Thanks to a recommendation from my friend Cro, we took a magical walk past rushing springs, overhanging rock walls and sparkling sunlit woods, all of which can be found near the small hamlet of Lavaur, in the Dordogne (map).
The mid-morning sun was trying its best to take the chill off the icy air, but with a faint mist rising off a small stream, and the light playing tricks with your eyes, there was a medieval touch to the day.
Beneath the steep cliff face you will first cross the Fontaine des trois évêques where the old feudal boundaries, and the powerful, were able to meet without fine or charge.
There is also a tumbledown lavoir with its wooden frame and tiled roof taped off to keep the inquisitive at bay.
Continuing past the waterpump house, the path takes you close to the sheer rock faces and although evidence of small streams is still there, the past year has been very dry so the occasional trickle soon heads back underground.
Walking along, with only stout shoes required, their was still a chill along the track but as it rose the air warmed and the icy tree tops began to melt with droplets splashing onto the leaves and twigs below.
The path is established enough to drive along, and car tracks could be seen, but no one else was out that day, just the occasional jay and crow screeching and squawking as we headed deeper into the woods.
As the path gently rises small patches of open space, with banks of wood behind, point to how the forest may have been worked in the past, and possibly sheep and other animals were kept when the area was intertwined with agriculture.
But today it is another trade that leads the way with yellow capped sign-posts pointing to a new belief in tourism and the euros that might bring.