Bois de Boulogne – A Park Built by Napoleon III

A 865 hectare Park built along the lines of London’s Hyde Park:

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Bois de Boulogne, Paris

If you’re travelling with children in Paris and museum visits are making them restless, head for Bois de Boulogne on the western fringe of Paris, in the 16th arrondissement.  This 865 hectare park is usually very busy at weekends with joggers, walkers and families on a day’s outing.

The Bois de Boulogne was once a part of the Forêt du Rouvre that surrounded ancient Paris.  In the early centuries, the Bois (woods), was a dangerous place and a haunt for robbers and highwaymen.

However, during the Belle Epoque period it became a fashionable place to promenade, thanks to the wide lane linking it to Paris, the creation of lakes and little rivers.  Napoleon III had the Bois designed and landscaped by Baron Haussmann along the lines of Hyde Park in London, some of the features he remembered from his exile in London.

We had the opportunity to enjoy strolls through the park when we were staying with our friends Caroline and Val.  Bois de Boulogne was their local park for taking the dog for walks. Within the forest there are several smaller parks such as the Pre-Catelan and the Parc Bagatelle.

Bois Boulogne  is a very pretty forest reserve for enjoying walks, cycling, horse-riding, rowing on the lakes and there are play areas for children.  For the adults who enjoy horse-racing, the Hippodrome Auteuil and the Hippodrome de Longchamp are venues for steeplechases or horse races.  There are a number of restaurants and food outlets in the Bois so sustenance is not a concern.

If more organized entertainment is required for the kids, the Jardin d’Acclimatation to the north of the Bois is a children’s paradise.

Getting there by Metro:

Metro Line 1 – Porte-Maillot Station | Metro Line 2 – Porte-Dauphine Station | Metro Line 9 – La Muette Station | Metro Line 6 – Passy Station | Metro Line 10 – Porte-d’Auteuil Station | Metro Line 9 – Alma Marceau Station

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