9 reasons for visiting Brittany

Brittany is quite unlike other parts of France and was actually independent of France until the 1500s. Both in 2015 and 2016 we spent a wonder-full month there and plan to return in 2017. Why should you visit? Here are nine reasons for exploring this magical corner on the edge of Europe.

The sea – the crashing of waves, white sand, rocky inlets, estuaries are probably the first things one associates with Brittany.

POinte du Van
Pointe du Van

A feeling of age, and mystery, permeates the well-known sites at Carnac, but megaliths, standing stones, and barrows which are thousands of years old can be found all over Brittany.

Allee Couverte at Mougau Bihan
Allee Couverte at Mougau Bihan

There are interesting and beautiful gardens in which you can wander, and then linger in the café, such as the Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne, the Thabor Gardens in Rennes, and the Exotic Gardens in Roscoff

Roscoff Exotic Garden
Roscoff Exotic Garden
Roscoff Exotic Garden
Roscoff Exotic Garden

The Art Galleries and Museums in Rennes, Quimper, and Landerneau are immaculate, well laid out, and treasure troves.

Georges de la Tour in Rennes
Georges de la Tour in Rennes
Chagall exhibition in Landerneau
Chagall exhibition in Landerneau

The Parish Enclosures, the Enclos Paroissiaux, are unique to Brittany and a fascinating reminder of the wealth of the region in the 16C and 17C, created by the trade in flax, canvas, and linen. There are the ‘great enclosures’ in the Élorn Valley (St Thégonnec, Guimiliau, Lampaul-Guimiliau, and so on), but there are also the hidden gems.

The Church of St Suliau, Sizun
The Church of St Suliau, Sizun
Lampaul Guimiliau
Lampaul Guimiliau
The Calvary at Plougastel Daoulas
The Calvary at Plougastel Daoulas

The soaring Cathedrals in Rennes, Quimper (St Corentin), and Dol de Bretagne (St Samson) are buildings which I have explored, on sites which date back 1500 years. But there are more cathedrals, originally founded as the original Bishoprics when Brittany was first evangelised by monks from Cornwall and Wales: St-BrieucSt Malo, St Patern, St Paul in Nantes, and St Tugdal in Treguier.

The Cathedral at Rennes
The Cathedral at Rennes
The Cathedral at Quimper
The Cathedral at Quimper
The Cathedral of St Samson, Dol de Bretagne
The Cathedral of St Samson, Dol de Bretagne

Historic towns like Dounarnenez, Locronan, Landerneau, and Rennes tempt you to wander and explore.

Rennes
Rennes

The Food. There are endless creperies and restaurants but the real joy is to explore the markets and cook at home!

And above all there is the countryside which is easily accessible – hills, valleys, hidden green lanes, and moorlands.

The Monts d'Arree above Le Releq
The Monts d’Arree above Le Releq
The estuary at Landevennec
The estuary at Landevennec

Further information
Wendy Mewes’ books on Brittany
France this way
Brittany Tourism

 

5 comments

    • Thank you – very kind. I use a Canon 600D DSLR camera and shoot RAW files, and on walks a small Canon Powershot SX240 which takes jpeg images. I edit in Lightroom and Photoshop. I didn’t have a tripod so all the shots inside the churches are handheld with me holding my breath!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah I shot RAW and edit mostly in Lightroom. I use a Sony A 65 and my iPhone for the jpegs. Stunning shots you create…
        Just made contact with a German living in Brittany, he bought an old mill near Roscoff (Moulin de Kellerec) and I will make that my base for discovering that beautiful part of France.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s