|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
The upstairs gite is accessed by a bespoke staircase and has beautiful vaulted ceilings and exposed beams. It has two bedrooms: one with a king-size bed and the other one two single beds. It has an open-plan living/dining room and kitchen with dishwasher, microwave, hob and oven.
There is a TV (with English channels), DVD player and ipod dock. There is also a wood burner for the slightly colder evenings.
The gites are set in a traditional Charentise courtyard and are barns lovingly renovated to provide comfortable modern accommodation whilst still retaining many of the original features. Thus providing a great base to relax and from which to explore this beautiful region and the varied attractions of the Charente-Maritime and Charente. Close to the beautiful historic towns of Cognac, Saintes and St Jean D’Angley but also within easy reach of the lovely beaches of Royan, La Rochelle and the Cote Sauvage.
We are Kelly, Ian, our children Martha and twins Archie & Josie plus Rufus the dog. We have lived here since we bought the house and barns in 2006 and love the beautiful peaceful countryside, large spaces and the fact we were made welcome as soon as we opened the gates to move in. We have renovated the barns and house from top to bottom ourselves and have put all our love and care into making the Gites and gardens a beautiful, relaxing place to holiday and after Nine years and three children! we would not wish to be anywhere else.
Kelly Barlow purchased this barn in 2006
We fell in love with the house and barns as soon as we saw them, and even on a cold January morning we could see how lovely they could be and what a great place Les Grandes Ecures is. Our gites have the benefit of feeling lovely and secluded on the edge of the hamlet with beautiful views of the Sunflower fields and vineyards, but only 10 minutes away from Matha (our nearest town) or for more night life or shopping only 20 minutes from Cognac and 30 from Saintes.
The Gites benefit from beautiful thick stone walls which help keep the rooms cool in the summer, whilest retaining the heat in the winter. The Hanger provides a great place to sit and eat anytime of the day (or just sit and relax) with that all important shade in the summer and the cars are parked in the courtyard the otherside of the gites from the pool and garden so as not to interrupt the views or disturb your holiday.
We live in the house on the otherside of the courtyard from the Gites and are there to provide you with any assistance you may need with your stay (ideas on places to visit or eat) or to leave you in peace to enjoy your relaxing holiday at Les Grandes Ecures.
Really enjoyed our two weeks with Kelly & Ian and Family. Gite was excellent, couldn’t have asked for more with everything you need provided; lovely big garden - the children loved the open space with trampoline and fort and couldn’t keep them out of the swimming pool – was really a great environment to relax and enjoy the sunshine. Kelly and Ian were excellent hosts – nothing was too much trouble even impromptu diving lessons for the children and advice on local wines! Thoroughly recommend a stay.
We enjoyed two weeks here with us upstairs and another family (friends) taking the downstairs Gite. Perfect for anyone looking to get away from it all but close enough to local amenities to not make a bi daily shop a chore.
The two Gites are as new and very well decorated, the pool is spacious and there were several areas to enjoy a break from the sun. At no time did either family feel on top of one another as the area is very large.
Kelly and Ian made us feel very welcome and we settled into our holiday very quickly. While some of the group just enjoyed chilling by the poolside some of us were very lucky to Learn to Water Ski (badly!) and Knee board. we also cycled over 150 miles, tasted Cognac, Star Gaze and Open Water Swam in a local reservoir.
We did stay during a very warm period and fans / AC would have been welcome in the rooms as the plastic mattress protectors were unbearable some nights but then we did have 12 days (out of 14) of unbroken sunshine.
In summary, a great place for one or two families to stay with plenty of things to do provided you are happy to drive of an evening or chill in the covered area by the BBQ of an evening.
Thank you Kelly and Ian
Situated in a quiet sleepy villiage, perfect for my young family. Who enjoyed the great outdoor space, that had lots to keep them entertained. With a swimming pool, trampolines, wooden fort, swings all situated in a beautiful kept garden. The inside of the Gites where amazing. With crisp white bedding and soft fluffy towels. Great kitchen with everything you need for a holiday. Lovely living space with english tv channels and cosy fire for the cooler evening. Your hosts are lovely and nothing is too much trouble for them. Will defiantly be returning. We loved it.
We took both gites for a week with family friends which worked really well sharing the pool and the outside areas. Both gites are nicely decorated and equipped to a high standard. Large grass area with kids equipment around the pool which has a moving cover to allow you to swim if it rains.
Lots to see and do in the area but we mostly stayed put next to the pool as the weather was great.
I stayed here with my family (which includes a 5 and a 7 year old) for 2 weeks in Summer 2014.
The gite is set in a beautiful restored barn, and is fitted out to an exceptionally high standard. There has been a great amount of attention to detail on the fit out here - not overly fussy - just good quality. On the balcony outside the gite is an open, covered area with a hammock - just perfect for reading a book and enjoying a glass of wine.
The pool is well maintained by the owners, Kelly and Ian, and is always clean. There are plenty of toys for the children to play with. It's fair to say that when not out and about, most of our time was spent relaxing around the pool. The children can also play in the extensive garden which has swings and a play-house.
On site there is also a large open sided barn which is perfect for barbecues, games (many board games are provided) or just escaping from the midday sun to listen to some music.
The site itself is surrounded by vineyards and fields of sunflowers. There are miles of small, accessible tracks between these fields which makes this a perfect spot for taking children cycling or walking - or for a morning run!
There is plenty to do locally too. We enjoyed visits to local towns such as Cognac (we visited Remy Martin), Saintes (with its magnificent amphitheatre) and Rochefort (a visit to the Hermione is a must). The Paleosite at Saint-Ceasaire is also a must see attraction.
All in all, this is a perfect location for a restful family holiday - with plenty to do within striking distance. Kelly and Ian are warm, welcoming, perfect hosts, and we found that nothing was too much trouble for them.
The beautiful sandy beaches of Royan, the Cote Sauvage, Le Palmyre (with its wonderful zoo) are all within an hours drive.
There is also the stunning L’île d’Oléron and Ile de Re (close to La Rochelle) to explore (both conntected to the mainland by a bridge) with there salt marshes and oyster beds both within 90 mins.
By car there are various crossings giving you the chocie of the length of drive once in France.
Portsmouth - Cherbourg, Caen, Le Harve, St Malo and Roscoff
Poole - Cherbourg
Dover - Calais
Newhave - Dieppe
By eurotunnel to Calais
By air we are 90 mins from La Rochelle and 2 hours from Bordeaux and Poitiers all connected with budget air lines.
We are located in a small hamlet called Les Grandes Ecures, our nearest town with supermarket, bank etc is called Matha and is 10 mins north. The nearest boulangerie is only 3mins drive away in Migron which also has a mini-supermarket and post office. Cognac and St Jean d'Angley are both only 20 mins away with Saintes only 30 mins and Angouleme 1 hour.
Cognac – situated on the Charente river and home to the world famous cognac distilleries., which offer tours during the summer season. It also offers a wide variety of restaurants and bars to soak up the atmosphere and relax. During the summer there are several festivals, one of which is the blues passion, which attracts bands from all parts of the world.
Saintes – Historic city with a wealth of shops and a well preserved Roman Amphitheatre, triumphal arch, historic churches and abbey. Also based on the Charente where a number of boat trips operate.
St Jean d’Angley – A beautiful medieval old town, with an abbey it has a popular twice weekly market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, it also boast a good selection of bars and restaurants.
La Rochelle – One of the most beautiful cities in the region it has the impressive harbour front, with livley marina and old harbour defenses which are surrounded by a wealth of restuarnts and bars, perfect for watching the world go by. Behind the restaurants is a lovely shopping area with many cobbled arcaded streets. Also a point for many boat trips to Fort Boyard, Ile d’Aix and Ile d’Oleron, and home to a wonderful Aquarium.
Angouleme - Situated on a rocky promontory, surrounded by large boulevards - these stand above the original ramparts that protected the town, with more than 2km of the ramparts remaining intact. A great place to do some serious shopping with a lovely new shopping centre. For motoring enthusiast it host one of the few remaining street rally’s every year in September when classic cars from all over the world come to race around the old town.