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Pet-friendly Cottage In Tranquil Countryside Setting Near To River and Village

Bedrooms 2
Space 753 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 7 nights
Popular Features
  • Fireplace
  • Barbecue
  • Washing Machine
  • Internet
  • Parking


About the property

2 Bed/2 En-suit Cottage. Large garden, no road noise, terraces and gas barbecue.

Hazelnut cottage offers you a comfortable home while you are on holiday. If you are house-hunting or looking for a longer stay, note that the monthly rates are half of the weekly rates, and dates can be flexible. The open-plan ground floor has two settees around a fireplace, a dining table and a new kitchen. You can sit outside the front or the back of the gîte, following (or avoiding) the sun.

A beautiful old oak staircase sweeps grandly from the open-plan ground floor to the two carpeted double& twin bedrooms upstairs. The first bedroom has a 5' double bed, the second bedroom has two 3' single beds. Towels, cool cotton blankets, a wide selection of pillows, duvets and linen are all provided. Each bed is furnished with a layer of memory foam and a 'pillow top'. A feather topper completes this trio to provide the most comfy night's sleep. A hair dryer is provided. UK/European adaptor plugs are also provided. Each bedroom has its own en-suite shower room.

For weekly guests we provide a selection of washing products, sauces, spices and many small items so that you won’t need to make unnecessary purchases. If there is anything you are missing, you can simply borrow from us - we are right next door! As you arrive, there will be a selection of groceries in the fridge. Tea, coffee, butter, milk, eggs, bread, cheese and wine!

The superb wi-fi in the gîte will enable you to keep in touch with your Internet connections, and there is a good mobile phone signal here too. The TV has a UK Sky Freeview card so you can giggle at the UK weather back home, and keep up with your favourite programmes.

More Details

Olivia & Andy Spracklen
Member since: 2016
Speaks English
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
12 June, 2018

About Olivia & Andy Spracklen

We moved to France in March 2014 having sold a student-let property in Bournemouth, and rented out our bungalow. Andy quit his job with the bank; I brought my psychotherapy business with me, as it is all done by telephone.

Andy was looking forward to his first ride on a sit-on mower, and I couldn't wait to get cooking with my new range cooker. It was GREAT to have so much space. My welsh-dresser that I bought in 1977 had never looked so small. It had always been squeezed into small rooms in previous homes. Andy soon spread out all of his tools in a lovely ‘organised-mess’ in the huge workshop with his beloved lawn-mower.

Our thought of ‘the good life’ were tempered by common-sense. I talked Andy out of having a donkey, and we shelved the idea of keeping chickens because we travel back to the UK to see the grandchildren several times a year. I did start a vegetable patch, with little previous experience. I watched the gardening programmes on the internet and TV to find out how to sow seeds, and prune the fruit trees in the orchard. We discovered the walnuts and hazelnuts when they started falling out of the trees!

I managed to pick enough blackberries to make a few gallons of wine the first year. We invited our English neighbours (there are three English couples in our small hamlet) to try the wine. I had bought a hydrometer, but I had no idea how to use it. We concluded there was very little alcohol in it because it registered the same level as pure water. However, we were wrong – it packed quite a punch!

It was glorious to be able to store away some of our own apples for the winter. The pears were too small to be useful, so we hope by pruning we will be able to grow some good-sized ones for our gîte guests to pick next autumn.

We enjoy exploring the local markets and supermarkets. The wine here can be really inexpensive, especially when it is on offer, often as little as 2 euros a litre. You can get it even cheaper, but we have not been brave enough to try it!

Olivia & Andy Spracklen purchased this cottage in 2013

Why Olivia & Andy Spracklen chose Benest

A newly renovated 18th century 2-bed/2 en-suite cottage, in a quiet countryside location.

Within a 15-minute walk to a small village or the river Charente.

Hazelnut cottage is part of our longère (a French farmhouse). The cottage shares our huge garden with an orchard. Set apart from the rest of a small hamlet, it is ideal for those who like to sit and relax in peace and quiet, or those who like to walk through country lanes.

Completely re-built in 2016 (with wall and roof insulation) by expert craftsman, Hazelnut cottage provides a home from home all the year round. The thorough wall insulation means that you will be able to keep comfortably warm all through the months, especially important if you are house-hunting in the winter.

The cottage shares the solitude of the large garden with mature fruit and nut trees and far reaching countryside views. Collect blackberries from the hedgerows in August (they ripen earlier here). Collect walnuts, hazelnuts, apples and pears from the garden in September and October.

The character cottage features original features, a Charentais fireplace, a Charentais window, and an original sink used by the farmhands probably dating from 1851.

The Godin wood-burner is a fully-restored antique, probably dating from the 1920’s. We provide complementary wood for you, and help you to light it if you are a novice! Wood-burners do not belch out heat when they have consumed the last, remaining log, so after you go to bed, you will need an extra source of heat overnight. Electric heating (complementary too) is also provided so that you can keep warm 24/7.

What makes this cottage unique

The hamlet of Chez Vaslet is 500 metres from the small village of Benest, with a Post Office and a XII century church. In Alloue, the next village, 6km away, there is a cafe/bar where you can have a set lunch, and also fresh bread is available here,( and cigarettes).

There are many country lanes to explore (I will provide you with a local map). You can walk to the river Charente in about 15 minutes.

There are many good restaurants – some near and some farther away. You will be delighted with the quality of the food offered for lunch and evening meals. Many restaurants serve a freshly cooked healthy 3-course lunch starting strictly at 12pm-1pm for £12.50-£15. Most French working people rely on these restaurants and the food is really good. We can provide you with a list (and a map!)

There are many interesting places to visit. Angouleme is a historic town an hour away in the car, and Poitiers is about one and a half hours away. There are many chateaux near and far.

Champagne Mouton is our nearest small town, about 30 minutes away, with a 24-hour cash-point, petrol garages and a really nice Carrefour mini-supermarket. There is a superb car-repair garage here too.

Confolens, just 20 minutes by car, is a beautiful small town on the river Vienne. It is great to explore. This town offers a twice weekly market, a large supermarket. In August there is a week-long International Dance Festival here with many concerts and parades through the town.

Ruffec is another small town offering some out-of town shops as well as a number of large supermarkets. On the A10, it is the gateway to adventures further afield, like the Valley of the Monkeys, Puy Du Fou, and Futurescope.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Benest in Charente

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 753 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 15:00 / Check-out: 10:30
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • rural
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 2 - Shower Enclosure , A very small en-suite, with shower, loo and small hand-basin
    Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , This is a normal sized bathroom
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Double Bed , A travel cot is available.
    Bedroom 2 - 2 Single Bed
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • 1 bicycles
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
  • churches
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • scenic drives
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • sailing


5/5 -
(2 traveller reviews)

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Pet-friendly Cottage In Tranquil Countryside Setting Near To River and Village
average rating of 5.0 based on 2 reviews

A piece of paradise in lovely countryside

  • 5 of 5

The two bedroom gite was extremely well equipped. Ensuite showers were top of the range. The King size bed was very comfortable with lots of extra bed linen and towels. Olivia and Andy were extremely helpful in every department. On arrival Olivia had provided groceries and wine in our cupboard. Over the month we also went out a couple times with them to a quiz night and a lovely meal in one of the best restaurants in a beautiful village. They loved our dog as well. The local village of Benest provided fresh bread and groceries , a five minute walk from the Hamlet. Also it was great just to be able to walk to the local pub which provided snacks and a good Sunday Lunch if required. Spent a number of evenings enjoying a glass of wine and occasional barbecues in the extensive gardens. 5 stars isnt enough to describe this top accommodation in a wonderful quiet location.

  • Review Submitted: 03-Aug-2017
  • Date of Stay: June 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for this lovely review. We are so pleased that our aim to provide the very best accommodation is working. We were so pleased that our guests found so much to do in this area, and provided us with valuable information about golf courses in the area, historic buildings and restaurants they had visited. We very much hope to see them again in the future.
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United Kingdom

Peaceful Location yet close to many attractions

  • 5 of 5

Ideally placed gite set in tranquil countryside yet with numerous places to explore nearby. Charming picturesque villages within minutes and larger towns such as Limoges, Agouleme , Cognac all around an hours drive .

The gite itself has been newly renovated to the highest standard and is extremely well equipped . The large gardens are an ideal place to relax in the abundant sunshine of the Charente and of course to enjoy al fresco dining .

The hosts Olivia and Andy are warm and welcoming , full of local insights and ideas for things to do . Nothing is too much trouble and they go out of their way to ensure you have a fabulous stay !

Highly recommend and would love to visit again in the future .

  • Review Submitted: 17-Jul-2016
  • Date of Stay: May 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
70 Kilometres
Nearest Barpub
0.5 Kilometres
Nearest Ferry
450 Kilometres
Nearest Train
20 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
25 Kilometres
A10 Ruffec
Nearest Restaurant
5 Kilometres
Nearest Beach
150 Kilometres
La Rochelle
Car: necessary

There are many attractions in this area.

Just ten minutes away by car, you can spend an afternoon at a medium-sized zoo in a small place called Hiesse, with a small café and a number of climbing frames. They have many animals, from camels to donkeys.

There are many small restaurants in the area, our favourite is 'Port Bleu' in Verteuil, where you can see a beautiful chateau (occupied by a count, it occasionally opens the gardens to the public).

Cognac, named after the town of Cognac in France, is a variety of brandy. It is produced in the wine-growing region surrounding the town from which it takes its name, 1 hour and 20 minutes’ drive from Benest.

There are many beautiful places to visit. Confolens on the river Vienne is beautiful, a great place to visit the market, shops and restaurants. In August they have a week-long International Dance Festival - you will be able to see parades in the streets and watch some of the numerous demonstrations and concerts.

Just an hour's drive to 'The Valley of the Monkeys' - you will have a great view of gorillas, chimpanzees and many other monkeys. There is a petting zoo here too, and a good restaurant for snacks & lunch. You can spend a whole day here.

Futurescope is a great theme park 1.5 hours drive from here - great for children age 7+.

There are many chateaux and abbeys around this area. La Rochfaucauld is a 40-minutes’ drive south, it is open to the public.

There are many historic places on the 'Lion-Heart' trail. Richard I's entrails were buried in Chalus, which is close to Limoges, just over an hour's drive south from Benest. His body was entombed further north, in Fontevraud Abbey, about 2 hours due north of Benest.

Visit Angouleme, 40 minutes away. It is the region capital, with a cathedral and many historic buildings set on a steep hill, overlooking the Charente river.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday cottage in Benest, Poitou-Charentes

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
Standard price
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights

Additional pricing information

Pet Fee £0
Cleaning, per visit £20
Refundable Damage Deposit £100

Wood is complementary for our gite guests.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
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