BRITTANY

BRITTANY

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BRITTANY CHEERS!

Beguiling Brittany, the western extremity of France, a hilly peninsula protruding out into the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded on three sides by sea, it boasts 750 miles of savagely dramatic coastline. The scenery is at times awe-inspiring and at its most epic are the gigantic headlands lashed by the incessant Atlantic waves and astounding cliffs like you’ve never seen before on the Pink Granite Coast, named as such because of the unusual blush hued rocks and sand.

Brittany is renowned for its beaches, from sensational swathes of sun-kissed sand stretching for as far as the eye can see, to cozy coves where your only companion are the Atlantic breakers, the coastline is literally peppered with them.

This is the land of Celts, Druids and Gauls. Legends abound of drowned cities and ancient forests linked with the mystique of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. One of six Celtic nations, for many centuries Brittany was a proudly independent realm with closer connections to Britain than France. In the 4th century Celts from Britain emigrated en masse to the area and named it Amorica “Land of the Sea” and such were the ties with Britain that Brittany was even called “Petite Bretagne” as opposed to “Great Bretagne” across the channel! Brittany is a region with an identity, landscape and even a language all of its own.

The walled city of St. Malo is one of the region’s major ports and is known as the “Gateway to Brittany” whether arriving by sea or air. There are a maze of medieval cobbled streets imploring to be explored.

Across the River Rance estuary from St. Malo lies the chic town of Dinard, oozing with Belle Époque elegance to the extent that it was dubbed the “Cannes of the North”. It enjoyed the accolade of the most popular summer resort in France until the Cote D’Azure grew in demand in the 1930’s. The former fishing village attracted royalty, the rich and the famous, many of whom built fabulous villas that are still evident today.

The premier city on the southern coast of the Brittany peninsula is Brest. Located at the mouth of the River Penfeld, it is France’s 19th largest city. It has a long and proud maritime history and is the second most important naval base after Toulouse.

France is a country renowned for its glorious gastronomy and Brittany is no exception and as you would expect from a region surrounded by sea, Fruits de Mer (seafood to us Brits), features high up on most menus. Another delicacy that the province is famous for are its crepes and this a treat that should not be missed.

But it is golf that you are there for and you will not be disappointed as Brittany has an abundance of treats in store. The superlative coastline has been exploited to the fullest with a plethora of links locations combined with a sublime selection of modern parkland courses.

Dinard, France’s second oldest course founded in 1887, blessed with magnificent coastal views this is a course that should feature on everyones Brittany bucket list!

The course at Val Andre occupies a sensational cliff-top site and needless to say the, to die for views are equally sensational. But it is the Harry Colt designed Granville Golf Club that conjures up links golf at its best.

For those who prefer golf of a more pastoral nature, Chateau des Ormes, St. Malo (Le Tronchet) and St. Laurent are definitely courses that should be part of a premier golfing itinerary.

Travelling to Brittany has never been easier with excellent ferry routes to St. Malo and Roscoff or even further afield to other channel ports, Cherbourg and Le Havre. But it is the low cost airlines that have extensively opened up Brittany with flights from a multitude of UK airport to several Brittany destinations.

Brittany is an ideal destination for a midweek golfing getaway or long weekend. However, such is the diversity and attraction of this precious part of France that a flying visit would be just scratching the surface of this alluring area.

Whereas most other parts of France are defined by the fruits of the vine, Brittany is famed for its own local potation…a rather splendid cider that must be tried. As you relax after another memorable golfing experience, raise your glass and toast…

BRITTANY CHEERS!