Some of you may have seen a photo I put on instagram and Facebook last week of a small French courtyard.  What was fascinating about this was not so much the super pretty courtyard, but the fact that it was found behind a most unassuming door in a wall on an unassuming street in a small French village.  I really wanted to take a sneak peak with a camera lens behind all of the doors I see in walls, they are so common here, but it is impossible to see what lies on the other side unless you happen to know the owner and are fortunate enough to be invited inside.  There is usually a mere hint of what lies beyond, a tree rising high above the wall, perhaps a vague scent of flowers but nothing more, they are hidden away, secretive and totally captivating.  Short of attaching the go pro camera to a long stick and poking it over the top of the wall, which for obvious reasons is really not acceptable, there is no way of taking photos. I mean imagine the scenario, you are sitting drinking an afternoon tea, perhaps taking lunch or even swimming and suddenly a plastic eye starts snapping away at the top of the wall, invading on your privacy – you see, sadly not an option!


However, it did get me thinking about gates and driveways, the entrance to the house.  Here in France, they are nearly always fenced with a gate or a street door.  Sometimes these are left open, but more often than not they are firmly closed, to keep in dogs and to keep out unwanted and uninvited visitors.


Styles vary hugely, wrought iron being by far the most common.


They nearly always have big stone pillars

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Some are new




Some are decades or even centuries old


and some have definite driveway envy!

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Some offer complete privacy

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some are purely functional farmyard gates, I do love the little red tractor here

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and some serve a purpose, this is advertising the house is for sale – a little restoration needed, but hey once the garden was cut back so you could actually make it to the front door I wonder what one would find inside?

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some are purely functional, neither imposing nor offering any form of privacy










and some I completely fell in love with!


So if you are visiting France this summer, take a little time and look at all the different styles – it cannot be denied, the French know how to do entrance gates!


  1. I have long been fascinated by the way the French hide the entrance to places behind high walls and solid doors. Some of your gates are gorgeous entrances, but so often you can’t even see what’s behind. It’s kind of cool but often frustrating. Nice post!

    1. Thanks, it was great fun being able to drive around and take so many photos. Occasionally I see a big solid gate open, one that is normally closed, and it’s such fun to get a glimpse inside!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for sharing this post. I have been on Pinterest searching for over a year for gates and entry ways trying to find something suitable. We have had the posts made and just couldn’t find a picture of a gate we liked and there’s about 4 photos I love here. I can’t wait for my husband to come home! Thank you again for today’s blog, by the way I’m lovong your blog. 🙂

    1. Hi Joanne, thanks so much for your lovely comment which quite made my day as I read it over breakfast this morning. I am so glad you have found something you like after what sounds like a long time. Hope you have a lovely weekend 🙂

  3. I have started following your blog quite recently and thoroughly enjoy the narrative and the photographs. I really appreciate the fact that you make the effort to update it weekly.

    As a family we used to holiday quite near you on a caravan site close to a village called Les Mathes and it is the dream for my wife and I to retire to your area of France, though unfortunately it may be a few years yet.

    I was talking to my neighbor yesterday evening and of course at this time of the year the topic of holidays came up and he told how he was so looking forward to returning to a little vineyard in France that was run by an Irish man and his South African wife – Chateau Feely! I couldn’t believe that I’d been reading your blog about it only just a few days before.

    Please keep the blog going, it really is appreciated by those of us that, for the moment anyway, can only dream about joining you in France.

    1. Hi, how amazing that your friends are going to be staying at the Feely’s gite. It was such a pleasure meeting Caro Feely and touring their vineyard. We were in Les Mathes on Sunday, it’s such a lovely area around here and I really hope you make your dream come true and do retire here. For us it is the perfect place to raise our children, the perfect mix of land and sea, country and city – it works well and the locals are quite charming:)

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