Sports & Outdoors

The Best French Forests for Camping

Those whose idea of a dream holiday is loading up the car with camping gear, and pitching up in some remote area, are more than likely big fans of nature. Which is why for a truly special camping trip, there’s nothing better than finding that one beautiful woodland spot. We’ve created this guide on the best forests in France to set up camp this summer.

Forest View

3 hour, 49-minute drive from Calais


Can you imagine the tranquillity of this beautiful lake, on a late afternoon? Credit: Forest View

For fishing fans, this is the ideal camping site. Amidst beautiful forest scenery sits Forest View’s large lake, filled with pike, roach and more! You must return the fish to the water after you’ve caught it, but for a peaceful few hours in the forest, this fishing and camp site is a must-visit.

For those who don’t have a love of fishing, this is still a wonderful place to visit. The forest itself takes up a large part of the Parc Naturel Régional du Perche, a natural park that was created in 1998. For a really exciting experience, you could see the park on a horse-drawn carriage. The horse specifically being a Percheron, that came from this very region.

Forest Escapes

4 hour drive from Calais


Forest Escapes is a stunning location, full of activities. Credit:

Nestled in the grounds of Château de la Baudonnière in Brittany, are two beautiful treehouses, completing the quaint woodland village feel of this campsite. Named after the famous tree climbing creatures, Les Singes (Monkeys) and Les Ecureuils (Squirrels), they are great options for those who want to be sleeping close to the stars.

The location is just as beautiful, full of lush green leaves, and fun activities for all the family. Adults can set off and enjoy clay pigeon shooting, while the children get to take part in their own activities, while making new friends. And all the family will enjoy bread making, climbing, archery and wild swimming. Don’t forget to sample their homemade cider in The Lodge, the main meeting point where all the campers can get together at dinnertime.

If you want to venture out of the campsite, then the nearby Mont Saint Michel is a memorable day out. This abbey is one of France’s most famous tourist-spots, and it’s not hard to see why. Take a guided walking tour to discover the history behind this iconic abbey.

Le Grand Champ

7 hour, 53-minute drive from Calais


Camping here at Le Grand Champ, you could be transformed into the French version of Heidi! Credit: 

When you open the doors of your tent, there’s nothing better than being greeted by a magnificent view. And what is more magnificent than the Mont Blanc, which awaits you at Le Grand Champ! The campsite is vast, accommodating up to 100 pitches, but still giving you plenty of space to relax in the mountain valley. Just like you would expect from an alpine camp, you are surrounded by lush forests, with snow-topped mountains making up the view for as far as the eye can see.

Here you can breathe in the fresh mountain air of the alps before setting off on a day of adventures; hiking, climbing, rafting, skiing and snowboarding are all possible. But there are lots more exciting activities you can take part in. The legendary mountain landscape is the perfect backdrop to abseiling, paintballing and horse trekking.

The camp site isn’t far from the town of Chamonix, which is full of cafes and restaurants. The town can get very busy though, which if you’re after a truly tranquil experience might be a bit off putting. Instead, you could visit Les Houches, which has a supermarket for all your necessities, but is made up of hamlets with real alpine charm. If you’re a walker, this is where the Tour du Mont-Blanc begins, and those who have a love of history can visit the castle ruins.

Camping Checklist

When you’ve chosen your perfect camping spot, look through your checklist to make sure you’ll have everything you need with you - after all, there’s no supermarket in the Great Outdoors!

The Basics

  • Tent
  • Torches and spare batteries
  • Electrical hook up
  • Adapters
  • Bin bags
  • Rope
  • Portable loo
  • Windbreak

Dinner Time

  • Re-usable crockery and utensils
  • Bucket for washing
  • Matches
  • Campfire friendly wood
  • Pots and pans
  • Tin foil, napkins, sponges and tea towels


  • Sleeping bags, roll mats and pillows (bring camp beds and mattresses too, if you want a bit more luxury)
  • Ear plugs and sleep mask
  • Winter pyjamas, jumpers and sleep socks

With so many beautiful forests making up the French landscape, you can be sure that you’ll find the perfect camping spot. Where will you head to next?

Travelling to France for the camping trip of a lifetime is easier with LeShuttle​. As it’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, the French campsites are closer than you think!