Ev­ery so of­ten we come across a French prop­erty that knocks us for six. This month, Stephanie Shel­drake dreams of life run­ning a hol­i­day busi­ness from a 16th-cen­tury manor in Nor­mandy

Living France - - Contents -

Stephanie Shel­drake ex­plains why a 16th-cen­tury manor in Nor­mandy is her dream buy

When I dream of a new life in France, it’s the prospect of a fresh chal­lenge that re­ally ap­peals. Nor­mandy may only be a lit­tle hop across the Chan­nel, but the dif­fer­ence in life­style that a move would bring would cer­tainly not be in­signif­i­cant. Nor­mandy’s rolling pas­tures, boun­ti­ful pro­duce, nu­mer­ous sites of historic in­ter­est, and its prox­im­ity to the ports not only ap­peals to me, but equally to holidaymakers, mak­ing this prop­erty for sale a very ap­peal­ing propo­si­tion.

Cur­rently a thriv­ing B&B and gîte busi­ness, this 16th-cen­tury walled manor of­fers not only a new home, but an in­come, too. Bound on one side by a high stone wall, the prop­erty is en­tered by a hand­some stone arch­way and it’s hard not to be im­pressed: the manor sits in a spa­cious court­yard and gar­den and is framed by four two-storey barns with a pond at its cen­tre. Along with a large walled veg­etable gar­den, a pad­dock and cider ap­ple or­chard, the to­tal plot mea­sures some four and a half acres.

The manor is sit­u­ated a mile from historic Bayeux and is 20 min­utes from the beaches used in the D-Day Land­ings. The cur­rent owners of­fer their guests bat­tle­field tours, adding to the ap­peal of this prop­erty as a hol­i­day busi­ness.

The prop­erty is cur­rently able to ac­com­mo­date 15 guests in en-suite rooms, nine in a dor­mi­tory with two shower rooms, plus a fam­ily of five in the self­con­tained cot­tage. The at­trac­tive barns are also suit­able for con­ver­sion mean­ing that this prop­erty would of­fer me just the chal­lenge that I am seek­ing.

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