Beautiful Cottage in Le Ham, Mayenne, Pay De La Loire, France -
Gus and Pauline Barker
- english, french
About Gus and Pauline Barker
Gus and Pauline started the gite in July of 2014 having returned to France after 30 years living overseas, most recently in Australia. They could be described as travelers, having spent most of theirs lives living or traveling overseas for extended periods. Lured back to France by a relaxed lifestyle, not that dissimilar to that of Australia, they've 'set up shop' in the Mayenne, attracted by its rustic and peaceful charm.
Gus and Pauline Barker purchased this Cottage in 2014
Why Gus and Pauline Barker chose Le Ham
The Mayenne is a well kept secret. It may not have the crowd-pulling notoriety and scorching summers of Provence or the mountains of the Pyrenees, but it clearly has its own charm. Escaping the crowds isn't difficult here and Petit Houx is well positioned for traveling in any direction. The beautiful Loire Valley with its monumental chateau and vineyards are all within a two hour drive from the front door. Flights to the UK are easily accessible via Rennes 1hr 45. Only an hour and a half drive from Caen port to us (Brittany ferries) Cherbourg and St Malo are all within a short driving distance using the N12 We chose this region for some of these reasons, also for its proximity to Paris which means we can head up to the city on a whim, or maybe to St Malo for fantastic seafood.
What makes this Cottage unique
Grand Houx, named after the holly that is prevalent around the house, is situated within a short walking distance from the very quiet, pretty, and rather well kept village of Le Ham. The local lake is well stocked, and if you're inclined towards angling, join the locals. On occasions they even have a shared barbeque at the local lake and they always seem to be catching something. Numerous walks surround the house, in fact we're on a rambling trail here. You'll often come across parties of French ramblers making their way past the cottage en-route to their next stop. If cycling (road or trail) is your thing, this is a popular pastime here or at le Foret de Sille de Guillaume. You'll love Petit Houx, but mind your head! 18th century beams are always unforgiving. A great escape! 2017 Travel bonus. If you travel to us with Brittany Ferries we can offer you up to 20% on your crossing with our unique customer code.
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Lovely comfortable Gite
We had a lovely 6 nights in this good gite. The garden is like an oasis which I have missed very much since leaving as it was so relaxing after a busy day out sitting by the pond.
The area and scenery is stunning with so many places to visit.
The gite itself is spacious and well equipped with English TV.
A quirky lay out with two staircases that works very well.
Low beams and doors so mind your head but not a problem and don't be put off of a chance to stay in this gite as full of history being very old.
WiFi only works outside but not a problem hence the sitting by the pond.
Gus was a great host and enjoyed an evening sitting by the pond having a drink together.
Nothing to much trouble and Gus gave good advice on the best places to visit and places to shop.
Highly recommend this gite as an away from it all retreat and the stresses of daily life.
Anyone who wants to come and fix our plumbing is fine by me!
Ray and Denise were the perfect guests, great company, and left the gite in immaculate condition. Great to meet new people and swap stories
Would be great to see them down in the Mayenne again.
5 star guests in every sense.
Thanks guys for leaving the gite...oh so clean
Beautifully located in picturesque French countryside.
We had a wonderful stay at Gus and Pauline's place. The accommodation is charming, very comfortable and we'll set up. It is located very well to explore some wonderful Normandy spots. Gus and Pauline have very good knowledge about the local area, where to shop, eat and explore. We had some lovely chats with Gus and Pauline and will recommend this accommodation to anyone travelling to Normandy.
Great to have you stay. Glad you enjoyed your visit to the Mayanne and Normandy.
Pretty base for our holiday
Pretty base for our trip in France, Gite was lovely and clean, with every home comfort, Gus and Pauline were great host, with helpful advice of the area and places to see.
We're so glad you enjoyed your stay with us. Many thanks.
lovely short break at the Petit Houx - Le Ham
The property was lovely with everything you would need to make yourself comfortable and English telly. The area is very picturesque and every were was easy to get to. I would say that the only issue for us was that we could not find a decent restaurant open selling high quality french cuisine. There are plenty of good supermarkets so you can get French fair from and eat in the Gite. All in all a lovely relaxing break.
We're very glad you enjoyed your stay with us. Thank you for leaving the gite so clean.
Gus and Pauline
Lovely stay at this beautiful give
We really enjoyed our stay at the gite , the owners were very friendly and couldn't be more accommodating to our needs. Lots to see and do around the area and we shall be returning again .
Thanks Steph. Looking forward to having you and your family stay with us again at Petit Houx next time you visit the Mayenne.
Beautiful little getaway
Gus and Pauline are very welcoming and very helpful hosts.
We arrived late in the evening and they had left us wine, cheese and bread which was very nice. They also greeted us on arrival and made sure we had everything we needed, showing us around the gite and offering us a travel cot for our baby. They were very helful all week offering us advise on where to go and things that were on in the area and were a lovely chatty couple.
The accommodation itself was fantastic. We were one of the first to stay and found it well stocked with everything you would need for a stay. The pictures make it look smaler than it actualy is. The living space downstairs was great, and the kitchen was lovely to cook in. We had a few rainy days so made full use of it. Its an ideal place for 2 couples/ family as the 2 bedrooms have seperate staircase and bathroom to themselves so you wont be disturbing the others. The house stays really cool so there was no need for air conditioning (we had 28 degrees during the week and was cool inside).
The area is surronded with little villages and towns with markets during the week. Local boulagarie is 5 minute drive and has a great selection of bread and cakes. Even open Sunday morning! Great walks to little lakes nearby and there are lake side beaches less than 1 hours drive.
This is a perfect place to retreat to and chill and enjoy the rural French life. Caen and Loire are easy drive. Highly Recomend!
Coco Plage at Sille de Guillaume. Sandy beaches alongside popular forested lake resort. Many restaurants/bars there. Water sports, walking, cycling, horse riding, boat trips. 21 klms
Also, similar distance. La Ferte Mace Complexe Touristique, (sandy beach with bars, archery, rafting,climbing wall, boating 26.4 klms
Mezangers (La Gue du Sel) Sandy beach with picnic areas, walking, restaurants, boating. Local chateaux there. 36.3 klms
Airports: Rennes 130 klms 1.5 hrs, Dinard 150 klms 2hrs, Caen 110 klms 1hr 15
Ports: Caen 110 klms 1hr 15, St Malo 150 klms 2hrs, 340 klms 3.5 hrs,
Calais 420 klms 4 hrs, Cherbourg 200 klms 2.5 hrs, Le Havre 190 klms 2 hrs
note: these are all approximate distances and timings
Lassay les Chateaux 3 castles, medieval village. Lovely. Supermarket. 14 klms
Mayenne. One of the oldest castles in France. Lovely town on River. 18 klms
Bagnoles de L'Orne. Spa Town and resort. Restaurants, bars, pedalos 28 klms
Alencon. Hidden Gem, medieval centre. Good restaurants. Cathedral. 36klms
Vitre. Film set material medieval town. Good eating 95 klms
St Suzanne. medieval walled town, castle. History. 36 klms
Le Mans 64 klms
Local supermarkets at. Javron (small) Villaine de Juhel (large) Mayenne (2 large hyper markets)
Local Market days:Ambrieres Sa, Javron Fri, Lassay We, Mayenne Mo,Sa, Villaine Mo
Local Bank and 'hole in the wall' at Javron Les Chapelles 7klms. Boulangerie 1.5 klms at Le Ribay, Bar in the village (Le Ham) 2 mins walk
Excellent day trips from here. le Mans (24 hr race and other events, shopping. St Malo (seafood outstanding and always fresh)
Mont St Michel. World Heritage site
Grandville. Coastal Town with walled fort
Paris three hours, parking nr Eiffel Tour and walk/ or leave the car at Fler and train to centre 2hrs.
Loire valley: Saumur, Angers, Tours, Chinon. Chateaux heaven. 2hrs then plenty of historical monuments and vineyards to visit
Main route to and from Le Ham N12. From here all directions within easy access.