|Minimum Stay||5 - 7 nights|
Unique rural situation, with stunning sea views, and 17th century towers, set in delightful countryside. Courtyard entrance to the main buildings, garden, orchard. Perfect for barbeque. Viewing terrace. Annexe building with large family room and games room. Close to picturesque harbour of Barfleur and St. Vaast-la-Hougue marina with fishing port and oyster beds. Sandy beaches, good for children + watersports (sailing, windsurfing, kayaking). Tennis. 2 golf courses nearby, riding, country walks. Sights include Normandy Landing beaches and museums, Bayeux Tapestry (1 hour), Mont Saint Michel, medieval towns, Norman churches and cathedrals, etc. 5 mins to supermarket and local markets most days. La Pernelle is 15 miles from Cherbourg port, 70 minutes from Caen and 6 autoroute hours from the Channel Tunnel.
Anthony and Jill Saxton and their two young daughters fell in love with the area (the Val de Saire corner of the Cotentin/Cherbourg Peninsula) on their first visit way back in 1985. They liked it so much that they had a time share for ten years and then bought what has become "Hibou Blanc".
Anthony was a doyen of the international head hunting scene - he still works for some old clients - and Jill was creative director of Mary Quant cosmetics before becoming a mother and mature student of English Literature.
When Anthony was bought out of his old firm they commissioned a remarkable local architect and even more remarkable builder to restore the ruins of an old farm overlooking the sea.
Jill Saxton purchased this in 1998
The views over the sea and port of Saint Vaast are exceptional - as are the views inland of the "bocage".
We love the way you have the whole day - never unbearably hot, even in a heatwave -and rarely very cold. Our days used to consist of windsurfing at the Pointe de Saire, lunch in Saint Vaast and tennis on the Hougue. Now we are older we play golf near Quineville before lunch (moules) in beautiful Barfleur. When the weather is right we take out our boat for fishing or water skiing. And playing on the beaches (with or without grandchildren) has never lost its charm.
Even in winter we love long walks by the sea or in the lanes, followed by a leisurely lunch with visiting friends. The standard of cooking (especially at Hibou Blanc) is high - particularly of fish.
Getting there from UK is normally a doddle - particularly via Cherbourg in season from Poole or Portsmouth. Or via Portsmouth-Caen. Or cross the Channel from Kent and drive down - lovely roads all the way. Meanwhile there is an impeccable train service from Paris St Lazare to Valognes.
Hibou Blanc is literally private and tranquil. But the first-rate supermarket is only five minutes' drive - and a restaurant (with more views) and bistro is ten minutes' walk.
The layout of the house is imaginatively user friendly. For example it's a joy to be cooking whilst still socialising. And the beautiful (heated) slate floors and 3 bathrooms mean you never worry about bringing in sand or mud. The separate laundry room is a boon with wet sandy people (of all ages). And there's an ice machine!
We had a great holiday. The weather was really good and we spent 4 happy days on the beach. We visited the D Day museums and beaches and ate out at the places you recommended.
Our favourite was the Café de France in Barfleur, where we had a lovely lunch before catching the catamaran home.
Your home is so welcoming and had everything a family could need on holiday. We had a BBQ on two evenings which was lovely in September, and we enjoyed the garden.
Many fine, unspoiled sandy beaches on both East and West Coasts. Nearest is 10 minutes drive at Pointe de Saire. West coast is one hour's drive. A Coastguard's path runs along most of the coastline all round the peninsula. The beaches are extremely varied and accessible. Detail maps provided.
Easiest access from UK is via Cherbourg (from Poole or Porstmouth) 15 miles away or Caen/Ouistreham from Portsmouth (70 minutes drive) - both provided by Brittany Ferries. Caen has Carpiquet Airport. The Channel Tunnel is 6 autoroute hours away. Fast trains from Paris to nearby Valognes.
St Vaast-la-Houge and Barfleur sailing and fishing ports are 15 minutes drive. Nearest town is Quettehou - 5 minute drive. Valognes is a big market town, with historical interest and open air swimming pool - 20 minutes drive. Cherbourg has many shops, museums, theatre, cinema, casino, etc, etc - 15 + miles.
In Quettehou there is a good, big supermarket, excellent butcher and bakers, a bank and a post office, restaurants and cafes. Covered tennis court. In St Vaast-la-Hougue there is a good choice of restaurants, bars and cafes - mostly on the harbourside. The famous oysters can be taken away or eaten in situ. Gosselins, with excellent food and a wonderful cellar, is the Cotentin's answer to Fortnum and Mason. Trawlers sell their catch on the quayside in both Barfleur and St Vaast. Both towns have excellent fishmongers.
The nearby island of Tatihou, where you can climb the unusual 17th century Vauban tower, can be reached on foot at low tide or by amphibian craft. Maritime museum, cafe and Bird reserve. Weekly street markets in both towns.
St Vaast has a pay-and-play tennis club on the 'Hougue' with sea on two sides - good for your wind-play.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
Please contact us by email (or mobile phone) to check availability or to make a reservation. A cheque for £200 is payable as a deposit on booking to cover last minute cancellation or damage to the property. The cheque (or balance due) will be returned at the end of the stay. Prices are shown in UK pounds, but may be settled with the euro equivalent. The rental amount is payable in full two weeks before arrival.
Changeover day is negotiable. Mid-week is usually preferred.
Arrival time is usually 4pm and departure is usually 10am to allow for cleaning.
Notes on prices:
Off Peak Pricing:£500 per week for two people. £50 per extra person.