There is no shortage of outdoor activities in Neuchâtel. Neuchâtel is a beautiful medieval town and you literally only ever have to drive 5 minutes to be in the surrounding countryside and the views are stunning.
This weekend was cold but lovely and clear so yesterday we decided to make the most of it and take the kids up to Chaumont to have a play in the snow. Chaumont is a brilliant Sunday activity when most places are shut as there is plenty to do (and even more in the summer).
We often get the funicular up from la Coudre (E loves this) although it only goes once an hour on a Sunday. An hour allows you plenty of time to explore Chaumont or a couple to have a nice lunch in the Petit Hôtel de Chaumont. You can also drive up which we did this time. It is very easy as there is plenty of parking and you don’t have to worry about timetables.
Next to the top of the funicular is a children’s playground which is great for all ages. They have swings, two separate climbing frames for big or small kids and a zip line tyre swing.
They also have some educational activities about the local wildlife and plants and a picnic area for when its warmer.
Our plan was to have a bit of a play and then warm up with a nice hot drink. I think E would have stayed on the swings until she froze to one but we managed to bribe her inside with the promise of a hot chocolate.
I haven’t actually been to the Petit Hôtel since it changed hands and I was pleasantly surprised. The restaurant has always had a fabulous panoramic view but it has been redecorated and they have made an effort to make it kid friendly with high chairs and some toys and colouring books.
Once we had warmed up we went out again to watch the sun starting to disappear behind the mountains from the viewing tower. It is one Franc to go up per entry but I could squeeze the two kids through the turnstile with me.
Don’t look down as you walk along the slippery bridge… the whole experience is not for those who are suffer from vertigo.
I did not expect things to be as clear as they were for such a grey day. You could see all the way from Pilatus to the Eiger (where we were last weekend) to Mont Blanc!
With older children you can walk back down via the Sentir du Temps. I have done this before when E was small and I could carry her on me in a harness. This is a great trail that is lined with carvings that take you all the way from the birth of the solar system through to the evolution of man on Earth but as its 4.5km its asking a bit much of my two year old especially in snow.
So we hopped back in the car to head home to snuggle up on the sofa and watch some more snowy landscapes in Ice Age.