Snapshots #23: La Fosse Arthour

Back again with another Normandy walk! La Fosse Arthour is situated in a natural park region on the border of Manche and Orne. The area is pretty unique in the region due to its natural geological topography. The place is an amalgamation of sandstone ridges, wetland, and dry moor joined together by woodland and hiking trails.

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The place gets its name after the folk tale that King Arthur stayed there in a cave called “the king’s room”. The full legend begins in the 5th century, wherein traditional Arthurian legend, King Arthur disappears. It is said that he fell in a battle to his nephew Modred, and escaped to the island of Avalon, however, in Normandy they believe different. “Avalon” in this case is indeed the sanctuary of 5th century Normandy. It is believed that Arthur and his lover chose sanctuary deep within the forests here, ending up settling in a natural cavity above the Sonce river, the aforementioned king’s room. The tale goes on further with how in return for granting sanctuary, Arthur and a mysterious sorcerer granted magic to the local people. You can read more about this tale amongst other Manche legends from “Légendes Normandes Recueillies Dans L’arrondissement de Mortain (Manche)” by Hippolyte Sauvage published 1869.

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Nowadays, the area has around 6km of walking trails taking you around the various topography, past farmland, and of course around the fosse itself, a grand lake. There are two main walks, one that goes directly to the lake and another that is a bit longer that goes around the rock faces and through the woodland. There are several places to park to access the area, all are clearly signed posted. There is also a newly renovated restaurant café with lovely inside and outside seating. It is worth spending half the day here walking and admiring the landscape!

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If you are interested in other pursuits, there are places from rock climbing and abseiling as well as having paths fit for mountain biking and the lake and river are suitable for fishing. (As long as you have a permit)

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On this walk, I brought along my Canon 6D with my everyday 24-105mm L series lens. It was a very warm and bright summer day so kept my settings to reflect the brightness. (ISO 100-200, shutter 1/400+ and, f/4.0). I set myself some artistic challenges while being here, focusing more on the nature around me and varying this rather than randomly taking pictures. it made me really think more about my surroundings and take more time in composing a shot, it was almost like a mediative practice.

Challenge words:

  • Reflections
  • Something green
  • Mythical
  • A path
  • Varied landscape
  • Something that can be stylized in Lightroom

See if you can match the words to my photos….

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I can’t wait to get back here in the autumn and winter to see how much the landscape changes!

Have you got a local place of myth and legend?
Answer below in the comments!

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