Holiday Cottage between Vire and Flers. Close To Many Places of interest
- english, french, german
About Alison Smith
Welcome to Orchard Gites here in beautiful Lower Normandy. I am delighted to be able to share a taste of the French lifestyle with you and feel sure you will fall in love with the peace and tranquility just as I have done. I had always wanted to combine my love of a rural lifestyle and my passion for Art and I was able to fulfil that dream when I came upon this lovely farmhouse on the border of Orne and Calvados.
Alison Smith purchased this Apartment in 2008
Why Alison Smith chose Saint-Quentin-les-Chardonnets
I decided that this was the place for me after viewing only three other properties! This lovely, old stone farmhouse offered everything I was looking for. The property had been renovated 20 years previously and had been run as a gite business ever since, so it was already well established in the area. I love the fact that the coast is only an hour away and yet the gites are tucked away in the rolling Normandy countryside so it offers the best of both worlds for holidaymakers. Visitors always comment on how peaceful it is however, the gites are very accessible and not at all difficult to get to. I think most people are surprised at how much there is to do locally. I keep in touch with my local tourist offices and am able to help guests really make the most of their time here.
What makes this Apartment unique
The garden here has proven to be a delight; from the appearance of violets, daffodils and primroses in early Spring followed by the apple blossom in May. There is abundance of flowers, fruit and vegetables throughout the season. It is wonderful to offer guests fresh fruit and vegetables as well as home-made jams and preserves! The garden and surrounding countryside provide inspiration for the Art Courses I run in the summer. Guests can develop their artistic skills in a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. This lovely location is ideal for anyone wishing to focus on a creative interest such as painting, photography or writing. The gites really are perfect for guests wishing to take some time out from the busy pace of everyday life and to experience a little peace and tranquility.
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
We will gladly return.
We had the fortunate pleasure of getting to stay at Alison's for a month. She is a fantastic host and we enjoyed all our chats. The gite was exactly what we were looking for. It is a good combination of rural, beautiful grounds, not too far from town, and simple yet functional accommodation. Some days we were very happy just walking the peaceful country roads and visiting the cows. We based there to tour much of lower Normandy, and we were okay with driving an hour or more any direction, however you will want to budget extra for petrol if you want to hit the big name sites like we did. If you prefer to just stay around the area, Tinchebray and Vire have everything you need. At the gite, we appreciated Alison's idea of separately billing for excess electricity usage beyond a normal amount. This allows her to keep the nightly rate very economical for all guests, and a little more for those with heavy power consumption. We found the entire experience to be an incredible bargain for how lovely it all was. We hope to return.
Lovely relaxing place to stay
Very comfortable gite and easy access to all the local sites and amenities.
We had a lovely stay! The place and beautiful and peaceful!
When we arrived we had a very warm welcome and presented with local biscuits and cider. The Gite was very prettily decorated and immaculate. The Location was perfect to see many of the attractions in Normandy. We hope to return very soon!
Farmhouse in France
As we traveled by car in France, we wanted to be centrally located to visit Normandy coast and other sights as well as drive through beautiful, unspoiled villages away from the big cities. The farmhouse gite was perfect for us and very relaxing after our busy days on the road. If you want an authentic, memorable experience in France, this is the perfect spot for you. The hostess is delightful and her little dog will make you feel right at home.
Thank you for your review - I'm so glad you enjoyed your stay here. I'm pleased that you enjoyed the peace and tranquility of this little corner of the French countryside. It is a great place to relax after a busy day out visiting the various places of interest in the area All the well known tourist destinations are within easy reach so it makes a good base for a holiday ii Normandy.
Spent 3 wonderful weeks at orchard gites with my family ,could not have picked a better place for our summer holidays ,the owner Alison ,was very helpful with tons of information on best places to see and things to do , we had a great time here,and made lots of new friends ,these little gites Ar a hidden Jem in the heart of Normandy and a great location to explore what the surrounding area has to offer ....would go back in a heartbeat ...great memories that will last for ever
It was lovely to meet you and your family and I am so glad you had a great holiday here at Orchard Gites. I think everyone staying here enjoyed the Barbeque evenings and we all loved your musical contributions - certainly great memories for us too! I am pleased that you found plenty of interesting places to visit and hope that you can make it back over here in the not too distant future.
Calme, nature et beauté du paysage
Endroit tout a fait charmant, si vous chercher le calme pour vous ressourcer, l authentique pour vous evader et la beauté du paysage pour vous promener n hesitez pas, l hotesse est adorable ,le logement cosy et les yeux ne se lassent pas du paysage offert.
Special interest holidays:
Art workshops are usually available throughout the year and can be tailored to suit your needs. We offer tuition in painting, drawing and printmaking as well as crafts such as mosaic and feltmaking. The cost for a half day session is 20 Euros with midmorning coffee provided.
Children have the opportunity for some creative fun on Wednesdays. A 2 hour, morning session costs just 10 Euros for one child and 5 euros for an additional child.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to find out more about these workshop sessions.
Unspoilt beaches can be reached in a little over an hour by car. Children love the sandy beaches at Jullouville and Carolles: 1hr 15 by car
Granville, with it's beautiful coastal walk and seafood restaurants: 1hr 15 by car.
Don't miss the D-Day beaches: 1hr 15 by car.
Stunning Mont St Michel is a fabulous day trip destination: 1hr 20 by car
Walk to Mont St Michel with a guide from the beach at Genet: 1hr 15 by car. Picturesque Honfleur with it's pretty harbour: 1hr 40 drive
Ouistreham: 1 hour. St Malo: 1 hour 30 mins. Cherbourg : 1 hour 45 mins. Le Havre: 2 hours. Dieppe: 2 hours 45 mins. Calais 4 hours.
Dinard (Great value service from Ryanair to Stanstead and East Midlands.) 1 hour 45 mins. Rennes: 1 hour 40 mins. Paris Beauvais: 3 hours 20 mins.
Vire to Paris Montparnasse: 2 hours 30 mins.
Vire to Granville on the coast: 40 mins
Tinchebray, our 'local' small town with narrow streets and an interesting history: 5km.
Vire has a thriving market offering an abundance of local produce: 13km.
Flers with it's cathedral which has stunning stained glass windows: 17km. Domfront, historic old town with a ruined castle: 30km (stop at Lonlay L'Abbaye on the way, where there is biscuit factory as well as the old abbey). Bagnoles de l'Orne, an attractrive spa town: 50km.
Ger has an interesting pottery museum: 17 km.
Delicious croissants and french bread can be bought from any of the four boulangeries in Tinchebray,which is just 5 minutes drive away. There is a greengrocer who sells fresh seasonal produce and a delicatessen, where you can buy local cheeses. There are several banks and chemists in the town and if you fancy a coffee or a 'croque monsieur' then try the Bar de St Remy in the centre. A Carrefour supermarket is situated on the edge of the town for all your day to day requirements.
Vire is a larger town with several supermarkets and a variety of shops. Market day here is Friday. If you want to eat out in the evening you have a choice of restaurants and small bistros. Le Vrai Normande offers traditional Normandy cuisine whereas La Robberie, with it's lively informal atmosphere, offers a more cosmopolitan menu. On the outskirts of town La Campanile Hotel has a great value buffet and is open on weekdays and Saturday and Sunday.
Flers is a short drive from the gites and the market days here are Wednesday and Saturday. Flers also has a variety of shops and restaurants.
Cider and Calvados are produced in the area and can be bought from local producers.
There are leisure activities to suit everyone in the area.
Walking is great way to see the countryside and there are marked walks of various distances locally. We can provide you with ordnance survey maps and walking guides.
Alternatively, why not bring your bikes or borrow ours.
If you enjoy horse riding there is a lovely western style ranch approximately half an hour's drive from the gites. The horses are well behaved and the western saddles are very comfortable!
If you enjoy fishing there is a well stocked fishing lake just 15 minutes drive from the gites.
Hire a canoe on the river Orne at Pont d'Ouilly, which is half an hour drive.
A great way to spend a Sunday is hunting for vintage bargains at the local 'vide-greniers'.
If you enjoy birdwatching, bring your binoculars as there are a variety of birds.