This is La Vagotière, a lovely 18th Century country house surrounded by 40 green acres of woods, fields and tranquillity – the perfect contrast to the buzz of the Race, but only 20 minutes from the Le Mans 24 Hours Circuit
The main house has 7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and normally sleeps 14 guests (one single and one double bed can be added for occasional use)
The cottage has 3 twin bedrooms, 1 bathroom and normally sleeps 6 guests.
We’re not a hotel or just a B&B.
We work with you, making sure that your guests’ stay during the Le Mans 24 Hours race goes just how you want it to.
The origin of La Vagotière's name is unknown. The first buildings were much smaller and in the 17th Century constituted a strong-point or hunting lodge on the lands of the Comte de Lavardin.
During the French Revolution La Vagotière was confiscated from the Négrier family but then sold back to them.
By 1890 the house was in ruins and was bought by the Gastines family who rebuilt and extended it, also adding most of the outbuildings seen today.
Further additions were carried out in 1920, 1930 and 1990 but the house's overall appearance remains that of a classic 18th Century country house.
Latour's famous painting "The Fortune Teller" once hung in the entrance.
Around 1917-1918, the canvas belonged to General de Gastines, and was kept next door at La Denisiere, de Gastines' country seat in the Sarthe. In 1921, it was transferred to La Vagotière.
In 1942 Madame de Gastines' grandson Jacques Celier was a prisoner of war when he saw a recently-published book by Paul Jamot devoted to Latour and his works. Jacques Celier recognised the painting hanging in La Vagotière as the Fortune Teller by La Tour and so it's he who should be given the credit for the painting's re-discovery (and its subsequent place in New York's Metropolitan Museum).
This country house is surrounded by 40 green acres of woods, fields and tranquillity – the perfect contrast to the buzz of the Race, but still only 20 minutes from the Le Mans 24 Hours Circuit.
There's fishing and boating on the lake, hammocks in the porch of the lake-side hut, swings for the children, a pergola and a picnic-house equipped with BBQs, the terrace for drinks and snacks and lots of woods for gentle jogging.
There are many opportunities for long- and short-range bicycling. Le Mans, its mediaeval Plantagenet city and cathedral, as well as a good range of shops, is only 15 minutes away by car.
The region's rolling countryside is steeped in history and easy to explore. It was the front-line during the Hundred Years' War and the little-publicised but very bloody 18th Century Chouan counter-revolution and it was the scene of the last battles of the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. The WWII Normandy beaches and subsequent battlefields are a short drive away.
On a more peaceful note, the chateaux and vineyards of the Loire valley and the magical delights of Brittany are also well within reach by car.
La Vagotiere sits in 40 acres of parkland and guests are welcome to wander as they please and use all its facilities.
Well-behaved pets are also welcome.