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.
Pitch price per night is €8 + adult €4, child up to 6 years €2, electricity €4, dog €2, donkey/horse €5.
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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 .
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
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Rated ★★★★★ over 5 reviews
Lovely site with huge pitches. Very pleasant owners and excellent evening meals prepared by Bernie. Just be aware that if you choose a pitch at the top of the site to take advantage of the view as we did you have along haul up the site with a full aqua roll !!!! However that was our error and we recommend this site to anyone looking for a peaceful site in a lovely location
Quatre Saisons in one day
We recently spent a week camping here and it was lovely. Our daughter loved the geese and chickens, we liked the. A little less as they can be quite vocal at night.
Campsite facilities were as described and always well tended. The area was picturesque and there was plenty to do round about.
The only downside, if I have to find one, was that the flat pitch wasn't quite big enough for our massive tent. As a result we slept on a bit of a slope.
All in all it is a great campsite.
Relax and enjoy true France
Just returned from an extremely relaxing and rejuvenating weeks camping at les quatre saison. We arrived at the site around 8pm and enquired about restaurants, 15 minutes later whilst setting up our tent we were brought a carafe of red wine and home made pizza. It doesn't get better than that. Andrew and Bernie were great hosts and left us to enjoy the beautiful location. The site was spacious with plenty of tracks for 2 young boys to explore and find new friends, some of which were geese and chickens, the barn with the table tennis was a big hit. If you are looking to spend time in beautiful unspoilt France, in a truly peaceful spot this place is worth considering the immediate area is popular with cyclists if potentially a little hilly.....Otherwise 20mins away is a beautiful lake with beaches and water sports for hire, cycling, walking, go ape and more.
Heaven...known simply as Les Quatre Saisons
We spent an idyllic 15 nights here in August 2013 and I still catch myself some four months on daydreaming about it our time here and counting the days until we can go back. We arrived two busy, stressed-out and frazzled adults with a young son in tow and left without a care in the world. Be warned - the Limousin infects your very soul - by night we were lulled to sleep under a clear, starry sky by the hooting of the owls and by day we read, drank, ate and watched the grass grow beneath our feet in a campsite which was private, spacious, well-kept and very relaxed. Andrew and Bernie are unflappable hosts who offer amazing meals most evenings (Bernie is a chef - and a sculptor too) plus fresh croissants and baguettes every morning. They were there if you needed them but never in your face if you didn't.
You make your own fun here - there is a barn offering table tennis and such like for the kids and a sandpit - but our son spent most of his time making friends, playing with the campsite cat and generally exploring in a wonderfully safe, car-free environment. Limousin is the second most rural area in France so don't expect it to be busy - the roads are traffic free, the pace is a delicious shock compared to the fast and furious frenzy we are used to in the UK, the air is clear and life is simple. Nearby you can swim at Lake Vassieviere, which has a range of beaches to suit all tastes, manned by lifeguards during the summer months, or head to the weekly market in nearby Bourganeouf.
We came with our own beloved trailer tent (although there is one on site, already lovingly set up by Bernie and Andrew for customers to rent) and after the slog of packing up we spent our final night in the B&B owned by the couple. It made for a really relaxing end to the holiday and can be thoroughly recommended - clean white sheets, a beautifully decorated room and the biggest bonus after 14 nights in the tent - en suite facilities! There is nothing not to like about Les Quatre Saisons - it really is a camping as camping should be. Thank you Andrew and Bernie for sharing your little slice of heaven with us.
This Site is an absolute Gem
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