Walking

A comfortable guided walking holiday in France and Château L’Age Baston is an ideal base for it.

Guided Walking Holiday in France

Guided walksThe Charente is where the old French regions of Limousin, Poitou and Perigord meet. Our walks explore the unspoilt border country between the Departments of Charente and Dordogne.

This is wonderful country for a comfortable walking holiday and Château L’Age Baston is an ideal base for it.

Your walking guide John Waddington will take you on the back-ways, white roads, forest paths and empty country lanes of an undiscovered and still very French bit of France.

It is lush, rolling, mainly limestone country where rivers suddenly disappear, shady forests beckon and mysterious caves demand your attention. Here you will find forest and farmland, springs and streams and lots of flowers and wildlife. We have had sightings of deer, wild-boar, badgers, and lots of birds: pine-martins, shrikes, Golden Orioles and Little Bustards to name but a few. We can’t make any promises but please see our bird list for more information on birds spotted in and around L’Age Baston and on our guided walks.

The old buildings are of mellow limestone with roman pantiles and the roofs have the kind of gentle slope you only start to find south of the Loire.

This is easy walking; sometimes a bit rough underfoot but nearly all on paths. No climb more than 200 metres in a day. You can do the routes in good walking shoes and lightweight gear but bring walking boots if you are used to them.

For a July or August walking holiday it may be best to start fairly early or to plan for two shorter walks because of the heat in the middle of the day.  Our half- day walks range from 8-12 kms and the full-day walks from 14-20 kms.

On our all-day walks you will get either a picnic delivery from L’Age Baston, a lovely packed lunch or a generous three course meal in a local café en route. On the half-day walks you will come back to a glorious lunch at Château L’Age Baston. The idea is for you to enjoy the countryside, take some exercise and to work up an appetite rather than to explore the ultimate limits of your endurance.

Our French walking holidays make good use of the national and local footpaths. Of the “Grandes Randonnées”, GR 36 runs past the front meadow at L’Age Baston, and GR 4 is a short step away. Most of the routes used are clearly way-marked and you will find No.40 in the “Series Verte” by “Cartes I.G.N.” a good basic map of the area. Large scale maps are available at L’Age Baston. The House is marked “L’Age Baston” and is just south-west of La Rochefoucauld. Most of the walks take place within 20kms of L’Age Baston. Some start or finish at the house itself so travel time is kept to a minimum.

John, who is your walking guide, has lived and worked here for twenty years. He loves the countryside, the nature and the history of the area. John says the Charente is like a bigger, wilder Wiltshire, only with more sunshine and wild animals. Come and see for yourself.

Sites visited on our favourite walks include

  • Les Sources de la Touvre - a beautiful, magical place and the second biggest resurgence in France
  • Les Pradelles - the pre-historic cave now becoming one of the most cited research caves in Europe
  • The singular Templar Church at Yvrac et Malleyrand.
  • The beautiful and, at times, mysterious Fôret de la Braconne.