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Idyllic 17th Century Watermill With Its Own River Swimming

Bedrooms 4
Separate WC's1
Property type house
Popular Features
  • Barbecue
  • Washing Machine
  • Internet
  • Parking


About the property

House in Chéniers, Creuse, Limousin, France - Stunning Riverside Location In The Heart Of The Unspoilt Limousine Countryside

17th Century Watermill. Le Moulin Joly is a 17th century water mill, one of a huge network of flour mills which flourished in the area in the 19th century and early 20th centuries. It was bought by the present owners in 1989, and has been completely restored. The house is surrounded by 1.5 acres of its own land. In front is a terrace looking up through the trees, and at the side there is a bricked terrace with table and chairs overlooking the mill race and the river. At the back, between the mill race and the river, is an island which is partially wooded with a large rough grass area, and which offers shaded places to sit out in during the day and a lovely spot to have an evening meal beside the river. There is ample opportunity to swim in the river (La Petite Creuse) which runs right past the property, or to sunbathe and watch the copious wildlife. An ideal place for all the family (not recommended for small children under 6). And you can explore the historic area, with the wonderful châteaux of Boussac and Nohant (where Chopin lived) not far away.

Adam and Nicoline Gatehouse
Member since: 2014
Speaks English, French, German
Calendar last updated:
12 July, 2017

About Adam and Nicoline Gatehouse

The owners are professional people living in London, who are keen on nature, culture and cooking among many other things.

Adam and Nicoline Gatehouse purchased this house in 1990

Why Adam and Nicoline Gatehouse chose Chéniers

We bought the Moulin Joly because we fell in love with it instantly. Its location is unique and never fails to exert its magic, and the house is a lovely old stone watermill with many a lovely feeling to it. We have very much made it our family home, and it has a personal, lived-in feeling. It's an utterly special place.

What makes this house unique

It's wonderful for river swimming, looking at nature (kingfishers, dippers, sandpipers and wagtails abound) and just chilling out on the weir or on the island. It's also very good to be with a group because you can take yourself off to a different spot on the property, with lots of places with different and entrancing views of the river or surrounding countryside.

Also great for walks and there's lots of historic houses and sights in the neighbourhood.

Guestbook comments from the owner

"I have been meaning to write to say how utterly delightful we found the Moulin Joly, and what a lovely time we had there. Everything was perfect (including the weather....Thank you both very much, first for making such a sympathetic conversion of the mill, and then for making it available to the rest of us". Alex Ramsay 2011
May 2014
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house in Chéniers in Creuse

Property Type:
  • house
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • river
  • rural
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1 Separate WC
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure , Bidet
    Toilet 1 - Toilet
    Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
  • Bathroom with bath and toilet and view over river Shower room (en suite to bedroom 2) with shower cubicle and toilet
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 10 (4 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom 1 - large double bedroom with wooden floor and beautiful view over the river Bedroom 2 - large double bedroom with en suite shower/toilet room and wood floor Bedroom 3 - large bedroom with twin beds and additional 2 beds Bedroom 4 - twin beds
  • Golf ...
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
Notes on accommodation: The bedrooms are large (with the exception of the small twin), with wooden floors, exposed beams and in one case a wonderful old tree house. The beds and mattresses are all new and a good size (singles 90cm, doubles 160cm). The sitting room has a wooden floor and old stone walls, recently re-pointed in the traditional French style, and a large traditional stone fireplace. There are books and CDs and a hifi stack, and lots of well-used cookery books. The owners love cooking! The dining room is the old mill room and has a large table and traditional French farmhouse chairs, and a huge old cupboard full of crockery. The kitchen is extremely well-equipped with pots and pans and the electrical goods and facilities you would expect. Outside: The house is set in its own garden which surrounds the house on all sides, and is literally on the riverside, the house being built out of the mill stream. The garden is beautifully planted with mature trees and shrubs. There is wonderful river swimming in the river La Petite Creuse, which is unpolluted and delicious. The is a weir across the river from which you can swim upstream and on which you can lie and subathe. There is an island between the millstream and the river where the owners often eat, and which affords idyllic views both up and down stream, and a perfect site for sunbathing or enjoying the copious wildlife. There is also a terrace just outside the kitchen door, with a large table and lovely views across the river and garden. PLEASE NOTE: THE MILL STREAM CAN BE SWIFT FLOWING AND IS NOT GUARDED BY A FENCE. THIS CAN POSE A DANGER TO SMALL CHILDREN IF UNATTENDED. THE OWNERS DO NOT LET THE PROPERTY TO PEOPLE WITH YOUNG CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 6 BECAUSE IT CAN BE UNSAFE Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Cleaning towels are included and are changed weekly. Bath towels and bed linen are normally not provided. House is cleaned after each letting. Other: 3rd toilet adjacent to Bedroom 1 and 3


4.6/5 -
(5 traveller reviews)

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Idyllic 17th Century Watermill With Its Own River Swimming
average rating of 4.6 based on 6 reviews

Hard to beat

  • 5 of 5

This was the fifth year running we have taken this wonderful old riverside house for our summer holiday and I'm sure it won't be the last. There were just two of us this time, but the place is perfect for an extended family, with plenty of space inside and out and well equipped for self-catering (including a dishwasher!). It's old, but sympathetically restored and furnished in keeping with its age and character. It's possible to walk to the village (shop, post-office, library, pleasant local restaurant/bar with good, modestly priced food), but you're within easy reach of local towns, numerous stately chateaux and attractions and some terrific local restaurants offering reasonably priced set menus.

The 'garden' suits every need: a terrace for eating out; an island for exploring; trees for shade and open areas for sunbathing. There is a swimming area above the weir and a shallow area below perfect for children to paddle and explore for fish, although small children should be closely watched, as there is always fast-moving water close by. Lots of birds (especially the kingfishers - what a treat!) and - if you're lucky - coypu to watch swimming across the river, and red squirrels in the trees. We have spent days at a time just lying and watching the river flow past in all its guises.

For us there were no disadvantages. If you like rural settings, old French properties (with modern comforts) and wildlife, then this place is hard to beat. That's why we keep coming back!

  • Review Submitted: 13-May-2015
  • Date of Stay: September 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

I can barely put into words how much we loved staying at the Moulin Joly. The setting is just stunning. As you descend down the track to the house it feels as if you are slipping into a world of such beauty and tranquility and leaving the rest of the world behind. We have been 3 times and have found it so relaxing. We spend lots of time sitting, eating, drinking (lots of wine) and chatting by the river. We love the cows that come to drink from the river and we were hooked on trying to spot coypu in the river. The river provided hour after hour of entertainment for the children and even they seemed to slow down to a fabulous pace of life that seems to be impossible to replicate at home. Each time we visited we only ate out to dinner once because we could not imagine finding a spot where we would rather be. Little touches like the fire pit in the garden meant that we could cook outdoors by the river. The surrounding area is also so beautiful. It feels as if the tourists have not realised it is there.

The Moulin Joly is a true gem which has been restored so beautifully by the owners. There aren't many reviews on this website but visitors have all left reviews in a book at the property - I can assure you that all of the reviews are amazing. If you are looking for a beautiful house in a beautiful settiing, away from fast paced life then this is the place to book.

  • Review Submitted: 18-Mar-2015
  • Date of Stay: August 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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United Kingdom

A magical treasure

  • 5 of 5

We couldn't imagine why anyone would want to be anywhere else in the world. As soon as we arrived we completely relaxed. The simple life... We cooked, we drank Champagne, we laughed and laughed.

The location is perfect - tranquil and picturesque. We stayed as a couple but families and groups would love it as well.

The owners are friendly and helpful and clearly want people who stay to have a great holiday.

Merci beaucoup - Moulin Joly, nous t'aimons.

Jean Paul Dunin 2012

  • Review Submitted: 18-Mar-2015
  • Date of Stay: June 2012
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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A little piece of paradise

  • 5 of 5

We are returning to the Moulin for the 8th time in July 2015. It is without doubt the most unspoilt, wonderful place we have ever had the pleasure to stay in....The place is a time-warp, a chance to switch off and chill out. No TV etc, just the rush of water running downstream. We have been on our own a few times and with friends and everyone has loved it. We dont do much other than fish, eat, drink, relax, cycle and explore the many wonderful villages and beauty spots in the surrounding area. Cant wait to go back.

Clare & Colin

  • Review Submitted: 18-Mar-2015
  • Date of Stay: July 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Lovely spot, bit damp.....

  • 3 of 5

Lovely spot in the Creuse countryside. Beautiful old house and grounds. Old house though means that there are a couple of challenges to deal with on the damp and wildlife (inside) front. Worth noting that the beds have seen better days (particularly given the price bracket it sits in), while the owners' approach to bedding (and in general) is also somewhat "esoteric" in the Airbnb age.

  • Review Submitted: 04-Aug-2014
  • Date of Stay: July 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Nearest airport is Limoges (about 75 mins away). Ryanair and FlyBe both operate daily flights from London Stansted, Leeds and Southampton

Nearest train station is La Souteraine (35 km) or Chateauroux (60km) with regular trains from Paris.

Car hire or use of a car is essential, or at least highly recommended.


Nearest village is Cheniers - 2 km (with a cafe/restaurant and shop)

Nearest town is Aigurande - 12 km (with all shopping amenities and a weekly market)

Nearest large town - Gueret - is about 25 km

Further Details:

About Cheniers in Creuse, Limousin

The River

The house is situated on the river La Petite Creuse (the smaller of the two rivers which give the region its name). Since there is little or no industry to speak of in the region and the agriculture is small scale, the rivers are clean and unpolluted, particularly La Petite Creuse. This makes it ideal for swimming. There is a weir across the river which was built to divert the water towards the mill-race and the water above the weir affords a lovely uninterrupted stretch of swimming. And although the river reaches depths of up to 2 meters it is shallow beside the weir so one can easily get in or out of the water. For children there is a little pebble beach just on the island where the river is shallower. However, please note that the water can flow fairly fast through the mill stream and as this is unguarded it could be a potential hazard for unattended small children. The river is an endless source of pleasure for young and old – it is ideal for dinghies and canoes. In high summer a few people from the neighbouring hamlet sometimes come down to the river to swim and fishermen sometimes come to fish.

The river is well stocked with fish and fishing is permitted so long as one purchases a licence (available at the Marie). When the mill race was drained a couple of years ago we picked out dozens of fish (including trout and freshwater crayfish).


For lovers of wildlife, the river and indeed the whole area is a haven – kingfishers and dippers are a daily occurrence, coypus and even occasionally otters swim the river, and buzzards hover overhead. In Spring, oxslips, cowslips, and foxgloves abound, and in the wood which adjoins the mill there are bluebells. In autumn the colours are truly spectacular.


The Creuse is one of France's best-kept secrets, one of those areas which seems to have been by-passed by the mass of tourists flocking to the Dordogne, the Lot, and Provence. Situated right in the middle of F


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday house in Chéniers, Limousin

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
Booking is done by email, and to secure a let please pay a deposit of 50%, the balance payable 6 weeks before your letting commences.

Changeover Day:
Changeover day is Saturday. Arrival after 4pm. Departure by 11am

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
This calendar has not been updated in over 2 months and the availability shown may not be accurate.