Our Visitors' Book
Here is what some of our guests have said about their stay at Le Haut Fresnay.
We do hope that when you return home you will add your comments, too, or even before you get home if that suits you!

We had a lovely and relaxing week staying in La Fermette. The cottage was comfortable and well equipped and the children loved having the large garden to play in. We made the most of the peace and quiet and loved exploring the local area. We had a lovely afternoon exploring the castle in Domfront and ventured further afield to the National Stud at Haras du Pin, which is worth a visit for both the horses and architecture.
Nigel and Paula were great hosts, always helpful and available for suggestions of things to do and places to see.
I would definitely return again!"
The Basham family
— Hannah Basham, 20 Sep 2023
If you're looking to get away from the hustle and bustle then we can thoroughly recommend a visit to Le Haut Fresnay.
The location is delightful and offers such peace and tranquility. Outdoors you are surrounded by birdsong and able to see the many butterflies fluttering about. We also managed to spot some red squirrels and green woodpeckers.
Our hosts, Nigel and Paula, were most welcoming and readily available to help with any queries we had. They were even up and about at 5.30am on the morning of our departure to say cheerio to us."
— Mike and Chris , 17 Sep 2023
La Fermette (for 6)
We have just returned from a short break with Nigel and Paula, can’t recommend their little slice of Paradise enough, lovely for a break and to recharge your batteries, grounds and cottages are picture perfect, Nigel even made provisions for the size of our vehicle, nothing was too much trouble, would recommend this holiday location to anyone, once again thanks Nigel and Paula, hope you had a good anniversary and hope to see you again in the future, Darren and Sarah — Darren Gregory , 27 Aug 2023
We have just returned from two very relaxing weeks at La Fermette. Our hosts Nigel and Paula were delightful and nothing was too much trouble for them - they even supplied us with some fresh produce from their garden which was a real treat! There is plenty to see and do in the area with pretty little villages and small towns close by, or you can just relax and sit back and enjoy the garden and beautiful grounds with the birdsong and wildlife. The house is charming, very welcoming and well equipped, just perfect for a holiday in Normandy! Thank you so much Nigel and Paula for your wonderful hospitality.

Alan & Jo Markham
— Alan & Jo Markham, 20 Jul 2023
A week's holiday at La Fresnaie with my mother, wife and sister who is a wheelchair user.

Accommodation was excellent. Good level of accessibility that was key, especially the bathroom. Nigel and Paula were focused and attentive if support was needed. Great communications and assistance. We had the benefit of beautiful weather and were able to make good use of the outside terrace.

The area is rural France at it's best with many small villages with accompanying boulangerie, cafes and bars. Never too busy with the various market days to be enjoyed.

We definitely enjoyed our visit and will look to return.

Nick, Katherine, Pam and Sophie

— Nick Smith, 25 Jun 2023
Our first visit to Le Haut Fresnay and to Le Fournil. We’ve had a wonderful stay and Paula and Nigel have been so friendly, kind and welcoming. Beautifully located and so peaceful and quiet.
We have really enjoyed our surroundings – the garden has been a lovely haven and a great spot to eat in the evenings. Our girls have enjoyed picking blackberries and visiting the goats at the neighbouring property on the road!
Each morning has been marked by a drive or cycle ride to Céaucé for pain au chocolat and croissants from the excellent ‘boulangerie’. The next-door ‘boucherie’ has also provided some superb meat and sausages. Great stuff!
The girls have been really keen on going swimming at the superb outdoor pool at Lassay-les Chateaux (recently renovated), which has also allowed Daddy to go out visiting places while they splash around. Lassay itself is a lovely place to explore: the lovely rose garden and medieval fruit and vegetable garden; the castle and a great little cafe serving excellent salads, cakes and drinks, including some locally-brewed beer from Lassay itself.
We spent some time looking around the medieval centre of Domfront and the wonderful church of St Julien. Domfront also has a well-equipped supermarket (Intermarché). We also spent a lovely afternoon at the beautiful Lonlaye l’Abbaye, with the old abbey and cider press by the river.
The cider museum (‘Musée du Cidre’) immediately south of Melleray-la Vallée is a brilliant visit – a family-run orchard and producer of fine ‘jus’, cider and Calvados. The museum explains how cider and Calvados are made and the exhibits and information are really interesting. Josselin (of the family) was very welcoming and friendly – and the tastings at the end of the tour were wonderful!
We’ve also spent a lot of time on our bikes, with our first day coinciding with the Assumption Day Fete at Saint-Fraimbault – a brilliant day out in a fantastic and friendly village; full of the colour of its’ famous flowers. Biking has also included an exploration of the apple and pear orchards around Saint Fraimbault, Passais-la-Conception, Mantilly and St Simeon.
Trips out have also taken in the amazing 1927 Oratoire at Passais and the stunning abbey/basilica at Evron – don’t miss them!
A wonderful, comfortable stay- so relaxing - and a shame to leave. We now head off for 10 nights near Bayeux.
Thank you Nigel and Paula – we’ve loved it here.

David, Naomi, Catherine & Emma
(13 to 19 August 2022)
— David Smith, 02 Nov 2022
Lovely quiet well-equipped retreat in beautiful countryside. This gite is in the grounds of the owners Nigel and Paula, they are there if you need them but are never intrusive. You are free to wander in the beautiful grounds, and if you are lucky you will see red squirrels in the beech tree at the rear of the gite. I managed to record a short video of one gathering nuts. Great holiday and happy memories to take home.

Muriel & Brian.

27 Aug / 10 Sept 22
— Muriel & Brian Crump, 17 Sep 2022
La Fresnaie (for 6)
Thanks to Nigel and Paula for providing such accessible accommodation for disabled guests. As a wheelchair user with a Spinal Cord Injury, it's a rare treat to find lowered work surfaces in holiday accommodation, but it really does take the pressure off my husband, who usually ends up having to do everything when we are away. We borrowed the self propelling shower chair, which really cut down on the amount of equipment we had to load into the car.
We had some great days out thanks to Nigel and Paula's recommendations and information taken from the visitor's book. Bagnoles -de-l'Orne fulfilled all of our wishes on the day: steak tartare, crepes, an accessible parking bay and plenty of shops to keep our teenage daughter occupied. We spent a great afternoon at the lake and beach at la Ferte-Mace where Geoff and Daisy swam and Kayaked, while I sat under shady trees and read my book. Again there was a readily available parking space, a (clean) accessible toilet and the paths were ideal for me to push myself without help. Lassay le Chateaux was beautiful, but very hilly, be prepared to take someone strong, wearing shoes with a good grip if you are planning to make the trip down the steep path to the lake. We loved Domfront, again, it was extremely hilly, but we parked right at the top of the town in a readily available accessible bay (I saw a few available) and explored the medieval town. There is a clearly signed wheelchair accessible entrance to the church, which is well worth a visit, but the ruined castle is a bit more difficult to negotiate for wheelchair users.
We travelled out to Mont Saint Michel one day. Be warned, the mount itself is not the most accessible place for wheelchair users and you won't be able to make it all the way up to the abbey if you can't negotiate steps. The path is super steep and cobbled and you will need a strong pusher (or two), wearing shoes with a strong grip and it would be a good idea to take a wheelchair attachment, such as a freewheel, if you have one. There is a well signed car park for disabled visitors where there is a modern visitors centre with accessible toilet, which I recommend visiting before you make the journey out to the mount. We took the accessible shuttle bus out and then walked back to the car park along a long, level, boarded path.
Bagnoles-de-l'Orne has many wheelchair accessible restaurants and cafes and a clean accessible public toilet in the car park. We enjoyed a very reasonably priced lunch at Bistro la Varenne in Aubrieres les Vallees and had great fun practicing our terrible French in loads of cafes in the local area!
— Barbara Harrop, 07 Sep 2022
La Fermette (for 6)
What a wonderfully relaxing week we had. A lovely cottage in beautiful grounds and well located to visit many attractions locally and up at the Normandy beaches and also Granville on the west coast and Mont san Michel. Nearby towns have very good bars and restaurants. Nigel and Paula are wonderful hosts and it was a shame that circumstances did not allow us to see more of them. We would recommend La Fermette to couples, groups or families with children. Thanks Nigel and Paula. We hope to see you again. David and Alison — David R Edwards, 12 Jul 2022
Le Fournil (for 4)
After 2 years, what a pleasure it was to return to France for a holiday. Le Fournil is situated in a beautiful area of France. There are many places of interest in the surrounding countryside and a great variety of markets and restaurants using the local products.
The weekly markets in Bagnole de L'Orne, Lassay les Chateaux, Fougeres, and Ceauce are all excellent. We enjoyed meals at
Le Grand Gousier in Domfront, La Terrasse in Bagnole, Au Bon Accueil at Juvigny sous Andaine, Cote Mer at Cancale and Auberge La Mine at La Ferriere-aux-Etangs.
Nigel and Paula were generous and helpful hosts making our 3 week stay in their lovely cottage and garden very enjoyable.
— Dawn and David Blewitt, 21 Jun 2022
Le Fournil (for 4)
Set within beautiful grounds the cottage exceeded our expectations. Nigel and Paula were very helpful, friendly, discreet hosts and we were relaxed from the off. There are many places to visit within an hour’s drive and decent restaurants much closer. For those of us that appreciate dark skies star gazing is mesmerising.
All in all a perfect location in which to relax and enjoy life.
— Stephen Wenham , 30 May 2022
Le Fournil (for 4)
After a very long wait following the Pandemic, we finally arrived at Le Haut Fresnay and we were not disappointed. Nigel and Paula were wonderful hosts and gave us a warm welcome when we arrived. We felt very cosy in Le Fournil which was equipped with everything we needed and the log burner was a real asset. We loved the peacefulness of the garden and had plenty of privacy. It was a haven of tranquility to return to after our day trips. We visited La Lassay Chateau, Mayenne and Domfront and a trip to Mont Le Michel was well worth the 1.5 hours getting there. I'm afraid for us a trip to Bayeux was a little too far in one day, but many other visitors had written that they had been and enjoyed it. Maybe next time!
If you're looking for a lovely place from which to explore lower Normandy, this is definitely it! We highly recommend Le Haut Fresnay, well done Nigel and Paula!
— Kerry and Jim, 11 May 2022
We had a very peaceful and relaxing stay and were put at ease by Nigel and Paula immediately on our arrival. Amazing night skies and excellent for a get away from it all stay. 🙂 — Emily & Graeme, 12 Sep 2021
We had a lovely week in La Fresnaie despite the variable weather: everything from warm and sunny late summer days to torrential rain and cool autumn mists. The house is very well adapted for wheelchair use and Nigel and Paula could not have been more welcoming and helpful. We had never visited the area before, so we enjoyed exploring the locality, visiting Bagnoles de L'Orne, Mayenne, Lassay les Chateaux, Fougères and Domfront. We made one longer trip to the sea-side at Granville. I particularly enjoyed early morning walks at Le Gué de Loré, round the lakes in Céaucé and Saint Frambault, and along the disused railway line between the two villages. We saw lots of wild life, including hares, herons, red squirrels and some unfamiliar aquatic mammals in the lake at Céaucé that we eventually identified as coypu. Altogether, we had a peaceful and relaxing time, despite the Covid restrictions and we hope to come again when life has returned to greater normality. — Christopher and Sarah Schenk, 01 Sep 2020
We have now stayed at all 3 properties at Le Haut Fresnay and we have enjoyed staying at every one. It is a lovely quiet area but there is also lots to do in the surrounding area. We were blessed with brilliant weather this year so spent a lot of time relaxing in the grounds around the property as well as going to the lake beach at la Ferte-Mace which our 5 year old daughter loved. Nigel and Paula have been so helpful to us and they have really made all our holidays very special, nothing is too much trouble and they are so knowledgeable about the local area. We really recommend coming to one of the properties if you want to relax and enjoy the beautiful French countryside. — Jenny, Steve and Jess, 01 Aug 2020
Having never tried this type of holiday before, we didn't know what to expect. We have been very pleasantly surprised !
The house (La Fresnaie) has adequately met my needs (I have MS and have use of a walker and a wheelchair). I think it has been very cleverly designed to cater for a variety of didabilities. Well done !!
We have enjoyed many short trips out, in all directions, including Domfront, Lassay-les-Chateaux, St Fraimbault (very pretty floral displays) and Mayenne (that has a disappearing Hyper U supermarket if you don't have a sat nav and miss the signs!)
We also enjoyed a very tasty12 euro meal at the Auberge de la Corbonniere - very wheelchair friendly and excellent service.
We return home with lovely memories of a peaceful stay. A big thank you to Nigel and Paula. Keep up the good work!
— Jeanne Wilkinson, 01 Sep 2019
This has been our second visit to Le Haut Fresnay. Last year, we stayed in La Fermette, but as a family of 3 it was quite big, and we have found Le Fournil to be a brilliant size for us. We especially like the bread oven with the light in it. Everything about this house is great, everything you need for a holiday,
We have visited Chateaux at Carrouges, Mayenne and Falaise, and they have all been brilliant, especially if you are a history buff!
The weather has not been kind to us this week so we have not enjoyed the beach at La Ferte Mace as much as we would have liked. Our 4-year old loves it, and if you have a good weather it is a great place to spend time. The cafe is pretty reasonable; we had ‘moules et frites’, which were lovely and 11 Euros.
Other places we have enjoyed are St Frambault ( a brilliant fete on the bank holiday, but we got soaking wet!), Bagnoles is lovely, and the cider museum at Mellerai is well worth a visit for some gifts/drinks to take home.
Thanks very much for such a brilliant property for us to enjoy a much needed holiday in.
— Jenny, Steve and Jessica, 17 Aug 2019
Well, what can we say - what a find. The setting of the cottage was perfect, never have we slept so well, the peace, the darkness, and the sky at night is magical.
We had wonderful weather and enjoyed days in the garden, watching the wildlife, with a glass of something cold and fizzy in hand!
Out and about we visited the nearby places. We found the town maps with points of interest really useful and made us aware of things we would otherwise have missed: places such as Domfront, Mayenne, Lassay-les-Chateaux and Bagnoles de l’Orne. One thing we found out quite early on was dinner was not an easy option and that lunch was the way to go – loads of excellent menus on offer , and so cheap and tasty.
Swimming in the lake at La Ferte Mace was exhillarating to say the least, but worth it, and we couldn’t believe we found a beach there!
Bayeux was a long day out, but so worth it and interesting. Seeing the British war cemetery there was very emotional.
We also went to Mont St Michel, to look at it – a sight to be seen, but so rammed inside, you were shuffling around and couldn’t appreciate the place.
All in all, we have had a wonderful time and can’t thank Nigel and Paula (and Beattie) enough for a most fantastic holiday; their help and advice has been brilliant!
We will be back ….
— Nicola and Tony, 03 Aug 2019
I have just returned from what I believe to be my 8th stay at Le Haut Fresnay, having travelled there on my own this time, I was very comfortable in Le Fournil! I have now stayed in all three of Nigel and Paula's cottages, initially with my husband at La Fresnaie, which was adapted to cope with his disabilities. When I lost my husband, I continued to visit, having stayed with family or friends at La Fermette, which was the original farmhouse and has 3 bedrooms. Le Fournil is also a delightful cottage, but smaller and cosier for smaller families. So there is a property to suit everyone's needs! I have to say that I felt very comfortable travelling alone to Normandy. I was quite at ease visiting the local towns and villages, and having lunch in my favourite restaurants. I would be very happy to do it again. There are a variety of places to visit in the area, delightful historic towns and chateaux, many good local markets, displays or "spectacles" like Le Haras du Pin, the national stud, which I enjoyed this time. A little further away, but very easy to reach, there are the popular attractions of Mont St Michel, St Malo, Fougères, also the D-Day sites on the coast and at Bayeux. You can also enjoy more informal pursuits locally, like walking and cycling in this quiet part of Normandy. or just relax in the lovely garden at Le Haut Fresnay! You might just spot a red squirrel! Nigel and Paula are really excellent hosts, welcoming you to the cottage and are always on hand to advise if needed. Thank you both very much once again, see you next year! — Margaret KIrby, 17 Jul 2019
We found La Fermette ideal accommodation for 2 couples, and what a lovely setting! Le Haut Fresnay is so peaceful, and the properties are close enough to meet the neighbours yet spaced apart enough to give privacy. Nigel and Paula were very welcoming hosts, provided helpful advice and reflected the relaxed atmosphere of the place. We spent the week driving through the quiet countryside, visiting the surrounding towns and villages, and enjoying the fresh produce of the region. We had an excellent day at St Fraimbault at the annual fete - such a lot happening in such a small village - a classic car exhibition, farm animals, ancient farm equipment, sausage sandwiches and galettes, traditional children's games and music. The jolliness of the villagers dressed as labourers, washerwomen, priests etc was infectious. We also had an interesting visit to the chateau at Lassay les Chateaux, where they have English translations of the guided tour. Bagnoles de l'Orne was a lovely place for a stroll and a coffee. We filled the car with as much wine, cheese and pear juice, poire and aperitif as we could and wished we had brought a bigger car. Follow the recommendations from Nigel and Paula, the visitors book, and the newsletter containing local events for an interesting stay without having to travel too far. — The Rolfes and the Kwoks, 01 Aug 2018
Earlier this year we decided that we would like a quiet break in a Normandy gite, not too far to travel from where we live in the South East. We searched the internet back in the spring and by mid May we found ourselves in a small complex of gites after a 4 hour ferry crossing from Newhaven to Dieppe, then a drive onto our destination in the Mayenne area via Caen. 'Our' gite Le Fournil, was one of the complexes sleeping up to 4 adults The building had originally been the Bake house. With everything supplied to make our stay comfortable, we enjoyed our relaxing week. The peacefulness of the site and all the surroundings made our stay a positive experience. We couldn't wait to explore!
Upon waking the following morning we were delighted to look out of the bedroom windows at the garden and to listen to the birds singing.
There was plenty of wildlife to see; as well as the birds busily nesting there were glimpses of red squirrels scampering in the garden and plenty of butterflies and bees. We were pleased to find the little shops and markets in the nearby towns and villages; these were convenient for our morning provisions, especially the fresh baguettes and croissants.
We had already visited part of this area in the past, it was interesting to re-visit some of our previous discoveries as well find some new ones.
We were very lucky to have had sunny, warm weather for most of our visit. The house and garden lived up to our expectations and thanks to Paula and Nigel, we did have a very relaxed and pleasant stay. Perhaps we will visit again in the future.
— Anne and Alan Lloyd, 26 May 2018
What a find! We had the most memorable and enjoyable holiday this year at Le Haut Fresnay. Writing this makes me want to book again, now!
Choosing a holiday for our family is quite a task because we need accessible accommodation and extra assistive equipment to support our sons' health needs. He is 11 and a wheelchair user. We also want a nice holiday, just like everyone else, somewhere a bit special, and Le haut Fresnay suited us all perfectly.
Le Haut Fresnay does come with a warning! It is beautiful! It is nestled in the heart of a "Parc Naturel" in Normandy, an unspoilt rural area in the south of the region and on the "Pear Route". At the house you may see red squirrels and glow worms as we did! It is incredibly quiet and peaceful. If you are looking for a bit of nightlife this is not the place! It is almost entirely secluded but in a tiny hamlet, enough space to be alone, but not too far from civilisation. It is also close to a village shop, approx. 2km. The local area is typically populated with small villages, orchards, maize crops and cows.
The accommodation itself (La Fresnaie) is more than lovely! Very sizeable, homely and wheelchair accessible. The ground floor (which we three inhabited) has lots of living space and a ground floor Wet room/ Bathroom. It also has a lowered cooker in the kitchen for wheelchair users. The owners, Nigel and Paula, organised and rented a mobile hoist via the local pharmacy during our stay, and we used their (adult) shower wheelchair combined with our own seat which we borrowed from a holiday equipment service for disabled children. This is a loan service provided by our local authority (Nottinghamshire).
For my son, Wi-Fi helped to create a little bit of respite from the day's cultural activities! We found enough amazing sights and activities to do in the local area. We went out every day and mostly kept local but we also took the drive to Mont St Michel. Access to the mount has been significantly improved over the last few years. We were so pleased we were able to visit, although medieval access into the mount remains the same!
Amazing holiday - a snip compared to UK prices for similar accommodation in Cornwall.
We took the Caen/ Ouistreham ferry. From there the house is a simple straight drive, 1hr 30 mins max.
Our special thanks to attentive owners Nigel and Paula who helped us to make sure our needs were met before and during our stay.
Alison Beevers
— Alison Beevers, 19 Aug 2017
Thank you for a very relaxing stay at Le Haut Fresnay. The weather was not what we would have ordered, but the accomodation was beautiful with everything we could have needed. We have always rushed past this area to get elsewhere, but it is surprising how many great things there are nearby to do and visit. if you are looking for somewhere within easy reach of the tunnel, we recommend you stay here with Paula and Nigel. The surrounding gardens are wonderful and the wildlife is incredible. Thanks for a great week.
Steve and Karen Everest.
— Steve and Karen Everest, 01 Jun 2017
We came to La Fermette hoping for a rest. We hoped that we could find some peace and quiet and a chance to unwind. We achieved that, and some more! The tranquility of the property and gardens was exactly right for us and the attention to detail which Nigel and Paula had put into making the property a comfortable home from home was exemplary.
The Colmans are excellent and unobtrusive hosts and the property, which is much larger inside than it appears (Tardislike!),is just far enough from the Channel ports to give a remoteness yet without the endless drive experienced by most folk seeking real France.
We have already booked for a return visit.
— John and Beth Whittenbury, 01 Jul 2016