May’s Walk at Les Roches de Ham

Les Roches de Ham form a sandstone escarpment, towering over the River Vire as it meanders around them. Their height of over one hundred metres provides a panoramic view of the adjacent countryside which consists of a mosaic of farmsteads and fields. Despite the sandstone terrain the steep slopes of the escarpment are densely wooded.

A relatively small group of walkers met in the car park which is situated near the highest point of the escarpment. The view of the river valley from this point is particularly attractive. The only way is down. We descended on a gentle path through dense woods and eventually joined a quiet road which took us further down to the river past an attractive thatched modern cottage. There are a number of colour-coded routes of different lengths marked for visitors and it is possible to reach the river without leaving the woodland. The river is quite wide and crossed by a substantial single span steel and concrete bridge. From this point we followed the slow moving river as it meandered over stony shallows. The river bank path took us past some attractive, out of the way gardens and from here you can appreciate the enormity of the sandstone cliffs. We eventually came to the return path which took us back to the summit up a long, gentle but de-manding climb of a path. Yes, the only way was up.

Certainly the most attractive part of this walk is the view from the top but at this point the most attractive thing became the thought of the crêperie and its menu. The small crêperie is tucked away, somewhat out of view from and below the car park. We had passed it on the way down when it had been closed but by now it had been transformed into something much more promising. The view from here is really lovely and the crêperie would be an especially attractive lunch venue on a true summer’s day. We enjoyed cider, galettes completes and a dessert crêpe, all efficiently served by the solitary owner.

As we left we made a promise to return again some sun-nier day. Thank you Dave for another enjoyable walk with views to remember.

Words: David Beech
Photos: Gill Beech

April Walk – 2019

Spring was definitely in the air for our April walk around Orval sur Sienne. Already cheered by the blue sky, sun, and a gentle breeze, the group set off. We were accompanied by one canine friend, already a veteran of our walks, and two new members who brought their dog along.

The time went by quickly, people chatting as they walked; new conversations starting as people changed groupings. There were some more challenging parts where muscles were certainly exercised, but this was worth it for the views we enjoyed.

At one point, some young bulls took a great interest in one of the dogs. Indeed they all followed us right to the end of their field, where we left them, still curious.

Well, a long walk deserves a reward…. Lunch was taken at à La Sienne. This restaurant has been used before and again, it did not disappoint. The cheerful lady who served us was welcoming and efficient. We had been asked to arrive for 1.30 so most of the regular customers had finished. I did wonder if this would mean that some menu choices would not be available. However, there was no need to worry. Everything on the board was still on offer and was very tasty. A very good value lunch at 12€ for 3 courses.
Thank you Louise and Dave, for the well organized walk and for re visiting our lunch venue. Looking forward to the next one!