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Saumur, Loire Valley
All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 10
Persons: 6
Category: Accommodation Business
Host ID: 33185
Country: France

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Last Updated: October 19, 2017

Hello & Help!

Although we prefer couples or friends travelling together over the age of 25; we are keen to offer ALL HelpXers some time with us helping with our amazing project. You should plan to stay for a minimum of two weeks and at least one of you must have a driving licence for a manual (stick shift) vehicle (not just an automatic driving licence please).

**We have several opportunities for HelpXers with trades skills to help with the renovation programme AND gardeners to help in the park. We also need someone who has knowledge of daily swimming pool maintenance for the whole of next summer!

A group of friends bought this beautiful château in the Loire Valley in 2013 and with HelpXers like yourself, we have worked tirelessly to renovate it, taking it from its dilapidated state to the current splendour of a modern 21st century castle. There are still a couple of attics to renovate as well as finishing touches all around the château so we get excited if you have trades skills to offer.

The gardens and grounds take a bit to look after with 22 acres of forest, a formal French garden, an orchard and vegetable plot, a picnic area, an in-ground pool, and a moat with 20 caves. So if you like working outside, this is the place for you. We have a regular team of gardeners but we need additional help from people who want to potter about doing additional watering, weeding and at this time of the year, whipper-snippering (strimming).

Generally speaking, with an estate of this size, we have opportunities for HelpXers to join us all year round. For reasons of health and safety you must be able to speak English and/or French to a good standard.

As mentioned in the category status, we run an accommodation business in the château in order to raise money to effect the renovation work. This means that at hectic times in mid-season we may ask you to help us with guest demands when things get very busy however we prefer to encourage your talents rather than exploit your time during your stay with us.

Accommodation is in a 3BR shared (either twin or double-bedded rooms) converted outbuilding in the grounds, with shared bathroom/laundry, living/kitchen/dining and wifi. We ask that you work 5 hours a day, 5 days a week (25 hours a week), but you can work longer days if you want to take more full days off to explore the area if you want. There is loads to do in the region in your free time and we’ve got bikes for you to use to get around.

You'll need a sturdy pair of boots and depending on the season, warm clothes and a waterproof jacket might be handy. We provide gloves and Personal Protective Equipment if necessary. We also have a fully-equipped carpentry workshop and saw mill.

You will be in excellent company, have decent accommodation and eat good food. Three meals a day are provided, with shared cooking. Why don't you join us and immerse yourself in the French way of life at an ancient castle of the Loire.

We are Jonathan & Michael and LouLou, our very friendly 2 year old golden labrador. We both speak excellent French; are well integrated with the local French community and have many French friends and neighbours popping in to chat and eat; so it is certainly possible to practice and improve your French language skills with us if you wish.

We are an hour from Angers, Tours & Le Mans and all three are about 1.5 hours from Paris on the TGV high speed train. If you’re arriving on public transport, the nearest rail and bus station is Saumur and if you let us know the time your train or bus arrives, we will pick you up and drive you the 15km to the château. We'll also drop you back there on your last day.

Thanks for taking the time to read our listing.

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