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Lovely Country Cottage With Views, Pond, Garden & Terrace, set In 5 acres.



Updated: 28-Nov-2016
Holiday Home in Pouzy-Mesangy, near Bourbon l' Archambault, Auvergne - Very Quiet Peaceful Location Surrounded By Meadows, Forest, Rivers And Lakes, Ideal Walking

This holiday home is in a wonderful location with great views, very quiet and ideal for chilling out, walking and birdwatching. It is great for Autumn, Winter and early Spring holidays as it has double glazing and a wood burning stove that keeps the whole house warm and cosy. It is only 30 mins away from the F1 circuit and 18 hole golf course of Magny-Cours. We have converted this gite from part of a barn, retaining all the original features and as far as possible using traditional materials. It is set in 2 hectares (5 acres) of meadow with only the owners on the same site. The owners’ house is on the opposite side of the large courtyard making the gite very secluded and private. Access is from a lane leading off a quiet road and you can walk for miles without having to do more than cross a metaled road. The accommodation comprises a large open plan living room of 50m2 with corner kitchen, and a huge bedroom of 48m2 with en-suite bathroom. Games room with table tennis & darts.

  • Sleeps 2
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Internet
  • Dish washer
  • Washing machine
  • Towels provided
  • Linens provided
  • Accept Credit Cards
  • Bookable online

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

Shamsiah and I are kind of retired although we still have a business marketing French property to the English speaking community. We started this in 1989 in partnership with Adrian's son who is a fully qualified French estate agent. Until recently we also had our own training consultancy business. We spend much of our time at Les Houllins during the spring, summer and autumn. Once the grass starts growing and the vegetable garden gets under way it is difficult to leave because there is so much work to do. We also have a flat in London.

We love the countryside and apart from working on the 'estate' we play tennis, walk, cycle, enjoy the local social activities, listen to music and read, mostly in French. In the winter we like to travel in warmer climes.

Call Owner
Speaks English, French, Malay

Guestbook comments from the owner

"We have had a really relaxing and enjoyable stay. The gite is lovely and very comfortable and the surroundings are perfect. We particularly enjoyed the pond and the pair of Kingfishers that were seen a few times. Of course Adrian & Shamsiah's friendly welcome and kindness has made this a really good holiday." Jo & Ben, September 2010

"If you are sitting in the gite and reading this you are very lucky. The gite is just as good as gites can be. The hospitality afforded by Adrian & Shamsiah is unsurpassed......We particularly enjoyed the bike riding and the canoe trip" Rosemary & Barry, August 2010.

"Chez Adrian & Shamsiah; a little bit of heaven. Enjoyed our stay here at Les Houllins very much." Pat, Ged & Rory.
Mar 2009
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21 Reviews

based on 21 holidaymaker reviews


Absolute heaven of a five star holiday.

  • 5 of 5

Seeing is really believing with this property! The photos do not do it justice. Large, airy rooms, with high, beamed ceilings full of everything you could possibly need. All spotless, top quality furnishings, bedding, kitchen appliances and utensils etc.

Outside, a choice of seating areas for meals/ relaxing in a most beautiful garden, which is private, huge and pretty, including a pond full of delightfully musical frogs!! Wildlife all around to enjoy, bikes to ride, and a canoe trip beyond compare. Plenty of interesting and photogenic places to visit nearby, and handy shops, banks and petrol stations.

We cannot recommend this property and it's wonderful owners highly enough. We are booking for next year!!! Look out lovely Adrian and Shamsiah, - we're coming back!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 21, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Seeing is believing - an absolute gem of a property

  • 5 of 5

After reading the description of this property prior to booking, I was expecting somewhere a little bit special, set in a quiet and peaceful location - and I was not disappointed in any way. In fact, if anything, I believe the description is a little understated!

Right from the start of the booking, the owners Adrian and Shamsiah were more than helpful - providing detailed directions from the main French ferry terminals, which was a good job as the property is off the main road up a very small lane that would be very easy to miss.

There is a refundable deposit, as well as a reasonable cleaning charge - which means you don't have to worry excessively about cleaning the property at the end of your stay.

On arrival, Adrian and Shamsiah were friendly and helpful, giving me tips on places to go and things to do. A bonus for me was the range of bicycles they have available for you to use at no extra charge. The property itself was very clean and tidy, well appointed and spacious comprising of an ample kitchen, dining and lounge area whilst the bedroom on the first floor was

  • Review Submitted: Jul 19, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Peaceful location, lovely cottage

  • 5 of 5

Our week's holiday was very relaxing and enjoyable. Adrian and Shamsiah were perfect hosts. They have put a huge amount of effort into making sure that the cottage is homely and very well maintained with everything you need. The surrounding countryside is beautiful and offers some wonderful walking routes. We wouldn't hesitate to return.

  • Review Submitted: May 30, 2016
  • Date of Stay: May 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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A lovely week in France.

  • 5 of 5

We really had an enormously lovely time, the location is marvellous, Adrian & Shamsiah became friends rather than landlord/lady. It is excellent value & extremely spacious, the kitchen is very well equipped and you have your own corner of lovely tranquility to wander around too. There is either lots to do or nothing at all, each equally enjoyable. Our highlights included the river trip which shouldn't be missed, the frogs & fish, the patio (with grill) at night & the occasional visit from the local inquisitive cows. We shall certainly return. Highly recommended.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 10, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Tranquil, relaxing and chrming

  • 5 of 5

We had the most wonderful and relaxing stay in rural Allier. The cottage was beautiful, spacious and so comfortable, clean and charmingly decorated. Our hosts, Adrian and Shamsiah, were so welcoming and ready to advise on any aspect of our stay. Heaven is a slow lazy morning enjoying the peace of the patio and garden, a gentle cycle ride (bikes included) to a recommended local farmhouse restaurant (superb food) then an afternoon cycling around the area on quiet lanes where meeting a car is an unusual event. Alternatively let Adrian take you down to the river Allier where you can drift down the river and picnic on the banks in complete tranquility watching the kingfishers fly by. It should be possible to prescribe a week at Les Houllins on the NHS - no better way to relieve stress!

  • Review Submitted: Sep 24, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Absolutely beautiful location. Loved it!

  • 4 of 5

Quiet, peaceful location - just what we were looking for! Owners were lovely - so helpful and approachable. Photographs on website do not do this property justice - it's nicer than photographs. Perfect place to relax & forget about everything. Personally, we were looking for someplace to completely chill and found it!!! Would return tomorrow if we could! Had a beautiful week.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 2, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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From the Owner

We were advertising Les Houllins when it was for sale in 1991, fell in love with it ourselves and decided to buy it. After 5 or 6 years of flying visits to dig up floors, chip the decaying crepi off the walls, lay new floors and replace the roof, etc. we had the house in a more or less in habitable state. Then came the second house on the end of the barn which is now the house which we let. We also fell in love with the area which is easily reached by car or train from the UK, has lovely countryside of meadows, hedgerows, deciduous forest, lakes and rivers (Le bocage Bourbonais). The crime rate is very low, almost no traffic on the roads, a very lively local French community with lots of cultural and sporting events and activities all the year round. Above all, lots of sunshine.

Activity and Interests

Nearest Barpub : Franchesse, Couleuvre, Le Veurdre at 10 Kilometres Nearest Ferry : Dieppe, Le Havre, Calais or Dunkerque at 430 Kilometres Nearest Golf : Magny-Cours, Nassigny at 25 Kilometres Nearest Train : Moulins-sur-Allier 03 or Nevers 58 at 35 Kilometres Nearest Motorway : A77 at 15 Kilometres Nearest Restaurant : Le Chuchal, Franchesse at 8 Kilometres Nearest Ski : Puy Sancay, Puy de Dome at 150 Kilometres


There are 2 lakes for swimming within 20 minutes driving time of the cottage, both of which have sandy beaches.


The nearest airports with low cost flights are Tours and Limoges, both about 2.5 hours from Les Houlins. We are only 6 hours drive with stops from all of the channel ports except the extreme westerly ones. The other method of reaching us is by Eurostar to Paris and then train from Gare de Lyon to Moulins (2.5hrs) or Nevers (2 hrs). If you are prepared to cycle to the nearest shops, we will pick you up from the station and take you back at the end of your stay.


The nearest supermarket is in Lurcy-Lévis (6km) or Bourbon-l'Archambault (16km). There are also small shops in both these towns as well as in the surrounding villages (Le Veurdre, Franchesse, Couleuvre, Cérilly, etc.) There are many other places of interest to visit in the area too numerous to mention here, but we can provide this information and there are also excellent local tourist offices.

Further Details:

There are many local restaurants that we can recommend. One in particular is set in a converted sheep barn and run by a young couple who do the cooking and front of house themselves. The food is marvellous, inexpensive, and includes lots of fresh vegetables, salads, meat from the family farm, vegetarian dishes, etc. People come from miles around for the set lunches during the week at 13.50€ per head, including 4 courses, wine and coffee. Marvellous! and only 8kms from Les Houlins. So you can walk or cycle there without having to worry about drinking.

Prices and Availability

Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
29 Apr 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
High Season
1 Jul 2017 - 1 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
2 Sep 2017 - 28 Oct 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Deposit of 50€ payable on arrival.
Cleaning and laundry charge 30€ payable on arrival.
Electricity charged at cost. Normally around 12€ per week.
Change over day is Saturday.
Arrival time is 16.00 hours (4.0 pm) except by prior arrangement.
Departure time 10.00 am.
Prices are for a couple. Extra guests £100 per week to cover extra bed(s), laundry, wear and tear, etc.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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From the Owner

The location is very quiet with no near neighbours and virtually no passing traffic save the occasional tractor. It is the only house to let on the property so visitors don't have to share facilities with other visitors. Although we live on site the gite is very private with its own terrace out of sight of our house. It has it own pond full of fish and other wild life which is a constant source of joy to our guests. We have a country restaurant within walking or cycling distance, a local town with all the facilities which is also cycling distance - and we provide a choice of road or cross country bikes (we have 10 altogether). There are also masses of other things to do in the locality including two 18 hole golf courses, tennis courts, swimming outdoors or indoors, riding, canoeing, etc.

Property Type

  • cottage


  • Away From It All
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities


  • Ceiling Fans
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove


  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob
  • Toaster


  • Dining Area


  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Ping Pong Table


  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • non smoking only
  • not suitable for children
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible

Location Type

  • rural


  • arboretum
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • library
  • live theatre
  • museums
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • volcano
  • winery tours

Leisure Activities

  • bird watching
  • gambling casinos
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • golf pass optional
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • tennis

Floor Area

  • 100 m²


  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure, Bidet
  • The bathroom leads off the bedroom and comprises a toilet, bath with shower and security handle, washbasin with cupboard, towel rail, towel heater, hair dryer, shaver socket.


  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • Bedroom 1
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 2 (1 Bedroom) Notes on bedrooms: There is one huge bedroom of 48m2 with a queen size double bed with an electric blanket. There is also large wardrobe, dressing table, pine chest for spare duvets, large carpet, lots of windows, balconette with superb views and a sitting area.


  • Bicycles ...
  • Boat
  • Terrace
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • Tennis ...


  • Self-catering

Learn more about this holiday rental at the owner's website


  • Notes on accommodation: Telephone calls to most parts of the world are free as is unlimited wireless broadband internet connection. We provide a selection of bicycles free of charge, table tennis, darts, badminton and pétanque (boules), golf driving range, grass jogging track and canoeing facilities. Guests with toddlers should be aware that there is a large unfenced pond about 50 metres from the house which could constitute a danger. We can provide a gate at the top of the stairs to prevent toddlers falling down them. Outside: In front of the house there is a space for parking 1 or 2 cars, a table and chairs for breakfast in the sun. On the other side of the house, accessible through the French window or around the house there is a large private terrace surrounded by flower beds and a large area of grass which overlooks the pond and meadows. Two more tables and chairs are provided as well as 2 loungers. We provide 2 all terrain bicycles in good condition free of charge. Road bikes are also available if required. Table tennis, darts, and canoeing on the river Allier. There is a charge of 25 euros a day for the canoe for 2 adults including all transport, life jackets, etc. We have just added a 180 metre driving range for golf enthusiasts on part of our land. Please bring your own practice balls and clubs. Utility Room: None. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Towels and bedlinen are provided free of charge and changed weekly. There is a vacuum cleaner, cleaning materials, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and smoke detector. We clean the cottage thoroughly between lettings, including the windows. Other: Part of the living area comprises an entrance area with table, mirror and an area to hang coats.

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