Camping Les Tournesols de Beaulieu is located in Beaulieu, nearby Lapalisse. Most of our neighbors are farmers who have lots of cows standing on the fields around the town. When you enter Beaulieu you will find a small chapel. Here you can turn to the left in to a vary small road that leads to the town called Saint Prix. For about 100 meters after the turn you will find our camping with the barn, house, swimming pool on the left and the camping on the right. The campsite is located on a 2000 m2 terrain and the barn and swimming pool are located on a 3000 m2 terrain.
We have a small with privet house with the characteristic Auvergne blue windows. At the front of our house we have a beautiful view over the mountains and partly on the campsite. During day’s with a clear sky we and the camping guests have a view up to the volcanic mountains that are surrounding Clermont-Ferrand and you can sometimes even see the Puy de Dôme. Also at the backside where the swimming pool and large terrace is we have a nice view over the green valley with it’s cows.
For many years we travel during our holidays to France. Together with our 3 sons we have visited many regions in France. Because we traveled with our own caravan and tent we have seen lots of campings in France. From small once to larger campsites at the coast. In 2005 one of our sons found a job in France and during our visits to the Auvergne region we fell in love with the beutiful landscape, the forests and mountain views. After a couple of months our son was also looking for a nice house to live in and this made us thinking. Maybe it is time to realize our dream of having our own holiday house in France.
For many years we just looked for fun in the storefront of brokers and see lots of small and larger properties that needed to be restored. With a husband that likes construction work as a hobby and 2 sons who also like to do this it was more easy to choose one of these type of buildings. We were invited by a friendly broker that asked us what type of house we would consider. We told him that we were looking for a small house with a large barn, a great view on the mountains, Not to busy and not to far away from a large town or city to do our shopping. He found this house on sale and after the first visit we were in love with it.
The house is not to big and have two separate doors to enter the first and second flour. On the top flour we could create a living area for our son and for our self a separate living area on the first flour. The house have not been lived in for more then 20 years. The owners father have lived in it and in the 20 years the son did not feel the need to sell it. As the roof and many other things needed to be restored by now it was time for him to sell it. We saw the opportunities to restore this house to our needs and so we go for it.
It would also seems nice to invite sometimes people over and for this we decided to use the terrain in front of the house as a small campsite. This terrain of 2000 m2 was a relatively flat peace and perfect to setup a tent or caravan.
We did not expect to make it in to a real camping. To us it was more a idea and where thinking well maybe friends, family and sometimes someone els could visit us. In our idea there where plenty other campsites in France so why would they come to us. We put a small sign at the entrance and created our first website. Just after the website came on-line we received the first reservations and during season 2 we saw also guests from the first year returning to us. In the beginning it were mainly Dutch guests but during the years we see more Belgium, English, German, Italian and French guests passing by.
So what started as a simple terrain ended up with a bar, restaurant. A swimming pool and many other things guests have asked for during the years.