a wonderful walking holiday at le moulin

The area of western France known as le Pays de Gâtine is a marvellous rural paradise with hundreds of miles of infrequently-used paths, tracks and lanes, in an unspoiled and varying landscape. The Pays de Gâtine is south of the Loire Valley where spring, summer and autumn are blissful, with average 2,250 hours sunshine annually.

Self-guided walking holidays are based at le Moulin du Chemin – a small, family-operated 'Maison d'Hôte' (guesthouse) in a leafy valley in le Pays de Gâtine. A wide variety of walks are available ranging from the 6km/4miles Sentier d’Interpretation, recommended as a leg stretcher on arrival, to the 31km/19mile Rocher Branlant walk. A different sector from le Moulin is proposed for each day and the diversity of the countryside means routes are interestingly different from each other.

Le Moulin du Chemin's wonderful walking holidays are hosted by proprietors, Carolynn Grimaldi and Peter Roche

who commenced holiday operations at le Moulin du Chemin 22 years ago in 1993.



The guest rooms at le Moulin are provided with tea and coffee making facilities, so if you need a cup of tea or coffee first thing, you don't have to wait until breakfast.

Splendid Continental Breakfast comprises delicious crusty French bread, and croissants fetched fresh from the boulangerie each day, with creamy local butter, home made confitures and steaming fresh coffee, tea or chocolate. Muesli, cereal flakes, yoghurt and dried fruits are provided at breakfast as well as an abundance of seasonal fresh fruits.

the breakfast table the dining room in the morning

Mouth-watering Packed Lunch contains a generous freshly-baked baguette sandwich with a different filling each day and your choice of fresh fruits, cakes, cereal bars, crisps, etc, and a wide choice of drinks from the guest’s gratis 24/7 fridge.

Walking Routes Carolynn and Peter will be on hand with any friendly advice, information and support you may wish for regarding your chosen walk. Most folk decide to start after breakfast, especially in warmer weather - to return to the cool shade by the pool before the day gets too hot.


a group preparing to leave on a walk

just returned - can't wait to get the boots off!


some of the myriads of wild flowers to be seen, mainly in spring as well as summer, around le Moulin du Chemin

The Gently Rolling Countryside, known as ‘bocage, is characterised by timeless pastures, majestic forests, cool woods, attractive ponds and pleasant orchards criss-crossed by ancient hedgerows and crystal streams. You will hardly see another soul – and certainly no tourists – while the glorious countryside abounds with wild flowers, birds, butterflies and (harmless) wild creatures.

Clear Route-notes and Highlighted Maps

Choose a walk from the personalised dossier that Moulin walking guests receive on arrival. The dossier comprises a set of professional route-notes and high-lighted maps provided in a handy A4 laminated format. Meticulous preparation of the route-notes and maps ensure you should not get lost, but in case of lapsed attention, the friendly local inhabitants will help you or you will be able to call the le Moulin for assistance.


the 'barrage' in Mervent Forest

country-produce market    photo John Wardrop

an old fashion garden at les Jinchères

ubiquitous 'tournesol'

some of the birds we have managed to photograph in the locality of le Moulin du Chemin

some of the butterflies you can expect to see on walks from le Moulin

A Civilised Picnic Lunch

One day each week guests are invited to partake in a civilised picnic lunch beside the lakes at le Beugnon. The picnic typically comprises fresh baked baguettes, eggs from le Moulin's free-range chickens, country pâtés, delicious French cheeses, chilled rosé wine - often the distinguished Cabernet d'Anjou  - followed by desert, fruit, coffee or tea.

enjoying the pique-nigue immensely

relaxing after the pique-nigue      

some of the many varieties of hedgerow fruits that are there for you can to try on your walks, according to season

"Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far". -  Thomas Jefferson 3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)

The wild creatures you can see on your walks - if you move quietly and have the mind to stand motionless from time to time - include deer, genets, martins, otters (rare), coypu, squirrels, etc. Edible dormice can sometimes be seen, although these are mostly nocturnal. We have so far managed to get pictures of the coypu and the squirrel.

squirrel pictures by Joshua Comaish


APRéS WALKING (or if you should decide to have a walking free day)

To help you relax still further, and to quench your thirst after the walk, don't forget a well stocked drinks fridge

(beer, wine, cider, soft drinks and fruit juices) available to Moulin guests 24/7 without extra charge.

Plenty of Interesting Things to Do There are plenty of interesting things to do and places to explore if you get back early from a walk, or if you decide to have a rest from walking.


The pool and terrace can be very inviting after a summer walk - the pool is heated to 29°C, when necessary. Table tennis, boules and other games are available and le Moulin has an extensive library of popular books.

relaxing by the pool

 a game of boules in the garden

Many Places of Historical, Cultural and Natural Interest

The region is rich in attractions of historical, cultural and natural interest. Carolynn and Peter will be happy to advise you about these and information and directions are also provided in le Moulin's guestrooms.

Vouvant church has a secret passage

There are many attractions in the Marais Poitevin

Eleanor's abbey at Nuil su l'Autise

The Atlantic coast readily accessible

photo Olga McBarnett

The nearby medieval town of Parthenay

modern stained glass windows by Carmelo Zagari at Faymoreau



Enjoy twelve or more lovely wines during a six-night holiday.
At the aperitifs-at-seven try some delightful local wines from the Loire Valley, particularly superior Crément de Loire, Anjou wines and Muscadet-sur-lie as well as, from time to time, wines from the the up-and-coming Fiefs Vendéen and Brem.
A different wine is served each day with the evening meal including some rather special 'connoisseur' Bordeaux wines from small traditional family vineyards, as well as some wonderful quality wines from the French South West and Rhône Valley.

A well stocked drinks fridge is also available to guests 24/7, without charge.

a glimpse inside le Moulin's glorious wine cave

Peter is delighted to explain what he knows about the wines to anyone who will listen.

ALL wineS are included in the HOLIDAY price



Aperitifs-at-Seven each evening provides the opportunity to meet other guests and to taste some of the distinctive and quite particular local wines.

Aperitifs-at-seven is followed by a leisurely Four Course Evening Meal with a marvellous ambience where superb and varied cuisine is accompanied by excellent French wine in abundance. The cuisine is wholesome, based mainly on fresh, whole and organic ingredients.

aperitifs on the patio

the leisurely evening meal

So that you can judge if a Moulin holiday is your sort of holiday, our website is as accurate as possible.

All the photos are local so that you can see how it really is!

Please don't hesitate to contact us for any further information.


Maison d'Hôte: Carolynn Grimaldi,

2 lieu-dit le Moulin du Chemin, 79240 Scillé, France

+0033 (0)5 4995 9487

 website by Peter Roche with support from Studio360

easy access from UK,

Ireland and northern Europe

responsibletravel recommends Le Moulin du Chemin



local culture