Celia's blog

Musings on life in Lodeve, Languedoc

Archive for the ‘Walks’ Category

Lodève watercolours

Posted by celiahukins on 06/04/2015


I haven’t been active on this blog for a while but I have been busy doing other things. My English friend Janet is hosting an exhibition in Lodève, opening on 16 April at L’Art en Poche. If you can’t make it then, you can see some of her paintings here

Since January I have been recording the walks of the walking group here. The site is now becoming a useful reference; you can check for example for type of walk or points of interest.

Maybe I’ll post some more soon…


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Autumn already!

Posted by celiahukins on 07/12/2012

Olives and chanterelles
In October chanterelles appeared in the market, and we picked the green olives.
One sunny Thursday morning we went on a walk from La Bastide des Fonts, a village on the plateau near the Buddhist monastery. (Here’s a map)
La Bastide des Fonts
Catching up with the blog – more soon!

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A recital in Lauroux

Posted by celiahukins on 24/07/2012


As ever I’m a bit behind with the blog. Before it got so hot we went too Lauroux twice – once for a Sunday afternoon concert and another time not long after for a walk. You get there on one of those narrow twisty roads that lead northwards up from Lodève.

On the Sunday afternoon Conrad Wilkinson was giving a recital in the church.
Here’s a flier for the programme

Conrad doesn’t seem to have his own web page but here is a link I found He was responsible for bring the Labeque sisters to Lodève cathedral last year – sadly nothing this year.

We thought Lauroux was such a pleasant little village that we decided to start our Thursday walk from there.

Inevitably the local dog wanted to come with us. She did very well despite her arthritic hip (don’t we all?)

The route followed country lanes with views towards the Cirque de Labeil; brilliant sunshine but not too hot.

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Summer walks

Posted by celiahukins on 14/07/2010

At this time of year you need to make an early start on a walk before the temperature rises to the mid 30s. Set off at 7.30, the breeze still cool. As you climb the air is fresh around you, butterflies are everywhere, and there are scents of the thyme and oregano which you crush underfoot as you walk.

We explored three new walks this time, thanks to the Randofiche published by the France Randonnées – you can’t get them online but they are available from tourist offices. On one we were able to walk from the house, and the others were only a short drive away.

One circular route started from Saint Jean de La Blaquiere; another route took us round the dry valleys near Sorbs, up on the Larzac plateau.

From the house we followed the Livre du Lodevois – a variation on a walk we have done before – which has educational boards at intervals telling you about the geography and history of the area, as well as giving you views over Lodeve towards the Lac du Salagou.

And then we did one of our usual walks in the Foret de Parlatges.

We tend to take for granted the spectacular views on these walks, and their isolation; you hardly ever meet anyone else, apart from locals who look at you in surprise and warn you about walking in the heat.

At the end of the walk a swim in the pool and a beer are always welcome.

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February seaside walk

Posted by celiahukins on 02/03/2010

Thought I ‘d posted this. It relates to 20 February,
Days of snow give way to days of rain, and just when you think that this depressing weather is going to last for ever, out comes the sun. On the Méteo France weather map it looked like it was going to be sunnier by the coast, so we set off for Palavas les Flots. We abandoned the idea of the walk we’d originally planned as we realised it would be much too wet, so we set off from Palavas and walked along the sea shore, with sightings of the flamingoes on the lagoon, until we decided it was time to stop for our picnic. The breeze was quite chilly but it was warm in the sun.

We had previously walked along this strip of coast from Frontignan at the Southern end, but there is probably a bit in the middle that we haven’t been to yet.

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February sunshine at Lunas

Posted by celiahukins on 26/02/2010

And so a week goes by with the weather not quite doing what it was supposed to. Today the man came with a new dishwasher (successful) and a new French TNT satellite box (not so successful) so I spent my morning in the house with the birds making themselves heard whenever I ventured outside. In the afternoon sunshine and fresh air called, so I drove up to Lunas to find out more details of the walks I’d read about on the web. It takes about 20 minutes to drive up there, and I hit heavy rain and strong winds. However the little car did well on the sharp bends (you have to drive over the Escandorgue to get down to Lunas).

I waited for a while in the Tourist Office, which also functions as a library (ignore the notice saying you have to be quiet because it’s story time) as the assistant was busy with something else outside. I found the folder of walks I had anticipated (5 euros). “You’ll need an umbrella if you go walking today” said the assistant. “Well I probably won’t go today” I replied – but when I got outside the rain had stopped and the clouds miraculously disappeared. So I did a 4 km walk, leading up past Camel rock.

Uncharacteristically for me. I met up with a canine companion (the sort that tags along and then near the end of the walk wanders into the middle of the road) and I also walked bravely across this narrow bridge.

Lunas out of season is quiet, as everywhere round here, but I liked the look of the restaurant at the chateau.

When I took this photo a lady passing by told me the river had been much fuller (plus important) the week before, but she thought it looked prettier now.

And of course La Vierge looks down on us all.

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A visit to Aix-en-Provence

Posted by celiahukins on 01/10/2009

Aix fountainIt’s possible to go round Aix en Provence and be unaware that Cezanne was born and lived here, but once you notice the little brass studs in the streets showing you where he and his family lived and visited, you find traces everywhere (the booklet explains it all).

Cézanne I wandered round the town, went to Cézanne’s studio and the Thursday morning market, and took a bus out to Puylourdier at the foot of the Montagne Sainte Victoire.

Flower market Montagne Sainte Victoire Montagne Sainte Victoire

And of course I went to the Cézanne Picasso exhibition which was in its last week. Fortunately I got there early; this is what the queue looked like in the afternoon. (More photos on

Cézanne Picasso exhibition

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A walk at the seaside

Posted by celiahukins on 08/09/2009


When we went to this beach it was August and still hot We drove past Frontignan towards the Plage des Aresquiers (I’m still not exactly sure where that is) and walked along the spit between the lagoon and the sea for about 45 minutes. We could have carried on for another 45 minutes and reached Villeneuve les Maguelone, but we needed to get back to the car.
We had the beach almost to ourselves. We shared a picnic bottle of red wine and ate quiches from the bakers. As the waves came and went you could collect the shells they left behind. On the way back to the house we stopped at the fruit stall in Montagnac to buy some melons and local peaches for our evening meal.

And now August gives place to September. There is a chill in the air in the evenings. It’s la rentrée and the children are back at school. And we’re back in Birmingham, thinking of summer days.

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Some Easter walks

Posted by celiahukins on 28/04/2009

Lac du Salagou
Back in the UK again after a very easy journey. We had a picnic on the beach at Vias PLage, which was just beginning to open up for the summer, before catching the 3.00 flight from Béziers to Bristol. The menus at 11 euros looked good value – better than you would get in the UK for £10!
Easter weather was varied as Easter weather usually is. However we managed to have several walks. On Easter Monday we went out in the rain in the afternoon and walked up the road to Olmet, then back along the track which goes down to the road by the cemetery. The river was in full flow. We were pleased to have got out, and didn’t get too wet. By Tuesday the weather improved, and as we were to meet my brother at Montpellier Airport we went for a walk first round former salt marshes at Villeneuve les Maguelone. We saw some some avocets, but the only flamingoes we saw (the main purpose of the expedition) were by the side of the road near some road works as we were driving to the airport.
On another day the weather looked promising so we decided to do a walk which starts from the village of Liausson and climbs up the ridge to give views over the Cirque de Moureze. From here we could see in all directions – Canigou and the Pyrenees to the South, the Cévennes to the North. We met some other walkers who said they had never seen it so clear before. On the way down the clouds began to come in – see the picture above – and we had storms in the afternoon, a weather pattern which was to continue for several days.

I’ve found descriptions for two of the walks, as decribed in L’Hérault a pied. However the commentaries aren’t all that reliable – it depends what level of walker you are.

Mont Liausson

Les Salins

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A walk to the end of the world

Posted by celiahukins on 17/03/2009

Cirque du Bout du Monde

Cirque du Bout du Monde

On Friday it was still sunny and another walk called. I decided to investigate the Cirque du Bout du Monde. (Cirque at the End of the World) The name has always intrigued me – I suppose they though it was the end of the world. Maybe they had never been to the top – I haven’t either. I always wonder if it inspired Douglas Adams’ Restaurant at the End of the Universe. But maybe there are lots of other cirques with the same name, though I haven’t found them on Google.
The walk started from Gourgas, not far from Soubes which is a few kilometres north of Lodève. It was another walk from our new book, not too well way-marked, which meant it took me a while to find the right path at the beginning. When I’d eventually found the right way the track climbed up and followed the edge before dropping down again and ending up by a stream. I took my lunch this time.

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