Brittany map © Gwendal Le Mouel
Wonder what there is to do in Brittany and why so many young families visit year after year? Maybe it is its close proximity to the UK making it accessible with limited travel time, by car, boat, plane or train, or its history, culture and beaches. Here is an overview of what Brittany has to offer…
Sitting on the Northwest peninsular of mainland Europe, is the picturesque French province of Brittany. With a complex and jagged coast, Brittany is not only attractive to tourists; forty per cent of Brittany’s population live on the coast. And what a coast. With an astounding 1700 miles of coastline and countless beaches, Brittany is a haven for holiday makers.
But it’s so much more than that. It is rich with history; once upon a time, Brittany was a Celtic Duchy, The inhabitants still use its Celtic language, Breton and it was also known as ‘Petite Bretagne’ – Little Britain (and that’s nothing at all to do with the sketch show). It had close ties to the isles across the channel and is a place drenched in tradition.
With a mild climate, Brittany is the perfect destination for families with young children – it’s family friendly beaches are in abundance it tends not to get too hot in summer and hardly ever snows. The province only shuts down for a few of months a year (December to Mid-February) so the season gets put on hold rather than ending. While the beaches are alluring, there is a sheer abundance of things to do and see in Brittany, that you could go when the weather is cooler and still never have a dull moment.
Brittany’s diverse landscape means that if you venture west you will find forests to explore rather than sand grains.
Brittany homes many parks and gardens to explore at your leisure, art galleries to lose yourself in and for any animal lovers, travel west to find Brest’s educational aquarium, Ocean Opolis along with many zoos.
For the more adventurous holiday goers, there is a wide range of activities, from water parks and theme parks to sailing trips and canoeing along Brittany’s canals. Or perhaps you may like to visit Cite de la Voile in southerly Lorient – an interactive sailing museum.
On top of that there are plenty of outlets to educate you and broaden your knowledge. Want to learn all about Brittany itself? Why not visit Museede Bretagne in the east where they have lots going on for young children from stories with characters who live in the walls to puzzles and exploring. Or explore Brittany’s castles, which are dotted all over, still standing from its time as a Duchy, and let the childern let of steam and play at brave Knights and Princesses. Or if science is more your toddlers cup of tea, journey north and visit the Planetarium de Bretagne one of the largest in Europe – and dally among the stars. There really is an incredible amount to see and do.
Whatever you decide to do on your trip, ensure you make time to sample a pancake or two. Savoury pancakes, known as Galettes de Sarrasin (buckwheat pancakes), or sweet pancakes, Crêpes de Froment (wheat flour pancakes) are a Brittany speciality and must be tasted. There are pancake houses you can visit and try a galette for your main; with anything from a simple ham and cheese filling to something more special, followed by a sweet crepe for your desert. Wash them down with a Breton cider for a true Petite Bretagne experience.