Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Saint Barbe Redoubt

Sare from the Saint Barbe Redoubt

It was a great relief to awake to blue skies and we planned our second day over breakfast with “Wellington , The Bidassoa & Nivelle” by F C Beatson. Our objective was to find the Saint Barbe Redoubt, which formed part of Marshal Soult’s defensive works attacked by Wellington during the battle of the Nivelle in 1813.

We were spending two weeks exploring Wellington’s 1813 battlefields, and had based ourselves just outside the small French village of Sare. We were fortunate to have a detailed diagram of the area in November 1813 and both our Gite and the Redoubt were marked on it.

Our plan was to walk into Sare and then around the area until we found the Redoubt.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

The Petite Rhune

Our first day in the Pyrenees did not start well. Waking to light rain we set out to walk up The Petite Rhune. However we were directed to the wrong path, the rain turned from light to heavy and we climbed The Grande Rhune - the wrong mountain! Things could only improve, and they did. Returning to Sare the rain stopped and we felt much better after a hot meal. We were directed to the correct path, and followed it far enough to confirm that it went to The Petite Rhune.

You can read the full story at:

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Salisbury to Sare

The first two days of the holiday cover the journey to Sare and a brief introduction to the Battle of the Nivelle, in which Sare played an important role.

Unlike the previous blogs about Walking Napoleonic Battlefields, this one will be a diary of our 16 day walking holiday in 1996. The aim was to explore the whole area, and in particular the Rhune, Vera, Maya and Roncesvalles.

This time we would have plenty of time to wander at will, and try to find some of the less well known locations. Some would be worth the effort, others not really.

We would also have time to revisit Maya and Roncesvalles and try to find paths and locations which we had failed to find the previous year.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Walking the Pyrenees

The latest blog in Walking Napoleonic Battlefields will deal with our 17 day holiday in the Pyrenees in 1996. The previous holidays were designed to visit as many battlefields as possible and involved a lot of driving to reach each one. This time we were based in the small French village of Sare for the whole holiday, and the aim was to spend more time on each battlefield and explore them in great detail.

On the previous blogs each entry covered a different battlefield, with a brief description of the battle and our visit. This one will be more like a journal of the holiday, and will go into more detail about our exploration of each site.

The first entry covers the planning and preparation for the holiday and can be found at