Chantilly Forest covers some 15,674 acres and extends beyond the borders of the town, extending into the south of Oise and the north of Val d’Oise. Together with Halatte and Ermenonville forests, Chantilly Forest forms the Massif des Trois Forêts—some 47,000 acres of woodland.
Part of the Chantilly estate, the forest—a protected site and property of the Institut de France—has grown since the middle ages through the successive acquisition and redevelopment of land by the lords of Chantilly. Anne de Montmorency’s engraved boundary stones, La Table crossroads, the crosses and posts and the forest tracks are the legacy left behind by the Princes. Chantilly Forest is an immense collection of walks, hunting grounds, horse training sites and an equestrian visitors centre.
It is also part of the Oise-Pays-de-France Regional Nature Park, a living testament to the great respect for flora, fauna and biodiversity in the area. And why not take advantage of your stay and have a go at Nordic walking, a bracing outdoor activity that will bring you at one with your natural surroundings.
Bright event idea:
During your stay, enjoy an outdoor activity to create links in the effort with Nordic walking in the forest.
Chantilly is made for all kinds of trekking, whether on foot, on horseback or by bike, which is why Chantilly Forest is one of most loved natural sites in the Paris region.
Head out with a guide to explore Chantilly Forest for three hours of history, legends and fun! This trek, called the “historic walking tour of Chantilly Forest”, holds plenty of educational surprises in store.
A legacy of the Princes, the gardens of Chantilly are tended, enhanced and protected with passion. The grounds at Château de Chantilly, the favourite garden of André Le Notre, for which he designed the plans before his Versailles commission, have been fully restored.
Visitors can explore a variety of gardens including a French formal garden with its reflective ponds, an English formal garden with its traditional curved design, an Anglo-Chinese garden and the forest! In Chantilly, the Potager des Princes, a kitchen garden planted with vegetables and flowers as was traditional in the olden days, also makes a pleasant day out.
The grounds of the châteaux hotels are also another wonderful way to appreciate Chantilly’s garden art whether you visiting just for lunch or a longer stay.
Hire one of the venues for a private party you’ll never forget.
Not to be missed is a match on one of Chantilly’s four golf courses: Chantilly Golf Club, Apremont Golf Club, Lys Chantilly Gold Club and Garden Golf Chantilly Forest by NGF.
True to their Scottish roots, the golf courses in Chantilly are set in breathtaking surroundings and offer levels of play suitable to players of all abilities.
Learn golf with professionals. Practice on your own before taking on your friends or co-workers for a memorable competition.
Beautifully surrounded by the Great Stables, the Château and Chantilly Forest, Chantilly Racecourse (hippodrome de Chantilly in French) was built in the 1840s to house the first racetrack created in 1834 on what was known as the Pelouse (lawn). It is located in the Bois-Saint-Denis district where the brick architecture and fine houses in the Anglo-Norman style can still be seen today. In addition to its exceptional location, the racecourse of the horse capital boasts soft soil that has contributed to its excellent reputation. Each year, Chantilly Racecourse hosts two of the most prestigious race meetings in Europe: the Prix du Jockey Club (or the French Derby) and the Prix de Diane (sometimes referred to as the French Oaks).Beside the racecourse, Chantilly is also home to the biggest training centre in Europe, the France Galop Centre, the governing body of the town’s race meetings, that comprises four training grounds of just under 1,000 acres, 120 kilometres of sandy harrowed tracks and 12 kilometres of steeplechase tracks.
Visit the training centre with a professional guide or arrive early to watch the morning gallops before the horses are really put to work.
Chantilly Estate’s Polo Club: Built in 1996 on a 600-acre site, it rapidly became Europe’s biggest polo club, comprising 10 playing fields and stables providing permanent shelter to 250 horses. In 2004, its international reputation was sealed when the club hosted the seventh world polo championships, actively confirming Chantilly’s title as the “horse capital”.
The club makes an original day out for a group to try its first polo match.
Hunting: Several groups hunt stag and deer on horseback and hare on foot. A traditional aristocratic sport, hunting has become the preferred pastime of many passionate individuals enchanted by the breathtaking beauty of Chantilly Forest.
Horse driving trials: Several times carriage driving champion, Chantilly Atellage trains every day in Chantilly Forest and offers visitors a unique occasion to discover this little known part of the horse capital.
Horse trekking: Surround yourself with the town’s natural beauty and explore Chantilly Forest on horseback along the bridle paths. Riders can make use of the stopping places at Pavillon de Manse and close to the Great Stables.
Bright idea: Organise a tour of Chantilly Forest on horseback with the equestrian centres around the area, a moment of recreation geared towards riders of any level.