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The most refreshing campsite pool you’ll ever swim in, plus thoughtful touches of luxury throughout

If there’s a better feeling than that of gliding smoothly through a crystal-clear natural swimming pool while eye-to-eye with frogs perched nonchalantly on rocks, then we’ve yet to experience it. The chirp of crickets, the buzz of dragonflies, birdsong, and, of course, the croaking chorus of those ubiquitous frogs provide the soundtrack to a wonderfully wild swim which proves the perfect introduction to Le Camp, a secluded southwest campsite set in leafy surroundings and combining five-star facilities with a truly relaxed atmosphere.

The site is owned and run by Claire and Nigel, a British couple who took over the running of Le Camp in 2017. Nigel previously ran a luxury tented safari camp in Kenya, where he also worked as a professional wildlife guide, and the spirit of the classic African safari, “luxury in the wild” as he aptly describes it, is clearly key to their ethos. It's all subtly reflected in the furnishings and chilled out atmosphere at this soporific French escape.

Don’t worry, though, the essential spirit of camping still remains. The central cooking area lets different visitors meet and chat while they prepare dinner, but there’s none of that cringeworthy group action. Sure, there’s a little court set up for an impromptu game of pétanque and a badminton net hangs between two trees, but there are no chalked-up league tables or happy-camper types urging you to join in the fun. The vibe is as natural as the surroundings and guests can socialise as much or as little as they desire.

Perhaps most impressive is just how different it could have been. Sitting in the stunning Aveyron Valley in the Midi-Pyrénées region, this formerly run-down campsite used to have some 38 camping pitches but for the past 10 years the previous owners have allowed the the surroundings to flourish, shrinking it down to just a handful of safari tents and woodland yurts. The eco-credentials, too, are impressive. ‘Grey’ water is recycled, solar lighting is used and the pool is cleaned naturally by gravel and plants. Local, organic products are used as much as possible, and most of the furniture has been hand-made.

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The campsite owner says

Le Camp offers luxury camping, or glamping if you prefer!  It is a unique holiday experience. Here you will discover the thrill and adventure of sleeping under canvas without the discomfort of traditional camping. We offer the luxury of a hotel and the self-sufficiency of a private villa. Set deep in the countryside of South West France, a little off the beaten track, at Le Camp you will find peace and tranquility amongst the trees. Encounter nature in style in your own private hideaway.

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