Eco-Gites of Lenault Walks - Lénault
Ce blog détaille une balade autour du village de Lénault. Il est en anglais mais un lien en bas de page permet d'accéder aux détails en français.
Walk number 5 in our series of walks you can take directly from the gite and this time we take you around the village of Lénault. This route is waymarked with small yellow waymarkers on a grey background but they are not always easy to spot!
Distance - 8.25 kms
This walk is one of many recently waymarked routes in the area and leaflets are available for them in the tourist offices. This one passes our gate and enables you to complete a circuit around and through Lénault via fields, woodlands and some road sections. You can walk it by following the yellow maymarker signs marked Promenade à Lénault and small yellow and grey markers. Crosses mark the direction NOT to go and straight lines indicate you are on the right path. But be warned, these small signs are not always that easy to spot!
Whilst many villages were damaged badly in the weeks following D-Day (June 6th 1944), Lénault was mostly spared and most building were undamaged. That said the gite is perhaps lucky to be here as the house that previoulsy stood stood at the end of our drive was obliterated by a stray bomb.
Route around Lénault
Walk out of our back gate and turn left onto the footpath. This is GR221, a long distance path which goes from Pont D'Ouilly to Coutances.
Continue around to the road (waymarker Le Hamelet) and cross over.
Le Hamelet is made up of more derelict buildings than inhabited ones which is a sadly the case in many isolated hamlets across Normandy. People do not want to renovate old buildings preferring to either build new or move into town. However three here have been renovated and a fourth has recently been bought as a renovation project.
Continue across farmland to the next road and cross over.
At the next road turn left. Walk along into Lénault. You will pass a roadside cross near the village, a memorial to those who were lost in both world wars.
Once in Lenault walk past the church to the T-junction.
Lénault church was built by the English in the fourteenth century and certainly looks similar to many a rural church you'd see in England. However, if you venture inside you will see it is very different as are the tombstones surrounding it. The gold cockerel on the tower is also typical of French churches. The church is now no longer used for services, just burials in the churchyard.
Cross over the road and head towards the glass recycling bin and old lavoir.
A lavoir is a wash house and in the days before washing machines and hot water on tap, the village women would have gathered at the village lavoir to clean their clothes. Many are found alongside rivers and others, such as this one, are spring fed.
Opposite the recycling bin you can see a building with a small pointed spire on tower - this is the former Lénault château which is now the pizzeria, Les 2 Ifs.
Turn left just past the lavoir at the waymarker and head down the path to the small hamlet of La Saulnerie. Continue along the path dropping down sharply into a small valley and up th eother side until the path comes out onto a tarmac road.
Continue for about 50m and turn right down the next path. This path takes you down the opposite side of the valley to the gite and you can look out for us across the valley.
At the road turn right and then at the road junction turn back sharp left waymarked towards Pontécoulant.
After one field on your left take the path back up the other side of the valley.
For those of you who enjoy foraging this is an excellent location. From wild garlic in spring, elderflowers in summer and blackberries, hazelnuts, rosehips etc in autumn there is plenty to gather if you know what you are looking for.
At the top of the hill at the La Caucesserie waymarker turn right and after one field go back through the gate into Eco-Gites of Lénault.
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