Owners: Dolphin Gîtes in Vendée
& Catherine Parkinson
were both teachers in the UK up until 2004. Cathy, originally
from Vaires-sur-Marne in Paris, was a full-time French teacher at Birkdale High School
in Southport. Howard, originally from Formby in Merseyside, was Head of Psychology at Winstanley College
in Wigan. We lived in the village of Ince Blundell, near
Formby, with our 3 children, Elodie, Luc and Tristan.
the original 3 gîtes and main property in La Chaize Giraud in 2002. In 2004, we
decided to embark on a new life in France and moved permanently
to France with our 3 children aged 7, 7 and 12.
Our plan was make a new life for our family in France, to restore an
complex, to upgrade it and make it work as a family-run
holiday-let business in the Vendée.
years later, by 2006, we had upgraded the 3 original gîtes, had a beautiful
in-ground swimming pool built central to all the facilities, renovated & converted
an ancient stone out-building into a quality character gîte (Stone
Cottage) and started a further conversion of out-buildings into
another gîte (The Old Logis).
this time, we
also ran weekend residential language courses whereby Cathy taught
French to English students who attended from the UK. I also taught part-time short courses at Nantes
University, Psychology and Hospitality to 3rd Year Law undergraduates.
2015 we had a new independent gîte built from scratch on-site
all renovation work is completed and Dolphin Gîtes is now a
well established, family run, family friendly gîte complex, in
an idyllic coastal location in France, with excellent facilities onsite
and friendly hosts who are always happy to attend to all your