Dates for your Diary
April 16 – The campsite opens for guests.
May 5 – Ascension Day.
May 8 – Day of Victory – Public holiday in France.
Mid May – Swimming pool opens.
May 15 – Whitsun.
May 30 – June 3 – Half Term break in England.
June 11 and 12 – Art and Nature Festival at the chateau of Ainay le Vieil.
June 21 – National day of the music. There is live music in every pub.
End June – Beginning September – in this period, there are brocantes (car boot sales) and antique markets almost every day. Dates and locations will be on the notice board.
– Often there is a medieval festival in one of the many beautiful castles in the surrounding area. The feasts are mainly held at weekends because of the involvement of the local population. Young or old, these are unforgettable events for everyone: sword fighting, archery, jousting, battle re-enactments. Adults and children can dress in costume.
– Some evenings the campfire will be lit for young children to feast on marshmallows.
– Some evenings the campfire will be lit and a cheese and wine evening held.
– Now and then there will be a guided walk to ‘the big, old tree’ where we will tell you the legend of the tree. We will also go to two wells and the history of the wood will be told. Liesbeth shall be your guide.
– There are exciting guided evening walks for families. At the return there will be a chance to have a drink at the bar and make new friends.
– When requested other guided walks can be organised, for instance to ‘our hill’, to enjoy the beautiful view or to the old chapel. It is also possible to visit a goat farm.
July 19 – 1 September – Summer holiday in the UK
July 14 – Bastille Day – French national holiday
July 30 – August 7 – The 20th medieval festival of troubadours and acrobats, one week of great amusement in Souvigny.
August – Blackberries mature. You can pick and eat them or you can make a delicious jam.
August 15 – Maria Assumption Day – Public holiday with big fireworks. There is also a horse fair in Ainay le Chateau and a big brocante in St. Bonnet
August 28 – Donkey market in Braize. This is an unbelievable event. There is a very busy donkey sale, show and competition. There are donkey rides and races. Last year there was a Guiness world record: the greatest amount of donkeys pulling 1 carriage! The parade with beautiful decorated donkey-drawn carriages and people in traditional costumes was magnificent as well as the display of old agricultural machinery. There is also an enormous brocante. Regional produce is for sale and food and drink is readily available. Some 12,000 people attend each year but thanks to the large showground there is room enough for everyone.
September – Nature is special at this time of year. It’s mating season for the deer. Big stags let us hear their hoarse call late at night and early in the morning. With the help of a guide, you can wander around in the darkness to search and listen to the deer. These visits are organised through the Tourism Bureau.
September/October – It is mushroom time. Even on the campsite itself there are many species. We give you an explanation about determination and also children can get a lesson in recognising the various types of mushroom.
October – You can collect sweet-chestnuts. There are lots of them. Good for making a savoury or sweet purée. We will give you the recipes.
– With the smaller children we collect all sorts of chestnuts and acorns and help them to be creative in making toys.
October 16 – The season is over. The campsite closes.
For the active visitor the Allier and especially the Forest of Tronçais are paradise. On your mountain bike you can follow the sand paths and on a tour bike you can take long or short trips along the lanes across the hilly landscape.
We can give the sports fisherman advice on where to buy a fishing permit. You can decide whether to purchase a local permit for small lakes only or an extended permit for fishing in big rivers and major lakes.
Maps of the area are for sale in the Bureau of Tourism and shops.