Five of our favourite gîtes in Brittany

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Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

5 min read

Brittany has an enduring popularity with British holiday makers. It’s so close to home, easily reached by ferry or train, yet it feels a world away with much to discover: blissful beaches, sublime seafood and charming medieval towns. Breton folk are renowned for being an independently minded bunch, proudly keeping the Breton language culture alive. Set yourself up in one of our comfortable gîtes and spend your time visiting markets to pick up delicious local produce, exploring the rugged coast, cycling through pretty countryside, and visiting chateau and other historical landmarks.

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A mid-1800s converted farmhouse and a cottage set in three acres of grounds with mature trees, a pond, orchard and woods. The farmhouse has its own decking, seating and large lawn at the front, and the cottage has a table and chairs on the front driveway plus a private back garden. You share the tennis court, a ping pong table and deck chairs. The feel is deeply rural (watch deer wandering into the garden, swooping owls at night) but you’re only a ten-minute drive to Ploumilleau for a great crêperie and 20 minutes to Locquirec for more good restaurants and a summer pop up bar on the estuary.

Owner Jo: Ile de Brehat and Ile de Batz are both short ferry rides to perfect destinations – beautiful sandy beaches and subtropical gardens on largely pedestrianised islands.

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Ty Anna

A rustic retreat in woodland close to the lapping river. Kayak from the beach below, soak up birdsong and great views from the deck and the main bedroom. Head for Crozon for the best organic food market in the area, and for its excellent boulangerie/patisserie. Meals at the 2* Michelin Auberge des Glazicks at Plomodiern are a treat, or keep it informal and walk a few miles across Terenez for seafood. And do take time to explore the Crozon peninsula. Over the 515m-span of the Térénez bridge are pretty villages, hidden creeks and sea caves, and wide, often deserted beaches.

Owner Jean-Yves: A mile up the river is the ancient monastery of Landevennec, founded in the 5th century, nestled in a protected and magnificent forest.

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La Chapellerie

An airy, converted 17th-century barn, once used to make cider, now a light and spacious holiday home with countryside views. Take breakfast outside on the patio or in your private courtyard – there are sun loungers and a barbecue here too. There’s wonderful walking and cycling along the river into medieval Dinan and along the coast, or drive to Dinard for great restaurants and some of the best beaches in the area. Cancale, famous for its oysters, and Mont St Michel, are both close. Rennes, capital of Brittany, with its parks, gardens and art galleries, is a 45-minute drive.

Owners Sue & Steve: The nearest boulangerie is around the corner (open twice a week) and the boulangerie in Chateauneuf is a 20 min walk, although we do have bikes available.

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Quiberon House

A cosy and comfortable family holiday home just a dozen steps from the sandy beaches of the Quiberon coast. Spend days walking, cycling and paddling, then relax on the veranda watching sailboats and feeling content as you barbecue supper. Fancy eating out? Walk three minutes to the owner’s favourite restaurant, La Voilerie. Thursday and Saturdays herald local markets brimming with seasonal food. Keep your eyes peeled for oyster vendors in the main square – they don’t get much fresher. Hire bikes and follow the maze of cycle paths, play ping-pong on the terrace, lounge on deep sofas in the bright living room.

Inspector Nicky: The house has a warm, unpretentious feeling and I know families would feel very relaxed and at home here.

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Le Fournil

A charming 17th century bakehouse sympathetically renovated into a cottage for two. Mark and Tricia, who live across the courtyard in the farmhouse, crafted much of the furniture themselves, including the four-poster bed, oak cabinets and country-style kitchen – a sociable place to rustle up supper while enjoying aperitifs. Later, relax with a soak in the roll-top tub or cosy up by the wood burning stove. Surrounded by a hectare of landscaped gardens, you have your own private garden and patio for morning coffee or a barbecue. Drive 20 minutes to Dol de Bretagne for restaurants, or to Le Mont-St-Michel – borrow a bicycle and get there in an hour.

Owners Mark & Tricia: Visit Fougeres, one of the finest medieval fortresses in Europe with gardens and panoramic views.

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Carmen McCormack

Guest Expert

Carmen is a freelance writer specialising in travel. She once lived in a bus in north Wales, skipped off to study in Barcelona, and now calls Bristol home. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found reading (a lot), lake swimming (a little), and pottering on the allotment with husband and two kiddos. She’s currently dreaming about cold cerveza and torta in Mexico.

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