Bonjour La Tristesse of the Parisian Banlieue

"Grand Morin river in Crecy la Chapelle near Paris"

Hiking near Paris The Parisian Banlieue – a term covering anything from just outside of the city limits to villages and small towns a one-hour railway journey away – has a bad reputation, not all of it undeserved.

But for every town over which a pallor of tristesse – actually, the bitterness of exile – seems to hang, there is also at least one charming little place, particularly if you leave the immediate

Bonjour La Tristesse of the Parisian Banlieue

The Auvers-Sur-Oise Van Gogh Knew

Day Trip from Paris

Remember when I took you on an unexpectedly adventurous journey from Pontoise to the outskirts of Auvers sur Oise? And I promised you: no more bad surprises?

Today, I am going to keep that promise.

The Auvers-sur-Oise Van Gogh knew

The first thing you will notice when crossing the bridge into Auvers sur Oise is that it looks like the kind

The Auvers-Sur-Oise Van Gogh Knew

Hiking the Road Less Travelled for an Adventure

"The town of Pontoise in France"

Hiking trails near Paris The Road Less Travelled Pontoise and Auvers-sur-Oise are two of the prettiest and most visited small towns in the Ile de France, the area around Paris.

As it happens, they are are also fairly close to one another, virtual neighbours as it were, connected by a short (less than 10 km long) stretch of the river Oise. Our idea was to visit both in a single

Hiking the Road Less Travelled for an Adventure

Culture, Architecture and Hiking Adventure Near Paris

"Clos de l'Abbaye in Poissy near Paris"

Hiking trails near Paris The Parisian banlieue has a bad reputation, not all of it undeserved. At its worst, the urban sprawl beyond the Parisian city limits is an uncomfortable and possibly even dangerous place (for those of you who haven’t seen the movie La Haine, think of the South Bronx or Tower Hamlets), while most of the rest is unexciting and dull (think Staten Island or Neasden).

Some of the places in

Culture, Architecture and Hiking Adventure Near Paris

A Brioche and Easy Hiking in Compiegne

"brioche feuilletée a la Compiègnoise"

Hiking near Paris Easy Hiking in Compiegne Compiègne is a handsome market town 60 km north of Paris. It houses Napoleon’s favourite castle, a beautiful Renaissance Town Hall and a 13th century church.

I bet you did not know that Compiegne has a proud history as an Olympic town, too – it hosted the golf competition in 1900 when the sport made its debut on the Olympic menu.

A Brioche and Easy Hiking in Compiegne

A Parisian Hike Along The Canal De L’Ourcq

"Anglers at Canal Ourq Paris"

Hiking near Paris A Parisian Hike along the Canal de l’Ourcq Paris would not be what it is without its canals. A walk along the Canal St Martin on a sunny day is a highlight in the itinerary of any visit to the French capital.

For the true Parisians, the Canal ends at the Bassin de la Villette near the Parc de la Villette Science Museum (Parisians know, of course,

A Parisian Hike Along The Canal De L’Ourcq

Will This Paris Hiking Trail Pass The German Test?

Hiking trails near Paris The Paris Hiking Trail by Royaumont Abbey

The Royaumont Abbey near the town of Viarmes north of Paris has it all: a beautiful stained glass refectory, picturesque church ruins, a secluded cloister garden, a small showroom of medieval art (in the sacristy) and a large lawn which is perfect for a picnic on a sunny day.

It would be one of the foremost

Will This Paris Hiking Trail Pass The German Test?

Hiking the Paris Boondocks

Hiking near Paris The Paris Boondocks in Santeuil

After last week’s trip to the foret domaniale near the ancient royal castle of Versailles, (a tourist hotspot as hot as any in or around Paris), we travelled this time to the Paris boondocks of Santeuil, a place so obscure that the ticket vendor at the local transport authority booth had never heard of it.

“Where are you going?” he inquired and

Hiking the Paris Boondocks

A Hiking Trail in Chantilly

Walking near Paris A Hiking Trail in Chantilly

This time, our Paris hike brings us to a hiking trail in Chantilly, 30 minutes by train from the Gare du Nord, for a short hike of two hours with much to see on the way – particularly for people with at least a passing interest in horses. Chantilly is the centre of French thoroughbred breeding.

It is the perfect trip for

A Hiking Trail in Chantilly

Day Trip and Easy Hike Near Paris in Chaville

Day hiking near Paris Day Trip near Paris – Chaville Recently, the days have been cold, miserable and grey. With temperatures approaching their record low (for early December), snowflakes drifting past the window and no sign for even the slightest improvement in sight, the only hike I shall undertake all week will be from the sofa to the kitchen to make me a hot cup of something, thank you very much. I am sure you

Day Trip and Easy Hike Near Paris in Chaville