In a time-honoured tale, English ex-pats Anne and Ralph Harrison went looking for the French countryside dream and found it just outside the picturesque Breton village of Plouguenast. Discovering their own pocket of rural bliss, this affable couple set about transforming the sprawling grounds of the newly acquired farmhouse into one of the area's prettiest spots for pitching up.
Pinàbre (named after the plentiful towering pine trees which tower over the grounds) is the Goldilocks' bed of campsites – not too big; not too small; just right. Well... we say not too big – though it is an ample 7,000 square metres, your conscientious hosts have a refreshingly informal 'no-set pitches' policy, with a maximum of just 10 emplacements.
With all this free space, campers are free to boot a ball around the well-kempt, fir-fringed field without fear of disturbing their fellow campers – though in a setting as tranquil as Pinàbre, such disagreeable natures are sure to melt away.
The site boasts all the ammenities we've come to expect of our French campsites (including a trampoline and paddling pool for the kids), though with a pleasing lack of commericalism.
Considerate to the last, Ann and Ralph will even let you borrow a bike from charming old barn for the short cycle along traffic-free lanes into Plouguenast for your morning pastries.
With a charming array of Breton towns just waiting to be discovered, and the golden sands and crashing waves of the Atlantic coast all within easy reach, isn't it about time you shared in Anne and Ralph's dream too?
10 pitches; 2 shower rooms with toilet & sink; washing up area; washing machine. 2 water points; 1 disposal point, electric hookups, WiFi.
Tents, caravans, motorhomes, dogs, families – yes.
The stunningly beautiful Abbaye de Bon-Repos (0033 296 24 82 20) is just 26 miles from Pinàbre, on the western end of Brittany's largest lake, the Lac de Guerlédanthe (itself a great spot for watersports). This 12th century Cistercian abbey hosts regular exhibitions of contemporary art, as well as a weekly farmers market every Sunday. Its waterside location boasts lovely views of the idyllic Nantes to Brest canal. If visiting in August, be sure to attend the yearly son et lumière – a dazzling historical reenactment featuring hundreds of costumed actors, animals, and a spectacular fireworks display. Learn about the industrial heritage of the region at Forges des Salle (0033 619 60 55 10), an 18th century settlement synonymous with the iron industry. Visit the period homes once lived in by the workers and marvel at the views over Quénécan forest – Breton's herbacious 'Little Switzerland'. There are 3 small beaches within driving distance, while Le-Val-Andre (about 30 minutes drive away) is one of Brittany's most beautiful (not to mention popular) with golden sands, a grand 19th century promenade, and a charming, 'hidden' harbour. The time-warp town of Pontivy is a must-see. Formerly Napoléonville and onetime capital of Breton dynasty, the Rohan family, Pontivy is a beguiling mix of imperial geometry and medieval architecture, dominated by the 15th century château overlooking the River Blavet. This bustling town is also home to a lively Monday market.
Food & Drink
Anne and Ralph are full of great local recommendations. L'Auberge (0033 296 28 77 31) and Le Bon Accueil (0033 296 73 40 70) in Plouguenast are both good shouts. If spending the day in Pontivy, head to L'Aiglon (0033 297 27 98 08) for a decent slice of pizza or the canal-side terrace at L’Auberge de l’île (0033 297 25 15 300) for some al fresco seafood.
The Owner Says
This is just a few of many reviews we have received in our first few years of opening.
We really enjoy meeting the campers, it's great to see people relaxing and enjoying life.
We are only a 10 pitch site on a very large field so there is never a feeling of being closed in.
Date of Visit: August 2013Unit: TentRating: Reviewer: MikeandSam12 reviews from this memberThis was our first camping trip overseas as a family and we are so glad we chose this site. This is a lovely, friendly, quiet site in a great location for exploring rural Brittany. The owners, Ralph and Ann, are so welcoming and helpful in every way that we felt like valued guests rather than just another set of campers - thank you!They always found time to help with queries and gave advice about making the most of the local area, as well as practical information about things like shopping - as it was our first time in France it was helpful to learn about shop closing hours etc. The site is a more or less level grassy field with well sited EHUs and water supply. The two bathrooms each have a shower and a loo and are kept spotlessly clean. There's a double sink for dish-washing and hand washing and a washing machine with a small charge for doing a load (3 euros)Generally there are only 6 units on the site. On the occasional night when there were a couple more, there were slight waits to use the facilities, but nothing that caused any difficulties. There are plans for an extra loo to be put in. There was plenty of room on the camping field for the children to run around and play without disturbing other campers and they loved it here too. There are lovely local walks and the area would be ideal for cycling too as there are many quiet lanes in the neighbourhood. Maps were available to borrow on site. Because of the small size of the site it is a great place for meeting up with other holidaymakers - and we were all able to make new friends! Days out to beaches on the north Brittany coast are easily accessible. Lac de Guerledan has bathing beaches and other water activities and is a short drive away. Near there, the Abbaye de Bon Repos (market on Sunday morning) and Les forges des Salles were well worth a visit. We also did longer days out to Mont St Michel, Cap Frehel and Carnac from here - the road network is excellent and we found getting about easier than we had anticipated. We found Loudeac's supermarkets ideal for getting supplies (the local tabac and boulanger had closed for their two week summer holiday while we were there). Camping Gaz 907 refills are available inside larger supermarkets- and cheaper than at home. We hope to come back to Plouguenast soon!Date of Visit: August 2013Unit: TentRating: Reviewer: NathalieandPhilip1 review from this memberWe were so glad to arrive at the site to find such a lovely space to camp in and such warm greetingsThe site itself isn't one of those huge affairs and we were told that once we had set up they were actually full. In our view however with only 8 pitches and loads of room between each other, we couldn't believe how lovely it felt, and peaceful too. The bathroom facilities were so good. Two spotlessly clean rooms that made us jealous of ours back home!All in all, this is the best camp site we have ever stayed at and we will definitely recommend Pinabre camping to our friends.Date of Visit: August 2013Unit: TentRating: Reviewer: Tunny8882 reviews from this memberJust returned from two weeks at Pinabre we had a wonderful time. This was our first visit to France as campers and we weren't disappointed. Pinabre is a great campsite not big or commercial which we prefer, it has 2 toilet/shower rooms which occasionally got busy but this was never a problem, maybe a couple of separate toilets would be an improvement. It is well situated in a quiet corner of France not to far from local amenities in Plouganaset. We visited many of the nearby tourist attractions but not all so we've got an excuse to go back. The site owners Ann & Ralph were the perfect hosts always there if we needed help or advice so a big thank you to them. We would recommend Pinabre to anyone and will definitely be returning.Date of Visit: July 2013Unit: Touring CaravanRating: Reviewer: Kenboagogo2 reviews from this memberThe perfect caravan site. A massive mowed meadow that will only ever host six units! A beautiful toilet block with two wet rooms I'd love for my own house. Free WiFi! Laundry facilities and local information area. What makes this site very special, however, are the owners. They have managed to find the difficult balance between being in your face and interfering and abandoning you to your own devices the result is a lovely friendly couple who make you feel at home but leave you to enjoy your holiday. They are also genuinely good craic!What about what the site doesn't have? No kids club, great (I've got five kids and this site is perfect in terms of space and letting them use their own imagination whilst not annoying other campers). No bar, great (I did share a beer or two with other campers, but a quiet site with no bar is perfect). No pitch markers, great (absolute freedom to pitch where you want). I chose this site as a one off for its locality, it will now be central to future holiday plans. The perfect caravan site!Get a sign!Date of Visit: July 2013Unit: TentRating: Reviewer: Derbydale1 review from this memberWhat a fantastic campsite - perfect for getting away from it all and with holding only 6 pitches, we knew it wasn't going to be a crowded site. The hosts - Ralph and Anne are most helpful upon arrival and friendly. The bathroom facilities are first class and they are able to charge small electrical items, which is a bonus for when the camera battery runs out! The site is about a 10 minute drive away from the beautiful town of Monconteur - the patisserie is a must visit! The site is well located for days out to other towns and the beach too. There is even a campsite cat which, if you're a cat lover is the cherry on the cake. Would highly recommend this site without the slightest hesitation - excellent value for money
From St. Malo, Cherbourg, Le Harve & Calais Ports: Take N176 heading Dinan/Saint Brieuc. Follow on to N12 heading for Saint Brieuc. Exit N12 at Le Petite Lamballe / Moncontour. Turn left at D768 heading for Moncontour. Follow D768 through Moncontour, you will see Plouguenast signposted. After sign for Plouguenast, look for Montorien Sign on your right in 5 miles. After Montorien sign in 1/2 mile on the right hand side you will see L'Auberge Restaurant sign & Gausson road sign. Take this right turn. Take first left signposted Lingouet, you will see 3 large farm buildings on your left. Straight ahead you will see site entrance.
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