Camping Maisonneuve May 2019
I have mixed feelings about this site. I chose it because I wanted a site that was quiet
and scenic. It ticked both boxes, and would have been idyllic if the weather had been better. Unfortunately it's very much a site that's no good in bad weather (and the Dordogne can have a lot of rain. )
When we arrived the weather was very hot
and sunny (30 degrees) so we chose a shady pitch by the river Ceou, which was lovely. There were a lot of pitches with very little shade, which would have been unbearable in the heat. We liked the fact that the river-side pitches had no boundary at the front,
so lots of room to spread out. Our view was across a wide field with an unmown area in the centre, full of wild flowers, with views to a steep wooded hill with a rocky escarpment at the top, popular with rock climbers.
We enjoyed the very smart
new swimming pool, although any footwear had to be left at the entrance, and the decking was too hot to walk on! There were always sun beds available, although not much shade, and the toddlers' pool was completely unshaded too. It was wonderfully refreshing
to bathe in the river, which was crystal clear and icy cold.
There are three unisex toilet blocks of different sizes and levels of comfort, although all are near the reception area - a long walk from some of the pitches. I chose the site because
according to the ACSI book the facilities were heated and had toilet paper. However, this only applied to one of the blocks, nearest the bar, which wasn't very large, so we often had to use another block, very much inferior with no heating and no paper, smaller
cubicles and fewer hooks for clothes or towels.
The third toilet block was situated between the other two and was very small, semi-open air, and closed when we were there in low season. Heating wasn't an issue while the sun shone, but unfortunately
after three hot days the temperature dropped dramatically and we had a lot of rain. As a result the heated block was always full, and floors in the inferior block got very muddy, and it was cold because the door was permanently propped open.
problem with the superior toilet block was that footwear had to be left at the door. I can understand this for showers, to keep the floors clean, but there were toilets, washing up and laundry sinks and washing machines all in the same building - who wants
to go into a toilet (especially unisex) or to do the washing up, in bare feet?
In June the restaurant was closed and the bar only open in the day time. There was a pleasant courtyard where you could sit with a drink in fine weather but not much
provision for rainy days.
Despite these problems we loved the area. The village of castelnaud-la-Chapelle was within walking distance and had a butchers, bakers and general store. There are so many places of interest nearby, including Sarlat, Domme,
La Roque Gageac, Chateaux des Milandes and the gardens of Marquessac. On rainy days we took refuge in caves and museums.
I can't fault the site for its excellent location, spaciousness and charm, but the facilities could have been better, especially
as the ACSI price of 18 euros was rather high for a 3-star site.