A tale of sheep and pork pies

By | Category: Travel destinations

Lot valley

Last month in the Lot valley in France a different sort of holiday took place. 700 sheep were transferred across about over a hundred and thirty miles of land to new summer pasture. And holidaymakers could join the trek as animals were moved over a two week period. Some would think this a strange sort of holiday!
Moving animals from lower land up into mountain pasture doesn’t happen as much as it used to do but in the Lot valley in southern France, conservationists have encouraged it to happen again. The grazing that sheep do in the highlands during summer is beneficial to the grass making it knottier in the ground and helping it retain the snow. Come September and the sheep will be driven back again.
It’s another indication of how the Lot valley is a “different” type of holiday destination, a destination proud of its heritage in agriculture, outdoor pursuits and the 40 year old efforts to transform this region. Now, after all the work, visitors are coming in ever-increasing numbers.
For Britons, it is not a well-known area so what is there to make it worth holidaying there? For a start it will have a wide appeal to those of you who like messing about in boats. The River Lot is navigable after all the hard work of the last years so you can travel over a hundred miles on the river and the canals that are linked to it before it runs into the Garonne. In addition there are lakes and dams, gorges and vineyards to provide impressive scenery. There are the prehistoric caves of Pech Merle, fortifications that go back 700 years to the Hundred Years War, newer chateaux like the Chateau del la Baume known as the little Versailles (at €6.2 for an adult, this is good value compared to our prices) and abbeys and church in abundance.
The Lot valley is one of those places that needs exploring carefully. It’s too easy to miss something. Like I missed the annual pork pie festival last weekend where I was promised “gourmet festivities.” I’m not sure the prune festival will entice me in September or that I will be lured by the Gourmet Prune Museum as I would prefer the chestnut one in October. Or just the cheeses, the vineyards and the restaurants. Such would be my Lot! ( apologies for the pun but I couldn’t resist it.)

For more information about the Lot valley, click here

Image © www.valleedulot.com

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