Having spent our entire lives in and around Rochester, Kent in the UK we decided the time was right to spread our wings and take flight to a new adventure. The opportunity to retire early from a 36 year career in the telecoms industry only added the excitement of looking for a new challenge. We have always wanted to run our own campsite and often dreamt of taking on somewhere in Devon. Prices prohibited this and so we turned our attention to rural France. Somewhere with guaranteed weather and a rustic charm to entice visitors to join in on our dream. For months we trawled the internet and pictured ourselves owning either a campsite or a gite business, but it wasn’t until the spring of 2023 we made our first trip to the region to actually house hunt for real. Our first trip was unsuccessful, but it lit a fire that smouldered all summer long until in October 2023 we returned to view more property. We can remember it was raining, wet and windy, we had seen a couple of houses but none that inspired us to make an offer.

And then it happened…. We can both remember the first time we drove up to Les Grands Coudrais, even with the poor weather it was like a ray of sunshine in the gloom. Typically French, picturesque and a feeling of home. We knew we had found the one.

The individual cottages and our farmhouse, dating back to 1786, create their own little hamlet within the Les Coudrais community. We feel so lucky to now be the proprietors of this gorgeous spot in SW France.

We know what we look for when we choose our getaway home. Arriving to a warm greeting, finding a sensible welcome pack offering catering essentials in the kitchen and a clean and comfortable environment, a taste of both France and a home from home. We have WiFi to keep you connected to the outside world and also have both French and English Freesat TV.

We live in the main farmhouse of Les Grands Coudrais with our Irish setter, Summer. On arrival, we will show you to your accommodation and walk you around the gite and then we will leave you to enjoy your break BUT we are on hand to help and offer any advice should you need it during your stay with us.

Our website is very user friendly, please click on each individual gite page within the Our Gites section to find out more information and tariffs.

We look forward to welcoming you to Les Grands Coudrais, our little piece of French paradise, for a very enjoyable and memorable holiday. We also welcome well behaved dogs, please let us know when booking.


Where we are situated

The very quiet hamlet of Les Coudrais is situated off the D1 between Civray and Ruffec in the Vienne départment of France. Civray is our nearest small market town and is just 1.5 kms away by car or a leisurely 25 minute walk. Further afield, Poitiers is 45 minutes drive with Limoges and La Rochelle both about 90 minutes away.

Civray in France

Travelling by car:

Many guests coming from the UK choose the Portsmouth – Le Havre crossing, followed by an easy drive of less than 5 hours. From Calais, the drive is about 6 to 7 hours. We have travelled to this area from Calais on many occasions and find the roads a very comfortable drive. There are many stopping places en route, food and fuel stops and also some very lovely picnic areas.

Travelling by plane:

For guests who prefer to fly, we’re 45 minutes from Poitiers-Biard airport (Ryanair from Stanstead and Edinburgh and Manchester during the summer months) and 1 hour 15 mins from Limoges-Bellgarde airport (Ryanair from Stanstead, Bristol, East Midlands and Liverpool). Also Leeds/Bradford, Gatwick and Southampton during the summer months. Apart from Ryanair, please also check flybe.com and britishairways.com for other flight information (especially during the summer). A little further away is Angouleme-Cognac International Airport offering flights by various airlines. La Rochelle and Bordeaux airports are also within comfortable travelling distance and offer a selection of flights. Car hire is available from all airports and is recommended. Follow this link to search for a quote.

Travelling by train:

The TGV, the French high-speed train, stops at Ruffec via Poitiers. Ruffec is just 20 minutes away and the journey time from Paris Gare Montparnasse is about 2 hours 15 minutes. There are also trains from Poitiers to St. Saviol (10 mins away, although not as frequent). Alternatively for guests arriving from the UK by train, it’s easier to take the Eurostar to Lille, then simply change trains to a TGV to Poitiers. This avoids having to cross Paris. Car hire is also available from Poitiers.

We list further instructions of how to get here when you book with us.

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