NCW’s Mark talks everything Brittany, France

NCW’s Mark Graham and family recently took off for NW France and the idyllic locale of Brittany. Here’re Mark’s impressions of Brittany and the coast d’amour.
Tell us briefly where you ended up in France – why did you choose that area?

We stayed on the coast at a small village but it was also very near to Morlaix in Brittany this time. It was less than 30 minutes from the ferry port at Roscoff. Our forth family visit to Brittany and I’ve had a few surf trips there in the past too. We normally stay much further down southwest towards the Point Du Raz as there is more surf that way and it’s not far from La Torche which most surfers will have heard of. We ended up near Roscoff as we booked late and there wasn’t much left and figured we can explore a new area and it’s only 1.5 hours from surf spots we know too. It did not disappoint, they were a multitude of stunning beaches.

What did you discover when there?

We discovered that this whole area and towards the Coast A’mour is actually watersports heaven. Within an hour or so of our base were, surf spots, kayak spots, sup spots, kite surf beaches and great places for snorkel and just plain old splashing about. There was even sand yachting in some places!

What’s it like for anyone into watersports?

Diverse, if you are with kids you could get them to try any of the above plus scuba as well, plenty of schools for beginners and dare I say QUIET beaches and FREE parking (ssshh!!!!!)

And those who simply want to chill?

Great countryside, walking, car free islands, great food, plenty to see. Morlaix is great little town, lots of great places to eat and the town has an amazing viaduct build in the 1880’s that dominates the town

How did you (mainly) spend your time there?

All of the above and more, trips out to seabound castles, aquariums, French markets, stunning walks.

Give us three highlights from your trip.

SUPing on the pink granite coast near Tregastel, the boulders there look amazing.

A boat trip in the Morlaiz bay to the Château du Taureau.

Having time to walk from our little holiday cottage into the village each morning with my 11 year old daughter to buy croissants for the family.

NO EMAILS OR PHONE CALLS about business (that’s four I know but still…)

Anything you think you may have missed?

It would have been nice to caught a few waves on the longboard but it was pretty flat, well it was August…perhaps the siton sea kayak too but you can only take so much kit !!!

Three key tips for anyone else contemplating a visit?

Remember many Brettons do not like to be thought of as FRENCH. Brittany only became part of France in the 15th century. They like the fact they are different and value their culture, much like the Cornish. Biologically they are closer in relation to the Cornish, Welsh and Irish than the French.

Watch out for big powerful tides and flows between the islands (there are a lot of small islands you can visit too) on the northern coast.

Get some of the great Breton artisan cider down your neck, it’s often organic, really well priced and seems pretty hangover free unlike much of the dodgy ‘scrumpy’ we get here in the southwest.

Final thoughts, impressions and comments about Brittany.

It’s a wonderful place and I shouldn’t say this but it’s a little like Cornwall without the summer crowds, which, from a waterman’s/water woman’s point of view is a good thing. We didn’t have trouble parking at any beach even in their school summer holidays and it’s FREE to park almost everywhere other than city centres. The Bretons are very friendly and helpful, especially if you speak a little French, even more so if you try the Breton language. Cornwall has a lot to learn about parking charges and tourism….