We stayed in Barn Owl Gite for two weeks from 18th August 2012 - 2 adults, a 6 year old and a 3 year old. This was easily the best gite we have stayed in, despite being the first we have tried without a swimming pool!
Val and Paul welcomed us on arrival, Val showing us the Gite and Paul taking the kids for a tour of the extensive grounds and to meet the chickens. Barn Owl is beautifully furnished and has everything you could need. The gite was spotlessly clean. The 2 downstairs bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and there is a third, triple bedroom upstairs. It is worth noting that the upstairs bedroom leads straight from the lounge, and so might be tricky for young, light sleeping children to sleep in if parents are using the lounge/kitchen after their bedtime. Our two shared the downstairs room so this was not an issue for us.
The grounds of the gite are fantastic. There is huge amounts of space and the gardens are beautifully kept. The kids were well occupied by the trampoline, bikes, cars, table football, table tennis, boules, football goal, badminton, tennis, rugby balls, giant Jenga and of course, the Chickens! Our eldest particularly enjoyed his tour of the veg garden with Paul - we now need to find a bigger garden to start growing stuff!
Val and Paul really were the perfect hosts - nothing was too much trouble, from our many requests to borrow things (baking tin and rolling pin for a birthday cake, amongst other things), to their advice on where to visit. The food Val was regularly creating for DB&B guests looked and smelled fabulous. We even came home with a jar of home made jam!
Bricquebec is a nice town; in the end we only ate at one of the restaurants there, which did a good pizza. We ate at the Forge 3 times, which was excellent, and at the Creperie once, which was also good. These two restaurants are together, about a 7 minute drive towards Valognes. As everywhere in France, the 7pm opening of the restaurants posed a few challenges with the children, but they were happy enough staying up a little later! The market at Bricquebec was good; there are markets within driving distance every day. The 4/5 we visited were all well worth visiting.
On Val and Paul's advice we also went to Sciotot. This is a beachside village about 25-30 minutes from La Lande. The beach is huge and was quiet despite it being mid August. There is a large playground right next to the beach, with a snack bar next to it - we had a few beers and some chips here and it was good enough - not gourmet, but very nice having a beer in the sunshine whilst the kids played! Next to the beach there are also 2 restaurants. We went to Le Sauve Qui Pleut twice; this was lovely; a lovely setting, nice modern restaurant and most importantly, a small kid's playground which occupied our two until the food arrived, allowing us to relax! The food was good, although the menu is a little unusual - a range of salads and other dishes from around the world. They did the ubiquitous (but very good) Moules Frites, but also offered a couple of different veggie options (unusually for France) which made my wife happy! We also went to Carteret beach a few times which was lovely and a little more sheltered on breezy days. Carteret is a lovely town, with lots of good looking restaurants, the one we visited was very nice, but I am afraid I forgot what it was called! Barfleur is another town worth a visit.
The swimming pool at Beaumont-Hague was a huge hit with the children (and us to be honest, despite the silly Speedo rule for me!!!). The kids pool is 0.10m deep and incredibly warm, with lots of toys. There are two further pools, two excellent slides and also a jacuzzi, steam room etc.
Many of the D-Day sites/sights are within easy reach of the gite, making La Lande a great base from which to visit them. We did Ste Mere Eglise (the best one in my opinion, and only about 30 minutes away at most), and Omaha, Utah and Gold beaches without driving too much, which was important with the kids in tow. Arromanches and Longue Sur Mer are a must if you are interested in this stuff.
So, back to La Lande. We had a good tour of Kestrel gite and the 2 B&B rooms, and they all looked great. Kestrel can be extended using one of the B&B rooms, offering huge flexibility, and the B&B rooms were both huge and really nicely decorated. I am sure you will not find a warmer welcome anywhere!
Overall we were delighted. The gite was perfect, the grounds were fantastic, and Val and Paul could not have done more. We will almost certainly be back!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Delightful 2 & 3 bed gites in Bricquebec, Normandy, 25 minutes drive from Cherbourg. B & B available in our suite & also in the gites, out of peak season. Close to the Normandy landing sites & gorgeous Atlantic beaches. Peace & quiet; luxurious tranquillity. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Lande Bricquebec, France - Normandy