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Most beautiful woodland walks in France

Nothing beats a walk amongst nature. Relaxing and invigorating all at once, here’s our top pick of the best woodland walks, gardens, and parks in France.

From sophisticated estates to rough and ready nature trails, take a walk in one of these French woodlands or parks to get the best of the great outdoors.

Le Jardin des Lianes

This floral experience is often described as a ‘secret garden’ as it sits in the little village of Chériennes. With a friendly owner and plenty of places to stop and (literally) smell the roses, this is a great place to unwind.

Region:
Hauts-de-France

Distance from Calais:
107 km via the A16, this is around an hour and a quarter’s drive.

pink wildflowers amongst trees covered in ivy in sunlight

Forêt d’Eu

Home to beech, oak, hazelnut, maple, and sycamore trees, this 9,000-hectare forest between the Bresle and Yères valleys is so large it’s split into three parts: Triage, Haute-forêt d'Eu (upper part), and Basse forêt d'Eu (lower part). Spend time exploring each to discover a bounty of flora and fauna.

Region:
Upper Normandy

Distance from Calais:
To reach the forest, drive for around 1 hour and 40 minutes (147 km) via the A16.

a shaded tree-lined dirt road in a forest

Jungle Garden Karlostachys

Part jungle, part botanical garden, owner Charles Boulanger’s goal is: "…to recreate the spirit of the jungle..." which he has certainly achieved. With more than 7,000 plant species, you’d be forgiven for losing a whole day here. Look out for the rare bamboo plants and numerous butterflies.

Region:
Normandy

Distance from Calais:
144 km from Calais, it’s around an hour and 40 minutes’ drive via the A16.

Forêt domaniale de Montmorency

This vast chestnut grove is not only impressive, but also only 20 km north of Paris. A former royal hunting forest, it stretches over hills dotted with historic sites, ponds, belvederes, and, of course, those remarkable trees.

Region:
Île-de-France

Distance from Calais:
A two and a half hour- drive, 264 km via the A16.

Forêt domaniale de Retz

One of the largest forests in France, take a walk in a landscape that hasn’t changed much since it was set apart from surrounding urban areas in 1672. With rock formations and 13,000 hectares of space to explore, you will find plenty of peace and quiet amongst these trees.

Region:
Hauts-de-France

Distance from Calais:
253 km from Calais via the A26 and A1, it will take you around 2 hours and 40 minutes by car.

A huge tree in the middle of a forest with a lot of long twisty branches

Forêt domaniale de Fontainebleau

A great hiking spot, this is another old hunting ground for the kings of France. Many artists have found inspiration here, thanks to the wide variety of landscapes, from rocky bouldering sites, to calm walkways amongst trees and wildflowers.

Region:
Île-de-France

Distance from Calais:
3 hours 50 minutes (352 km) via the A26 and A1

Forêt domaniale D'orléans

A majestic 50,000 hectares of trees you can meander through on foot or bicycle. Herds of deer can be spotted, especially in autumn, plus if you’re lucky you might see booted eagles, short-toed eagles, and osprey flying overhead.

Region:
Centre

Distance from Calais:
428 km. It’s around a 4 hours 40 minutes’ drive via the A1.

Stag deer with beautiful antlers amongst fern in a woodland

Forêt Paimpont

One of Brittany’s hidden gems this forest is a mythical place, steeped in Arthurian folklore and with a fountain that has possible magical healing properties. Numerous walking trails will take you deep amongst the trees, but will you be brave enough to take the Valley of No Return?

Region:
Brittany

Distance from Calais:
It’s 568 km to the forest, which will take around 5 and half hours via the A84. We recommend a stop in Rennes on your journey.

Forêt domaniale de Tronçais

The wood from the trees in this forest is used to make barrels for some of France’s greatest vintage wines. It’s also home to 21 species of bat and 600 species of beetle, but if you’re not a fan of either, don’t worry, there’s also tree-lined alleys, tranquil ponds, and bridle paths to explore.

Region:
Auvergne

Distance from Calais:
Travelling here from Calais will take about 6 hours (594 km) via the A1 and A71.

Enjoy the beginning of your walking holiday with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

Inspired to take a walk? See our guide to the four best trails France has to offer. With the journey from Folkestone to Calais taking just 35 minutes with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, it won’t be long before you’re breaking in those walking shoes.

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Start your walking holiday in France with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

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