Landes de Cojoux (St Just, Ille-et-Vilaine)
This 13km circuit has the sense of being a wild walk for much of the way. Despite the exceptional Neolithic monuments (pictured) stretching right across the heath, it is comparatively little visited and often you’ll have the place to yourself. There’s a steep descent or ascent at the Etang du Val. In St-Just itself there’s information about nature and the megaliths.
Forêt de Brocéliande (Ille-et-Vilaine)
Many great walks here, but the best is probably the Valley of No Return where in legend the sorceress Morgane (King Arthur’s half-sister) trapped faithless lovers. The eerie Miroir aux Fées lake and the rocks where Morgane sat provide an atmospheric route. There’s a 5km circuit or go right to the top of the forest, with views and a dolmen named for Viviane, Merlin’s nemesis.
Tonquedec (Côtes d’Armor)
A 10km circuit starts from the striking Château de Tonquedec, which in itself is well worth seeing. The route includes chapels, another chateau, old mills and a glorious riverside path in the deep wooded valley of the beautiful Léguer (pictured).
Landes de Liscuis (Côtes d’Armor)
Start this route from Gouarec to access the Landes de Liscuis and get the steep uphill stuff done first. The path takes you up and along the ridge of the heath with great views over the Blavet and Daoulas valleys. Pass three Neolithic graves and descend to the Abbaye de Bon Repos, with an easy return along the Nantes-Brest canal towpath.
Monts d’Arrée (Finistere)
The highest hills in Brittany are impressive with their raw schist peaks providing a stark outline above the often misty bowl of the tourbières (bog and marsh). Mont-St-Michel-de-Brasparts with its little chapel on top (pictured) is a famous landmark. The 14km Landes et Tourbières circuit from the Ferme des Artisans parking covers both the highs and lows with wonderful views throughout. Pick a clear day.
Le Faouët (Morbihan)
This is a stunning walk (12km) including two famous chapels (St-Barbe dramatically placed on a narrow rocky edge in glorious woodland, and St-Fiacre with its remarkable rood-screen, both places usually open for visits) and a beautiful riverside stretch along the Ellé.
Cap Fréhel to Fort La Latte (Côtes d’Armor)
Two iconic landmarks in one walk, with the jutting Cap Fréhel (pictured), a bird-watcher’s paradise, and the famous fort where some scenes from The Vikings (remember Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas?) were filmed. The sea views throughout are breath-taking. Allow 3 hours to go there and back.
Camaret to Cap de la Chevre (Crozon Peninsula, Finistere)
BWs top walk out of the whole 1800kms of coast path. Why? Because of its remoteness, and the fact that the Atlantic coast is the most dramatic. Camaret itself with the Vauban Tower, high cliffs, long sandy beaches, lonely Lostmarc’h with its menhir and Iron Age fort (pictured), all contribute to a memorable route.
Brest to Pointe St-Mathieu (Finistere)
This walk of about 25kms has everything. The Goulet channel linking the Atlantic with the Rade de Brest is lined by WWII (and earlier) forts, one a public park, and the route culminates in the impressive cliff-top ruins of the Abbaye St-Mathieu, the moving WWI memorial and a lighthouse. Unbeatable range of sea views, often with dolphins and the odd submarine.
This beats Rennes by a whisker! The river Odet, medieval buildings second to none (except perhaps Vitré) and a truly exceptional cathedral, with its crooked nave are impressive enough, but a short riverside stroll adds Locmaria with its pottery heritage, wonderful Romanesque abbey and medieval-style garden.