The middle of nowhere yet two kilometres from shops? Children happy yet no whizzy games? That’s the magic of these farmhouse gîtes, hidden among sunflower fields and woodland, and surrounded by free-ranging ducks and hens. Owners Sandie (an ex nursery nurse) and Mark (an ex hotelier), who live in a separate wing of the house (the gîtes have their own entrances) contrive wonderful games for children; gathering eggs, picking fruit. You’ll relax even before you’ve unpacked. Inside, it’s homely and inviting; scrubbed wooden tables, wood-burning stove and cottagey furnishings. Kitchens are enviably well-stocked, bathrooms small yet sparkling, bedrooms cosy with hand painted furniture and welcoming toys for children. Exposed stone walls and beams add to the rustic charm while clever touches – vintage blue-and-white plates, a duck peering down from a beam – add a home-from-home feel. A huge garden, duck pond, pool prettily screened by a wisteria-covered fence, help-yourself vegetable patch – and wonderful treehouse – plus free bikes, keep everyone amused. Do try Sandie’s popular silk-painting classes. Then sit on your terrace, gaze over countryside and listen to the birds.