Camping Etangs du Moulin
Camping Etangs du Moulin 02320 Suzy
All kids love playing 'cowboys 'n' injuns'. Some grown-ups do for that matter too. Well, if you're the type to get giddy at the theme from Bonanza, then saddle up partner and mosey on down to Picardy's funnest darn-tootin' new camping experience. Camping Etangs du Moulin is a slice of The Old West in the rural French north. Run by affable host Agnès ('her's the sheriff round these parts' – we'll stop now) along with husband Sebastien, this is the ultimate getaway for your tiny Tontos... not to mention all bigger Buffalo Bills.
Just outside the blink-and-you'll-miss-it hamlet of Suzy, Etangs du Moulin's variety of western-themed accommodation is sure to bring out the John Wayne in any intrepid pioneers. While there are an ample 30 level grass pitches for tents, caravans and modest-sized motorhomes, those seeking the authentic experience should opt for one of the hand-built pioneer waggons. Kids will love these charming chucks that can sleep a family of up to five. John, Lucky, Clint, Calamity and Charles are fitted with a double bed, a triple bunk, kitchen, shower and toilet. Best of all, they're equidistant from both the playground and saloon so mum and dad can enjoy a few scoops at the rum-hole while the littl'uns get in character.
But it isn't all about the kids here. For those looking to really push the pony out, La Village Boheme features a trio of handsome roulottes, secreted away from the rest of the site. These gorgeous gypsy caravans are pretty much self-contained and you can even indulge in a spot of pampering with chilled champagne waiting on arrival, meals brought to your door and a full-body massage (just... erm... like the real cowboys then).
Elsewhere, the tipi reservation features five Native American-style canvas abodes. Each sleep two couples and come complete with wood-burning stoves, BBQ, outdoor seating, and the 'Cheyenne refuge reserve' provides an atmospheric communal area for cooking and dining.
For those who like their camping with a large dose of comfort, the six wooden cabanes have something to suit all glamping guests. Enjoying excellent views from their enviably-elevated position atop stilts, the lodges range from a two-person love shack to the family-sized Fisherman's Hut waterside cabin, with spacious veranda for spotting the trout leaping from the lake. The newest cabanes are the Cabane de D'Jo - with views on the lake from the king sized bed and a wooden bath and the Cabane du Grizzli with a round bed overlooking the lake and a hydro jet shower. Both set amongst trees by the waters edge - so kick off your boots and enjoy a spot of fishing from the veranda as you take in the tranquility of this setting.
As the name suggests, there are an abundance of carp-filled lakes here at 'the watermill' and rods can be hired onsite. For those not as enamoured with angling, there's a heated outdoor swimming pool and a varied choice of other activities on offer, including pony trekking. And while you can't exactly rustle cattle, there's a proliferation of tiny, fluffy wild rabbits to herd. Don't forget your stetson.
While the French and gastronomy go together like Butch and Sundance, the culinary delights on offer at Etangs du Moulin are of a distinctly more American flavour. The onsite Tex'n Restaurant is something of a local institution (a testament to the quality of the site), with vacationing vaqueros joined by the natives for a carnivore-friendly menu of pub grub favourites and pintxos to accompany the selection of quenching bières d'Abbaye. Campers can also order from a selection of mightily meaty BBQ packs to slap on their own personal grill – bison steak anyone?
The Owner SaysA slice of The Old West in the rural French north – saddle up partner and mosey on down to Picardie's most entertaining new camping experience.
We recently camped at this lovely campsite. It was a fantastic stay and we will definitely go back again. This site has a very relaxed feel about it and the owners couldn't be more helpful or friendly. We had dinner at the restaurant on the first night and the "cowboy" who served us made our children's holiday! The food was excellent and they even arranged for a takeaway dessert for us at our tent on our last night there. Each morning we collected fresh pastries and a baguette which was a treat. The site itself has great facilities. The heated pool was great and the fishing was fun for us all. The site is beautiful as there are a few carp lakes to fish in and our pitch overlooked the lakes. There are pony rides and go karts for the children, as well as trampolines, a playground and volley ball court. This is a very well run site with fantastic facilities!