While on a business trip to Paris with another in Bordeaux a couple of days later - I thought I would drive to see some of the countryside between the two – I had time so took a couple of days out. I had always fancied the idea of a lazy holiday cycling around some beautiful villages and scenery and had been recommended the Charente region by friends… so thought I would check it out on this trip. I found Charente Cycling Holidays on a web search and was instantly drawn to the opening line of the reluctant lazy cyclist ( I am more shorts and basket on the front than Lycra and helmets ) so in order to check it out, I asked if they would do a B&B for me en-route to Bordeaux.
Roddy and Ellie where more than welcoming, and I ended up pulling into a country idyll just off a Charente farm with no noise……just peace and quiet and fantastic open views and a couple of beautiful dogs. Totally charming and beautifully decorated, it was everything you dream off in an escape away from the outer world.
The bedroom was really comfortable and Ellie and Roddy had gone to incredible lengths to make you feel right at home with all you needed. Wonderful hosts, filled with local knowledge and information and most wonderful of all really warm and friendly and as a single traveller was made to feel absolutely at home.
I will certainly go back for a longer stay – and in between just relaxing in the sun and peace and total quiet I may take the odd day or two to do a reluctant lazy bike ride to the nearest good restaurant or patisserie! As long as it has a basket on the front!
Jeremy Whyntie – Interior Design Director for a Global Hotel Operator.
"Thank you so much for a great aerial yoga session yesterday. I really enjoyed it - it was more challenging than I had expected but in a good way and all sorts of muscles are telling me they've been worked this morning which I didn't know I had! Loved the flying sensation! I would love to get more confident with it, and it was wonderful to watch your flexibility and agility with the equipment. You're a great teacher and you must let me know about any retreats you're planning in France."
Louise Bray - Somerset, UK
"Being more of a Pilates girl and a complete novice to yoga let alone aerial yoga I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when Ellie invited me to one of her classes. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Ellie is a very patient and thorough teacher and methodical in explaining the different stages. We started off getting our confidence swinging and lying down in the the parachute silk hammocks and before we knew it we were hanging upside down and flying through the air. Being non weight bearing it is a wonderful way of exercising letting the parachute take the strain. Before we knew it an hour had gone by and we were relaxing under fluffy blankets.
Ellie made us feel very at ease and she had lovely touches from the pine essence she gave us to embolden us at the beginning to the wind down relaxation at the end with warm blankets and lavender eye mask and belly bags.
Thank you Ellie I really enjoyed myself."
Susie Pisani - Somerset, UK
"A great warm welcome was given by our hosts Roddy & Ellie. They made us feel at home in their comfortable and elegant french home.
The setting is peaceful and relaxed and is a great place to unwind. The Charente region is beautiful and Roddy was able to provide a 'tailor made' lazy evening bike ride that I could enjoy with my wife. She loved it despite being a cycling novice. The following day I joined Roddy for a more challenging ride that would have suited any club cyclist. The countryside and route was stunning. The coffee stop was also very special - an old water mill on the banks of the river Charente that was overlooked by a Château. It doesn't get much better than that! (I can recommend the home made brioche - you will not be disappointed).
Overall this was a little gem of a holiday experience. We will be back for more."
Vince & Lyn Wasiewicz - Somerset, UK
"As an absolute beginner to Yoga I was slightly unsure of what the experience would be like. Fortunately for me, Ellie is an amazingly accommodating teacher who made me feel very welcome from the start. She explains the postures and breathing techniques in an easily understandable way. She is very aware of the different capabilities that we have and allows me to do the postures at a gentle pace respecting my body without feeling pressured to push myself too far.
Ellie has a great sense of humour as well which make the Yoga sessions fun to do. I certainly really look forward to my classes with Ellie. She has not only helped me increase my fitness level but has also shown me the great way in which stretching and breathing correctly can help you so much in your everyday life. Thanks Ellie for everything."
Lorraine Marshall - Somerset, UK
"I very much enjoyed the yoga sessions run by Ellie. She is a patient, friendly and warm person who puts you at your ease. As someone new to Yoga I enjoyed the small group sessions which meant Ellie could give plenty of individual attention. She was careful to adjust my posture when needed and encouraged me to improve at my own pace. It was a real pleasure learning with her."
Hannah Solloway - Dorset, UK
"Roddy at Charente Cycling organised a week’s holiday for a group of cyclists to cycle to and stay in the house in Moutardon. We travelled by overnight ferry to Caen ... then cycled the 300 plus miles over three days to Moutardon.
Roddy planned and organised the routes and the support vehicles with great expertise and skill. The route is simply sensational - especially on the third day; we started in Loches and cycled for many miles following meandering rivers, crossing the River Vienne to Bourpeuil under the sight of the spectacular overlooking railway viaduct, to some while later reach Moutardon - after more than a 100 miles of stress free cycling on quiet, high quality roads.
Moutardon itself nestles in a vast area of rolling hills, farms, quiet roads and beautiful small French towns; plenty of places to cycle, have coffee, cycle more, lunch and then the following day ... repeat. A Fabulous place to spend hours and days cycling and exploring new places each day.
Charente cycling’s accommodation is on the edge of the small village of Moutardon and is a renovated farmhouse. Nicely modernised, well fitted with lots of mod cons and plenty of comfortable living space to relax in and recover after long days in the saddle.
A brilliant week. I will be going back to experience more of Charente Cycling’s hospitality and also the delights of the surrounding area - thanks Roddy!"
Philip Bradley - Dorset, UK
"What an amazing experience staying at this beautiful farm house in an absolutely stunning location also helped out with some glorious weather. This was my first visit to this area of France and I will definitely be back to stay with Roddy and Ellie again.
The roads just cry out to be cycled on and we did that lots.
Some great local shopping and cafes in the village of Verteuil approximately 10k from the house, I must take my wife there next visit she would love it."
John Ormshaw - Salisbury UK
I can recommend the Long Haul as a rewarding experience for a group of cyclists. We had a support car from the ferry port and rode with Roddy to this special corner of France, and what a hidden gem it is.
The Charente region is distinct and laid-back with great produce, and the local Pineau on ice went down beautifully with the setting sun on arrival at the farmhouse. The region gave a concentrated source of carefully mapped cycle routes threading together beautiful villages, rivers, chateaus and cafes - all revealed to us by our host. In short, if you want to experience a cycling holiday that is different and full of character with smooth rural roads then Moutardon and the surrounding area is the place for you. If you have the time and fancy the challenge then the Long Haul is a must do, a Pineau awaits!
Chris Waters – Bath, Uk
I've been to stay with Roddy and Ellie twice now and can't wait for the next time! They are always very welcoming and great to stay with.
I've done a fair bit of riding around the area and feel like I've barely started. There are endless smooth and quiet roads to be ridden and explored. Roddy always plans a great route. Make sure you get down the local bar for a stone baked pizza and the café by the river in Verteuil-sur-Charente.
Aden Wills - Somerton, Somerset.
"I always feel like I've been to the spa after I've had a session with Ellie. It's such a treat to have time to focus inwards and appreciate your body's capacities and understand its limitations, and Ellie's teaching style is in perfect harmony with the sense of balance that yoga offers - of pushing your body and mind at the same time as making peace with where you are that day.
My sessions with Ellie took my yoga practice to another level, inspiring a love for vinyasa yoga and showing me that I could do better than I thought. She's very patient with going through any queries you have or working around your body's quirks. I can't wait to come and practice with her in the beautiful Charente."
Issy Barber - Bedford, UK
"Well what can I say. For me personally, I was looking for a cycling venue where I could build up my strength on the bike and with lovely weather and great roads. I have been a keen cyclist for most of my life and about 9 years ago I caught lymes decease and that put my health in a different place all together. I couldn’t even ride a bike at one stage. So my mission was to find a family holiday where I could build up my fitness & strength on quiet smooth roads and also have fun with the family - then I found this amazing place. My family and I have been to this location twice now and it offers everything for us all. The second year we were there Roddy showed me lots of outstanding roads and views around the location of the region. So to sum it up, outstanding couple, fantastic location and accommodation. Amazing glass smooth roads to cycle on, so quiet and traffic free compared to the uk. A great place to visit and the local food is to die for. I would like to say a big thank you to Roddy and Ellie for been amazing hosts. My family and I will be back and don’t tell the wife but I think there could also be a boys cycling trip planned to go as well. Thanks."
Ellis family - Salisbury, UK
"Charente Cycling provided my first introduction to cycling in Europe. Oh how much better the roads and consideration to cyclists are.
With a warm welcome, we were greeted for a week of relaxing and short (or so I told my non riding wife) rides. Having travelled with a couple of cycling friends also, we headed out for 3 rides, slightly damp on the second ride, we called it short and returned to base to dry out and relax watching a few films whilst grazing on fresh local produce prepared by our hosts.
Our last ride, passed through Nanteuil-en-Vallee past Saint Claud as far as Exideuil for a little coffee stop. Back on the bike and returning to the farm house, this time passing through Chirac, Ansac-sur-Vienne, Alloue. 95.69Km and 1351m of elevation, damn those missing 4.31Km!
There is great cycling at all levels around the area and enough to do and see for those times you just do not want to be in the saddle. Having added more rooms and Yoga to the offering, I am sure Roddy & Ellie will be far busier soon, book early for your experience.
The Farmhouse provides a relaxing place to while away evenings over great food and drink. Will I return, YOU BET I WILL!"
Adrian Roddis - Frome, UK