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For every valley there has to be a plateau and here in the Seven Valleys we have eight of them! We're lucky enough to live on the plateau between the Canche and Authie rivers at the southern end of the valleys where, when the sun shines, my view is over green trees and golden wheat fields under clear blue skies. Only five minutes away, to the NE is the small town of Frévent, from where you are the same distance from Paris, London and Bruxelles, while seven minutes in the opposite direction is Auxi le Chateau, gateway to the Somme and Picardie. This is the agricultural heart of France and outside the towns the communities are all farming based and the tractor is “King of the Road”! The climate here is very similar to southern England but usually a bit warmer in summer ( we can get to a blistering 35° and the roads start to melt ) while winter can be severe with temperatures of -20° not uncommon. Between those extremes we have fresh springs and misty autumns – life here revolves around four real seasons. The older houses here are built from “torchis” a mix of mud, straw and lime under tiled or slate roofs, very different from the flemish style of Nord or the red and white laced brickwork common to the south of Picardie but “torchis” is a very efficient insulator while being totally natural. Having suffered from two world wars there has been plenty of new building over the last sixty years and continues today. The lifestyle here is also natural, fresh meat, fish and vegetables and not being a wine producing area, the beers and ciders are locally produced and can be pretty heady! This is not a tourist area and the population is constant, in our case a village of 80 people and we know them all! This is an area of small communities with community activities whether it is the “brocante” ( car boot sale isn't quite right but gives an idea ) or the “ducasse” ( an annual event for the community saint's day ) and even inter-village sports days. Excitement, a cow escaped from a field a couple of years ago and the villagers got together to round it up – we've talked about it ever since! This is THE life and we love it.
Having started my career in theatre at a young age I found that by the age of 21 I was better at running pubs (similar hours but more secure financially!) We'd thought of buying a house in France for several years and in1998 took the plunge and bought an old farm. The renovation was going to be expensive and after a while, to get an income, we registered with the Chambre de Metiers as a property management company looking after English-owned second homes. The business developed and we found ourselves doing more varied work, roofing, sourcing qualified artisans as well as the cleaning, gardening, key-holding etc. The years have taken their toll and my days of climbing on roofs and pushing a lawn-mower over 1000m2 of grass had to end. Would I like to work with Leggett? Yes please. Customer service and property, for me a dream life.View Nord Pas de Calais Information Homepage
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Region: Nord Pas de Calais
Near: ENQUIN-LEZ-GUINEGATTE MAP
20727 M2 land