Sports & Outdoors

Discover Brive-la-Gaillarde camping

Explore Brive-la-Gaillarde and the surrounding area and enjoy the freedom of camping beneath the stars

There’s something so liberating about camping. It must be the possibility that you can just turn up somewhere new, pitch your tent, and call it home for the night. With almost countless different places you could visit, how do you know where to start?

Well, for starters, you want to choose somewhere scenic and close to places of natural beauty and interest. The weather may also be a factor, so heading somewhere where there’s less chance of rain may be high up on your list. With these things in mind, you can’t go wrong with a camping trip to the charming little town of Brive-la-Gaillarde.


Where in France: Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Drive from Calais: 765 km / 7h 20m

Nestled in a quiet corner of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region in Central France, once you get past the bustling outskirts, you’ll find yourself in the pretty village-like centre of Brive-la-Gaillarde. The shops and houses are a warm yellow tone, thanks to their sandstone building blocks, which gives the town a romantic air like something out of a fairy tale.

As you wander the streets, you’ll find that they all, pretty much, lead to the Collegiate Church Saint-Martin de Brive in the centre. Construction of the current church started around the 11th or 12th century, although, there was a church on the site as early as the 5th century. Excavations between 1986 and 1988 revealed old walls and even a tomb, believed to belong to Saint Martin the Spanish, to whom the current church is dedicated.

The Collegiate Church Saint-Martin de Brive
The Collegiate Church Saint-Martin de Brive

In more recent history, Brive-la-Gaillard was a regional capital of the Resistance during World War II, and seat to several major movements including the Armée Secrete, or Secret Army, and the Mouvements Unis de la Résistance, or the United Movements of the Resistance. Brive-la-Gaillarde was also the first town in Occupied France to liberate itself, which took place on 15th August 1944.

These days, Brive-la-Gaillarde is most famous for its local market, attracting sellers and shoppers from all over the local region. There’s a market three times a week, held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and it’s a real centre of gastronomy, boasting some of the finest local produce around, so foodies rejoice!

Attractions around Brive-la-Gaillarde

On market days in particular, Brive-la-Gaillarde can get a little busy, so if you fancy a little road trip to escape the crowds, there are plenty of great local attractions to visit in the area.

Les Pans de Travassac

It’s always interesting to learn something new, especially if it’s about something completely separate from your day-to-day life. And for the majority of people, a visit to Les Pans de Travassac, about 20 minutes’ drive north from Brive-la-Gaillarde, will provide them with just that sort of new experience.

Learn about the history of slate mining at Les Pans de Travassac
Learn about the history of slate mining at Les Pans de Travassac

Les Pans de Travassac offers a unique opportunity to discover the world of slate mining that has been present in this exceptional location since the 17th century, making it the oldest slate mine in the region. Visitors will learn all about this sadly dying trade and the skill that goes into it from the knowledgeable guides.

The mines are open every day throughout July and August, but only on Sundays and public holidays during the shoulder seasons from May to October. The guided tours last about an hour and a half and start at 1:30 pm but check ahead of visiting to ensure they’re going ahead. There is a small fee, as well, for joining one of the tours.

Les Jardins de Colette

About 17 minutes’ drive north-west of Brive-la-Gaillarde, you’ll find Les Jardins de Colette, the beautiful landscaped gardens of the French author Colette in the grounds of the home she shared with her husband, Henry de Jouvenel. Whether you’re a fan of the author and her work, most notably Claudine at School, or are more interested in seeing the maze and all the flowers, you’re sure to have a wonderful day out.

Part of Les Jardins de Colette dedicated to the author’s most famous work
Part of Les Jardins de Colette dedicated to the author’s most famous work

As previously mentioned, there is a maze in the grounds, but this isn’t just any old maze. It’s shaped like a giant butterfly and measures about 5,000 m2. To add to the adventure, there’s a game for children to play as they work their way round, helped out by a bulldog and a cat mascot, and learn more about the author. There are also a number of distinct landscaped gardens, such as the Childhood Garden, the Wild Garden, and the Sensory Garden to name just a few.

There is a small entry fee for adults, which is reduced for retired visitors, students and children, with very young children up to 3-years-old admitted free of charge. The gardens are open every day in July and August, with reduced timetables in the shoulder season from April to November. For more information on opening times and prices, check the website ahead of visiting.

Campsites around Brive-la-Gaillarde

There are plenty of scenic campsites to choose from in the countryside around Brive-la-Gaillarde, all of which would make a fantastic base for exploring the local area.

Camping Le Coiroux

Drive from Brive-la-Gaillarde: 19.8km / 32m

There are 182 plots set in this shady 160-hectare Le Coiroux campsite, 97 of which are available for you to pitch your tent at, with the remaining 85 dedicated to permanent accommodation options. Pets are also welcome to stay in the rented accommodation options here, as well as in your private tent, which isn’t always the case in France.

Set amid a picturesque forest on the shores of a lake that you can swim in, you couldn’t hope for a better location. If you don’t fancy a dip in the lake, there is also a pool and paddling area for kids to enjoy. The whole family can also take advantage of the many additional activities, including table tennis, water sports, archery, and discos for kids and teenagers.

The countryside around Brive-la-Gaillarde is simply stunning
The countryside around Brive-la-Gaillarde is simply stunning

Camping du Lac du Causse

Drive from Brive-la-Gaillarde: 12.3km / 24m

There are 117 plots in the grounds of Camping du Lac du Causse, with 61 rental homes and 56 dedicated to tent pitches, with pets welcome in both options. There are all the usual amenities provided on site, such as laundry facilities.

Another scenic campsite, Camping du Lac du Causse is nestled on the edge of Lake Causse in which you can swim, or the campsite also has an outdoor pool for your enjoyment. A nearby activity centre provides access to water sports include kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, and pedalo hire. Alternatively, there are around 250km of hiking trails criss-crossing the area for you to explore.

If you’re feeling inspired to set up camp near Brive-la-Gaillarde for your next holiday, don’t forget to book your tickets with us early in order to take advantage of the best rates.