Monday, August 31, 2009

Forest walking

Autumn is definitely in the air, and the best place for walking in autumn is probably one of the beautiful forests of Brittany. From the Forest of Fougères in the east to the Forest of Cranou in the west, there are many options to choose from. In most places you can keep to well-made paths, but there are also tiny unmarked tracks and steeper gradients for the more adventurous.
A recommendation: why not try a day out in the Foret de Paimpont, otherwise known as Broceliande, fabled forest of Arthurian legend (allegedly). Here there are more than twenty circuits, from a simple one hour stroll starting from the ancient abbey by the lake in Paimpont, to a more demanding 8kms in the ominously named Valley of No Return, leaving from the village of Tréhorenteuc. You can also see Merlin's tomb and the Fountain of Youth, and the strangely named megalith, Le Tombeau des Anglais.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hot walk!

On Tuesday, forty people and six dogs enjoyed some warm walking by the Nantes-Brest canal and along a Green Way just south of Carhaix. Thanks to Lesley for the photo, and to Julia, whose cakes were universally proclaimed as scrummy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Walk tomorrow - Tues 18th August

We have a walk tomorrow near Carhaix, starting from the Pont Daoulas (3kms south of Carhaix, direction Motreff) on the Nantes-Brest canal at 2.30. About 8kms of towpath, old railway track and quiet roads. All welcome.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Best walk in Brittany?

BWs is often asked - what is the best walk in Brittany? I've covered more than 5000kms here, and still retain a personal top spot for the 10km circuit at the Chateau de Tonquedec for many reasons: but the most characteristic route including all that one instantly associates with Brittany must be the GR34 coastal path between Camaret and Morgat (c40kms). Here you have superb coastal views, ranging cliffs, vast beaches, harbours, megaliths, monuments, ancient and 20th century fortifications, notable geological features, varied flora and fauna, wilderness and pretty ports with excellent restaurants to start and finish. A gite d'étape at St-Hernot provides for an overnight stay, with a good meal and packed lunch provided if necessary. So, off you go.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lehon, Dinan and Cheddar gorging!

On Tuesday 4th August, 13 keen walkers met at the pretty town of Lehon, just south of Dinan. Having meandered through the cobbled streets admiring the beautiful flower displays, Lesley and Denise then led us through the quiet streets on the outskirts of Dinan, up to the historic city centre. From the ramparts, we were able to see for miles across Port Dinan and the surrounding countryside. As we descended the long and steep cobbled path down from the old city to the Port, we truly appreciated the insider knowledge of Dinan that Lesley and Denise had used earlier to get us walking up to the high summit without realising! After a short stop and some local info from Lesley, we then walked briskly south on the path alongside the Rance estuary, keen to get back to Lehon for our picnics!
Fully revived, after our lunch beside the Abbaye at Lehon, we then set off in convoy for our final part of the day's outing. After a short drive south east, we arrived at Chapel Cheddar where Erica was waiting for us. Having lived in France for many years, she told us the entertaining story of how she came to be making cheddar (and other cheese) in France, and then talked us through the processes needed to produce her organic cheese. It sounded like very hard work and very labour intensive, however when we tasted the samples that she kindly provided, I think we were all agreed it was well worth the effort - delicious! We finished the day with juice and cakes before departing for home, keen to tuck into the cheese we had bought! I'm sure we won't be the only ones visiting her stall at Dinan market in the future!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dinan walk and visit - Tuesday 4th August

Tomorrow we have a 6km walk starting from Lehon at 11am and going through the medieval town of Dinan before returning along the canal towpath. Bring a packed lunch: we'll eat in the pretty little bourg of Lehon with its famous abbey and ruined castle before a short drive to visit Erika, a cheddar cheese maker right here in Brittany. All welcome. Meet by the bridge in Lehon which is about 1.5kms south of Dinan.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


A great day under the sun! More than 50 people celebrated our annual association fete yesterday, enjoying an excellent lunch - thanks to members who provided superb food - and then a Morris dancing session thanks to Lesley. Joan and John's hospitality was as generous and efficient as ever. Thank you to Karen and Jude for their help, and everyone else who contributed to making the day such a success.