Le Moulin de Pensol is a delightful former water mill and barn, converted into holiday accommodation. It is in the Parc Naturel Regionale Perigord-Limousin in Haute Vienne, Nouvelle Aquitaine. The area is known as the Limousin, although this doesn’t exist as a departement any more, and also as Perigord Vert.
The pretty River Bandiat flows through the middle of the site between the buildings which are set in 8 hectares of wildlife-packed gardens and grounds.
A typical day could start with freshly baked croissants delivered to your gîte. Then perhaps a cup of coffee while watching the trout in the river from one of the 4 bridges. After lunch (prepared in your well-equipped kitchenette or taken at a local restaurant) you could take a wander round the grounds and see how much more nature you can find. You might spot a red squirrel, an orchid or a golden oriole. Relax with a drink by the pool and watch lizards chasing each other on the sunny stone walls of the mill house. Have a chat with one of our donkeys, then return and join us for home-made stone-baked pizza by the river.
The site has an informal, rural feel. There is little outdoor lighting as we don’t want to spoil the stunning views of the stars, and the paths to the gites from the grass carpark are not surfaced. The grass can be damp first thing in the morning.
We have three gîtes: Bouleau and Cerisier which sleep two people, and Chataignier which sleeps six. In addition the B&B rooms are let together as a large gite called Le Moulin Gite in the summer which sleeps up to seven people. If you book the whole site we can accommodate up to 17 people. Regrettably we don’t have any accommodation without stairs.
All the gîtes have new bathrooms. The kitchen/living room is downstairs with the bedrooms upstairs. Sheets and towels are provided free of charge. When you arrive your gite will have enough olive oil, salt and pepper, tea, coffee, tea towels, hand soap, washing up liquid, dishwasher tablets and toilet roll to last you a few days until you can get to a supermarket. There is decent wifi inside and outside the buildings.
Each cottage has an outdoor area with furniture and BBQ. There is a small, unheated, outdoor pool, shared between our guests and easy access onto the miles of walking trails through the chestnut woods of the Limousin. The gardens are dotted with hammocks, benches, fruit trees and picnic places. We have recorded 64 species of butterflies on our own land.
We have eight hectares of gardens, meadows and woods for you to explore and enjoy. Dogs are welcome in the gîtes by prior arrangement at 10€ per night per dog. Our own animals (which are not used for meat) are an important part of the team and provide grazing management, weed control, manure, security, eggs, transport and entertainment services to the business. We have dogs, donkeys, a mule, horses, a pig and hens. Goats may be coming soon. We are committed to making Le Moulin a low carbon and sustainable business. How we plan to do this is explained in our Environment and Nature Policy.
There are lots of things to do and see in the local area including markets, golf, riding, swimming lakes, medieval towns, caves, restaurants and walking. The nearest shop for bread etc is a 5 minute drive away or a 15 minute cycle ride. The Dordogne border is just 5km away and the Charente border not much further. Limoges is the nearest airport (45 minutes) and Angouleme is the nearest TGV station.
Le Moulin de Pensol is the perfect place for people who love nature, peace and quiet and comfortable accommodation. We can’t wait to share it with you.
Hi, we are Heidi and Nik Smith, and we moved from Norfolk, UK in 2018 to begin a new adventure in the Limousin, France.
We live opposite the gite building in the main mill house. You can have as much or as little to do with us as you like, but we are always on hand to sort out problems, answer questions or book a table for you at the nearest restaurant. We offer breakfast everyday and an evening meal on most days (by arrangement). If you need a picnic lunch – just ask.
Heidi left a career in professional nature conservation to come to live in France. “It has rekindled my love of nature,” she explains. “The sheer abundance of biodiversity here is incredible.” Nik left a less satisfying career in sales, but he too is entranced by the wildlife. “Our butterfly species count was 64 last summer” he says. “we upload our records to an app called I-Naturalist and we are approaching 600 records”
Together with Heidi’s son Arun, we have lived in France since 2018 with our 3 dogs, 4 donkeys, 3 horses, a mule and 2 pigs. We both love and play Irish traditional music and are enthusiastic about growing more of our own food at Le Moulin. Heidi loves cooking and everyone is increasingly moving towards a plant based diet.
We are English, but we speak French and Nik speaks German, having lived there as a boy.
We are Covid alert and waiting for you. The measures we have put in place include: