For many years the Brittany Walks website has been offering a free information service about walking in Brittany. This is a way of giving something back in return for all the exceptional pleasure the landscape of the area has provided for BWs own walking. This service has been used by people in France, the UK and indeed all over the world, with quite a few respondents from Australia and the U.S.A.
What sort of things are asked? Many queries are about the options in a particular area and it has been known for BWs to provide details of a whole week’s worth of options for holiday-makers who want to concentrate their energies on walking. Often this has involved writing out directions, photocopying maps and organising a fair bit of background information. BWs has a huge amount of walking information on which to draw for research and ideas, and a great deal of time is spent organising and improving our library of circular and linear routes.
In terms of popularity of area, Northern Côtes d’Armor, southern Morbihan and parts of Ille-et-Vilaine have inspired the most enquiries. This is rather surprising, as Finistere probably has the best variety of walking territories! It seems rather a shame to come on a walking holiday and not enjoy the highest hills in Brittany, with their unique landscape and long views.
Other questions are more specific, about particular types of walking, such as long-distance paths or the best coastal routes. The development of the Green Ways has stimulated a lot of interest in travelling about Brittany on old railway tracks or canal towpaths. Some people want to combine walking with specific sights like megaliths or historical buildings. There are certainly many good semi-town walks to provide the best of both worlds.
The information service is free but BWs asks those benefiting from the site to show support by purchasing a Brittany E-book from www.brittanyexpert.com
Many enquirers want to know about fairly easy choices for a stroll, walks with good views and quality places to eat, and walks suitable for children. Articles on these topics already exist on the website, so sometimes it is enough to point people to those and let them make their own choices from the suggestions given. The website itself is a useful source of reference for anyone interested in general or specific articles on walking.
In 2011, the most popular topics for questions have been walking suitable for the disabled and the best places to exercise dogs. BWs hopes to provide articles on these subjects in the future. There are also increasing numbers of people asking BWs to recommend accommodation, and browsing the advertisements on the site. It seems to suggest that walking holidays is a growing area in the context of vacations in Brittany.
BWs’ favourite question of the year, and not one that we expect to create a large stock of information for – where’s the best place to walk in January?