Going for a walk for some fresh air… well wrapped up!

I don’t know about you, but I feel much more inclined to go out for a walk in the summertime than in the winter. Yet after a few days of lying around and putting on weight during Christmas and the New Year, and staying shut up indoors through fear of catching cold, a short walk for a breath of fresh air can’t do any harm.

A variety of pathways under the winter sun

Should it turn out to be a beautiful sunny winter’s day, there can really be no more excuses for not spending half a day of your Touraine holiday going on a lovely short walk.

Between Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine and Loches, the walk around Le Louroux Lake (5 km) is quite tempting, as is the suggested walk starting from Bréhémont (12 km)which used to be a Loire port.

And what about midway between the two? 8 km, for example? OK, let’s take the third option: a ramble starting in Chenonceaux. Sturdy shoes, a thick coat, a scarf wrapped round your neck and off you go!

A ramble around Chenonceau

Although the very first section of the pathway is fairly run of the mill, the rest of it has some delightful surprises up its sleeve. Once you get to the banks of the River Cher in the Loire Valley, take a leisurely stroll alongside the water and the edge of the forest until the most visited private landmark in France comes into view – the Château de Chenonceau.

Chateau of Chenonceau

Chateau of Chenonceau

Obviously that’s the cue for a half-hour photo session from the east, then once you’ve gone past the famous Ladies’ Château, from the west. Leave some room on your phone or camera memory card, as what follows – one of the 16 needle weirs on the River Cher – is also worth its share of snapshots. On your way back, you might be lucky enough to see the hot-air balloons taking off, with a blast of their burners, which, although they won’t warm you up, will at least be a sign that you’re nearly at the end!

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