Brittany Property Guide

 

Region Guides: Not sure whether you want to buy Brittany Property? Or perhaps you are thinking about living in Brittany? Brittany is one of the most popular regions for holidays. Summer Holidays in Brittany can be lovely with sunny days, and warm temperatures …. BUT …. do take your brolly!

Take a light-hearted look at Brittany.
Brittany is the land of legends. In fact Brittany has more legends per head of the population than any other region of France. This is probably the fault of the Cornish Bretons, who settled there in vast numbers in the fifth century, bringing with them some clotted cream, some pasties, an impenetrable language and a line in very tall tales. By the time they arrived, the clotted cream and pasties had gone off so they threw them overboard. The language however survives in trips-off-the-tongue place names like Le Relecq-Kerhoun, and you can’t drive more than a few kilometres without running into a Tall Tale.
Carnac is a notorious Tall Tale blackspot. There are more than 3,000 neolithic standing stones in and around the village. No-one knows who put them there, or why. Here are some suggestions:
#1 They are pagan soldiers who were turned to stone by Pope Cornelius because they were chasing him. That was when Popes WERE Popes.
#2 They are Roman soldiers who were turned to stone by Merlin because they were chasing him. (Merlinists point out that the stones must have been Romans because they are standing in straight lines.)
#3 The druids held raves there.
#4 They are an accurate map of the Andromeda Nebula, and may have been put there by aliens as a sort of driving-school test-course.
#5 They point to the sunset at solstices and were put there to attract New Age hippies.
#6 They’re a neolithic earthquake-early-warning-system, because the stones resting on the top of the dolmens (stone tables) would wobble with seismic activity.
Merlin, incidentally, was born of a mortal woman and sired by an incubus, from whom he derived his supernatural powers. An incubus is a sexually-active goblin, easily identifiable by its cold penis (just in case you didn’t already have your suspicions at the party.) Repeated intercourse with an incubus can apparently lead to deterioration in health. So don’t try it. Unsurprisingly, ‘Harry Potter and the Incubus’ was refused a certificate.
Unless you’re VERY lucky, you’re unlikely to see the legendary city of Ys. King Gradlon was persuaded to build a city below sea-level by his spoilt and precocious daughter Dahut. The magnificent city of Ys soon became Brittany’s Party Central, and local Saint Winwaloe (Legendary Brittany’s Mary Whitehouse) led a moral crusade against the naughty goings-on there. A mysterious Red Knight turned up to one of the all-night mead binges, and before long, he and Dahut had paired off. Somehow (it must have been the mead) he persuaded Dahut to steal the city keys from her father and go for a midnight ride. Unfortunately it was high tide. And the Red Knight was the Devil. He rode off, laughing, the city of Ys disappeared beneath the waves and Dahut either drowned or became a mermaid.
More modern maritime misdoings took place in St Malo in the 17th century. The Corsairs based there were given Royal Permission to take to the Channel and attack and plunder British ships. The route is now served by Brittany Ferries, whose rates are reasonable by comparison.

© 2008 richardheacock @ mac.com

Location:

Brittany is a region located to the North-West of France. The English Channel on its Northern coast, and the Atlantic on the West and South. To the East, Brittany borders Lower Normandy and the Western Loire.

Landscape:

Brittany is a cacophony of diverse landscapes. Never far from the sea, walkers have an abundance of coastal paths to explore stretching north to south. Long golden sandy beaches are guarded by rugged cliffs where a myriad of wildlife play and nest including some species of rare birds.

Inland pinewoods cast a glance over gently rolling green valleys whilst rivers meander through farmland untroubled by the passing of time. Unspoilt wide-open spaces together with charming villages wait to be discovered and extend a warm welcome to travellers.

Attractions:

Mont-Saint-Michel
Mont-Saint-Michel has evolved from a mere oratory in the 8th century to the breath taking magnificent monastery and national monument that towers above the sea today. Linked to the mainland by a causeway accessible only at low tide adds to its enchantment. The tides around Mont-Saint-Michel are renowned for their strength and are particularly treacherous in the spring when speeds of 18 mph have been recorded. .
Saint-Malo
Saint Malo was named after a welsh monk who landed here in the 6th century. It is an important port and ferry terminal as well as an excellent tourist resort. The old walled city is particularly interesting with cobbled streets, small souvenir shops, studios of local artisans and excellent restaurants.
Children would enjoy a visit to the local aquarium where helpful staff are only too happy to explain the exhibits and encourage hands on participation.
Dinan
The mediaeval town of Dinan is one of the oldest in Brittany. Standing proud atop a hillside overlooking the Rance valley it has an abundance of attractions; walk along the ramparts and enjoy spectacular views, visit the museum and mediaeval church, enjoy a delicious lunch at numerous restaurants using local produce. The fish restaurants are particularly good.
Josselin
Josselin sits at the edge of the Oust canal and is dominated by an impressive medieval chateau, which has been the home of the Rohan family since the 13th century. Although the interior has been renovated many of its bygone splendours remain and tours of the Chateau are well worth taking.There is a fascinating museum in the former stables housing the families collection of dolls.
Foret de Paimpont
Also known as the Foret de Broceliande, is all that remains of a primeval wood. Legend has it that King Arthur and Merlin the sorcerer have connections with this area. A visit to the enchanting village of Paimpont is an excellent starting point to explore the myths further.

Weather/Climate

The weather in Brittany does not suffer from huge variations in temperature. However, it does have a propensity to change from gentle showers of rain to bright blue skies within a few hours. On average the climate on the coast tends to be milder than inland.
Average temperatures in Brittany
Cities:
Rennes Jan=8 April=15 July=24 Oct=17°C
Brest Jan=9 April=13 July=20 Oct=16°C

Getting there

By rail
If travelling from the United Kingdom, why not use the Eurotunnel? Catch the train with your car at the Folkestone Kent Terminal and arrive at Calais/Coquelles 35 minutes later. This is a fast and exciting way to visit France and beyond. The service is frequent and operates round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The EUROSTAR train also operates a foot passenger only service either from Waterloo Station London or Ashford Kent International Terminal directly to Paris. The Eurostar is an ultra modern high-speed service with a journey time of only 3 hours from London. Paris and Rennes in Brittany are linked by the Atlantic TGV service, which takes 2 hours. Trains usually leave every hour between 7am and 1pm from Paris Montparnasse to Rennes. You can also catch the TGV train to Brest or Quimper and this journey takes four hours.
It is possible to travel to Brittany avoiding Paris altogether. The TGV service operates directly between Lille (3 hr 50 min) and Lyon (4 hr 30 min) to Rennes.
It is also possible to travel by coach to the main tourist resorts in Brittany. Regular coach services connect with all major railway stations throughout the year.
By Air
A number of low cost air-lines operate from various locations in the U.K. directly to Rennes / Brest.
By Ferry
Ferry services are frequent with direct routes to the ports of St Malo and Roscoff.

Population

With just over 3 million inhabitants – the major towns are Rennes (half a million) and Brest (300,000). Inland generally is sparsely populated with most residents around the coastline.

Major Towns

St. Malo
St. Malo is a major port and ferry terminal as well as a tourist resort. Discover the old walled city with its narrow cobbled streets. Visit the Cathedral of St. Vincent and marvel at the modern stained glass window of the Chancel. Do not miss the Chateau de St Malo. Steeped in history the chateau dates from the 14th-15th centuries.
Brest
Brest is a naval port with a rich and varied maritime history. For the inquisitive there is a museum depicting the important episodes in its history together with model boats and rare maritime maps. With the constant flow of cargo vessels from all over the world coupled with local fishing boats, Brest is indeed a modern city that has retained its charm.
Quimper
Quimper is a busy town with attractive half-timbered houses. Famous for its hand painted pottery and Breton traditions you can find little shops selling costumes and the most delicious crepes and cider.

Prices

(August 2006)
There are large variations in prices. The most expensive area is around Vannes on the southern Brittany coast. Coastal properties are more expensive. Inland property prices drop dramatically – Central Brittany and Ille-et-Vilaine offer the cheapest prices.

Price Guideline
Apartments: 80,000 euros (Coast)
Farmhouses: 50,000 euros (needs renovation)
Townhouses: 40,000 euros
Villas: 300,000 euros
Land: from 5 euros per sq. m

Brittany Property Selection

Listed below are the departments in the region of Brittany; the number of properties in each department are denoted in brackets - click on a department to see the properties available.

All the properties in Brittany by department.
(Number in brackets = number of properties)

Cotes d'Armor Property (164)
Finistère Property (162)
Ille et Vilaine Property (50)
Morbihan Property (256)