Camping La Forêt de Tessé

Europe France Poitou-Charentes Charente

Laid-back rural camping in the sun, with ancient castles, river swimming spots and petit French cafés within family-friendly cycling distance

‘Rural’ is the buzzword at Camping La Forêt de Tessé. Despite being around 10 minute’s drive from the N10 motorway, this is a campsite in splendid isolation. The final roads around the hamlet of Grosbout are more frequented by rabbits than by cars. In fact, the main traffic comes from bicycle-bearing campers making the most of the peaceful, flat surroundings. For those in need of a little quiet time, it’s the perfect spot.

Opened in 2017, Camping La Fôret de Tessé offers informal grass pitches spread across a one-acre space, broken up by shade-providing trees. Picnic benches are dotted about the place and there are a handful of electrical hook-ups for campervans or caravans, while a traditional stone building houses the toilet facilities and washing up block. Outside, there’s a swimming pool, along with a table tennis table and pétanque court, and, for those that haven’t brought their own bikes, friendly owners Mark and Ildi will happily let you borrow some for the day.

For those with the legs, a leisurely one-hour ride takes you to the River Charente in Rejallant, where a series of weirs and islands creates a perfect (and popular) wild swimming spot. An appealing, family-friendly restaurant overlooks the waters there, while picnic benches along the banks make it the ideal place to laze away a few hours of your time. You can also rent kayaks on the shore.

A longer cycle south puts ancient Verteuil-sur-Charente within range (or it’s a 20-minute drive), where the turreted old château only adds to the town’s already charming small-time feel. Narrow roadways lead down to the crystal clear river that runs through the former castle mill, now an idyllic riverside café, while hanging baskets adorn the arched stone bridge.

Not that you need to cycle off anywhere. The campsite itself is the sort of place that sucks you in and defuses any sense of time or it’s importance. After fresh croissants for breakfast, a few hours beside the pool and an afternoon prepping something special to cook in the on-site pizza oven, you might just feel like chilling out and staying put. A good book, some sun cream, and you’re sorted.

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The Owner Says

We are a small friendly campsite situated in the Charente department of Nouvelle Aquitaine (was Poitou Charente) in the South West of France. The area is the second sunniest after the South of France.

Stay with us and experience the tranquility of French rural living.

Our campsite is in a peaceful French hamlet called Grosbout. The hamlet is quiet apart from the odd car and tractor going by. Take a stroll around the pretty stone houses and if you happen to see anyone don’t forget to greet them with ‘Bonjour’. You can give a carrot to the neighbour’s always hungry horse or watch the little lambs chase each other around their field in spring.

Reader Reviews

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Peaceful, relaxed and immaculately maintained

We only stayed at this place for a day in our way through France. It is small, relaxed and self-contained. The hosts were great and the facilities as good as you will get camping. Perfect chilled place to camp
Aug 6, 2018 by Stephen & Fiona
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