At home, we usually hold a family meeting before each holiday. The aim is to anticipate the activities so that everyone is involved in the programme. My darling and Hugo (16) often express their desire for nature jogging. That's how we came to realise that tourist advice on this theme is rare.
On the strength of our experience, I decided to investigate the Grand Châtellerault region and put together an article that I hope will be of great interest to running enthusiasts travelling through the region. Are you ready for a running holiday?
A big thank you to Hélène Robin from the club Les Galopins des Bois and Dany Lourdeau from Lencloître JC 86 for their advice.
Discover the favourite spots for joggers in Châtellerault...
1. The banks of the Vienne in Châtellerault
My husband and eldest son recommend this short circuit to anyone looking for a short, flat urban jog. Head for the La Manu site and park in the skatepark car park if you have a car. And you're off for a change of scenery along the water's edge.
" Mallard ducks, black-headed gulls and traditional boats all meet along the banks of the Vienne. Walk along the quays! "says my dearest and dearest. When you reach the old railway bridge, cross over to the riverbank on the city centre side and "". enjoy a different view of the riverbanks and wide pavements suitable for runners ". The avant-garde Camille de Hogues bridge spans the river to return to your starting point, the former royal factory.
Ground : bitumen
Distance : about 6 kilometres.
Alternative : For longer distances on the road, my darling borrows La Green Line which runs 37 kilometres from Châtellerault to Loudun. Advantages: dry ground when it rains and you can manage your running time easily. " Perfect for doing splits and working on your VMA! "enthuses my sporty husband. The only drawback is that the return journey will be the same as the outward journey.
Things to see and do : The industrial heritage of the La Manuwith the highlight being the Museum of Art and Industry Le Grand Atelier. If you still have some energy left, the ascent to the Vilmouth towers will give you a breathtaking view of the river and its valley. This jog is also an opportunity to admire the Henri IV bridgeIt was completed thanks to Sully and is listed as a Historic Monument.
2. The forest lake at Châtellerault
Starting from the fitness trail, three signposted routes take you through the undergrowth. However, there are plenty of other routes to vary the scenery, including distances of 20 or 25 km.
Hélène Robin of Les Galopins estimates the tour of the forest lake 2.5 km away.
What a pleasure it is to run in this safe, bucolic setting, far from tarmac and cars! Although the route is predominantly flat, there are a few hills that spice things up from time to time. What's more, the forest provides protection from both wind and rain...
Ground : earth
Distance of marked routes : 5 km, 7 km or 12 km
Hélène's advice : " For greater peace and comfort, avoid Sundays, the favourite day for families and mountain bikers. Our club, Les Galopins, is unique in offering group outings on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in addition to weekends. "
Things to see and do : The arboretum du Grand Chêne and its 62 varieties of trees
3. The sandy paths of Lencloîtrais
Dany Lourdeau of Lencloître JC 86 is a goldmine for running recommendations in the Lencloître area. So much so that I found it hard to select just one route!
In the end, I argued that it would be best to refer to the 2022 event routes of the Chemins des Cloîtres. By clicking on this linkYou'll have a choice of routes suitable for nature or trail running. Please note: the paths are not signposted as runners sometimes use private woods with the permission of the owners.
" The strength of our region? Its bumps, its differences in altitude, its paths and forest tracks. It's never dull. "Dany, the enthusiast, proudly explains. " Don't hesitate to put on your trail shoes to follow the hiking trail (12.5 km) from Lencloître towards Mirebeau. A good excuse to catch a glimpse of the flamboyant Château de Picol. "
Ground : sand
Distances : 9 km, 12.5 km , 18 km or 25 km
Dany's advice : " When it's hot or windy, going deep into the woods is especially pleasant. "
What's on : The convent complex and its rose garden, the picturesque monthly fair (1er Monday of each month).
4. The five châteaux trail in Thuré
This is Hélène Robin's favourite Nature and Heritage spot, and she hesitated a long time before telling me about it.
Park at the cemetery car park and follow the De Porche en Porche hiking trail. You will then enter the woods and, from the heights, take in the Vienne valley.
Ground : earth
Distance : 12 km
Things to see and do : In fine weather, accrobranche and paintball at Aven'Thuré. All year round, weather conditions permitting, flights with Hot-air balloon Centre Atlantique.
5. On the heights of Vicq-sur-Gartempe
It's in summer, when the banks of the Gartempe are dry and shady, that Hugo and his dad particularly enjoy this outing, rich in views and built heritage.
The walk starts from the town square, heading towards the river. Cross the charming stone bridge and turn right to follow the hiking trail no. 58. " You soon get a view of the slopes of the Anglin. Then, at Les Grands Breux, you pass a beautiful manor house and its farm, before a second panorama, this time of Vicq and its hamlets.. " After the pretty village of Les Robins, you pass the Château de la Brosse. A breathtaking view awaits you from the heights, just before you follow the Gartempe for almost 2 kilometres, from Gilardière to Les Charrons.
Ground : earth
Distance : 11 km
Things to see and do : Admire an extraordinary house, the Villa des îles at number 6 rue du pont. Take a break at château de la Brosse which houses an organic farm, a shop and a tearoom.
LE PROGRAMME 2024 DES COURSES NATURE EN GRAND CHATELLERAULT
- Dimanche 18 février : Le Feu au Lac in Châtellerault.
- Dimanche 10 mars : Les Chemins des Cloîtres, in Lencloître.
- Lundi 1er avril : Jean-Paul Cardineau half-marathon & 10 km, in Châtellerault.
- Dimanche 21 avril : La Course du Pinail, in Vouneuil-sur-Vienne.
- Dimanche 5 mai : Foulées du Rond du Chêne, in Oyré.
- Juin : La Course du Donjon, in La Roche Posay.
- Juillet : Foulées Vicquoises, in Vicq-sur-Gartempe.
- Septembre : The Trail Ça Coule de Source, in La Roche Posay.
- Octobre : Les Foulées Pleumartinoises, in Pleumartin.
- Octobre/Novembre : Zombi'run, in Châtellerault.
- Dimanche 17 novembre : Les Foulées Bonnimatoises, in Bonneuil-Matours.
- Dimanche 24 novembre : The Trail de la Rose, in Antran.
- December : La Rugissante de Noël, in Châtellerault.
Grand Châtellerault is a great place to run!