The swimming pool
The swimming pool is located on the West terrace and is generally in operation during the summer months between late June and mid September. During your stay, Kevin (who is taking care of both the grounds and the pool) will come around regularly to keep the pool running, to clean the filters and to add chlorine as and when needed. Otherwise, the pool is set on automatic so you can enjoy your stay without hassle. However, do please feel free to use the leaf skimmer (the blue net) to remove all the leaves and insects falling into the pool. After all, we are truly in the middle of countryside France.
There are two water hose reels in the West and East terraces respectively. both hoses are connected to the tap located next to (on the left hand side) of the main entrance.
Additionally, the swimming pool has underwater lights that can be operated with the switch situated on the TV room’s wall (just next to the keys operating the pool cover). Please do not leave the lights on throughout the night. Otherwise it will attract so many insects that considerable effort will be required to clean both the pool and its filters.
We don’t expect our guests to get involved in the workings of the pool, and Kevin should be the only person involved in the daily maintenance of the pool so please do feel reach out to him or to Anita should you encounter any difficulties.
The heat pump at the pool
There is a heat pump connected to the filtration system tha can be operated during discrete periods of time in order to warm up the water temperature by a couple of degrees. The purpose of the heat pump is really to partially extend the swimming season beyond the summer months, but it is not intended to be used (or expected to be used) during the months of July and August other than in exceptional circumstances. If those circumstances occur (i.e. a particularly cold snap during the summer):
The heat pump should only be operated by Kevin and under his supervision.
The heat pump will only work while the flirtation system is running and should be off during the rest of the time. Doing otherwise will damage the heat pump and potentially the filtration system too.
There are two big terraces West and East of the château, with outdoor furniture in both of them. The East terrace (facing the rose pergola) is obviously very sunny in the morning, and pleasantly fresh from mid-afternoon onwards. There is a small Weber gas barbecue there that can be used by guests at their convenience. There is generally a gas canister next to it, but gas refills can be bought at the Proxy (the small supermarket) in Pont-St-Mamet.
The West terrace, next to the swimming pool, is in the sun for most of the afternoon. There is a dinning table and an outdoor set of sofas for your enjoyment, as well as several lounge beds next to the pool. There is a similar gas barbecue on this terrace too, making dinners al-fresco while enjoying the beautiful sunsets in this part of France one of the delights of staying at La Forge.
Some walking trails around the château
Cycling is quite a truly a national past-time, and you can expect a large number of cyclists taking on the local roads particularly during the weekend. However, there are as well several walking trails not far from the château for the enjoyment of clients, some of which can be seen signposted in and around our village. Locally referred to as “boucles” or “randonees”, these short trails can be found in a variety of online sources. You can find a few of them below:
Additionally, the château’s location in its beautiful 32-acre estate, including a small brook (La Crempse) running through, a few canals (some of them dry and some of them not so dry) and several fields and little forests, sets the background for some interesting short walks too. Depending on the time of the year, walking around can either be quite easy and relaxing, or rather challenging given the density of vegetation in some areas. However, we maintain a couple of easy nature trails for guests to walk in comfort enjoy the grounds and the wildlife.
Aside from the resident rabbits and hares, little roe deer regularly grace in the nearby fields. More challenging to spot are the foxes, the badgers and the wild boars, all of which visit the property with quite regularity. But even more impressive is the number of birds that either reside in La Forge throughout the year or choose La Forge to rest during their busy migratory schedules. Aside from the resident owls, magpies, crows, pigeons and robins, flocks of ducks and geese cover the skies twice a year as they fly North in the spring and South in autumn. Storks and cranes regularly stop by the canal to drink water or to spend the night, and swallows fly dangerously close to the swimming pool late in the evening to collect some drops of water and drink on the go. Black kites and other hawks can be seen sailing the warm air currents high in the sky, and we even have a family of smaller kestrels taking residence and nesting every spring in the nearby trees.