|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
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 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
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.
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.
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"
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable damage deposit||$185|
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.
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.