Sceaux & the Parc de Sceaux: A perfect day out in Paris.

When I was lucky enough to live in Paris, many a Sunday was spent in the Parc de Sceaux.

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The formal gardens and Château de Sceaux

Sunday mornings would start with a jog round the natural running course which runs around the park. However, this was just so that I didn’t feel as guilty for the rest of the day, which was either spent in the little cafe within the park, or in one of the many cafes/restaurants in the wonderful little village of Sceaux, which lies just to the north.

Or when I simply lay in the sun, and enjoyed a sumptuous picnic – the ingredients for which were easily found in the little market and boutique foodshops in Sceaux.

NOTE: Although the actual central market building is closed on a Sunday morning, the building is surrounded by every kind of market foodseller that you can imagine.

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The sensational local market in the village of Sceaux – get here early for picnic supplies!

Think of Sceaux like a miniature Versailles. But with a much smaller chateau (which houses the Musée du Domaine Départemental de Sceaux) – and nothing but French accents.

There is even an open-air swimming pool, in enclosed landscaped gardens – although this is really busy on weekends/school holidays. At other times, and assuming that you have brought/bought a swimsuit, then a morning spent here (a little snack bar sells food and drink), is a rather pleasurable start to an amazing day. After a good swim, wander through the wooded park, and watch children (and adults!) sail their toy boats on the ponds.

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The Château de Sceaux – surveying the landscaped gardens

Or just pack a picnic, a blanket, and find a quiet area of grass (which is very easy to do – the place is huge) – and lie back & enjoy the French sunshine.

My visit.

My visit, purely by chance, coincided with the annual fundraising event by Vaincre la Mucoviscidose (Defeat Cystic Fibrosis) charity.

And it is a huge event (now in its 21st year). Hundreds of participants, of all ages, take part in a variety of walking & running challenges.

And there is a huge Breton influence (it turns out that Brittany has one of the highest incidences of Cystic Fibrosis in France). So, central to the day was the appearance of a pipe-playing marching band from Brittany. And, as soon as I heard the distant sound of bagpipes being played, I just had to find the source and show solidarity with my charity-supporting “celtique” brothers and sisters. They were just as in awe of my kilt, as I was in their music.

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Bagpipes!

Accessibility.

The formal park gardens are laid out on many levels. With steps everywhere. However, there is always a step-free alternative (although sometimes this involves quite a long detour).

The paths, especially at the northern end of the park, are composed of varying depths of small stones. Which make for hard work for wheelchair-users. However, the paths that surround the lake/pond are tarmac.

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The “fromagerie” in Sceaux – one of many stunning little artisanal foodshops

And once you tire of just lazing around in the park, wander along to the village of Sceaux, where classy cafes & restaurants await on the pedestrianised streets.

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I had grand visions of what to include in this article. But during my research, I found this amazing, and recent, article by Time Out. So rather than reinvent the wheel…

Time Out Paris: Parc de Sceaux

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Paris Hotels:

The two best sources of information for hotels in Paris are Trivago and Booking.com (just in case the hotel doesn’t appear on Trivago!)


Have you visited Sceaux or the Parc de Sceaux in Paris? Please use the “Leave a Reply” feature below, to share any practical information that you have (it doesn’t need to be accessibility-related). Thank you. Iain.

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