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Digital Subscriptions > National Geographic Traveller (UK) > May 2017 > FRANCE

FRANCE

Running along a defunct railway line, the Axe Vert de la Thiérache off ers a glimpse into the bygone, bucolic age of steam. Words: Chris Leadbeater

WALKING THE RAILS

Cycling on the Green line, Ohis
IMAGE: ALAMY

In the hamlet of Ohis, there’s a viaduct of the type that prompts passersby to pause and acknowledge the skill of the engineers who created it. So I do as I’m told, admiring the stone legs of a 19th-century wonder. It’s an arrogant joy, straddling the Oise River with such ease that — even though the railway line it once carried, from Hirson to Busigny, closed to passengers in 1959 — it seems to view the river as a footnote, stepping across it as if it were a stream.

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About National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Walk this way: Lofty passes through volcanic lunar landscapes; ancient pilgrim pathways strewn with churches and ruins; sumptuous forested trails opening out onto vineyards. a rambler’s reward is culture, ambience and wild scenery on the walking routes through Italy, France and Spain
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