Tucked away in the beautiful region of Occitanie in the South of France lies The Water Mill. A cluster of three properties that are jam-packed full of tot friendly features with a laid back boho-chic vibe. Comprising of Mill End, Massette and Aubriete you’ll be spoiled for choice, with each one boasting beautiful, rustic features and a charm that’s unique to French holidays.
The Water Mill is one of Tots To Travel’s most popular destinations, and it’s very easy to see why…
Property Name: The Water Mill
Property Sleeps: Each one of the 3 gites sleeps 7 plus babies in cots (There are 6 cots in total)
Closest Town: Sommieres less than 5 mins by car – Nimes and Montpellier around 30 minutes
Perfect For: Large groups wanting their own space. Also great for families with older children too.
Best Pushchair Stroll
Straight from the door! Come out of the mill and turn left, cross over the river bridge and you’ll be straight onto a tiny country road with hardly any cars all day, through shady woodland, great for a nap-time stroll in the shade.
Or turning left, cross over towards the lovely chapel St Julien (that has art gallery shows from time to time and concerts) and follow the reclaimed rail track – which could take you all the way to Sommieres if you wanted, about 3kms. We have 2 back pack baby carriers too if you’d prefer (they are ideal for market visits where a buggy is a bit of a pain.)
Of course, if you prefer a stroll and a coffee, drive into Sommieres or Calvisson (10 mins) away and you can check out the markets and windows… lovely little back streets to get lost down.
Read more here.
Closest Family Friendly Restaurant
Right in our village, we have the village cafe offering meals at lunchtime, tables and chairs under a pergola shade and lovely to watch the world go by. Easily walkable.
Or at the other end of the village there’s a pizzeria / grill: La Pierre de Feu – it’s a 10 minute walk or less than 2 minutes in the car. Lunchtime is 3 courses for €11.95 including a jug of wine – the first course is always a salad buffet which little fingers adore to choose from.
Excellent wood burner cooked pizzas here in the evenings. Tables inside or out and really easy going to take little ones to…. (it’s this restaurant that delivers to the mill in the Mum’s package!)
Mum & Dad’s Special Night Out
Reserve a table at Chez Tibere in Sommieres. Right on the river, not 2 minutes drive from the mill.
Mentioned in the Michelin guide, this is a special place.
They can also offer gluten free, veggie and vegan dishes. You’ll always get a warm welcome.
Parking right next door.
Full Day Out
Well take your pick! We are so well situated!
We are just 30 minutes from Roman Nimes – visit the Jardin de Fontaines and the Maison Carre right next door… and finish off with a tour of the Roman arena,
We are just 1 hour from Avignon – visit the Palais des Papes, which is simply stunning and go and dance on the Pont d’Avignon! There are some amazing boat tours to be taken along here too!
And only 30 minutes from Montpellier. Drop the car at the tram park & ride so no stress (€4.80 parking all day and tram tickets for everybody in the car)
Then have an espresso on the place de la Comedie… after, wander down the little pedestrian back streets of the Ancien Courier and window shop very individual little shops.
Return to the Comedie and walk along the fountains of the Corum and rest your legs a moment and the little ones can let off steam on the play park there…
Leaving Montpellier you’ll see the etangs with Flamingoes and the beaches of the Med. perhaps stop and have a drink in one of the Paillottes on the beach as the sun sets?
Half Day Out
A great place for a visit with toddlers: Les Petits Fermiers and younger children.
You can pan for gold here. Feed the animals (goats, Llamas, pigs etc), ride the horses and walk around the allotments (they have certain days of the week where you can pick and buy their produce).
Great things to swing on and climb on and you can get dad to row you around their little island.
At the end parents can have a glass of wine in the shade and watch small people climb and run about…
NB Take a towel and a change of clothes for the kids!
There’s a tiny toddlers park right in the middle of our village…
Or take the road towards Sommieres, and turn right at the roundabout AFTER the roundabout with the train. Here there are plenty of benches for weary mums and dads to rest on whilst the kids go wild!
And of course, we have our own play park, mini football field and kiddy house with costumes to change into and all the kit to make a pretend meal…
Special Tips from the Locals
Salads and glasses of rose for mum and dad and organic finger foods, fruit and veg (and a free toy) for the little ones.
Of course, toilets and showers. I like this one as it’s not glitzy & posh, and it’s really set up for the kids.
Right in our village! Borrow one of our bikes and send dad (or grandad) off first thing to fetch the croissants – it’s also a little bit of a general store too, if you’ve forgotten anything it’s handy. In the Summer there are ice cream cones to be bought too – worth a slow walk up as it’s real artisanal ice cream.
Either Carrefour market in Villevielle or Intermarche in Sommieres – just 5 minutes in the car – both open on Sunday mornings too.