Le Domaine Vert
Le Domaine Vert is the sort of campsite that makes you want to simply up-sticks, yank the kids out of school and take off to France to start a new life abroad. It has all the whimsical charm of a classic children’s storybook and it’s impossible not to be instantly won over by the campsite’s rustic, farmyard entrance and miles of open space. No doubt, that the near two decades it has taken for owners Anne and Gerard to reach the campsite’s current stage have been a lot of hard work – much of the farm’s character has been brought out by careful restoration and they've done a vast amount of planting – but why let hard work get in the way of our dreams? From your pitch in the long grasses of Le Domaine Vert you too will be conjuring up plans to live a magical Limousin lifestyle.
The first fine example of just how well managed this campsite is, is the sheer amount of space on offer. Anne and Gerard’s smallholding comprises a magnificent 17 acres, yet they limit the pitches to just nine in total. It doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that that’s a serious amount of space. From most pitches you can’t even see any of the other tents in the campsite, creating a real sense of privacy and peace, while also leaving ample room for little tykes to run around and play games in the grass.
The camping area is roughly centred around the couple's house. It only accentuates that homely, family-run feel. In the courtyard outside, a cluster of tables offer the perfect space to enjoy an evening meal – home-cooked with veg from the garden (of course) – and, if the weather turns sour, Anne and Gerard have also converted an atmospheric cellar space inside, to act as an alternative. It's quite the unexpected discovery and a wonderful place to dine.
Their other magical conversion work is found inside one of the farm stables. Here Gerard has spruced up a former cattle pen and crafted his unique 'cupboard beds' out of old wooden surfaces and doors. The enclosed wooden bedsteads are particularly popular with late arrivals or early departures – those who fancy a night without the faff of assembling the tent – with a double bed in one and a bunk inside the other. Together they make a handy family combination.
To a certain extent the campsite is really a reflection of it's surroundings. The old farm is spritely and young compared to some of the ancient towns and villages in the region and a 15km cycle to Uzurche – 'the pearl of the Limousin' – quickly shows you how beauty comes some easily to this part of France. Le Domaine Vert is the perfect name for the campsite: simple, honest and spot on. A green place, indeed.
FacilitiesBathrooms are housed in what used to be stables, with toilets, sinks, showers, a washing up area and a washing machine. WiFi available around the farmhouse. There are 3 two-person cupboard beds in the stable and 1 bunk-bed cupboard bed (for children) in the old cattle shed. A log cabin is also available to rent.
Tents, campervans, caravans, dogs – yes.
NearbyIt's a pleasant 10km cycle to Arnac-Pompadour to the east, renowned for its magnificent chateau (0033 5 55 98 55 47) – famously gifted by King Louis XV to Madame de Pompadour – and is also home to France's national stud farm. There's a race-course just out of town. A similar distance to the west of the campsite lies Uzerche (15km). The English writer Arthur Young described the town as "the pearl of the Limousin" in 1787, a misnomer that has since stuck and an apt description of the picturesque, riverside settlement. Built on top of a rocky outcrop, surrounded by the meandering Vézère, Uzerche possesses a rich cultural heritage and is well worth exploring. You can also hire canoes here, for a few hours on the river – a relaxing way to take in the surroundings.
Food & Drink
Anne and Gerard prepare meals in the farmhouse. Dishes are prepared with their own, home-grown produce, whether it be vegetables from the garden, freshly picked fruit or meat reared on the farm. Depending on the weather, they offer dinner in the courtyard, the 'Bodega' – an atmospheric wine cellar– or the main, covered terrace overlooking the adjoining fields. They usually offer you a three course dinner. Hog roasts are also known to take place if you're lucky with your timing!
April – October.
The Owner Says
Le Domaine Vert: For those (grownup) tranquilityseekers who are looking for a peaceful campsite in a beautiful green region with charming people !
Leave the A20 at exit 45 – Vigeois, Uzerche and at the roundabout, take the third exit (Vigeois). Just after the roundabout, turn left to Vigeois. Drive all the way through Vigeois, keeping right, past the village square and follow the sign ‘Troche’. Leave the village, driving through the railway tunnel, across the River Vézère and back uphill again. After about 1km take the road to the right (D50). Follow this for about 5km, and then follow the signs for “Le Domaine Vert”. Turn right to “Les Magnes”. It is the second farmhouse on the right.Trains run to Uzerche. From here the campsite can pick you up if you arrange in advance.
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