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sport and leisure

at the sports field
Oeuf's football pitch is regularly used (photo: the junior players of the Croisette football club in action on a cold afternoon in January). The tennis court and pétanque court next to the football pitch are much less in demand. Players of those sports rarely need to wait their turn.

The region around Oeuf lends itself perfectly for walking. As a nice short walk (about four kilometres) along and through Oeuf I can recommend the following route:

Starting point is the war memorial at the place Quesnoy. From here take the rue de Champs just until the white painted iron calvary where you go left. After about a hundred metres you take the narrow (and sometimes steep and muddy) path on the right. This path brings you to the bottom of the valley where you go left taking the tarmac road that climbs out of the valley again. Now take the first road on the left. This is a dirt road that runs across the valley and brings you back to the built up area of Oeuf (rue Guilbert). Go left at the end of the rue Guilbert taking the rue d'Agerue. This road (with some attractive houses and gardens, photo) takes you to the war memorial again.

In the direct vicinity of Oeuf quite a few walks have been waymarked. Nearby starting points are at the mairie of Croisette and in Fillièvres, next to the new salle polyvalente there.

For the more serious walks I can recommend the detailed maps of IGN (1:25.000), possibly in combination with a GPS-receiver. IGN-maps are available at the bookshop in Saint-Pol, which sells walking guides for the region as well. See also the walking site for the Pas-de-Calais.

Just as for walking the landscape is ideal for cycling, be it that bicycles and cars must share the same road, there are virtually no cycle paths. Fortunately French drivers practice exceptional road courtesy towards cyclists: the legal obligation to keep at least one and a half metres distance when passing a cyclist is well observed.

In the Ternois area alone fourteen touristic cycling routes have been waymarked. All excellently sign posted in green with a bicycle symbol and the name of the route. Through Oeuf run La Promenade Verte, a 37 kilometres long route passing through -amongst other places- Fillièvres and Le Sentier Boisé (34 kilometres) that passes through both Fillièvres and Hesdin. See the Pas-de-Calais cycling site (under Itinéraires) for details.

horse riding

Riding trips for groups are organised by the Idez family (8 rue d'Humières, Oeuf-en-Ternois). They can also board your horse(s) .

Hunting is a very popular pastime in France and our region is no exception to that. Game are roe deer, hare, rabbit, pheasant and partridge. Although the regulation is more relaxed than elsewhere in Europe strict rules (quota arrangements for instance) still do apply, mainly to assure the sustainability of the hunt. Obtaining a hunting permit requires passing a not too difficult exam. Book shops sell guides to prepare for the theoretical part of the exam (multiple choice questions only).

Hunting rights are more or less collectivised: French law allows the members of the official local hunting association to shoot on the totality of grounds in their area, irrespective of who owns it. This drastic infringement of property rights has surprised and annoyed many a foreign landowner in France but in Oeuf the system appears to work quite well. Owners who want to exempt their land from the collective hunt put up a 'chasse reservée' sign and often advertise this in the local weekly as well.

Anyone peering in the clear water of the Ternoise or the Canche for a while is likely to perceive one or more trout. But anyone who is tempted to immediately take a rod and start angling should know that in France -as in most European countries- fishing in public waters requires a license. Moreover, the river banks will often be privately owned in which case the landowners have the exclusive right to fish. It is therefore far easier, be it less of a sport, to visit one of the many trout farms in our region. One of the most attractive is located next to a former watermill in St. Georges, ten kilometres West of Oeuf. Here you can fish for trout with a hired rod in one of the sheltered ponds (photo) and pay according to the weight of your catch. There are barbecues in case you would like to eat your trout on the spot, a family pastime very popular with the French themselves. Part of this farm is a simple restaurant and a terrace looking out on a cascade (photo). Pisciculture du Moulin, 1 rue du Moulin, St. Georges, tel 0321048376. See also the regional trout farm site.

Croix-en-Ternois, close to Oeuf -and therefore sometimes slightly audible- has a fully-fledged racing circuit. It is used for racing competitions (cars: up to Formula 3, motorbikes: up to 1000 cc) but the circuit offers many other forms of motorised entertainment as well: karting, skid control instruction, racing school, trackdays (driving your own vehicle on the circuit) etcetera. See the extensive circuit of Croix website for full details.
Between the hills of St. Georges, ten kilometres West of Oeuf, lies the Circuit du Ravin. It is in fact a number of circuits each intended for a specific type of vehicle: four wheel drive cars, cross bikes and quad bikes. All together the circuits occupy several dozen hectares. Pigeon clay shooting (ball-trap) is an option as well. See the website for full details.

The abundance of space has allowed sport flying to blossom in our region. Frévent, thirteen kilometres South of Oeuf, has an airstrip for ultralight aircraft (ULM) and an active flying club. Here you can experience ultralight flying as a passenger or learn to fly yourself. Aero-club de Frévent, tel 0321410319.

There is certainly no shortage of golf courses as the Pas-de-Calais alone has at least fifteen. There are many websites that can show you the way to a course, for instance which also publishes course reviews by players who went there before you. My guests were quite taken with the Arras golf course (photo): well situated and very quiet.

© 2005 - 2010 Rob Zeldenrust, Oeuf-en-Ternois, France.