Monday, 28 August 1995

Walking in Brittany

Brittany has everything to offer walkers and ramblers. Walking is one of my favourite hobbies.
Before I tell you about my favorite walks I think it might be helpful to explain the system of paths in France and the way marking.
There are three different types of trail in France "GR's" (Grande Randonnee) which are long hiking paths along many miles of tracks and guide you from one destination to another (not circular walks). There are nearly 100 of these paths all over France. Grande Randonee paths are way marked with a red stripe over a white stripe.
The GR paths are interspersed with GRP's (Grand Randonnee Pays) These are diversions from their longer trails (GR's) and are intended to take you on a more cultural local walk. GRP's are way marked with a Yellow strip over a Red stripe.
The smaller, more local trails are called PR's (Promenade et Randonne) which are walks for levels of walker and can be completed in one day. The way markers are generally of one single stripe of colour they should be yellow but this can vary.
You will often find that the local Mairie or tourist office has a map for any PR walks in their locality.
An "IGN" map is the French equivalent of an ordanence survey map. These maps can be puchased on-line at or in most local supermarkets or newsagents (sometimes you will need to get to the area before local shops will stock the IGN map for the locality)
Brittany is the perfect location for walkers. With miles of rambling tracks along waterways, the Brittany coastline and national parks.
Grande Randonnee GR37
At first I stuck pretty close to home. La Tarais is only 700 metres from the GR37 which follows the Rance river from Dinard right down to Rennes and back up to Mont St. Michel via Fougeres.
I join the path between Dinan and Evran. From the old port in Dinan take the tow path southwards. After 30 minutes you will arrive in a breathtaking village called Lehon. Take a detour around Lehon because the Abbey is beautiful and the cobble streets are worth a visit so too is the ruined chateau on top of the hill which awards lovely views. There is nice little restarant here too, "la Marmite d l'abbey" where you can get a reasonable lunch before heading on. However, be warned, for some odd reason they don't take credit cards only cash or cheques.Leaving Lehon and continuing along the tow path for another hour passed fairytale lock and mill houses the next town is Evran, a small pretty village with a couple of bars and restaurants for refreshments. There is also a lovely lake here called Betineuc with a small beach for children, and obviously some great fishing as there never seems to be a shortage of families relaxing on the banks, rods at the ready. It's a pretty place to picnic the tables are provided.Next stop, Treverian a picturesque place to pass through and, luckily for an ex-pat, there is a local woman who produces the best organic cheddar cheese to be found in France There is even an order form on her new website for those too far away to get to the outlet shops.

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