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August 2019
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Best value MAPS of FRANCE, and keeping the children amused

Llama Trekking and Glamping in the beautiful Pays de la Loire

By Susan Keefe

Where ever you live in the world news travels fast in small communities. Here in France the same is true, so when I heard that there were llamas in our little village owned by UK expats I just had to meet them and discover their story, and this is it…

On a cold December day in 2017 Sarah & Nigel Young set off from West Sussex in the UK embarking on their French adventure, the adventure being to find and purchase a farm or smallholding with enough land to keep their llamas and chickens as well as future plans for goats, sheep and pigs. Their dream being to run a Glamping Farm stay where guests could come and savour the peace and tranquillity, soak up the Vallee du Loir sunshine, splash in the pool, whilst also benefitting from learning about, handling and trekking with the llamas.

Sarah has a background in hospitality and catering, Nigel worked for Lotus cars for the majority of his career, so it made sense to head to Sarthe, Pays de la Loire… Home of Les 24 Heures du Mans, and steeped in History with Medieval Tours and The Loire River, lined with its awe-inspiring Chateaus, within 30 minutes. They knew this area would offer beautiful rural countryside, lakes, forests, plus lots of activities, whilst remaining one of the least expat populated areas in France. It had the added benefit that it is just over 7 hours door to door from their family and friends in West Sussex.

Whereas many people take an age to find their dream home, not so Sarah & Nigel, on the 4th day, having only viewed about 10 properties, they found it. The farm named La Vente is just on the outskirts of a tiny village called Lavernat. It is approached down a long country track lined on one side with the woodland ofLa forêt de Bercéand on theother, fields, where beautiful white cows graze. As they pulled into the farm’s courtyard, Sarah, being an emotional person, had tears in her eyes and they knew before looking inside that they were home!

Loire Valley Llama Farm Stay is 17 acres of mixed meadows, woodland and a lake. Opening to guests in August 2018 it already has quite a following on social media and many 5* reviews. The beautiful and unusual Lotus Belle Tents are luxuriously kitted out with “proper” beds, a double and 2 singles in each tent, and have eye catching Egyptian cotton bedding, also provided are lamps, USB points and chargers powered by solar ~ no expense is spared to ensure your comfort. Loire Valley Llama Farm Stay opens early in spring each year and continues hosting guests until late into autumn, the tents have wood burners installed and Nigel & Sarah make no additional charge for as much wood as you need to keep snug.

The tents are thoughtfully located within the farm, one being secluded at the end of the fruit tree orchard, named the Tente Peche, as it has an abundantly fruiting peach tree in grabbing distance of the tents decking. All bedding, towels, cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils are included to make this self-catering holiday simple. The outdoor kitchen, under a spectacular flowering pergola, is equipped with fridges for each tent, gas and wood fired barbecues and a microwave and plenty of work surfaces. Shower facilities are plentiful with an outdoor solar heated private shower for each tent or an indoor plumbed-in shared shower.

Sarah & Nigel are happy and proud to share the produce from the potager; carrots, garlic, melons and aubergines to name just a few and encourage guests to pick the fruit on offer, apples, plums, peaches, pears, lemons and figs.

In such a short time, this original Llama Glamping Farm in Loire, is becoming not such a well-kept secret for semi off grid holidays and Llama Trekking excursions.

My daughter and her partner have stayed with them and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. If you would like to contact them information can be found on their website https://www.loirevalleyllamas.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/loirevalleyllamas   Instagram @portiathellama   Twitter @llamasloire

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