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Character Property With Country Views

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,152 sq. ft.
Property type barn


About the property

Converted Barn near Bourbon L'Archambault, Allier, Auvergne - Tastefully Converted French Barn In A Peaceful Location

Le Grand Chene. The barn stands within the grounds of the main farmhouse and has been lovingly converted to a large house with a large level patio area and sensory garden leading to the front and a private garden to the rear, laid mainly to lawn with small trees and edged with flower borders.The gite offers modern facilities but still retains it's original style, character and features, with exposed beams and natural stone walls. To the side of the property is a large tiled hallway with massive doors front and rear that can be opened to allow cool breezes through on hot summer days; perfect for evening meals. A wood burning stove has been installed, with hot air ducting, to heat the barn on chilly spring or autumn evenings and throughout the winter. There is ample off-road parking for up to 3 cars in front of the gite. The main property is a small farm of 7 hectares (12 acres), where we keep our 4 horses. There is even an original French bread oven housed within the smallest barn.

Diane Babbage
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english, french
Calendar last updated:
January 10, 2017

About Diane Babbage

Diane and I moved to France in 2008. We came to the country, house hunting, in 2007 and stayed at a gite for the week.

I am a retired policeman and Di has left work in the health service. We love the countryside, horses and being out doors as much as possible.

We love the French way of life with the politeness, food, and the culture. The wine helps as well!

We love the Allier as it is a very unspoilt area of France.

We have enjoyed the work involved in converting the barn into a house and hope that those who visit will love it.

Diane Babbage purchased this barn in 2008

Why Diane Babbage chose Bourbon-l'Archambault

The Allier is a very green and fertile area. It is interspersed with hard wood forests, lakes and open country side.

The villages are all individual in character with fantastic architecture. There are numerous churches and chateaux scattered around. The area is unspoilt clean and fresh. Farming is the main industry with cattle and sheep in abundance.

The towns of Moulins and Vichy are the two main areas of commerce and both are beautiful places.

Further south and still in the Auvergne you have the Massif Central Mountains and the Puy-de-Dome, a national park of 80 extinct volcanoes.

The local people are very welcoming and always helpful.

Bourbon L'Archambault, has retained its medieval history with it's castle and narrow streets. Even on a busy day it is very quiet.

What makes this barn unique

The gite is set in a quiet rural location, in an old traditional farm. It is in an elevated position with wide ranging views. It has very easy access to Bourbon which nestles in a valley about 3kms away.

Guestbook comments from the owner

Jon, Sue and family: "Lovely, spacious, well equipped and peaceful gite. We've had a very relaxing holiday."

Lee, Tessa and family: "Thank you for a memorable stay in a beautiful gite"

Lydia and Andy: "Fantastic place, beautiful location, welcoming hosts. Would love to come back again soon. Still much to explore. Recommend walking up the Puy de Dome and cycling locally"
Apr 2010
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Bourbon-l'Archambault Barn Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • barn
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2152 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • pets considered ...
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Rural
  • Village
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Shower room 1 - toilet , shower
    Shower room 2 - toilet , shower
  • Shower room 1 upstairs contains a toilet, shower cubicle and sink. Shower room 2 downstairs contains a toilet, sink and open shower.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , 1 baby crib
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single
  • Bedroom 1 is a very large double bedroom on the first floor with large wardrobe and dressing table, with views over the surrounding countryside. Bedroom 2 is a large double bedroom on the ground floor with ensuite wet room. There is a wardrobe and chest of drawers. Large double doors open from this bedroom onto the large parking area in front of the gite. Bedroom 3 has 2 single beds and a wardrobe. There are also 2 single beds on the large landing area.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television ...
  • Bicycles
  • Boat ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • Tennis ...
  • 4 bicycles
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair accessible ...
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • hiking
  • swimming
  • tennis
Notes on accommodation: The premises is heated with a log burner and hot air convection around the bedrooms. There are room fans available in hot weather. There is wifi access in the gite. Also provided are: a fire extinguisher, smoke and CO2 detectors, first aid kit, hoover and cleaning materials The garden to the rear is well fenced and suitable for children and dogs. We have an assortment of bicycles which are available for you to hire. If you wish to bring your own horse on holiday with you, stabling and turn out are available for up to 4 horses. Hay can be supplied free of charge but you will need to bring your own hard feed. Outside: The large rear garden is laid mainly to lawn with good fencing, a few mature trees and flower borders. It is a sun trap, facing in a southerly direction. The front garden is in the courtyard to the old farm house. It comprises a large patio area and sensory garden using scented plants in raised planting areas, with many herbs which you are welcome to pick and use for cooking. There is ample parking to the front for up to 3 cars and all off road. A barbecue, garden table and chairs and 2 lounger chairs are available.


5/5 -
(4 traveler reviews)

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Character Property With Country Views
average rating of 5.0 based on 5 reviews


  • 5 of 5

We have been Giting now for about 10 years, with 3 - 5 Gites each year. This is, without doubt, one of the best, if not the best, of all those. The Gite itself is very spacious and comfortable, everything is as listed and described. The owners, Diane and Jerry are present, but not at all intrusive. When we left we felt we had made two new friends. There is enough to do and see in the area to last anybody for a week at least. Thesmall city / large town of Moulins needs at least 2 days to do it justice. We have no hesitation at all in recommending this one with absolute confidence.

  • Submitted: Aug 9, 2015
  • Stayed: July 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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What a Gem.

  • 5 of 5

Absolutely loved our 9 days in this converted barn. Plenty of space and very comfortable place in such a peaceful setting. Great place to relax but needed longer to explore all there was to see and do in the area. Jerry and Diane so helpful with advice and local knowledge.

  • Submitted: Jun 28, 2015
  • Stayed: June 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Two weeks in Summer

  • 5 of 5

As Family with three teenagers we arrived to a very warm welcome after our drive from Calais. The barn - well the photos don't lie - and if anything it's so much better. Three teenagers took over upstairs and loved the quirky building. There is lots and lots of space no matter what people want to do. The Barn & kitchen in particular is fully equipped with everyting you need for an S/C holiday. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, with lots of small villages in the area- one lasting memory being caught in what seemed to be an impromptu mini Brazilian street salsa !! If you are coming here you will already know that you need the car - and to get to "large" towns you need to be prepared to drive. The forest, lake, horse riding were all good. We took off and explored and weren't disappointed. The supermarkets are 5 mins drive away and have everything you need.

Plenty of space in the garden for relaxing, sunbathing, or playing badminton at 9 o'clock at night when a thunderstorm is rolling in - I think we made more noise than the thunder ! All in all a Great two weeks thanks to Jerry and Di for their attentive but not intrusive hospitality. Coridalement from Andrew, Kirsten, Sian, Zander & Sorry (Raichel)

  • Submitted: Sep 6, 2014
  • Stayed: August 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Converted barn near Bourbon L'Archambault

  • 5 of 5

Excellent property just out of the town. Very quiet in the countryside but only 5 minutes into the town so don't feel cut off and isolated. Huge kitchen/diner/lounge beautifully appointed. Fabulous closed in garden at rear with patio furniture for eating out in the glorious sunshine. Gravelled courtyard at the front decked with flowers. 2 beautiful bedrooms upstairs with bathroom and large ground floor bedroom with bathroom attached with shower, toilet and wash basin. Lovely patio door from this bedroom. We went with 3 friends and the 5 of us had plenty of space and thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. Would strongly recommend it.

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2013
  • Stayed: July 2012
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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"A great day out for a family or couple. There is a zoo with a large variety of animals house..."
"This is a museum with a difference in that a medieval castle is being built with building te..."
"This is a most beautifully preserved medieval town on the banks of the River Allier with it'..."
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Gorges de la Sioule
Nearest Airport
68 Miles
Clermont Ferrand
Nearest Barpub
2.5 Miles
Bourbon L'Archambault
Nearest Ferry
200 Miles
Le Havre
Nearest Train
15 Miles
Nearest Motorway
15 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
2.5 Miles
Bourbon L'Archambault
Car: necessary

Special interest holidays:

At La Bussiere Foret we have 7 hectares of land which is used to look after horses. If you are interested in bringing your own horse on holiday,there is turn out space as well as indoor stabling. If you are interested, please ask us for more details.


Although we are in the centre of France and so a long way from the coast, there are several fresh water lakes nearby with beaches for relaxing and swimming.

They are within a 20 minute drive from the house.

There is one particular lake in the Foret de Troncais where the beach is shaded by the nearby trees, much appreciated in the heat of summer.


Direct flights from the UK go to Limoges Airport, 2 and a half hours drive from Bourbon. The nearest airport is in Clermont Ferrand, one hour's drive to us. There are direct flights from the UK to both these airports.

Car hire or use of a car is recommended. We are 5 to 7 hours away from channel ports but the roads are very good and simple to follow and the scenery is beautiful.

Rail access is available to Moulins (25 mins drive from us) from Paris and other destinations.


The medieval town of Bourbon L'Archambault is 4 km away from the house with good facilities including 2 supermarkets, bakers, butchers, greengrocers and bars, as well as an open air swimming pool. There are several good restaurants and for those interested a casino.

Moulins is about 25km away and is the capital of the Allier department. To the south east is the town of Vichy and further south and to the west is the historic city of Clermont Ferrand, this being the heart of the Puy-de-Dome.

Further Details:

This area of France is a hidden treasure. There are beautiful forests and lakes to be explored. There are many churches and historical sites to be seen.

To the north is the Foret de Troncais which is a staggering 22000 hectares of oak and beech, interspersed with lakes both natural and man made. There are the remains of an old industrial iron works where the Eiffel Tower was constructed.

There is an abundance of wild life from wild boar, coypu and deer to birds of prey including kestrels and massive black kites.

Other birds include storks, herons and the hoopoo bird!

There is a wide variety of butterflies and other interesting insects and small animals such as lizards. The area is fantastic for photography.

A few hours south of here will take you to the Puy-de-dome and the Massif Central mountains, a range of extinct volcanoes, fantastic for long hikes across the national park.

There are golf courses in the area and fishing in the lakes.

About 40 minutes away is the race track of Magny Cours which hosts both car and motorcycle racing.

Bourbon L'Archambault has a public open air swimming pool as well as tennis courts.

Moulins has good sports facilities, including an indoor and open air swimming complex, as well as a popular race course. The town has larger super stores as well as an abundance of bars, cafes, restaurants and night clubs in the centre.

The gite leads out onto a very quiet lane with access to the local forest. This is ideal for walking, cycling and horse riding. The lane is quiet enough for wheel chairs and is relatively flat.

Horse riding is available at a number of locations including Chateau d'Ygrande.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional
This calendar has not been updated in over 2 months and the availability shown may not be accurate.

Additional information about rental rates

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable damage deposit $199.73

Booking Notes:
Bookings are taken by telephone or email. A deposit of 100 pounds per week is payable on booking and the remainder is due 6 weeks before the start of your holiday. Please ask about method of payment when you book. Bookings between October 1st and April 30th will be subject to an extra charge for logs.

Changeover Day:
Saturday is the preferred changeover day, but may be flexible. Arrival is after 4pm on changeover day and departure is before 10am.

Notes on prices:
Prices are for the property per week in pounds for up to 6 people for unit 1 and up to 2 people for unit 2. This includes 500kw hours of electricity, gas, bed linen and towels. A refundable damages deposit of 150 euros is requested with the final payment.
Stabling or turn-out can be provided for up to 4 horses at 10 euros only per horse per night DIY or 20 euros only per horse per night full livery.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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