6 Impasse de la Jaurie, 87500 Ladignac Le Long, Haute-Vienne
Camping, campfires and an eco-conscience in the rolling hills of the Limousin.
If you like your camping accompanied by the sound of cowbells and an eco-conscience ethos, then point your motor to the French South West and seek out the eight and half charming acres of La Jaurie.
This small farm campsite is run by Marcel and Madelinde whose passion and enthusiasm for the land inspires a camping experience focussed around nature and good home-grown grub. Set on a hill overlooking enchanting woodlands and alongside a small meandering river, La Jaurie boasts a lovely collection of old buildings and barns and a camping field, bordered by beehives and an orchard of walnut tress. Chickens roam freely, as does Woef the dog, not to mention Pockie and Rhino, the resident cats. There's even a friendly donkey to meet, so be sure to save a carrot or two.
La Jaurie's scattering of camping pitches come with plenty of space. Take your pick from spots by the vegetable patch, the orchard or down by the stream – the waterside pitches are perfect for campfires. While this is fancy-free camping, there are still all the facilities you'll need for a comfortable stay, plus some bonus extras including a solar-powered cooker and a salt-water swimming pool.
Eating at La Jaurie is very much a social affair, with guests welcome to join their hosts for evening dinner. Every Friday, a five-course family-friendly feast is dished up using the a wealth of delicious produce grown and reared on the farm itself. The restored traditional bread oven is put to work on Tuesdays with tasty pizza pies served up at the communal dining table.
There are plenty of onsite activities to enjoy, including crafts for kids, painting, yoga and even panning for gold. If you want to really get involved you can lend a hand on the renovation of the old farm buildings using traditional building methods and materials. This is also ideal hiking territory with numerous trails to be found around the rolling landscape of the Limousin. Alternatively take to two wheels and cycle the voie verte track along the old railway line.
History buffs will no doubt know this region as the countryside of The Crusades. Richard the Lionheart met his maker with an arrow through the arm at nearby Châlus, while the prominence of 12th century architecture stands as a testament to the region's rich historical past. The landscape is dotted with unspoilt villages with oodles of Gallic charm. The closest you'll get to big city living round here is the historic town of Limoges, (35km away), though we'll wager you don't make it much beyond the tranquil surroundings of this gorgeously idyllic campsite.
The Owner Says
We came here with some friends for a couple of days' peace and quiet, just to relax, sit about and do very little, which we did, in a beautiful woodland glade, beside a stream, next to an elf village (one of the lovely surprises in this fantastic campsite). Everything on the site is eco-friendly, from the toilets to the swimming pool and the waste water, and we love the idea that the site is returned to nature during the winter months. There are wonderful woodland walks with hidden treasure along the way and beautiful views of this gorgeous part of the world. Despite our stay being so short, the owners made us very welcome. Two days were not enough - we'll be back for more!
Beautiful, natural, friendly
We spent just under two weeks at this lovely campsite in late July. Despite being popular with Dutch and Belgian guests, the owners are friendly and very inclusive. Our 6 year old had the chance to steer a tractor on our first day and activities were put on for children and adults throughout the week that were always based around nature. Tours of the animals, elf hotel building in the woods, balancing on branches, panning for gold in the local river to name a few. We loved the Pizza Night - the most amazing pizzas cooked by Marcel in the campsite bread oven while guests joined together to share the food and watch the children playing all around. The site is very natural, with a choice of pitches hidden behind long grasses, under trees or near the stream. There is a big emphasis on eco friendly camping so bring your eco friendly shampoo and washing up liquid - or you can buy some from the campsite shop. Also worth remembering to bring a UV proof swimming t-shirt for the kids if you have one, if not these are also sold at the shop to prevent people having to wear suncream in the pool (which uses a salt water system rather than chlorine). There's a fair bit to do in the area - the nearby lake with swimming and a tree climbing course and lots of chateaux to visit, lots of nice artist shops in the nearby town, plenty of cycling opportunities... All in all highly recommended.
The most perfect campsite
We just spend a wonderful two weeks at this perfect campsite. Our two children (6 and 2) had the best time fishing for crayfish in the stream, catching grasshoppers and frogs in the camping fields and making loads of new friends by the pool and trampolines. The pitches are large and beautiful, well-spaced from each other and there is loads to keep a family busy for a couple of weeks on the site alone. As there aren't many pitches, there is a real family feel to the site. Madelinde and Marcel are the loveliest, most caring people who really can't do enough to make your stay enjoyable; the kids loved the activities Madelinde did with them - from natural gobblin village building and feeding the animals to bread bag monsters in the barn when it rained - and we all loved the fun and delicious pizza nights and the meal in the family home. We certainly didn't want to leave at the end of our stay and will certainly be going back again in the future!