So, Paris is still the world’s number one tourist destination, with more than 30 million people visiting it every year. We still haven’t been there yet, apart from Benj who went up with a school trip, and came back severely unimpressed. Too many rats everywhere, he reckoned!

I’m in no rush to go. There’s plenty to see in rural Creuse. No, I’m not joking. There really is. Just yesterday we went for an hour’s walk. It’s one of our regular routes. And here’s what we get to see on route.

Our big lake, Alder Lake, at sunset

First we go down by our big lake and walk through the wood at the far end. We regularly catch sight of herons, or ragondins, or a chevreuil or two (they’re red deer and you rarely see one on its own). The other week I got a glimpse of two wild boar.

The tiny lavoir

Round a neighbouring field, down a green lane, along the road a little way and we pass a hidden lavoir. This is where people washed their clothes in the past. It’s fascinating to find one pretty much in the middle of nowhere!

Down the road and past the tiny quarry that someone works in from time to time. It certainly isn’t a commercial one so I reckon it’s a hobby quarryist!

Someone won't have Internet for much longer!

A little further on and we always look to see if the telephone wire has given way yet. That tree has been leaning on it for well over a year now.

This is a huge building

We reach the mill at the bottom of the hill. This is a tremendous building, four storeys high, as you can see. It was clearly prosperous in the past. The wheel has gone now but we can see where it was. We’ve never seen anyone in the mill, but from time to time workmen appear to do some maintenance, and someone keeps the two apple trees pruned. It’s a mystery!

DIY bridge

I love this little bridge across a tiny stream that runs through the mill’s grounds. It’s a DIY bridge with bedstead ends as railings. Waste not, want not.

It’s a fairly steep climb along another green lane that takes up right up to the edge of our property. We pass a long-neglected lake on the right, with a very steep banking sloping down to it. On snowy days we roll snowballs down to see how big they get before they finally crash into a tree.

Back home and we’ve walked through nature and history in just a few kilometres. Who needs Paris!