Latest News

October 2011 - The Guardian votes Le Castel one of the "20 best family-friendly places to stay"


The Guardian says: 

This 19th-century Normandy chateau near Coutances will be running all-inclusive family holidays next year from 30 June to 25 September. The trips feature seven nights in a two-bedroom suite with all meals, organised play sessions – and free ice-lollies in the play tent. Family suites are available at other times too, including October half term. We love the relaxed atmosphere (you don't need to worry about your children staining the carpets) and kids love the woodland den, swings, board games and table football. Adults-only evening meals are the perfect chance to relax once they've gone to bed.
• Family suite from £183 a night B&B, sleeping five; all-inclusive family holidays from £315 a night

All inclusive family holidays - The Sunday Times

Le Castel's new all incusive family holidays were featured in the Sunday Times travel section on Feb 8. The article reads:

"No need to rough it just because you are with the off spring. Le Castel, a luxury chateau in Normandy, is setting up as a family haven this summer with an all-inclusive package for parents who don't want to give up the finer things. You stay ina roomy and stylish two bedroomed suite with toys and children's books supplied. There's childcare on some days so you can send the children down for breakfast while you lie in; in the evenins the little 'uns get a supervised high tea as you relax before having a proper dinner later; and well stocked fridges are yours for snacks anytime. There's a pool, of course, but also a huge play marquee with toys and table tennis, a woodland den in the four acres of grounds, a sandpit, swings and more. If you want to get out - and why would you - the coast is less than ten miles away. It is aimed at children aged 2 - 12 "


July 10 2012 - Le Castel features in The Mirror

French chateaux - wish you were here?

Le Castel, Normandy

AN Englishman's home really is his castle in this case - Le Castel is run by the ebullient Jon, who creates a lively, warm atmosphere. The six rooms have a classic French feel, and there are four acres of parkland to explore. The deal From £105 per night (,         Tel    0033 233 17 00 45      ).


Read more: 


Mumsnet loves Le Castel

From: NancyMumsnet on 23-Jun-11 09:38 Overall rating 9.0

Le Castel is a beautiful chateau in the Manche region of Normandy, in a wonderfully secluded, quiet and very green area, but within comfortable driving distance of loads of tourist attractions. The rooms inside are beyond gorgeous and all decorated terrifically with with their own bathrooms and an interconnected room for the kids. They are decked out in thick carpet, lovely beds and windows that open onto the huge garden - which is full of peaceful-looking hammocks, marquees, wendy houses, swings, bikes, toys, and a terrace perfect for lounging in the sun with a novel. It's impossible to overstate just how lovely and comfortable the accommodation was - we could have happily spent days and days in our high-ceilinged room, at the writing desk or in the bath, lounging by the window, (plus free wifi) - it was honestly extremely romantic, at night the only sound was crickets and the trees in the breeze which was so soothing, I slept like a log. 

And while this was great for us, there's an incredible amount of thought been given to children. The idea is that the three suites (plus two self-contained gites) will either be fully booked out, or have a family in each, which means that the kids will be happy to play together so parents can relax.

Each of the three suites in the chateau has its own room for children, which each have something to make it a little extra special, like a huge stuffed tiger, colourful wall-hangings, bright paintings, plus low child-sized beds, and of course, books and toys and likewise for gites. I spotted toys in almost every corner of Le Castel – it really achieves a great balance of being perfect for kids without losing any of its style and sophistication. 

The kitchens had plastic plates for kids, kettles, microwaves, plus plug converters, a hair dryer and even a baby monitor so you can enjoy a glass of wine downstairs in the main chateau living room without worry. 

When we weren't drinking coffee in our suite, or lounging on the downstairs sofas with the two household cats, we ventured out into the countryside for some day trips. Our host, Jon, was extremely welcoming and friendly, and provided us daily with recommendations on what we might fancy, plus a helpful guide he'd written ('don't bring a pushchair to Mont-Saint-Michel' being one to remember!). We went to St Malo and took in some of the lovely sea-side views, and enjoyed some tasty galettes in the medieval town before we went for a wander around the cobbled streets, then on to Mont-Saint-Michel which was possibly one of the highlights of my year, let alone my trip - the Abbey is such a fantastical building that twists and winds like a labyrinth through cavernous rooms (which would be great for Harry Potter fans given how Hogwarts-esque it feels, especially the center garden.) And upon our return to the Chateau we were immediately offered a much-needed glass of wine - lovely! 

We were offered many restaurant recommendations which was really helpful, and one memorable place in particular was suggested to us where we ate our weight in Moules Frites, right on the beach. The food at Le Castel was also delicious, with a fab spread of bread and pastries, jam, fruit, yoghurt and cereal each morning and then dinner in the evening was equally great (while we were there we enjoyed a brilliant meal of Duck Confit with local cheeses to follow) and we were made to feel quite welcome to help ourselves to a glass of wine whenever we fancied.

The attention to detail for children, plus the gorgeous interior and location makes Le Castel a really excellent place to stay on holiday, and I would recommend it.
Check it out at:


Magazines rave about Le Castel
Posted 25/08/2010
During Summer 2010 Le Castel featured in four glossy magazines - the Evening Standard magazine (3 page article), Brit Mag (3 pages), Brittany Ferries' on board magazine (2 pages) and reFresh magazine (3 pages). Please note we no longer have the llamas.

Le Castel in new guide book
Posted 25/08/2010
Le Castel stars in a lovely new guide book - Back Roads France by Dorling Kindersley (£14.99) Unearth the real soul of France relying on all the practical information you could need, from road conditions and length of drive to parking information and opening hours. Twenty-five themed drives, each lasting one to seven days, reveal breathtaking views, hidden gems and authentic local experiences in France that can only be discovered by road. Each tour is bursting with insider knowledge and loaded with ideas for varied activities from short walks and longer hikes, days on the beach and children's attractions, to wine tours, cycling trips and river-rafting. Meanwhile, the most friendly, best-value hotels and guesthouses and charming restaurants specialising in regional produce have been selected by expert authors. Full-colour throughout, with a pull-out map of the entire country for easy navigation between tours and even postcode information for use with 'Sat Nav', discover the unexpected on your driving holiday with DK Eyewitness Back Roads France. Check out

Le Castel also features in the Cadogan Guide to Normandy.

Storming Normandy with the Evening Standard
Posted 30/04/2010
The Editor of the Evening Standard Magazine in London had to rapidly rearrange a family holiday when the Icelandic volcano errupted. She ended up swapping a skiing trip for a break at Le Castel. You can read her account of a family holiday in Normandy at

Dally with the llamas in the Daily Express
Posted 14/11/2009
The Daily Express features Le Castel in its travel pages on Nov 14. "The whole chateau invites you to relax" says journalist Holly Thomas. Read the article online at

Please note we no longer have the llamas

Travel Doctor at The Times recommends Le Castel
Posted 05/11/2009
The Travel Doctor at The Times recommends Le Castel as being the ideal venue for a ruby wedding party. See

Get the party started in The Independent
Posted 02/12/2008
Le Castel was voted a top family party and wedding venue by the Independent on Sunday. Read the article at:

Le Castel named top family hotel by Daily Telegraph
Posted 12/05/2008
Le Castel was named one of the top family hotels in France by the Sunday Telegraph on May 11 2008 in a front page article in the Travel section. The Telegraph says: "A stunningly decorated yet child-friendly chateau. A contradiction? Jon Barnsley has achieved it with elegant family accommodation and children's suppers, leaving parents free to enjoy their house-party dinners"

Read it online at

Le Castel has three special family suites with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. We also offer children's meals in the kitchen followed by adult only dinners later

Brittany Ferries magazine - Spring 2008
Posted 08/11/2007
Le Castel features in a lavish six page article in the Brittany Ferries onboard magazine. We also offer 15% discounts on Brittany Ferries - ask for details

British invasion of Normandy - The Times
Posted 29/08/2007
Le Castel owner Jon Barnsley wrote an article for The Times about Brits invading Normandy and opening businesses. You can read it on the site -

To the manor lawn - Daily Telegraph
Posted 26/04/2007
Le Castel was the venue for a big lawn mower test in the Daily Telegraph on April 21, 2007. The Telegraph brought over 5 huge ride-on lawn mowers to test on Le Castel's four acres of parkland. Read the article at

Press-ing ahead
Posted 23/03/2007
Le Castel featured in double page articles in the Ryanair inflight magazine - read the article at We also featured in Attitude magazine during May 2007. We also appeared in a Czech daily newspaper (no, we don't know why either!) and the Daily Telegraph.

Le Castel is a Top 10 weekend break in The Independent
Posted 23/03/2007
le Castel was one of the Top 10 weekend breaks recommended by the travel section of the Independent on Sunday in the UK. Others in the article on Dec 3, 06 included hotels in Cuba, Italy, Ireland and Slovakia

In the news
Posted 04/06/2006
Le Castel featured in a full page review in the Plymouth Evening Herald plus two double page spreads in the Bournemouth Daily Echo and Dorset Echo during April 2006

What the magazines say
Posted 16/06/2005
Le Castel has been acclaimed by writers from top magazines like Red, New Woman, Prima, BBC Good Food and Company.

"Wonderful place, wonderful food," Heather Mairs, Prima magazine;

"The house is gorgeous, the food is fantastic," Jenny Wood, Company magazine;

"A very special house with a lovely friendly atmostphere. Great food - worth a Michelin star!" Nicky Palmer, That's Life magazine;

"A wonderful place. Delicious food," Deborah Robertson, Red Magazine;

"A lovely house and a lovely meal," Kathryn Custance, BBC Good Food. "Thanks for such spectacular hospitality. I'll be back to beat you at croquet."

Travel agents' bible
Posted 06/01/2005
Le Castel was featured in Travel Weekly, the national newspaper for travel agents around Britain.

Top 20 Places To Buy In The Sun
Posted 06/01/2005
Le Castel had a starring role in the Channel 4 show Top 20 Places To Buy In The Sun, which was broadcast on January 5th. Come and stay at Le Castel and learn some of the secrets of buying a property in Normandy

Le Castel in The Times for the 5th time
Posted 17/08/2004
Le Castel has just appeared in The Times for the fifth time. The lastest article was on March 20, 2006 and was about the first year in business. Owner Jon featured on the front of the property section and a full page article inside. You can read it at:,,14052-2074421,00.html

Le Castel and Jon Barnsley were first featured in a full page article in The Times property section on Aug 13, 2004. Jon wrote a second article for The Times in November 2004 about marketing propery in France. We have subsequently appeared on the travel pages twice

Le Castel in The People


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Guardian Feb 2011
Guardian review by a paying guest, which appeared on Feb 9, 2012
Top view
Manchester Evening News review by a paying guest, who loved our all inclusive family holidays.

Contact us


Le Castel, 50210 Montpinchon,
Manche, Normandy, France.

00 33 (0) 2 33 17 00 45
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