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Cosy barn conversion ideal location for all normandie tourist attractions

Bedrooms 2
Separate WC's2
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

Sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms en-suite Wifi parking dogs rural but close to shops etc

Every one who has stayed here has loved Harold's Place.

So called because an American soldier named Harold was killed here 10 days after D Day. There is a plaque on the wall outside our cottage in his honour. He was awarded the Purple Heart and is buried at Colleville, the American Cemetry. Made famous by many documentories and the film Saving Private Ryan.

We have a secluded private guests garden and safe parking approached by your own drive. A BBQ on the patio area with tables and chairs. A fire pit, sun loungers and garden swing in the spacious garden.

Inside you enter into the lounge which is equiped with dining tables and chairs, sofa, 2 comfy easy chairs, TV and radio with freesat, DVD, and CD player.

Shelf of books, games and DVD's the Wifi with access code. Pot Bellied woodburner with a basket of logs. Lamps, cushions, throws for a comfy evening.Then through to the bright kitchen which has all the equipment you need plus the essentials - electric oven, gas hob, over hob extracter, microwave, toaster, kettle tea pot, coffee makers, fridge freezer. cutlery, crockery and glasses. Plus the all important cork screw.

The shower room with washing machine, loo and handbasin is beside the kitchen.

Up the stairs to the pink bedroom with traditional French double bed, clothes hanging space, chest of drawer, hair dryer, clock/radio and en-suite loo and wash basin. This room has a small mezzanine which over looks the stairs and a beamed ceiling. Along the corridor is the blue bedroom which again has a double bed hanging space and chest of drawers. It also has a wash basin and loo en-suite. This room has beams and an unusual blue glassed apex window space in the ceiling.

Visitors found the quite roads and central location ideal for visiting the popular tourist sites.

Others just relaxed in the sun trapped garden or went for one of the many peaceful walks in our glorious country side. One walk from the village takes you along a single track path to a fountain which claims to have healing powers for bad eyesite. Whether you have occular problems or not it is a lovely walk.

Our guests enjoy the local markets. St Lo is one of the best in Normandie and only 8 kms away. The shops in St Lo are well stocked and have everything you need - and more. There is a good swimming pool in the town, art gallery and the town ramparts are well worth a walk around. A large variety of bars and retaurants are in town, some of them near the riverside.

We are full of D Day history here, visit the memorials around the village.

We are perfectly situated for all of the D Day beaches Unspoit Omaha Beach is just 25 minutes easy drive away. The well presented museums, monuments and cemetaries of the Allied countries, and Germany, are all within easy access.

Bayeux's historic, unspoiled town with its grand cathedral and tapestry are close by and Le Mont St Michel is just an hour away.

After a days sightseeing, it's nice to come back to a cosy cottage. You can enjoy a glass of wine in the garden. Perhaps have a B B Q or watch a movie. Catch up with friends on Face book or just chill and listen to the many birds and the hum of bees in the lavender garden.

More Details

Sue and John Tesseyman
Member since: 2013
Speaks English
Calendar last updated:
14 April, 2018

About Sue and John Tesseyman

John and I have been together for over 20 years although we didn't marry until 2008.

We used to live in Brighton with our beloved dog Bess.

I worked as a chiropodist and John was an antique dealer.

Although we are in our early 60's we consider ourselves a lot younger and have become even more so since we moved to Normandie.

We love having people to stay and look forward to meeting lots of new guests over the years.

Sue and John Tesseyman purchased this cottage in 2007

Why Sue and John Tesseyman chose Saint-Clair-sur-l'Elle

We bought Les Foulons in 2007 and up sticks and moved here in 2008.

We initially came over for my friends 50th birthday. She lived in the farmhouse down the lane and her partner owned this cottage.

We stayed here.

Fell in love with it and bought it.

In 2008 we moved here with our now very elderly dog, Bess.

Spent 3 and a half years extending the cottage - it was TINY! - and clearing the land.

We loved the way of life so much we wanted to share it and decided to renovate the barn into a Gite.

It is so peaceful here.

The way of life is almost surreal, chilled and soft.

We don't wear watches anymore. They are not important.

In the evening we watch the sunset over the meadow, count our blessings and sigh, say "another wonderful Normandie Evening"

Because 99 times out of 100,It is

What makes this cottage unique

We designed Harold's Place to be the sort of Gite we would like to stay in if we went on holiday here. Cosy and friendly with paintings and pottery around us. Nice bed linen and a well equiped kitchen. A wood burning stove to light if the evening gets a bit chilly. The outside patio area has a wonderfully smelling lavender garden and the rest of the space set to lawn to kick a ball around or just stretch out and relax. Or light the fire pit and see if you can count all the stars in the zero light pollution sky.

Wildlife is amazing. The birds, - Owls, finches and tits swallows, woodpeckers, Cukoo and Buzzards. Are all here. We have had badgers, deer and once a wild boar in the meadow at the back.

I think we have achieved that.

Every winter we update it adding facilities as they are needed like Wifi. Although a fewmore tweaks may be needed - like a plunge pool or some bikes for people to ride, we have more or less got it right.

I hope so

We named this old barn Harold's Place in honour of Harold Shillingburg a G.I who was killed here on 16th June 1944. I am in touch with his family in Maryland U.S.A. who are thrilled to think that he is remembered. He is buried at Colleville, the American cemetry (famous for featuring on screen, in films like Saving private Ryan). Harold's mother refused to accept that he had been killed and always believed that one day he walk though the gate, waving and smiling, alive and well.

Sometimes when our visitors go to visit the cemetry they take a sprig of Rosemary from our garden and place it on his grave.

Guestbook comments from the owner

We have lots of testimonials but not from guests who booked using this site because we didn't join Owners Direct until late in 2013.

I can point you in the right direction if you would like to see them.
Sep 2013
  • 1 of 1


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Saint-Clair-sur-l'Elle in Manche

Property Type:
  • cottage
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 15:00 / Check-out: 11:00
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • pets considered
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • rural
  • village
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 2 Separate WC's
  • Downstairs Shower , loo , wash basin and washing machin - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
    En suite toilet and wash basin in blue bedroom - Toilet
    En suite toilet and wash hand basin in pink bedroom - Toilet
  • The tiled downstairs shower room has a good quality shower. Loo, washbasin, Automatic washing machine, drying rack, pegs, iron and ironing board are tucked away in a cupboard.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • The Pink Bedroom - 1 Double Bed , En suite loo and wash basin
    The Blue Bedroom - 1 Double Bed , With wash hand basin and private toilet
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 4 (2 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: The Pink bedroom has a traditional double French bed. The Blue bedroom has a craftsman made double bed. Both have own loo and washbasin, bedside lights, clock/radio, hair dryer, UK gang for convenience, hanging space and chest of drawers Linen provided
  • limited accessibility
  • arboretum
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • forests
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horse riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • swimming
Notes on accommodation: Harold's Place has open plan stairs with a small mezzanine in the pink bedroom. It is furnished with art and pottery of value. Also we have ponds in our garden and keep chickens. It isn't REALLY suitable for the under 3's. Having said that our grandchildren love it so it's up to you. Dogs with well trained owners welcome!! Outside: There is a sturdy patio area just outside the front door, with table and chairs, parasol, BBQ, easy chairs, fire pit. Largish grassed area, lavender rockery, geraniums. Own drive to the parking area which is large enough for 2 cars. It is enclosed on one side by a hedge, on another by our chicken run, the third by the barn and the forth - west facing - by a meadow. The sunsets from the terrace across the meadow are STUNNING. There is minimal light pollution and for star gazers its heavenly! Birds of all different species are too numerous to mention and sometimes if we are lucky there are horses in the meadow. Owls hoot and glow worms can be seen lurking in the dark hedge. The peace is deafening. There are some lovely walks just minutes away from the front door. Traffic is minimal so its very quiet. Considering what occurred here 70 years ago - there was a big battle - Harold's Place is a very chilled place. Utility Room: The utility equipment is mainly situated in the shower room as previously described. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Bed Linen and 2 towels per person (not beach towels) are provided. Tea towels and cleaning cloths, cleaning products,if needed, and a dustpan and brush. Price includes cleaning. Other: There is free broadband Wifi throughout


5/5 -
(2 traveller reviews)

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Cosy barn conversion ideal location for all normandie tourist attractions
average rating of 5.0 based on 3 reviews


  • 5 of 5

My son and his girlfriend along with my springer spaniel stayed at this lovely gite for a sun soaked week in July.

Although we made the most of touring the beautiful countryside and sights including Bayeux,Honfleur and the World War 2 landing beaches, we were more then happy to return back to the gite.

After a gin and tonic and a pastis fabulous dinners were cooked and served in the lovely garden to the sound of clucking chickens!

Sue and John were superb hosts to say the least.


  • Review Submitted: 27-Jul-2014
  • Date of Stay: July 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Oh Peter PJ Becks and Suzy How kind of you to say these lovely things about Harold's Place. Of course it helps having smashing guests as well! Maybe we will see you all again (Suzy is always welcome back, she might forget her pet passport next time and have to stay !)
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highly Recommended

  • 5 of 5

The photos and description of Harold's Place do not do it justice.

It's like listening to a CD and then going to a live concert - you can't compare.

The style and ambience of this lovely gite coupled with the tranquility is heavenly, to say the least.

John and Sue couldn't have done more to make our stay perfect.


  • Review Submitted: 12-May-2014
  • Date of Stay: April 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
20 Miles
Carpiquet (Caen)
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
St Clair village
Nearest Ferry
40 Miles
Cherbourg and Caen
Nearest Train
5 Miles
Nearest Motorway
15 Miles
Caen Periphic
Nearest Restaurant
5 Miles
St Lo - a variety
Nearest Beach
15 Miles
Omaha D day beaches
Car: necessary


Omah beach is about 20 minutes away. Unspoiled - thankfully - the long low tide makes it safe for bathing or just splashing around.

Or there is the Atlantic coast about 45 minutes drive away where the surfers go to ride the sea. Next stop west - America!


The nearest airport is Caen - Carpiquet. Although we have had guests who flew in to Paris and drove down. We are about 3 hours from Paris driving.

Our nearest ports are Cherbourg and Oistream (Caen). Both are about 40 - 50 minutes drive.

The time of driving from Calais and the Tunnel is about 5 hours.

Our co ordinance is 49' 10'15' N X 1' 1' 53 W


The village of St Clair is 2 kms away, a 20 minute walk if you feel energetic.

It has a bank, garage, post office, bar, well stocked mini market, butcher, baker, hairdresser, chemist and a doctor and dentist if needed.

The town of St Lo - which has everything you need - is 10 minutes away. Where there are bars, restaurants, good shops and the best Saturday morning market in Normandie.

The D Day landing beaches are within easy drive, as is Bayeux, Le Mont St Michel and Caen

Further Details:

There is canoeing and rock climbing not too far away. A zoo and a children's adventure park at Caen.

At the charming town of Isigny there is a creamy the products of which are available in UK supermarkets. Guided tours are available. It is also said to be the original home Walt Disney - he got his name from the town when emigrating to America.

The National Horse stud at St Lo has regular guides. And then go and find the brass shell still encased in the wall of St Lo cathedral

Lets not forget the military cemeteries.

Soldiers of all the nationalities who lost their lives are buried near here.

It is worth the visit to reflect on our freedom.

Then go to Arromanche and visit the museum and the 360 degree cinema is a must see. When you come out of there you can still see the remains of the mulberry harbour dotted around the beach.

At Omaha beach on the west end there is a portion of the Bridge which brought the tanks from the ships to the shore just after D Day.

John and I help to paint it about 4 times a year to keep it up to scratch. If you happen to come at one of those times don't be surprised if you get cajoled into helping!

FOOD there are some lovely restaurants in St Lo and Bayeux. but also there is McD's and Pizza places.

We love the Chinese buffet restaurant which is about 4 miles away. Eat what you like for as much as you like for a set price. Open every lunch time and evening.

Talking about opening. Banks and most shops are closed on Sundays and Mondays, except the big supermarkets. Bakers are closed Mondays and petrol is hard to find during those times too. Apart from the big supermarkets everyone closes for lunch - the French love their food.

So stock up to avoid running out of anything over the weekend. There are few obscure places that open and we can help point you in the right direction if you get stuck.


Prices & Availability

Ask Owner a Question

Additional pricing information

Pet Fee £0

Booking Notes:
All payments are made through the secure Owners Direct system where I believe
a non- refundable deposit of 25% is required to secure your booking.
Payment in full to be received 4 weeks before arrival if booking in advance.
For last minute trips, depending on how "last minute" it is, payment in full before you arrive.
We dont ask for a damage deposit but if an accident happens please let us know.
The only other extra that may be required is for extra heating during the cooler periods.

Changeover Day:
During High season we prefer Saturday as change over day but other days are possible - just ask.
Off peak weeks are more flexible.
Arrivals from 15.00 hrs to 20.00 hrs - we live here, so its not a problem.
Departure before 11.00 please

Notes on prices:
Prices for short stay are £80.00 per night with a minimum of 3 nights.
Please contact us for further information

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • Cancelled bookings will not receive a refund.