From park to garden, this family-orientated circuit will help you discover the many beautifully maintained green spaces in the city of Sens.
Depart from Sens Tourist Office (6, rue du Général Leclerc).
(D/A) After leaving the Tourist Office, take the second exit on the right off the roundabout, to take Boulevard Garibaldi then Boulevard Maupéou.
(1) At the roundabout, go left and follow the river on the cycle path. Do not cross the bridge. Continue straight on until the Saint-Bond lock. Then, take the cycle path along the Yonne river.
(2) Leave the cycle path by turning left after the section with a cobblestone edge. You will be on the Chemin des Pêcheurs, with the Parc des Champs Captants on your left. Follow the Chemin des Pêcheurs, with a path on your left. At the junction, turn left and then cross three bridges in succession.
(3) At the next intersection, turn right onto Rue Eugène Delaporte then continue straight ahead along the Moulin de Saint-Paul residence. Next, take the first right into Chemin de Babie, continue until the main entrance of the Parc du Moulin à Tan. You can go round the park if you wish. If you do, afterwards go back to the park entrance to continue your route, via the Chemin de Babie, up to the next intersection.
(4) At the intersection, go left into Rue du Général Dubois.
(5) Take the fourth road on the left (Rue des Moulins), then at the end of the road, turn right. At the Stop sign, cross Cours Tarbé to get back onto the cycle lane inside the promenade. Cross Square Jean Cousin to get to the next set of traffic lights. Cross to get back onto the cycle lane, inside the promenade, opposite the Caisse d’Epargne. Continue until the Poterne (archway). Cross the road, on your left at the tower, to take the road called Rue de l'Amiral Rossel. Continue until the Stop sign and turn right, then left, into Rue du Tambour d'Argent.
(6) At the end of the road, you’ll see the Orangerie and its garden. After coming out of the garden, turn left into Rue des Déportés et de la Résistance, which joins the Place des Héros and the walking circuit that surrounds the heart of historic town. At the first light, continue straight on then at the second light, turn left onto the boulevard and get into the right hand lane. Turn right straight away, into Rue du Gué Saint-Jean, which leads to the Lavoir (wash-house) du Gué Saint-Jean. After passing the wash-house, turn left, then immediately right. Notice the entrance to the Saint-Jean Hospital, in the passageway, before turning left to join the Rue d'Alsace-Lorraine. Turn left, then immediately right into Rue du Puits de la Chaîne.
(7) Take the second road on the right, the Rue des Arènes (this road runs along the edge of the former Gallo-Roman amphitheatre). Take the first road on the left, Rue Marcelin Berthelot, to the lights, then continue straight ahead to the end of the road. At the intersection with the Rue des Champs d'Aloup, turn left and continue for several metres until the next crossroads (traffic lights).
(8) At the lights, take the green route (cycle path) on the left for about one kilometre until you reach the Parc de la Ballastière (southern entrance). Go into the park to make a circuit of the lake via the right side and come back the main entrance of the park, in Rue de la République. Turn right when you leave the park, then right again into Rue Pasteur. At the give way sign (cédez-le-passage), go left into Rue de la Ballastière.
(9) At the roundabout, take the fourth exit, Rue Jean Jaurès, then the second right, Rue Marie-Noël where you’ll see the church of Saint-Clément. Follow the back of the church, cross the car park. When you exit the car park, turn right into Rue du Général Leclerc, then left into Rue Gambetta. At the give way sign (cédez-le-passage), turn left into Rue Athanase Clouzard and at the Stop sign, turn right onto the D939 road for about 100 metres.
(10) Turn left onto the Chemin de Sainte-Colombe indicated with a sign saying "voie sans issue” (no through road). Take this road until you reach the CGED building. Cross at the pedestrian crossing and continue on the road (the BIGMAT shop will be on your left). Go past, on the left side, the place known as Fontaine d’Azon, the location of Sainte-Colombe’s martyrdom. At the roundabout, take the second right, Rue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny.
(11) After the Rosler building, turn right on the dirt track and continue straight ahead after the junction. At the give way sign (cédez-le-passage), turn left and continue until the church of Saint-Denis-lès-Sens. Cross the main road to take the Rue Albert Garnier, opposite.
(12) Take the tow path to the left (there is a beautiful view of the church of Saint-Martin-du-Tertre). There is a stopping place 50 metres ahead, on the banks of the Yonne river.
(13) Before the Saint-Martin lock, turn left and then right. After several hundred metres, you will get to the former abbey of Sainte-Colombe. Take the road on the right, opposite the abbey, down to the Yonne river to join the cycle path and then continue to the left.
(14) Continue on the cycle path, then onto the Quai de Nancy which extends onto the Quai du Docteur Albert Schweitzer, up to the roundabout.
(15) At the roundabout, turn left to join the inner promenade and go up Boulevard Maupéou and Boulevard Garibaldi. At the lights on the corner of Place Jean Jaurès, turn left into Rue du Général Leclerc to get back to the tourist office.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 71m - Tourist Office of Sens and its region
1 : km 0.48 - alt. 68m - Cycle path junction - Yonne (l')
2 : km 4.16 - alt. 66m - Chemin des Pêcheurs junction
3 : km 5.65 - alt. 66m - Rue Eugène Delaporte junction
4 : km 6.45 - alt. 67m - Rue du Général Dubois junction
5 : km 7.3 - alt. 73m - Rue des Moulins junction
6 : km 8.69 - alt. 78m - Orangerie garden
7 : km 9.75 - alt. 77m - Rue des Arènes junction
8 : km 10.35 - alt. 79m - Parc de la Ballastière green route
9 : km 13.55 - alt. 68m - Rue Jean Jaurès junction
10 : km 14.71 - alt. 68m - Chemin de Sainte-Colombe junction
11 : km 15.53 - alt. 62m - Dirt track after Rosler company building
12 : km 17.12 - alt. 64m - Tow path
13 : km 18.12 - alt. 61m - Junction before Saint-Martin lock
14 : km 19.23 - alt. 63m - Continue on the cycle path
15 : km 21.43 - alt. 65m - Boulevard Maupéou and Boulevard Garibaldi junction
D/A : km 22.03 - alt. 71m - Tourist Office of Sens and its region
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
(2) Parc des Champs Captants: This park consists of wooded areas, orchards, meadows with flowers and the Sens conservatory of grape varieties. Picnic area, golf driving range.
(3) The Parc du Moulin à Tan with its tropical glasshouses: Built in 1887, this park offers a variety of landscapes and has glasshouses with collections of tropical plants. Free admission every day from 8am until sunset and from 1:30-5pm for the glasshouses. Rest area, playground, toilets, cycle parking.
(5) Square Jean Cousin: Planted in 1880, this garden still has various trees and shrubs dating from its creation. Admire the mosaiculture bedding plants around the statue of the Sens artist, Jean Cousin. Free admission every day from 8am to 8:30pm. Rest area, play area, toilets.
La Poterne: The oldest monument complex in Sens, evidence of the city at the end of the Gallo-Roman era.
(6) The Orangerie and its garden: This magnificent French-style garden, once the archbishop’s private garden, adjoins the Orangerie building, now a temporary exhibition hall. Free admission to the garden every day. Practical information concerning the exhibitions: +33 (0)3 86 64 46 22.
Lavoir du Gué Saint-Jean (wash-house): An old wash-house and water-trough for animals that also fed into the ditches of the town via the Ru de Mondereau.
Hôpital Saint-Jean: A beautiful 13th century church, restored in the 17th century, and former abbey.
(8) Parc de la Ballastière: The park’s origins date back to the end of the 19th century. This location was used as a ballast extraction site for the construction of the Sens-Troyes railway line. Free admission every day, from 8am to 8pm in spring and summer, from 9am to 5:30pm in autumn and winter. Rest area, picnic tables, toilets.
(9) Church of Saint-Clément: 12th century church, rebuilt in the 18th century. General food available, play area, toilets.
(13) Former abbey of Sainte-Colombe: Founded by Clotaire II on the tomb of Sainte-Colombe in 620.
The GPS track and description are the property of the author.