I remember when in the Loire valley a few years ago, seeing a campsite, well not really a campsite, but a grass area in the middle of the village, near a pond and sheltered by trees, and IIRC the idea was you would go to the Town Hall (Marie?) pay a few Euros and in return get a key to a little building that had toilets and possibly a shower.
Is this a common thing in France, or had I maybe stumbled across a local initiative. I have google searched camping municipal and there are quite a lot of these, but they tend to be bigger and more commercial. What I saw would be more like camping in the middle of say Hesket Newmarket or Askham near Lowther.
Looked rather idyllic and now I am casting my mind towards cycle touring they would seem ideal.
Yes, they're the Municipal campsites. I think at one time every big village / town was either encouraged or required to provide a campsite. They would often be on the school or village playing fields and would use the changing room facilities, etc and be open solely during the school summer holidays.
Many have become more established with students as site wardens but the philosophy of them being a 'service' to the public rather than a money making concern continues. They often have special rates for cyclists and traditionally would never turn you away however full.
The old yellow covered 1:100000 Michelin maps of France used to have a tiny black solid triangle next to a place name if there was a municipal campsite in the area and that was all the planning you needed to tour France in summer. Simply joined the triangles together!
I had planned to use one which was just the field behind the village hall. Maybe one day....
I think they are more likely in villages where there are no "proper" campsites, it's not in the villages interest to take revenue away from local businesses.
A lot of villages also appear to have a small set of gites, that appear to be run on a similar principle, clean, quiet and not too expensive,
Yes, as said, municipal campsites. If you are crossing/touring the Loire, there is a site on the Ile d'Or, opposite Amboise, which is a delightful place for an evening. It's my favoured stopover when driving to/from the Pyrenees.
I shall dig out a Yellow map and have look for those triangles.
They had one al9ng these lines in Correns many years ago. No idea of the state today.
You'd be best to find imagery of the sites you want to try - the camping municipals I've used in the past ten years or so have been like any other campsite, just without the bells and whistles that some commercial campsites have these days.
I think the village was St Epain https://goo.gl/maps/KwBgVHCDaGa4akUC9 and I may have a map of the area, it would be interesting to know if it has a solid triangle.
We stayed in a municipal campsite in Montsegur in the Ariege five years ago. Very cheap and simple but perfectly nice.
You'll want this website:
Click the very north Pas-de-Calais if looking for something close to the chunnel/ferry.
Stayed on many. Cheap. Clean but basic. Seldom any swimming pool. Usually in/near town/village so great for restaurants/bars. English mostly spoken and occasionally international arm waving and eyebrow wiggling.
Thank you, I have come across that site, it is interesting but also rather tragic with the bloke who created it dying at 50.
I seem to remember having a green Michelin guide that had an accompanying map. The guide listed all the campsites and indicated if municipal or not. Not sure if it was in English or French though. Maybe another worth looking out for if still made.
Thats great thanks, maybe buy when I can travel though
Just had an Email of P and O extending my credit note to 2022, which is bittersweet.