If you are on holiday or touring in Ille-et-Vilaine, the following selection will provide you with varied walks in the area.
1) The Forest of Paimpont
The Forest of Paimpont on the western border of I&V provides a variety of trails with more than 20 marked routes. As this is Broceliande of Arthurian legend, perhaps the most memorable is the Valley of No Return with its connections to the Vivianne and Merlin tales. Start from the village of Tréhorenteuc.
2) The Forest of Fougères
On the opposite side of I&V, almost on the Mayenne border, the Forest of Fougères is an excellent spot for family walks among the beech trees, perhaps combined with a visit to the famous castle and a 2km trail in the town itself.
Just off the D177 north of Redon is the village of St-Just, starting point for a greatly varied walk, including the most remarkable of megalithic alignments. A 13km circuit includes river valleys, a lonely lake and the Landes de Cojoux as well as menhirs, dolmens and the Tribunal, a prehistoric ‘calendar’.
4) Ille-et-Rance canal
For some tamer walking, try the Ille et Rance canal. Information about walking trails and circuits is available from the Maison du Canal at La Magdeleine north of Hédé (20kms north of Rennes).
The Tourist Office in Rennes can provide a leaflet of the parcours historique - a walking route around the city centre taking all the main sights of architectural, artistic and historic interest.
The walled city of St Malo is another good place for urban walking, with its narrow picturesque streets and massive defensive works. The original fortified town in this area was Aleth on the adjacent promontory. From Saint Servan head for the Tor Solidor, from where a 3 km walk around the headland, including the historic site of Aleth, will take about an hour.
©Wendy Mewes / brittanywalks.com