Auvergne: clouds and sky


On a recent walk from Vals le Chastel up and over to the hamlet of Le Pin (The Pine), the sky and clouds were putting on a spectacular display. The photographs were taken at about 600 metres of altitude, looking towards the Margaride and Cevennes hills in the far distance. The yellow and red stripes on the tree in the photo above are the french footpath way marks letting you know you are on the correct route!




UK road trip – Cumbria and Stockton


Part 2 of our recent trip to the UK

Originally posted on la petite maison bijoux:

jetty, lake windemere

jetty, derwent water

We used to go on a walking trip to the Lake District at least once a year, sometimes twice. We’d usually go in May, planning to complete a ‘big walk’, and we’d start training for it from the New Year onwards. So, we were determined to fit in a couple of days in Cumbria as part of our recent trip to the UK.

As anyone who has visited the Lake District will know, the weather can be unpredictable. We weren’t entirely surprised, therefore, when we woke to grey skies and drizzle. Undaunted, we put on our waterproofs and set off from our Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Grange (Borrowdale) to walk along Derwent Water towards Keswick.

It was actually very atmospheric walking alongside the water in the mist.

However, I won’t pretend that I wasn’t very pleased when the sun came out in the afternoon! We had been thinking…

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First autumn colours

One of the advantages of living in a forest is that small roads and tracks go off all around us, providing endless opportunities for walking straight from the house.

One of our favourites follows the forest road up from our house towards the Col de Montclard.



A couple of hundred metres up the road and you reach a break in the trees with a glorious view over the Senouire valley and towards the Margaride and Cézallier mountains.


We either go all the way up to the Col, or turn round at the curés house. This is an old farmhouse owned by a retired priest, who only visits occasionally. ( More photos over on La Petite Maison)


Half way along, the road goes through a lovely beech grove which is just beginning to show its autumn colour. Soon the leaves will have all changed to a deep golden brown and then fall to join last years leaves still on the ground. Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year and here in the Auvergne it blazes into colour.





UK road trip – Seaham and the Yorkshire Dales

Originally posted on la petite maison bijoux:

The second leg of our recent trip to the UK saw us staying with friends near Seaham. Luckily enough, we arrived in time for Sunday lunch, and headed straight out to the coast for some fish and chips.

Seaham used to be a mining town, and there is still plenty of evidence of its industrial heritage, and subsequent economic decline. It is currently undergoing a bit of a renaissance, with this stunning sculpture commemorating the first world war, a redeveloped marina, a lifeboat museum, and lots of interesting little boutiques and coffee shops. Oh, and some fantastic fish and chips.

The next day, we drove across to the Yorkshire Dales. One of the things we really wanted to do on our trip was one of our favourite walks, a circular route from the falls at Aysgarth out to Bolton Castle and back via Carperby. We used to go walking in…

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