage. If you did decide to return you would be more than welcome.

                                                              Best wishes.

                                                              Nina and John

                                                              Outstanding property with peaceful serene surroundings & exceptional views. Wonderful helpful hosts.

                                                              Thomas R.Lenox MA

                                                              The property was well defined however the beauty of the location is beyond the description. It is a perfect rental opportunity for 2 couples or a family. It is centrally located making day trips to numerous historical sites in Normandy and Brittany possible. An amazing restored barn that is very comfortable and well fitted out. Large kitchen allows easy food preparation and dining in comfort. The down stairs also has a large living room allowing for relaxation after a day of exploration and a half bath. The upstairs has two nice sized bedrooms (one en-suite) along with a bedroom with twin beds and a full bath with access via the hall. The entire suite was very clean and well maintained. The hosts provided very helpful information pertaining to the area along with a series of moving stories written by local residents that described how civilians were impacted by the WW II occupation. In summary an outstanding rental property with fabulous hosts who were always available on site. We sincerely would like to thank John & Nina for the opportunity to stay at their property and we are hoping we will be able to return in the future. Strongly recommend without and reservations!!

                                                              Owner's Response:

                                                              Nina and I are delighted that you found our cottage and its location so much to your liking. We appreciate how important your holiday is and do our utmost to provide the best facilities we possibly can, so reading your remarks gave us much pleasure. Thank you so much for taking the time to give us this most generous review. It is very much appreciated.


                                                              Le Mesnil-Gilbert, France

                                                              The cottage is set in two acres of gardens and orchards surrounded by open countryside, fields and woodland, with stunning views over the River Sée valley all the way to Avranches, 26 kms away on the coast. It is an ideal centre for exploring Lower Normandy and North Eastern Brittany and for activities such as golf, horse riding, tennis, swimming, cycling and walking. Sites of particular interest such as Le Mont St Michel, the D-Day landing beaches, as well as towns and villages with historical and architectural interest such as Avranches, Bayeaux, Fougéres, and many many others, are easily accessible from here. The beautiful sandy beaches of Normandy are less than an hour away. Normandy is wonderful walking country, and there are literally hundreds of kilometres of memorable walks through the countryside, or along the coast. Cafés and restaurants serving wonderful food and wine at very reasonable prices abound (four course lunches including wine and cider for €10-13) Golf: There is a lovely, undulating 18 hole golf course on the shores of Lake Dathee about 20 minutes drive from here. It is set in beautiful countryside and also has a driving range.


                                                              Additional information about rental rates

                                                              The above prices are weekly rates (Saturday to Saturday). We can often be more flexible about letting periods outside of High Season. We normally take payment in pounds sterling. Payment can be made either by Credit Card or Online Banking or Bank Transfer. We will give you full details of how to make payment once we receive your booking.

                                                              24 Reviews
                                                              Wonderful 4.9/5
                                                              Premier Partner
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                                                              For booking assistance, call 888-640-7927

                                                              Property # 445296