Camping La Forêt de Tessé

Europe France Poitou-Charentes Charente

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Laundry
  • Dogs welcome
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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A heated shower block with 2 showers, 3 toilets, baby changing facilities and disabled facilities. 12 electrical hook-ups (10amp). Washing-up area, a washing machine and a dryer, picnic tables, BBQ area, motorhome service point and chemical toilet disposal. Table tennis, pool table, table football, pétanque, an outdoor swimming pool and bikes to borrow. Free WIFI. Fridges and freezers available for hire. Daily bread and patisserie delivery to the campsite each morning (order the evening before). Bell tents are also available to hire: fully furnished, they sleep up to 4 people each, with 1 king-sized bed and 2 singles (all with bedding) plus an adjacent cooking hut with fridge freezer, gas hob, charcoal BBQ, cutlery and crockery. Towels are available for extra fee.

Suitable For

Tents, campervans, caravans, groups, well-behaved dogs – yes (but dogs not permitted inside the bell tents).


Rent bikes from the campsite and enjoy the emptiness of the local lanes – ideal for cycling and walking – or use one of the local outlets to rent a kayak of canoe to paddle down the river to Château de Verteuil sur Charente (0033 5 4531 1574). The closest such places to grab a paddle and get on the water are just beyond Ruffec (16-minute drive) with information in the campsite's welcome pack. If you'd prefer to drive to the château – a beautiful triangular building with 5 fairytale, conical towers and a dark slate roof – it takes around 20 minutes. Other activities in the locale include lake and river swimming, vineyard tours, a futuristic theme park in Poitiers (1hr drive) and a primate zoo, called Valley of the Apes (0033 5 4987 2020), a half hour drive away.

Food & Drink

As any self-respecting French campsite should, La Foret de Tesse has fresh bread and croissants delivered every morning. Place your order the evening before hand. Nearby, Le Moulin de Condac (0033 5 4530 1224; 15 minutes by car) is a gourmet French restaurant in an old converted mill by the river Charente and comes highly recommended by the Mark and Ildi. Eating on the waterside terrace outside is a must. For those with a sweet tooth, there's an excellent café and cake shop in Ruffec, too, Le Moulin des Delices (0033 5 4531 6205). They're by no means the only options, though. In fact, Mark and Ildi are a well spring of good foodie ideas, and provide extensive information and recommendations in their ‘welcome information folder’ on your arrival.

Opening Times

All year.

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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.

Video Tour


Around 12 unmarked grass pitches (12 electrical hook-ups to use) for motorhomes, caravans and tents, plus glamping bell tents available. Check Availability


Getting There

Leave the N10 motorway at Ruffec at the exits for the ‘D26’ for Bernac/Montjean/Sauzé Vaussais then head towards Bernac/Montjean/Sauzé Vaussais. Continue on the D26 and, after about 1 mile, you get to Bernac. Drive through the village and continue down the D26. Keep going straight and you get into Montjean. After the right bend, take the first left signposted for La Forêt de Tessé. The road immediately splits into two – keep left on the D303. Keep going straight and you will get into La Forêt de Tessé, the Mairie (Mare’s office building) and the church will be on your right. Carry on straight out of the village and you will come to a cross road with a crucifix, keep going straight here signposted to Grosbout and L’Houmelee. After the Grosbout village sign, the road bends to the right with a horse paddock on your right. After the right bend take the junction, turning left. The entrance to the campsite is just on the right there.


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Why book with Glampingly?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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