a walk along the northern coast of Brittany
This route of 133kms along the coast between Roscoff and Lannion, via the historic town of Morlaix, is the subject of a new walking guide. The project has been sponsored by Morlaix and Lannion tourist boards to promote the not-so-well-known area to an English-speaking public. It follows an exceptionally beautiful stretch of coastline, with the nature reserve in the Baie de Morlaix a special attraction for bird-watchers, and plenty of impressively weird granite rock formations.
The idea came from the Saints Way in Cornwall. This 42km trail from Padstow to Fowey is a suggested route taken by holy men and their followers during the great period of migrations mainly from Wales during the Dark Ages. Cutting across the Cornish peninsula by land would avoid dangerous seas around Land’s End. From Fowey it is envisaged that they sailed for Armorica (Brittany didn’t exist then) to evangelise the region or went on to Jerusalem or Compostela on pilgrimage.
The Saints' Shore Way covers many arrival sites of these men and settlements still associated with them today like St-Pol-de-Léon, Carantec, Locquirec and Loquémeau. Chapels and sacred springs dedicated to saints like St Guenolé, St Efflam, St Samson and St Ivy can also be found along the way.
Other themes in the guidebook link Britain and Brittany too: the linen trade which brought great wealth to Morlaix and the surrounding area in the 16th and 17th centuries, the clash of corsairs in the Channel and the activities of the Resistance during the occupation of Brittany in WWII.
The guidebook also covers many sites of historical or archaeological interest on the route, including the Cairn of Barnenez, the Pointe de Primel, St Jean du Doigt and Le Yaudet. The key-point towns of Roscoff, Morlaix and Lannion have their own sections and town maps for fuller exploration. Public transport linking all three makes walking the Saints Shore Way in entirety and then returning to the start a good option, but there are also buses that can help for a single day’s linear walk. Local circuits joining the main path are also shown on the very detailed large-scale maps, with distances of each section clearly marked.
The Saints’ Shore Way introduces the visitor to the outstanding beauty of the Breton coast in all its aspects, and the rich resources of Brittany’s past and present.
To buy a copy of the guide click this link