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Nantes Pirmil < > Chapelle-sur-Erdre

16.6 km 4h10

Directions :

0.00 – With your back to the porch of the Chapel of Saint Jacques de Pirmil, go along Rue St Jacques preferably on the left hand side, cross the junction 300m away and reach, to your right a pathway on the left bank of the Bras de Pirmil arm1 of the Loire. Follow this path to the right for 1.5km, leaving to your left after 600m the bridge Pont Georges Clemenceau, till you get to the bridge Pont Léopold Sédar Sanghor (after 300m) which you cross. Continue to the right to find after 600m, keeping left, after the last building, the convent of Notre Dame des Lumières. Go around it by the left to get to Rue du Pré Salé which you follow towards the left (facing you the imposing administrative centre for the region : Hôtel de la Région Pays de Loire) for a little more than 100m. Go right onto Rue de la Loire to walk alongside the Hôtel de Région and head down opposite, after a little more than 200m, taking the large steps, to the bank of another arm of the Loire. Fork left to go to the bridge Pont Willy Brandt 700m away, having passed on your right the Pont Eric Tabarl bridge and a railway bridge. Turn right here and, after having crossed the bridge bear left, go alongside the old Marcel Saupin stadium whose façade has been transformed into colourful buildings. After 300m, go right for about 20m via Allée Jacques Berque then immediately left to pass under Pont Tbilissi bridge and follow the paved quayside of the...

1h15 4.4... canal Saint Félix which narrows after approx 500m and comes out, heading uphill after having passed under two railway bridges, near to three large trees. Go left along the footpath and cross the busway (pont de la Rotonde) to head opposite towards the right of the bus-stop n°4 « Duchesse Anne, Château » (Round shelter made of green-coloured glass) (You can see the Tour LU on the left). Cross the tramway towards the right to go along to the left past Cours Kermedy and the Château des Ducs de Bretagne for 250m, after which you take an immediate right onto Rue des États. At n° 09 there is a tourist office (Nantes Tourisme), which has a St James Stamp. Just after it, notice the statue of Anne de Bretagne on the little Place Marc Edler, and continue straight ahead towards the cathedral of St Pierre and St Paul (5.8km) via the narrow Rue Mathelin Rodier.

After your visit to the cathedral, continue on your Way going right via Rue de l’Évêché then left crossing Place Foch also known as Place Louis XVI because of the column of that name there. Keep left to cross the large Cours Saint André (more than 200m long). Go down either by the right or the left the steps around a war memorial to cross Rue Quai Ceineray by the pedestrian crossing, go through Square du Maquis-de-Saffré opposite and keep left to cross Pont Saint-Mihiel (600m from the cathedral). Continue along the paved towpath to walk along to the left of Île de Versailles (accessible via a metal walkway), and the quays with their many barges after 250m. After a little more than 100m and just after Pont Général de la Motte Rouge, cross the quay of the river port of Nantes with its cruiseboats for trips on the Erdre. 400m further, notice on the right a small recently-restored oratory. After a little more than 300m, pass the Nantes rowing school on your right. At 150m, pass under the ...

2h00 8.0 - ... Pont de la Tortière ; go up steps for crossing the Erdre, but staying on the same side of the bridge to find steps on the right to go down to the river where you continue towards the left. After having gone over a wooden walkway and gone by the Base nautique (water activity centre) of the University of Nantes, 750m further, cross the river Cens on a lovely wooden overbridge, leaving to your right the pontoon of the waterbus. After about 800m, take a wooden pontoon alongside the Erdre (Quai de la Jonelière) for several dozen metres. A little further pass under the bridge Pont de la Beaujoire by a wooden walkway, then under the Boulevard Périphérique (city bypass). After 250m, go by the Cercle de Voile de Nantes (Boat Club) then reach...

2h50 11.6 - ... Port-Barbe, a water activities centre, where the Way parts from the GR3. Continue straight ahead, keeping close to the Erdre to the Château de la Desnerie (no access) about 1km away. Keep left to go up, then right to pass under the motorway and continue on Rue de la Gournière for 300m to the D39. Turn left to go under the railway bridge by a narrow passage (caution) then take an immediate right onto a walking trail which you follow for a little more than 800m as far as an old signal-house for a level crossing near the...

3h35 14.4 - ... Station of the tram-train « Erdre Active » on the right. Cross the railway here and head left alongside it for 300m as far as Rue de l‘Europe. Cross it to continue opposite onto a path parallel to the railway for 340m as far as a road with a bend. Carry on opposite onto this non-tarmac road (Chemin de la Châtaigneraie) for 125m as far as a tarmac road. Go opposite onto the tarmacked Chemin de Bourbon for 150m (a cul de sac) at the end of which you go through 2 barriers onto a path which, after 30m, leads to Rue Jean V. Follow this straight ahead for 250m before keeping left onto Rue du Bois Fleuri (Attention : traffic chicanes) which leads to a roundabout near a cemetery. Pass, on the left, after a railway, over a bridge on the D 39 and continue, after another roundabout, straight ahead onto Rue de l’Erdre for 200m as far as Rue Luther King which you take to the right to...

4h10 16.5 ... the church of La-Chapelle-sur-Erdre, end of the stage.