I have fond childhood memories of our holidays to France. My mum and dad would pack the car and we would head off to catch the ferry to cross the Channel in search of sunshine, beaches, freshly baked bread, and quality family time. Fast forward thirty years and we have enjoyed a wonderful year exploring the UK in our camper van with our own children, but next year I am determined to grab the camper and head over to France as I have found 7 reasons to visit Brittany in 2018.
Brittany is a region in the North West of France and is surrounded by stretches of varied coastline. Think rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, hidden coves and picturesque harbours. If you are heading further inland, there is a vast choice of beautiful areas that are much less populated where you can find forest walks, meadows, valleys, rivers and cycleways aplenty.
Perros-Guirec -image pixabay
Brittany is such a diverse region and you will be sure to find beautiful medieval towns, picturesque villages, vibrant seaside resorts and rural countryside.
Here are my 7 reasons to visit Brittany in 2018.
As Brittany is surrounded by the sea on three sides, the ferry seems an obvious choice to travel from the UK.
Having just taken the passenger ferry from Penzance to St Mary’s, the Isles of Scilly, I would say that travelling by ferry is a great option for families. Taking the ferry to France is often cost-effective as the price depends on the size of the car, not the number of passengers. There are no baggage restrictions – great if you are travelling with younger members of the family who always require more bits and pieces, or if you have lots of camping paraphernalia. And there are often plenty of activities onboard to keep kids entertained…and plenty of space for a crawling baby to explore.
Taking the car (or camper) means that you can also venture off and explore the quieter beaches, secret coves, and those hidden gems that are slightly off the beaten track.
Brittany Ferries offer a wide choice of ferry crossings departing from Portsmouth, Plymouth or Poole travelling to Cherbourg, St Malo, Caen, Le Havre or Roscoff. Crossings are daily from most routes and there are also options to take a speedy fast-craft crossing, or a slower paced daytime or overnight crossing, with departure times to suit you and your family. It is so easy to get to France from the UK.
Photocredit – Mini Travellers
With a camper filled with three children, fishing nets, buckets, spades (and a giant inflatable unicorn!), it is a given that we have to head to the beach – and wow – Brittany has some spectacular beaches.
The coastline is so varied and there is something for everyone. Visit the North to find sheltered coves and rugged cliffs, visit the South for the vast stretches of sandy bays.
Our first stop would be Côtes d’Armor, famous for the spectacular landscape of the Pink Granite coast and the emerald and turquoise waters of the Emerald coast. Here there is also the attractive historic towns of Dinan, Saint Brieuc, and the charming Moncontour.
Pink granite coast – image courtesy of Pixabay
Saint Malo beach -Image Courtesy of Pixabay
History and Culture
Brittany has tons of history dating back to the Neolithic period. From the striking walled City of Saint Malo, the medieval castle of Fougères to the stones of Carnac, there really is so much to see and so much to discover. There are hundreds of megalithic sites across the region, castles, churches and museums to keep us busy during our trip.
Image – Pixabay
One of my most special friends tells me that the markets here are really special.
They are filled with vibrant colour, local crafts, fresh seafood and vegetables the colour of the rainbow. With musicians playing and locals dancing in the squares. It is a feast for all senses!
Anyone who knows me knows that I love a market. The colours, the noise, the hustle and bustle, and the handcrafted items, clothes and jewellery on offer…. I always return with a lighter purse, a handful of bags and a smile.
Photo credit – Mark Lyddon
Whenever we decide upon a holiday destination, we always research what there is to do for the kids. The sun doesn’t always shine and the campervan is tight for space so we like to know that there are plenty of options if the beach days are rained off. There are many great attractions for the kids in Brittany that suit all ages – including castle, zoos, aquariums, parks and theme parks. We also enjoy spending quality time just enjoying the great outdoors, and there are also many family friendly activities to try in the region that won’t break the bank. These are often the days that the kids will remember for years to come; think rock pooling, a family game of boules, nature walks, swimming and cycling.
Photo Credit – Mark Lyddon
With our youngest being just one, we tend to shy away from extreme temperatures. Brittany’s mild climate offers temperatures between 20-25 degrees during the summer months, and 8-15 degrees during the winter months making it a great destination to visit all year round. The weather is heavily influenced by the atlantic and therefore doesn’t get too hot – meaning a perfect choice for families.
With nearly 2800km of stunning coastline, there are plenty of watersports on offer, with sailing, waterskiing, canoeing, surfing and windsurfing schools. There are many sheltered coves and beaches that offer safe swimming. For the more adventurous – you can hire out a boat for a day, week or longer. Island hopping is also an option, with the Ile de Batz reachable in just ten minutes by boat.
Not surprisingly, Brittany is famous for its seafood, galettes and cider. I know that my nearest and dearest will be smiling as they read this, as I am not a lover of seafood….BUT my husband and kids most definitely are!! I do however have an obsession for croissants, pastries, crepes, and freshly made baguettes so I know that I will fall in love with Brittany. Breton cuisine is simple and makes use of locally sourced meat, freshly caught fish and locally sourced cider.
So Brittany is definitely top of my list to visit in 2018….
Have you ever visited Brittany?
Can you add any more reasons to visit Brittany in 2018?
For more information and to plan your trip, head over to Brittany Ferries online
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