Walking to Saint Fiel
by Dave • Thu 21 May 2020 17:26
The route is pretty easy going with only a few gentle inclines (except if you choose to go down under the Viaduct du Glane in the middle of the walk where you need to remember that you have to walk back up all those steps). The track is mostly large granite stone chips left over from the railway line, but there is a short amount of dirt track and a muddy footpath up through the fields to reach the church at Saint Fiel. I’d allow 90 minutes each way to take it easy and enjoy the sights and sounds but it’ll depend on your pace and interest in what you find along the route.
Park up at the free car park next to the viaduct at Glenic.
Start Location on Google Maps
Cross over the footbridge (check out the article about the Donkey Fête via the link above to see photos) and then follow the path to the viaduct across the small field and the road and then up to the main railway path. Go in the opposite direction of the viaduct – don’t worry you can walk over it on the way back. This is the hardest climb on route.
After about 500m you’ll come to a T junction where you need to go left – this will take you back to the railway line in about 250m where you go up onto the line. After a little over 500m you’ll reach another viaduct across a hidden valley.
When you reach the floor there are several short paths to the left and right allowing you to see and explore the old workings and see how the river Naute has been re-routed and channelled between the viaduct legs. The viaduct is also pretty impressive.
You can now continue along the railway for about another 350m you should be able to see the church and château on your right and maybe if you are lucky a big snail will be ambling across the path.
Finish Location on Google Maps
The church is worth a visit although you need to fetch the key from someone (I forget who because someone already got it when we visited, but they will know in the Auberge) – there are some very old frescos to enjoy in the cool.
If you’re dining, tuck into your grub before looking around the village. Otherwise enjoy your own arrangements before heading back to Glenic. You can go via several routes but actually I’d recommend just going back the way that you came.
Once you get almost to Glenic instead of going down to the road and crossing over the river on the footbridge you can carry on and go over the viaduct. This gives you a great view of the river Creuse.
I’d also recommend a quick visit to the old town on the cliff above the viaduct. There is a footpath up but it is jolly hard work and you can just drive and park at the top if you prefer and enjoy the tremendous view all the same. There isn’t much else to do or see up there but it’s a nice spot to sit and look for a bit.