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from £699

Updated for 2017

Picardy Pastures: Land of Battles and Cathedrals

Delve into the history of the medieval city of Laon and walk in the footsteps of the soldiers of the First World War

Updated for 2017

Picardy Pastures: Land of Battles and Cathedrals

This centenary walk through the Picardy countryside takes you to some of the most poignant sites of World War I, enabling you to explore destroyed villages, visit the fascinating Dragon’s Lair and walk in the footsteps of the soldiers along the Chemin des Dames.

Holiday Highlights

  • Caverne du Dragon, First World War Memorial
  • Medieval buildings and Remparts of Laon
  • First World War Chemin des Dames
  • Lac de l'Ailette
  • Option for extra night and golf course

What's Included

  • 5 days walking
  • 6 nights half board
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Comprehensive route notes

Starting Days

You can choose to begin this holiday on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

Itinerary & Hotels

  • 1

    Arrival Laonday 1

    Summary

    Arrive in the medieval hilltop fortress of Laon. It’s worth exploring Laon by night when its buildings are dramatically floodlit. Don’t miss the 7 km ramparts and the cathedral (Audioguides available). Tonight your accommodation is a restored XIV century house, La Maison des 3 Rois, in the historic centre.

    Hotel
    • Maison des 3 Rois, Laon
    • Maison des 3 Rois, Laon, Bedroom

    Maison des 3 Rois Laon

    The delightful chambre d'hôtes Maison des 3 Rois is in the heart of the medieval city of Laon.  This ancient town house dating from the 14th century has been respectfully and traditionally renovated to provide a very comfortable and charming stay.

    Facilities

    • English spoken
    • Restaurants and shops within walking distance

    Board

    Cuisine

    Clients are booked in on a B&B basis and we will give details of a good choice of restaurants in your detailed route note booklet. Breakfasts will be continental.

  • 2

    Laon to Cheretday 2

    Summary

    As you leave Laon, enjoy the splendid views stretching out before you. You pass through a tranquil, pastoral landscape aptly named Domaine de la Solitude before arriving in Bruyères. Visit the remarkable 12th century church and 19th century underground fortress, then continue to the country guest house Le Clos Chérêt where the charming owners will make you feel welcome. Eat at the restaurant La Petite Campagne.

    Hotel
    • Hotel exterior
    • Bedroom
    • Bedroom

    Le Clos - Cheret Cheret

    A delightful 18th century wine grower's residence (vendangeoir) houses this welcoming chambre d'hote tucked away in the little village of Cheret, where you are guaranteed some wonderful hospitality from your hosts Mr et Mme Simonet.  It is in a calm and peaceful location and gives you a great insight in to French family life.

    Facilities

    • Spacious bedrooms with en suite bathrooms
    • Helpful, kind and friendly owners who are delighted to chat about their region
    • Great opportunity to savour a little bit of French life

    Board

    Cuisine

    Breakfast is taken at the guest house and dinner in a delightful restaurant nearby.

    10 mi
    (16km)

  • 3

    Chéret to Bouconville Vauclairday 3

    Summary

    Today’s route winds through fields and forestry tracks, taking you over the Lac de l’Ailette and through the village of Neuville-sur-Ailette. A vantage point just past the village presents remarkable views before reaching the path to your hotel, the Auberge de Vauclair.

    Hotel
    • Room service
    • Terrace

    Auberge de Vauclair Vauclair

    In a peaceful countryside location this small hotel offers a warm welcome to guests and the owners know the area well and offer helpful information on the local area.

    Facilities

    • Quiet and peaceful location
    • Themed bedrooms
    • En suite facilities
    • Helpful staff happy to talk about their region

    Board

    Cuisine

    10 mi
    (16km)

  • 4

    Circuit walk to Craonne and the Dragon’s Lairday 4

    Summary

    Walk through green woodland out to Vieux Craonne, the site of a village completely destroyed in 1917. Now an arboretum, the area is heavily cratered (information panels mark the route). Then follow the Chemin des Dames to the Dragon’s Lair (Caverne du Dragon), a limestone quarry and pivotal point in the fighting. Return to your hotel for another delicious meal.

    10 mi
    (16km)

  • 5

    Bouconville Vauclair to Chamouilleday 5

    Summary

    The journey to Chamouille can be taken along two routes: one passes the Dragon’s Lair* and takes you along the Chemin des Dames. The other follows a track through the forest past the Monument d’Ailes, a memorial dedicated to a village completely destroyed in the war. Stay in the four star Hotel du Golf de l’Ailette, by a lake and golf course.

    Hotel
    • Hotel exterior
    • Pool
    • Terrace
    • Garden

    Inter Hôtel du Golf de l’Ailette Chaumouille

    This large modern hotel on the banks of the Lac Ailette offers comfortable rooms and a warm welcome. The clean, modern décor and well appointed rooms make for a comfortable stay. Difficult to image here that you are only a couple of hours from Paris.

    Facilities

    • Quiet and peaceful location on the edge of the lake.
    • Large comfortable bedrooms all overlooking the lake.
    • Swimming pool. Excellent golf course.
    • Friendly helpful staff.
    • Close to the village of Chamouille which has a well stocked grocers and bakers.

    Board

    Cuisine

    8 mi
    (13km)

  • 6

    Chamouille to Laonday 6

    Summary

    Wander along quiet lanes to the little village of Monthenault before making your way through verdant pastures and woodland back to Laon and your chambre d’hôtes.

    Hotel
    • Maison des 3 Rois, Laon
    • Maison des 3 Rois, Laon, Bedroom

    Maison des 3 Rois Laon

    The delightful chambre d'hôtes Maison des 3 Rois is in the heart of the medieval city of Laon.  This ancient town house dating from the 14th century has been respectfully and traditionally renovated to provide a very comfortable and charming stay.

    Facilities

    • English spoken
    • Restaurants and shops within walking distance

    Board

    Cuisine

    Clients are booked in on a B&B basis and we will give details of a good choice of restaurants in your detailed route note booklet. Breakfasts will be continental.

    11 mi
    (18km)

Route & Location

Customise Your Holiday

  • EXTRA NIGHT

    Add an extra night either in Laon £90, to explore the town, or in Bouconville £85.

Customer Reviews

100% rating based on 2 reviews

Recent reviews

  • Service rating : Very good and marked friendliness throughout - no complaintsProduct : Very good

    5 out of 5

    Belle France Response: {feed:FURTHERCOMMENTSTHREAD/POST/VENDORCOMMENT}

  • Service rating : Very helpful staff but service let down by poor written informationProduct : Hotels mostly excellent particularly Auberge du Vauclair and Hotel de la Banniere in Laon. Good walking route very poorly described - obviously (rather badly) translated from original French.

    4 out of 5

    Belle France Response: {feed:FURTHERCOMMENTSTHREAD/POST/VENDORCOMMENT}

Pricing & Enquiry

Pricing

Prices vary according to travel method. Select your preferred option to get an updated price. For full pricing details, click here.

  • From £699 per person

  • Outward: Depart St Pancras International station,change trains at Gare du Nord, arrive Laon late afternoon.

    Return: Depart Laon mid morning, change trains at Gare du Nord, arrive St Pancras International station mid afternoon.

LATE BOOKINGS
For bookings made within 12 weeks of departure our prices cannot be guaranteed. In this instance please ask for a quotation.

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