Things to do when camping in Aisne
There’s an abundance of things to do with enjoying a camping holiday in Aisne, from man-made tourist attractions to sightseeing opportunities created by nature.
Retz Forest, home to over 560km of walking trails, is the perfect place to reconnect with nature on a pleasant walking trip or scenic cycling excursion, while keeping a keen out for wildlife such as hares, boars, foxes and deer. The forest envelops the royal town of Villers-Cotterêts, famed as the birthplace of Alexander Dumas and for its castle built by Francis I.
Emerging from the countryside close to the town of Laon, the mysterious Saint-Gobain Forest is another enchanting place to enjoy walking, cycling and hiking trips. As well as being able to experience the natural beauty of the forest, visitors can explore a few architectural wonders such as the Prémontré Abbey and the Priory of Le Tortoir.
Following the flow of the river Oise, the Green Axis of Thiérache is a former railway that has since been converted to a 40km walking trail. The route is particularly peaceful, and especially green, and offers the ideal place for refreshing yet easy-going walks in the countryside.
During a walking trip along the Green Axis of Thiérache, holidaymakers can make a stop Blangy Pond. The pond is a scenic and serene destination close to the river Oise, and offers a selection of outdoor activities including archery, orienteering and kayaking. In the Viels-Maisons Gardens, green-fingered campers will enjoy walking through the three gardens of this horticultural haven where they can appreciate blossoming flowers, well-tended hedgerows and vegetable patches.
As well as time spent in the charming countryside of Aisne, we’d recommend setting aside a day or two to visit the department’s towns and villages. One of the best places to day trip to is Laon, a town with a wealth of attractions focusing on history and art. Along with wandering the quaint streets of the town, it’s advised that visitors go and see a few sightseeing spots such as the gothic style Notre-Dame cathedral, the old bishop's palace, the 12th-century Hôtel-Dieu and Laon Museum.
There are several other towns and villages worth visiting for a day such as Coucy-le-Château-Auffrique with its feudal castle, Saint-Quentin with its Gothic Basilica, Soissons with its Cathedral of St. Gervais and La Ferté-Milon with its Jean Racine Museum.
For children, and adults who are young at heart, Axo'Plage Leisure Centre will provide a welcome chance to enjoy lots of exciting aquatic based activities. Visitors to the artificial lake and beach can try a variety of water sports as well as mini golf and beach volleyball.