Camping Capfun La Rivière
grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let’s dive into our adventure.
We had a memorable stay at Capfun Camping La Rivière. Having eagerly anticipated our 2022 camping trip, our expectations were high, but little did we know that our time at this campsite would be filled with some extraordinary events.
Imagine this: I was 38 weeks pregnant, my husband buried under a mountain of work at home, and my mother had flown in to lend a helping hand with our soon-to-be three-year-old. Amidst all this, we set up our tent at Capfun Camping La Rivière, hoping it would be a fun adventure for our little one. However, life had other plans for us. We found ourselves caught in the middle of a bar vs management fallout, surrounded by unfinished campsite renovations, and to top it all off, I gave birth during our stay.
Now, let’s dive into the pros and cons we encountered during our adventure:
Pros of Camping La Riviere
A mixed bag of good and bad…
Cons of camping la Riviere
Every family prefers certain things about a campsite, so our “cons” could be on your “pros” list!
Pool complex at Camping Capun La Riviere
The pool complex at Capfun Camping La Rivière has undergone some significant changes since our last stay in 2020. Adding some massive slides, which are fantastic, with three different “tunnel” slides, one being a space bowl and two flumes.
The main pool now has a couple of toddler slides, and the indoor toddler pool was redesigned. Although, this indoor pool was closed for a few days during our stay due to (what we believe to be) a pump issue. On re-opening, it was baltic, so we avoided it.
However, the larger pool area was often filled with rowdy behaviour, making it an unwelcome place for families. So we were stuck as to where was best to go and usually settled on the shallower, paddling outdoor pool.
Unfortunately, this pool area needs improvements, with chipped tiles and cleanliness concerns.
Everyone was wearing jammers or speedo style swim shorts. There were life guards on duty but I didn’t notice them stopping anybody.
Some facilities closed during our stay due to a campsite/staff dispute.
Receptions and Check in
Check-in was a breeze as we parked outside the campsite gates and proceeded to the reception. The friendly staff swiftly confirmed our details, gave us our wristbands, map and provided a card to access the campsite barriers. While the main reception usually served its purpose solely during check-in, the unfortunate bar incident transformed it into a morning pastry shop too. It’s important to note that despite our negative experiences, the reception, management, and animation staff exhibited exceptional hospitality, making our disappointment bittersweet.
Numerous small play areas and a larger play area uphill exist.
Small play parks
The small play parks at Capfun Camping La Rivière are delightful and feature unique play structures such as a fire engine climbing frame, spaceship, and helicopter. Our daughter loved discovering new ones around every corner.
Main play area
The main play area atop the hill featured slides, swings, and a bouncy castle area, complemented by a makeshift football pitch. Initially hidden and seemingly unfinished, this play area could have benefited from better signage.
There are two sets of bouncy castles. One bouncy castle at the front of the campsite near the bar and a group of bouncy castles at the top of the hill.
The bouncy castle at the bar area was great. Our 2-year-old loved jumping around every morning; it was usually reasonably peaceful. Even when there were older kids on it, they were kind and gentle with her.
At the top of the hill, there’s what seems like a bouncy castle assault course. Though new, this also seemed poorly maintained and dirty.
Table tennis and Petanque
There are regularly used table tennis tables next to the bar/animation area, as are the petanque playing areas. The French love a game of ping pong, so if you’re heading here, pack your bat and ball.
An “astroturfed” football pitch was at the top of the hill. It’s near the central park and bouncy castle course.
Situated near the bar area. A few games were out of use, and the ceiling had holes/cracks in it.
Kids Clubs & Facilities
The campsite’s kids club is fantastic, and the animation team does an incredible job keeping the little ones entertained. They dress up in costumes, put on shows, and even hand-deliver fruit to pitches.
Animation for kids and adults
The animation staff is fabulous and puts on shows and events to entertain both kids and adults. From puppet shows and discos to sweet treats and tea and coffee stands, there’s something for everyone.
Bars, Restaurants and Takeaway
The bar and campsite shop at Capfun Camping La Rivière experienced closures due to disputes, impacting the overall experience. The temporary buvette bar and selling pastries at reception were a small relief but not enough to survive on. Thankfully, a local supermarket is within walking distance from the campsite.
Our Experience of the Dispute
During our stay at Capfun Camping La Rivière, we experienced a dispute between the bar and the campsite’s management. It impacted our overall experience and left us feeling disappointed.
On our first day, we visited the bar, had a drink and some food, and everything seemed fine. The following day, we ordered coffee and croissants and spoke to the friendly staff again, but things began to unravel that evening.
We waited for the bar to open, but nothing happened. They were running late, and we weren’t the only ones left disappointed. So we headed to the local supermarket, which was fortunately within walking distance, and stocked up on essentials.
The following day, we noticed a sign on the toilet door stating that the bar was closed due to a disagreement, and they were trying to find a solution. The bar’s closure led to the closure of the campsite shop, restaurant and food/drink source, impacting the overall experience.
The following morning, my mother went to retrieve pastries from the reception, and instead, someone was outside the bar giving away croissants for free. It was an odd situation, and we weren’t sure what was happening.
Later that day, a sign inside the bar area said it was closed definitively. It was surprising, considering it was the busiest month of the year for the campsite. However, the campsite did try to recover by setting up a temporary buvette bar for some of the days.
Although the campsite attempted to rectify the situation, the bar area was wiped out by the 21st of August. The spirits had been removed from the wall, and everything was cleared out as if there had never been a bar to start with.
Overall, the dispute impacted our experience at Capfun Camping La Rivière, and we hope they have resolved it to provide a better experience for future campers.
There wasn’t one.
Back in 2020, when I first stayed here, there was a small epicery with essential items located next to the reception, but unfortunately, that was no longer here. Instead, when we arrived, the bar (whilst it was open) sold a few food items. Not enough to survive on, but a bit. Thankfully, the local supermarket was within walking distance from the campsite. However, check the weather before you go, as you want to avoid ending up like us.
Animals are accepted with a supplement of 35euros per week. We saw many animals around the campsite and loved stroking the cute cat that roamed around.
The shower blocks and toilet facilities need an upgrade, with ceilings falling apart since 2020 and showerheads falling off. It’s very disappointing, considering this is an essential facility.
our video review and experience
Available accommodation at camping la Riviere
We stayed in a tent, but many new accommodations were available. Some looked like they had only been added in the days before customers moved in. For example, at the top of the hill near the park, they have created a new area for mobile homes, which in the advertising, it looks lovely, but in real life, it was still quite messy. And the accommodation in this area was costly. However, I liked the look of a beautiful mobile home called TRIBU + TOP PRESTA. It has five rooms and holds up to 10 people.
Do You Need a Car to Get around?
Yes. The area is very spread out, and there’s rarely public transport in rural France. On our first stay there, my mum tried to book a taxi back to the airport days in advance, but there wasn’t any available.
How to get to The Campsite
By plane: The closest airport to Couhe is Poitiers-Biard Airport, about 35 km away. You can fly from several UK airports to Poitiers with Ryanair or EasyJet.
You can also fly from the UK to Limoges airport; this is a little further (but can be cheaper/more convenient for flights).
By ferry: If you prefer to take your car, you can take a ferry from the UK to one of the ports in northwestern France. The closest ports to Couhe are Saint-Malo and Caen. From there, it’s about a 4-5 hour drive to the campsite.
By train: You can take the Eurostar from London to Paris, then a train from Paris to Poitiers. From there, you can rent a car.
Should I hire a car?
If you are planning to fly, I recommend hiring a car.
The nearest ferry ports are Saint-Malo and Caen; however, these are some of the most expensive crossings. Therefore, we like to use DFDS Newhaven to Dieppe for better prices.
1 La Garnison / Châtillon,
Step 1: Head south on the A10 motorway
Step 2: Take exit 32 towards Poitiers and follow signs for N10 towards Angoulême.
Step 3: Exit at Couhe
Take the exit for Couhe and follow the signs for Couhe.
Step 4: Follow signs to La Riviere Campsite
Once you are in the town of Couhe, follow the signs to La Riviere Campsite. The campsite is located on the banks of the Charente River.
Day Trips from Camping la Riviere
We didn’t take many day trips during our time at camping La Riviere. However, as we live in the are, we know quite a bit about the location…
Visit the historic cities of Poitiers and Angouleme
Poitiers is a beautiful historic city with many attractions, such as the Notre-Dame la Grande church, the Palace of Poitiers, and the Saint-Jean Baptistery.
And Angouleme is a charming medieval town with a rich history and many interesting sights to explore, such as the Angouleme Cathedral, the Chateau d’Angouleme, and the Museum of Fine Arts. The town is about an hour’s drive from the campsite.
Futuroscope is a theme park with a focus on technology and science. The park has many interactive exhibits, 3D and 4D cinemas, and attractions like the Arthur and the Invisibles ride. The park is located near Poitiers.
Vallee des Singes is a popular attraction for animal lovers, with over 30 primate species and over 400 animals. Visitors can observe the primates in their natural habitats, attend educational talks and presentations, and even participate in feeding sessions. Vallee des Singes is near Romagne, about a 30-minute drive from the campsite.
Le Cormenier is an interactive museum showcasing rural France’s history and daily life. The museum has many exhibits, workshops, and demonstrations perfect for children of all ages. The museum is near the village of Champniers, about a 20-minute drive from the campsite.
Terre de Dragons is a reptile park with over 200 crocodiles and alligators. Visitors can observe the reptiles up close, attend educational talks, and even participate in feeding sessions. The park is in Civaux, about a 40-minute drive from the campsite.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the mobiles close together?
Some are, and some aren’t. They weren’t as cramped as the coastal campsites we have stayed on in the past.
Is the campsite flat?
No. At first, it’s flat, but many mobile homes are up a steep hill behind the swimming pools.
Are there mosquitos at Camping la Riviere?
I didn’t notice any during our stay, but they are definitely about in this area of France.
Is it easy to get a sunbed around the pool?
Nope. I struggled, but that could be due to my bad timing.
Do you need to wear a wristband?
Yes, we were all given wristbands at the start of our stay.
Do men have to wear swim trunks?
Are there BBQs on site?
Yes. We hired a gas-powered bbq/cooker from the campsite for a reasonable price during our stay.
What's the weather like in Spring/Summer?
The Poitou Charentes is known for being one of the sunniest places in France. The weather here is excellent, usually. However, April can be very mixed with rainy showers. And apparently, so can August, as it rained daily for the first week of our stay.
Can you park on your pitch/Emplacement?
We could; however, I believe there are a few accommodations with separate parking.
Can you take pets on the campsite?
Yes, there’s no problem with having animals on-site here. However, you will, of course, have to pay a supplement for them.
Where's the nearest supermarket?
There’s an Intermarche 10-15 minutes uphill walk from the campsite.
Can you hire a fridge for your tent pitch?
Yes, we hired a fridge for our tent.
Is It Loud In The Evenings?
In 2022 we found the campsite extremely loud. However, Capfun had rated the campsite as “Scarlett” red on its “fun meter”, meaning it was a noisy, lively campsite. However, I have noticed that this year, 2023, this has changed to green, and it’s now classed as a Zen campsite. This means it should be a lot quieter with less animation.
What Can We Do If It Rains?
The campsite has a covered pool; however, this was ice cold during our stay. Hopefully, it was just a bad couple of weeks.
Capfun Camping La Rivière was a destination we were excited to visit for our 2022 camping trip. We had previously stayed here twice in 2020 and were hoping for an enjoyable and relaxing stay this time around. Unfortunately, this was far from the reality we encountered.
Our stay here was supposed to be a relaxing break while awaiting the arrival of baby number two. It was supposed to be where my mum could easily and happily look after baby number 1 if I went into labour (which I did).
Despite the campsite’s potential and our initial positive experiences with check-in, the pool complex, and the friendly animation team, we faced numerous disappointments throughout our stay. The unfinished renovations, maintenance issues, and closures due to disputes left us feeling underwhelmed, but it was the bar vs management fallout that had a significant impact on our trip.
With no on-site shop and a lack of food and drink options, we found ourselves having to rely on a nearby supermarket and pop-up bars to provide for our basic needs. The poor condition of the shower blocks and toilet facilities was also frustrating.
However, it wasn’t all bad. The animation team was exceptional, keeping our little one entertained with various activities throughout the day. The new slides were also great fun, and the campsite did try to replace the lack of a bar/restaurant with pop-ups.
Overall, our stay at Capfun Camping La Rivière fell far below our expectations. We had hoped for a relaxing break in a well-maintained and equipped campsite. Unfortunately, what we experienced was a lack of basic facilities and significant maintenance issues. We understand that perhaps our timing or the recent takeover played a role in our experience, but after three stays, we cannot recommend it as a destination for camping trips.