Correze Cycling Holidays
Summer 2020 Update:
We are looking for people who can stay for at least a month during this time. We can only accept a single volunteer at this time. Please do not apply if you only want to stay a couple of weeks. We are having to minimise the risks to our guests and ourselves against Covid so we hope you will understand.
In From October to April we need help processing firewood and with forestry maintenance, also with gardening and getting the house ready for the start of the season. This would suit someone with experience of gardening and property maintenance and who likes physical activity. You will be very well looked after and well fed :0) please DO NOT APPLY for these dates if you are looking for hotel type work looking after guests as the guest-house is not open then.
We are an English family of four living in Correze in the beautiful Northern Dordogne Valley / Limousin region of France. We moved here over 10 years ago and undertook a 3 year building project to create our cycling holiday business. Our sons Will and Ben go to the local Lycée and university in the UK and we also have a small dog called Noodle.
Our main business is running Road Cycling holidays – guests come from all over the world and are usually keen cyclists who enjoy the challenging terrain and the almost traffic free roads of Correze. As we are in the foothills of the Massif Central it is not flat around here and James often drives guests up to the mountains to cycle the Cols of the tour de France. If you are a keen cyclist, you may be able to join the guided days out some of the time if one of our specialist rental bikes is available. We also have a couple of hybrid bikes that you will be able to use to explore the local countryside.
The holiday season runs from May to October and we are looking for help throughout these months, and possibly during the winter with other maintenance projects. The weeks are busy but fun with lots of interesting and fun people arriving every week, many returning year after year. The work here mainly involves helping Sam with preparing and serving meals, and housekeeping for the 5 guest rooms and public areas, as well as some gardening. We try to create a comfortable laid back holiday experience where guests feel like they are staying with friends. Our goals are to give people a lovely holiday – promote this lovely and little known area and to cook great food for our guests to eat.
In March and April volunteers would be helping in the garden and with logging in our woods and maintenance projects around the house and grounds, so this will suit someone who likes hard physical work. We do not need help with hospitality at this time of year...
Our village is very small and there are no shops locally. Our closest large town Tulle is 25km away, so you can expect to feel a bit cut off, although we will be happy to give you lifts when we are going down to the town. If you love the idea of a very rural, quiet life then this will be perfect for you. If you are party person who needs entertainment and night life, this is NOT the place for you.
We speak mainly English at home and most of our guests are Anglophones, so if your goal is to learn French then this may not happen here, but we can speak sometimes in French to help you improve, most of the family are fluent . We also have plenty of French guests and friends to practice on. We have thrown ourselves into local life – Samantha is a village councillor and sings (out of season) in the local choir and James knows all the coffee shop owners in Correze as he frequents them all with hordes of cyclists.
We are ideally looking for single longer term helpers (3 weeks plus) who are over 20 and don’t mind pitching in with any kind of work, and who have a good sense of humour and like meeting new people. If you are permanently attached to your mobile phone, this will not be the right place for you. We would expect you to be respectful of our standards of care for our guests. We hope that you will be able to learn something of the hospitality and hotel industry during your stay with us, and hope that you can contribute to the positive ambience and experience that we have created for our guests. We have 100% 5 star reviews on Tripadvisor
You will be eating with the family and occasionally with the guests – please expect lively and interesting conversation! We expect to treat you as a member of the family. I am afraid that we cannot accommodate vegans as it is too complicated.
We have a large garden of 2 hectares which includes a small private fishing lake and a pool which you will be welcome to use.
You will be helping out around 6 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Main tasks will include:
Helping serve and clear breakfast
Changeover of rooms – cleaning rooms and changing bedlinen, also help with laundry
Helping with food preparation (cooking lessons included!)
Light Gardening – mainly weeding the vegetable patch, maybe some mowing
Chatting with guests
Helping serve and clear the evening dinner
Opening and Closing the swimming pool and basic cleaning
You will have your own bedroom with single bed and with shared bathroom in the family house - we can only accommodate one workawayer at a time in High Season. Apart from June, July and August we have a large second room available with a double bed - suitable for couples. For autumn / winter / spring projects you may be able to have one of the guest en-suite bedrooms and we can accommodate more that one person at a time.
You will be provided with all your meals, and lunches and there is usually cake in the afternoon. If you are an excessive snacker we would ask that you provide your own snacks. When we have guests you will have the same main course and desert or cheese as they do, either eating with the family but more usually with the guests.
We also provide basic toiletries, shampoo, shower gel soap etc
There is a large washing machine which you are welcome to use. We appreciate a good level of personal hygine.
Free WiFi is available to use. We get our internet by satellite so there are download limits which means no films or large files, but Skype works well, as does Facebook etc, but we just ask for a little care!
You will be able to use the pool and gardens
There are hybrid bikes and road bikes (if not rented out) available to borrow to explore the local area
We are happy to help you learn English and a little French. We speak English generally at home but most of the family speak French also. Our guests are mainly Anglophones. If your goal is just to learn French then this may not be the place for you as it is not our first language and you would be better doing an immersive experience with a French family. We are well integrated into the local community (Samantha is a local Councillor and also runs English lessons in the local Primary school) so you can expect to participate in village social events with us. In July and August there is a 'Repas' every Saturday in the village (200-600 people eating together) and we always take (and pay for) our workawayers as well as out guests.
You will be welcome to come to the local market and experience a different kind of food shopping - we use local suppliers of fresh produce
Sam is also very happy to teach cooking skills
Road cyclists will love this area - when possible and practical you will be able to join the guests for guided rides. We have good quality hire bikes for our guests and they will be available to workawayers if reservations allow. You can pick up tips on bike maintenance from James (and often the guests) in our Bike workshop.
Correze is a lovely area to explore on your days off. There are lots of lakes with open water swimming and kayaking close by, and you will only be 25 minutes (by car) from the Dordogne river.
Where possible we will try and give you lifts or include you on family days out.
There are local airports at Brive/Dordogne Valley and Limoges , and SNCF train stations at Brive la Gaillard and Tulle. Tulle is the closest town to us.
many volunteers come by coach or BlaBla car. Most usual pick up point for this is at Brive West.
Please only apply to come to us if you are happy to help with the work that we have specified. The work entails helping clear up after the guest breakfast,usually starting around 9am, then housekeeping /kitchen work, gardening until around midday. You are then free until around 18h when we start to prepare for the dinner service, when you will be helping serve the meals and clear up (as well as eating with the guests!).
We expect you to be responsible, friendly, courteous to our guests, be presentable with good standard of personal hygiene, think on your feet, be able to integrate and be open minded and positive. We hope that you will become one of our family while you are here.
Also when applying please let us know your possible arrival and departure dates and if you are flexible with these, and a Skype/ tel. number, whatsapp if you have these