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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

Bonnieux to Lacoste - A Circular Hike

We often talk short day hikes when we're in rural France and have walked quite a bit around Bonnieux. This time we opted for a fairly short (7km) circular hike from Bonnieux to the nearby hill town of Lacoste, mainly known for the Marque de Sade's chateau which is being restored by Pierre Cardin the fashion designer. It made a wonderful day out and you can find a detailed descriptions of the route here.
This is a varied walk through woodlands, valley, vineyards and farmlands  leading to up to Lacoste. The views of Lacoste...

and Bonnieux were spectacular.
As you can see the spring greenery was dazzling. After all the rain we'd had in Paris it was such a relief to see and enjoy some sun. Some parts of the walk were very well marked - as you can see from the signposts above. However, we did get a little lost but because you could see the towns in the distance it wasn't too hard  to reorient ourselves.
There were some interesting sites along the way including this traditional stone structure, we presumed it was originally used for food storage.

It was wonderful to skirt the vineyards as the vines came into bud. It felt like everything was coming alive.
The route varied enormously, at some points we walked on small tracks, at others we walked on small roads.

After open countryside there was a beautiful shaded path as we climbed up to Lacoste.
It's a very picturesque town and many of the buildings are owned by the Savannah College of Art and Design which offers eight week terms in painting drawing, printmaking and photography.
After a quick stroll around town we stopped for a drink and admired the view of the valley at the Bar Restaurant de France.
The stroll back to Bonnieux took us along the road and then cut in through smaller farm tracks across the countryside, past farmhouses and vacation homes. It's a delightful route and highly recommended.