a wonderful walking holiday

The area in central-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 fabulous little 'Maison d'Hôte' (guesthouse) – with a marvellous ambiance.

Le Moulin du Chemin is off the beaten tourist track and yet easily accessible.

More than a dozen varied and appealing walks are available ranging from the 6km/4miles Sentier d’Interpretation – recommended as a leg stretcher on arrival – to the intriguing 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.

Supplementary walks at other local places of interest are proposed for guests with their own transport


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 24 years ago in 1993.



Coffee and Tea making facilities are provided in guestrooms at le Moulin du Chemin. The consumables are replenished daily. No need to wait for breakfast for the early morning cuppa.

Lovely Continental Breakfast comprises delicious crusty French bread, and croissants brought each day fresh from the boulangerie.

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.

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 fridge available 24/7 without charge.



 Guests are invited to a civilised picnic lunch beside the lakes at le Beugnon, usually on a Wednesday.

A typical picnic 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



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

Many guests are attracted back to le Moulin du Chemin remembering the wonderful ambiance that can be generated with aperitifs-at-seven and the evening meal. By way of information, 25-30% of reservations at le Moulin du Chemin are repeat bookings or come from previous guests' recommendations.

Aperitifs-at-seven is followed by a leisurely four course Evening Meal where superb and varied cuisine is accompanied by excellent French wine in abundance. A lot of lively conversation and a marvellous ambience are the norm The cuisine is wholesome, based mainly on fresh, whole and organic ingredients.


The main road into Scillé

Follow the Walking Routes propose in your Personalised Route Dossier (provided in your room) or improvise your own routes, visit a local place of interest or simply relax.

Carolynn and Peter will be will be pleased to help with any advice, information and support you may require.


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.

Route-notes and Highlighted Maps

Choose a walk from the Personalised Dossier that guests at le Moulin du Chemin receive on arrival. The dossier comprises sets 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. However, if you happen to wander off the route call le Moulin du Chemin or the friendly local inhabitants advise help you.


the 'barrage' in Mervent Forest

country-produce market    photo John Wardrop

an old fashion garden at les Jinchères

ubiquitous 'tournesol'

spring cherry blossoms near les Rocher Branlant

path through the boulders



The countryside abounds with birds, butterflies, wild flowers, ancient hedgerows and small creatures, which can be seen on walks in the vicinity of le Moulin du Chemin.

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

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.


squirrel pictures by Joshua Comaish

some of the myriad wild flowers to be seen in spring and summer around le Moulin du Chemin


APRèS WALKING (or if you decide on a walking-free day)

The well-stocked drinks fridge (beer, wine, cider, soft drinks and fruit juices) will permit you to quench your thirst and to relax still further. The service is available 24/7 without extra charge.

 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.


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
the 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


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

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 website by Peter Roche with support from Studio360

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Ireland and northern Europe

responsibletravel recommends Le Moulin du Chemin