Les Quatre Saisons
The numbers are pleasing at numerically named Les Quatre Saisons campsite in the Plateau de Millevaches nature reserve of Central France. The campsite is some five acres in size yet boasts just 26 camping pitches – you don’t need to be a mathematician to work out that that’s a serious amount of space. Despite its quiet solitude in the heart of the Limousin, it is also just quatre kilometres from pretty Bourganeuf, an off-the-beaten-track town with four chapels, two museums and the enchanting restored 15th-century castle and its towers.
The campsite itself is a positively idyllic taste of rural France. By day, black kites soar in thermals above, as you take off to tramp along woodland pathways for your picnic beside the stream, while, at night, the hooting of owls creates the softest of bedtime soundtracks. Sleeping comes easy too, thanks to owners Andrew and Bernie Carnegie, who have purposefully dug large pitches into the sloping fields - some in the open meadow, others tucked into more discrete, tree-fringed areas. The couple’s hard work also sees one of the old farm barns converted into a games room and campers’ shelter for the occasional spells of inclement weather, while the farmhouse itself (built in 1802) offers B&B accommodation.
A particular highlight is the farm’s prolific vegetable patch, which supplies Bernie with almost everything she needs for her now famous evening meals. A qualified chef, she serves up meat or vegetarian feasts on the sunny lawn when the weather is nice – a ritual that regular campers rave about. It’s a fine way to fuel up before a few more days exploring. Whether it’s south to Lac de Vassivière for water-sports fun, west to bustling Limoges or east to the tapestry town of Aubusson, there’ll be something to tickle your fancy, always reached via the blissfully quiet backroads of France’s least inhabited department. As The Guardian recently put it: “Few people discover the charms of the La Creuse, but for those who make the effort, Les Quatres Saisons is the place to stay.”
There’s one central facilities block with 3 showers/WCs, and 1 disabled toilet and shower.There’s also a washing machine (€4) and electricity can be made available at every pitch. Elsewhere there’s a barn for shelter, table-tennis, fridges for campers’ use, grazing for donkeys and free Wi-Fi. Bring you binoculars to make the most of the campsite's abundant birdlife.
Suitable ForTents, campervans, caravans, dogs (for a fee and notified in advance) – yes. Large motorhomes – no (they get stuck on the steep drive).
NearbyThe site’s on the GR4 walking trail and there are over 93 miles (150 km) of trails around the region. There’s also horse-riding, biking, and fishing and slightly further afield is the huge Lac de Vassivière; one of France’s top water-sports venues. The campsite is just 4km east of the little town of Bourganeuf, which was supposedly founded by the Knights Templar and was one of their favourite French hang-outs (though you probably wouldn’t guess this because it didn’t feature in The Da Vinci Code). Visit the castle ruins there, along with the intriguing museum of electricity (05 55 64 12 20). The nearby town of Aubusson, too, is a wonderfully off-the-beaten-track town, with an excellent tapestry museum.
Food & DrinkEvening meals are available on site at €25 per person for 3 courses, wine €6 a bottle. Almost everything comes directly from the farm itself and homemade bread and croissants are available in the morning (order the night before). The nearest places off site are in Bourganeuf, where there are 2 small brasseries in the square opposite the church: Le Central (00 33 5 55 64 05 67) and La Mezzanine (00 33 5 55 64 31 17), which both serve standard fare.
Officially April–September, but by arrangement you can probably stay any old time.
The Owner Says
Our campsite is for those who want complete peace and quiet in countryside that harks back to a bygone era. One camper said –“This is a place for God and friends”. We offer simple camping but also modern sanitary facilities,including disabled shower and toilet; electric hook-ups and WIFI. All pitches are level and have plenty of space around them. Great for walkers, cyclists and nature lovers – there is very little traffic here even in ”high season”. We recommend not just the summer months but also the “Indian Summer” months of September and October. The site also includes a discreet family camping area. The majority being 'quiet camping'.
Please note the site entrance makes it unsuitable for very long camper-vans and caravans measuring more than 7.5 meters .
26 level pitches in 5 acres of meadow (special area in July and August for quiet camping).
From N145 between Guéret and La Souterraine take D912 for Bourganeuf. At the roundabout in Bourganeuf (there is only one) Follow D8 towards Lac de Vassivière. After 2 miles (3.5 km) turn left on to D37 (there’s a blue site sign) and follow the road down the hill and then turn right (there’s another site sign). Carry on up the hill and the site is dead ahead, though the camping entrance is off to the left and up an incline. Lat. 45.9492 Lng.1.8125
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