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