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Camping Chez Rambaud

Europe France Limousin Haute-Vienne

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
  • Good walks nearby
A hidden gem crowded by lush fields, swimable lakes, rolling forests, and traditional villages

The Limousin countryside rolls with wave upon wave of buttery hills, peppered with distinctive honey-hued cattle and pointy-hat chateaux. Chez Rambaud is truly out in the sticks, about a mile from sleepy Les Salles-Lavauguyon on the Richard Coeur de Lion route. It’s so well hidden it might take a few goes to find it, but its vantage point on a gentle hill is the perfect place to pitch up. The site is small yet wide-horizoned. It’s also immaculately clean, but not to the point where you’ll feel bad if you drop a few baguette crumbs. Owner Neil welcome you in his flower-filled garden, after which he'll leave you to your own devices. Since the site is small and bijou there are no painful odysseys to get to the sparkling toilet and wash-block.

Camping Chez Rambaud is still in its nascency, so there’s not a great deal for kids, save for petting the pair of friendly goats that nibble the corner of the camping meadow. For the adults, passing the time is not a problem as there’s a great library packed with thrillers. But fortunately for les enfants, a few miles away beautiful Lac de Lavaud has a sandy beach and swimming area – even if the water is a bit creepy. There are bags of local things to do, too, from wine-tasting, rambling, and cycling to exploring markets and summer festivals. If you fish, you’re in luck, for the Charente and Vienne rivers are nearby and Neil can help you acquire a permit. There’s plenty of farmhouse produce for sale and you can help yourself to fresh herbs from Neil's colourful garden. Coolher home-made sausages can also be bought for monumental morning fry-ups.

Details

Facilities

Electric hook up points with 10amps on each pitch. The wash-block (heated in winter) is spotless and the showers warm and powerful enough to wake you from your slumber. Laundry facilities and special access for those with reduced mobility. Dishwashing area, chemical toilet waste facility and information in reception with numerous brochures and maps and a library of books. Petting farm. Campfires not permitted, but BBQs off the ground okay. There is no WiFi at the campsite. If you really need it, however, there is free WiFi access 10 minutes away at the Massignac Tourist Office.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, and dogs (on leads) – yes.

Nearby

Bike hire is available 10 minutes away at Verneuil. The historic cities of Angoulême and Limoges are both within range. So, too, is the eerily preserved site of Oradour-sur-Glane, its peace belying a macabre day in 1942 on which 642 people were killed by the Waffen SS. The village was looted and set on fire and it has been kept in exactly the state it was left, with burnt-out cars and derelict buildings. On a lighter note golf, bird-watching, kayaking, and horse-riding can all be organised. The Espace Météorite Museum (0033 5 55 03 02 70) at Rochechouart offers a fascinating insight into the devastating space rock that crashed here 200 million years ago. Brantome lies 30 minutes to the south. Take a punt along the river before stopping exploring the subterranean grottos and eighth century Abbey (0033 5 47 45 30 12). Two vast lakes – Lac de Mas Chaban at Massignac and Lac de Lavaud – lie 10 minutes away. Enjoy swimming, pedalos, fishing and watersports at both. You’ll also findplaces to eat and drink. If you have time, hop on the Velo Rail in nearby Confolens and pedal for miles on a disused railway line. Ask Neil for information about local markets. For antique buffs there are plenty of vide greniers (car boots), where you might happen upon a real gem.

Food & Drink

In reception Neil sells a selection of homemade marmalades made from locally sourced ingredients along with home grown seasonal salads and vegetables. The campsite's resident poultry can supply you with fresh, free range eggs too and there is a herb bed for you to use. This area of Limousin, however, is real gastro country; renowned for its chocolate, walnuts, and artisan food. So at some point you better head out to sample it. For lunch or dinner try Hôtel de France, Rochechouart (00 33 5 55 03 03 87), more French than Gainsbourg and much prettier, with wonderful views and a rustic seasonal menu. The steak haché (€15) is delicious.

Opening Times

March–October.

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Location

Contact Camping Chez Rambaud, Camping Chez Rambaud, 87440 Les Salles, Lavauguyon, Haute-Vienne, France

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Getting There

From Angoulême follow D12 and N141 to La Rochefoucauld, then hop on to D13, following the sign for Sauvagnac. Les Salles-Lavauguyon is the next village.

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