Park Life, The Lungs of the City

While many Euro­pean cities have found their green ar­eas shrink­ing with ur­ban ex­pan­sion in re­cent years, Bordeaux still em­braces a cul­tural iden­tity that mar­ries the his­toric city cen­tre with the ur­ban parks

Bordeaux J'Adore - - Contents - ✒ STEPHANIE IR­WIN

A SIG­NIF­I­CANT PART OF WHAT GIVES BORDEAUX ITS UNIQUE AP­PEAL AS A HOL­I­DAY DES­TI­NA­TION is the way the city has evolved to com­ple­ment its green spa­ces and tree lined av­enues. Na­ture has very much been in­cor­po­rated into the ur­ban land­scape and this has been the case in Bordeaux go­ing back as far the years of hauss­man­ni­sa­tion. In­deed, when Baron Hauss­mann was asked by Napoleon III to reimag­ine a mag­nif­i­cent, new Paris in the 18th cen­tury, much of the in­spi­ra­tion for the work was taken from Hauss­mann’s pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence as Pre­fect in Bordeaux. At the time both men agreed that no city dweller should ever be more than ten min­utes walk from a park or pub­lic space. To­day across the many parks, lawns and green spa­ces of the city, tourists can en­joy out­door events, ac­tiv­i­ties and scenery to suit any taste and every sea­son. Bordeaux’s green spa­ces con­tinue to wel­come and de­light tourists from around the world.

Jardin Pub­lic

One of the most beau­ti­ful in­ner-city parks to be found in the whole South West, the Pub­lic Gar­den is a hugely pop­u­lar out­door lo­ca­tion for both the lo­cal com­mu­nity in cen­tral Bordeaux and visi­tors. An ideal spot for loung­ing in the grass, pic­nics, jog­ging, sports and out­door mu­sic events, the gar­den is flanked by foun­tains, a lake and a ter­raced restau­rant L’or­angerie.

Cours de Ver­dun, 33000 Bordeaux

Open Sum­mer 8am - 8pm, Win­ter 8am - 6pm

Parc Palmer

Out­side the main city but eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble by pub­lic trans­port, Parc Palmer is lo­cated about twenty min­utes drive from town in the neigh­bour­hood of Cenon. A park which boasts wide open green spa­ces, per­fect for sports and pic­nics, it is also pop­u­lar due to its large sculp­tures and pub­lic art works as well as be­ing an ideal spot for fam­ily fun on long sum­mer days.

1, rue Aris­tide-briand, 33150 Cenon Open daily

Parc Borde­lais

Eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble by foot, bus or bike, this park is lo­cated in the up­mar­ket neigh­bour­hood of Caudéran and is es­ti­mated to be the largest en­closed green space in the re­gion. With lush forests, play­grounds, wa­ter fea­tures and plenty of open green spa­ces the park is a hugely pop­u­lar week­end spot for re­lax­ing as well as sports, among those liv­ing in the city cen­tre but also tourists step­ping out­side the con­fines of the city cen­tre.

Rue du Bocage, 33000 Bordeaux Open daily from 7am

Jardin Botanique

For those tourists pas­sion­ate about ecol­ogy in an ur­ban set­ting Bordeaux has a beau­ti­ful Botanic Gar­den on the Rive Droite, across from the his­toric quay­side vista of the old cen­tre. The Gar­dens have been de­signed so visi­tors can learn all about bio­di­ver­sity and sus­tain­able ecol­ogy and are also in prox­im­ity to tram and bus ac­cess or can be eas­ily reached on foot from via the Pont de Pierre.

Es­planade Linné, 33100 Bordeaux

Open Sum­mers 8am - 8pm, Win­ter 8am - 6pm

Parc Rivière Parc de Ma­jolan

Parc de Ma­jolan, though out­side the ring road of the city, is still worth ex­plor­ing and can be reached via bus 29 or 78 or eas­ily by car. It is a per­fect hid­den trea­sure for those ea­ger to es­cape the tourist crowds a lit­tle bit and is a park full of unique per­son­al­ity! Ideal for ro­man­tic strolls or play­ful ad­ven­tures with the fam­ily the park has been in­flu­enced in de­sign by its re­la­tion­ship to wa­ter and the sur­round­ing area. Dis­cover its caves, dec­o­ra­tive faux ru­ins, foun­tains and wa­ter fea­tures all year round.

Av­enue du Général-de-gaulle, 33290 Blan­que­fort

Open every day 8am - 8.30pm Parc Rivière is a beau­ti­ful and tran­quil spot to laze and watch the world go by. Flanked by the ru­ins of a for­mer cas­tle the park is also neigh­bour to the beau­ti­ful Bernard Ma­grez cul­tural in­sti­tute, well worth ex­plor­ing if time al­lows.

Rue de Man­dron, 33000 Bordeaux Open daily from 7am

Refuges Péri­ur­bains

Down river a few min­utes from the heart of Bordeaux this park is a per­fect spot for those who en­joy a more rugged, nat­u­ral walk and is a pop­u­lar hik­ing and pic­nic spot. In ad­di­tion, it is home to a recre­ational area for chil­dren, and is close to a large shop­ping cen­tre in the neigh­bour­hood of Bè­gles. ‘Rives d’arcins’ and ‘Les Guet­teurs’ are owl shaped wooden chalets de­signed by Bruit du Frigo and the artists from Ze­bra3 in­clud­ing Candice Petrillo, as part of their mis­sion to bring ur­ban art to Bordeaux. The chalets are free to stay in, with beds, but are off-grid, so there’s no elec­tric­ity or run­ning wa­ter.

15, rue Louis-blériot, 33130 Bè­gles Free from March to Novem­ber by reser­va­tion only via web­site

Jardin des Lu­mières

Jump off the tram at Place de la Bourse to dis­cover the fa­mous wa­ter mir­ror in­ter­ac­tive sculp­ture and The Gar­den of Lights, and to see tall bull rushes, beds bloom­ing with wild flow­ers and man­i­cured verges for half a mile down river.

Quai du Maréchal-lyautey, 33000 Bordeaux Open all year round

Parc de l’er­mitage - Iris Parc

Sit­u­ated just out­side the city cen­tre on the Rive Droite and over­look­ing the Garonne, the Parc de l’er­mitage of­fers rus­tic for­est walks, fab­u­lous views of the wind­ing river and of the Aquitaine Bridge and Cha­ban Delmas bridge up stream. Easy to reach via bus, pub­lic trans­port (boat bus) or car, Lor­mont feels more like a charm­ing port side vil­lage some­where far away from the hus­tle and bus­tle of the city. But in fact this vil­lage-like neigh­bour­hood on a hill is a mere ten min­utes from the city cen­tre, mak­ing Parc de L’er­mitage a won­der­fully con­ve­nient nat­u­ral es­cape for tourists ea­ger for fresh air and a new per­spec­tive on the Garonne.

Chemin du Rouquey, 33310 Lor­mont Free park­ing, bus 91 or 92, stop: Quai Du­pey­ron, Bateaux CUB

PHOTO MAIRIE DE BORDEAUX

The jardin pub­lic.

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