Per­fect bolt-holes for life en famille

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

plus have been on a hol­i­day with their par­ents, chil­dren or grand­chil­dren within the past five years.

Such fam­ily gath­er­ings re­quire homes that meet the dif­fer­ent needs of vary­ing age groups. Whether it is splash­ing in a pad­dling pool or snooz­ing in a ham­mock, the chal­lenge is to find a hol­i­day bolt-hole that works for ev­ery­one.

For Bourchier, the an­swer was found in France. With its di­verse coun­try­side, ap­peal­ing cli­mate, gas­tron­omy and ex­cel­lent trans­port links, France works for many se­cond-home­buy­ers. De­pend­ing on the re­gion, gen­er­ously sized homes can be bought of­ten for a frac­tion of their equiv­a­lent price in Bri­tain.

Bourchier’s pretty fourbed­room farm­house in Gorges in Nor­mandy, just un­der an hour from the ferry ter­mi­nal at Cher­bourg, has two re­cep­tion rooms, a kitchendiner and a con­verted gîte that is “very pop­u­lar with teenagers,” she says.

The house is sur­rounded by 15 acres of gar­den so there is “plenty of space to go away and read”. Their hol­i­days of­ten in­clude ram­bles around lo­cal mar­kets, the nearby beaches, which in­clude those from the D-Day land­ings, as well as cul­tural out­ings to see the Bayeux ta­pes­try.

Now that her grand­chil­dren are grown up, and at 78 she is able to visit less of­ten, Bourchier has put the house on the mar­ket with French En­trée for €149,000 (£131,702).

House prices in Nor­mandy are far lower than their equiv­a­lent across the Chan­nel: a typ­i­cal two to three-bed­room stone farm­house or longère with large fire­place, ex­posed beams and land goes for around €200,000. Smaller two-bed­room farm­houses, with the po­ten­tial to con­vert the at­tic, vary be­tween €100,000 to €150,000. An al­ter­na­tive is the “roses-round-the­door” colom­bage-style tim­ber-framed house, which can be picked up from €150,000 – or less, if in­land.

One of the in­gre­di­ents for a suc­cess­ful multi-gen­er­a­tional hol­i­day home is one with a con­verted out­build­ing such as a gîte, says James Maughan, the founder of rental web­site Group Ac­com­mo­da­tion. “It al­lows a fam­ily to have fun to­gether, but also gives peo­ple sep­a­rate space to take time out,” he says.

There’s room for ev­ery­one when their fam­ily come from around the world to stay with Kath Wat­son, 52, and her hus­band Roger Prior, 70. The cou­ple put the vis­i­tors up in their two gîtes ad­ja­cent to their creamy stone farm­house in St Remy-sur-Creuse, a

The swim­ming pool at La Ber­lardiere in PoitouChar­entes

Jill Bourchier’s grand­chil­dren in Nor­mandy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.