Family outing at Lake Trémelin, Brocéliande
©Family outing at Lake Trémelin, Brocéliande|Emmanuel Berthier
ExperienceAn enchanting weekend at Brocéliande

An enchanting weekend at Brocéliande

Brocéliande Forest is a land of mystery. But that’s not all ! It is also a huge playground with lots of sporting experiences and other adventures for all the family, just 20km from the capital of Brittany.

Excalibur, Brocéliande
©Excalibur, Brocéliande |Donatienne Guillaudeau

SATURDAY

9.00: The Far North on the outskirts of Rennes – a rather unusual sight!

No need to hurry, Brocéliande Forest and its legends will still be there…No risk of them running away, unlike the huskies at the Ferme Nordique! So make the most of the early morning sunshine to explore wide open spaces in the company of Pascal and Marie. It doesn’t have to be snowing to enjoy this amazing change of scenery! Visit the farm, discover the traditions and customs of its inhabitants, go for a walk or ride with huskies and even taste food from Lapland.

Continue the adventure theme with a canoeing or kayaking experience at Montfort-sur-Meu; options include a gentle paddle along the Meu towards Iffendic or a thrilling slalom course in the centre of Montfort. Those who prefer still waters can enjoy different paddle activities on the lake at Paimpont.

In addition, Brocéliande Bike offers story rides and other cycle outings suitable for everyone!

12.00: Time for lunch

After such a busy morning, you are no doubt starving so make your next stop at the restaurant at the Forges de Paimpont, a great place to try classic forest fare such as game, grilled food cooked over a wood fire and home-made terrines.

Or, still in Paimpont, there is L’Atelier, the restaurant run by Quentin Bonnet who offers traditional cuisine with fresh, local produce.

Galette and crepe enthusiasts will love Chez Loïc et Compagnie at Iffendic, a crêperie which is definitely worth a visit!

Make a lunchtime booking

14.00 : Take to the water, the air or stay on dry land at Lac de Trémelin (Lake)

Lac de Trémelin is a spot in Ille-et-Vilaine which is often underrated – a great shame! However, it has no shortage of activities : a treetop adventure trail, canoeing, pedalos, fishing, horse riding and even an exhibition of contemporary art! The most intrepid can even try to remove Excalibur (or rather a replica), King Arthur’s legendary sword which was said to be unbreakable and capable of cutting any material, from its granite rock. Try is the operative word…you won’t be the first person to come unstuck! Swimming is permitted in the lake in summer when lifeguards are present.

Don’t forget to take some good walking shoes with you as there are lots of hiking paths leading to local landmarks : Careil bird reserve, the medieval remains of Boutavent castle (geocaching and guided tours available) as well as the Vallon de la Chambre-au-Loup, nicknamed the « little Breton canyon » because of its 35m high red shale cliffs. No time to be bored!

For those who prefer to relax and unwind, the woods around the lake are perfect for a gentle stroll or maybe stretch out on the grassy bank with a good book! Sssshh! Watch out for visitors snoozing!

22.00 : Time for bed!

After a busy day in the open air, you’re more than likely ready for a good night’s sleep! Why not enjoy the hospitality offered by Marianne and Olivier Guignard at their old presbytery home which they have tastefully converted into a stylish B&B. Or maybe the slightly old-fashioned charm of the Manoir de la Bourousais and its treehouse accommodation at Val d’Anast or the Longère de Brocéliande. That way you can stay in the forest atmosphere and commune with the korrigans (Breton pixies) who live there…

Book your accommodation

SUNDAY: ARTHUR, HERE WE COME!

Brocéliande Forest is without doubt the Holy Grail of this weekend break. First of all for children, but for parents too ! Or at least for those who still have the capacity to be enchanted ! Here reality topples into the world of fantasy and back again. Welcome to the world of magic and Arthurian legends. It takes a full day to explore all of the sites listed up to now : the Val sans Retour – Valley of No Return (Rocher aux Faux-Amants, l’Etang du Miroir aux Fées – Fairies’ Mirror, l’Arbre d’Or – Golden Tree, le Siège de Merlin – Merlin’s Seat), la Maison de Viviane – Viviane the Fairy’s house, le Tombeau de Merlin – Merlin’s Tomb, la Fontaine de Barenton – the Fountain of Barenton, le tombeau du géant – the Giant’s Tomb… And it’s even better to discover these legendary places as part of a story walk. Other landmarks well worth a look are the 1,000 year old oak tree at Guillotin and Trécesson castle.

Before setting off on your adventure, we strongly recommend you stop off in the former outbuildings of Paimpont Abbey to discover the Porte des Secrets– the Gate of Secrets, a modern museum experience which reveals local mysteries in a spectacular way.

If you still have some time left, head for the Carrière de la Marette, a quarry whose rock face clearly shows 300 million years of geological history. The Etang de la Marette (lake) is the starting point for numerous walks.

MERLIN, DRUID AND COUNSELLOR OF KING ARTHUR

The son of a mortal mother and a demon, Merlin is a legendary figure in medieval literature. A wizard with the power to cast spells and change himself into a woodland animal, Merlin was said to be responsible for King Arthur ascending the throne, the creation of the Order of the Knights of the Round Table and the building of Stonehenge. He was hopelessly in love with Viviane the Fairy who imprisoned him in a cave.

His tomb consisting of three slabs of red shale lies in the north-east part of Brocéliande Forest.

COAT-ALBRET CIDER – A FINE EXAMPLE

Coat-Albret is a small non-industrial cider-maker at Bédée. It currently employs 8 people, presses 450 tonnes of apples from traditional orchards owned by a hundred local suppliers and produces around 350,000 bottles every year. It goes without saying that Coat-Albret cider can be found in quite a lot of Breton creperies, but also at several markets and sometimes even on the other side of the Rance.

Make sure you try the ‘fruité’ cider and special Romillé and Extra Brut vintage ciders. And to go with them, a traditional ‘galette-saucisse’ (sausage wrap) is just the job!

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