Cottage in France

Christine, a retired youth worker, has offered her cottage in central France, 8/9 hours drive from Calais, free of charge to Woodcraft groups. The cottage is on three floors - the ground floor is a sitting room and kitchen, the first floor has a bedroom and shower room and the top floor is the loft that can provide dormitory accommodation. In addition, the cottage has a large garden which can be used to camp. The house has mains electricity and a water supply, but no sewerage. Heating and cooking are with bottled gas.

The kitchen has a gas cooker, fridge-freezer and a wood-burning stove that also serves as an excellent slow cooker and keeps the kettle warm!

The bedroom has a double bed and the shower room provides, in addition to the shower, a wash hand basin, compost toilet and washing machine.

The loft is about five metres sqaure and would fit about ten people sleeping on roll mats or airbeds.

The garden is divided into two areas - the larger is enough space to pitch about eight to ten vangos and the smaller is an ideal place for a fire circle. At the bottom of the garden is the pit where the compost toilet is emptied. Christine is happy for Woodcraft groups to camp in the garden and have a fire circle, though she asks that you take care not to walk on her vegetable patch.

The cottage and garden provide an ideal location to take a small group of Pioneers/Venturers. Christine does not ask for payment to stay there but there will be a small charge for fuel. At the moment, a limiting factor on the use of the cottage and garden for a group is the compost toilet - a group of young people staying on site would probably quickly overwhelm the facilities. However, Christine is presently upgrading the facilities and expects to be ready to offer her cottage and garden from Easter. She says 'Eventually I would like to develop the cottage and garden as a completely eco/sustainable experience for young people'.

Christine is hoping to offer a range of activities for young people provided by her, her friends and neighbours. The area also offers a range of outdoor and cultural activities for young people though you will need your own transport as the cottage is in a remote area with little public transport. The immediate locality offers plenty of opportunity for walking.

Two of us from Hounslow & Twickenham District stayed in the cottage at the New Year to assess the feasibility of using the cottage for Woodcraft groups and to meet Christine. You're welcome to contact me by email if you would like further information. Alternatively, you may contact Christine by email to make an enquiry or a booking.