Jenny and Stafford's amazing blog site ~

Posts tagged ‘Morlaix travel guide’

Bike hire in Morlaix / location de velo a Morlaix.

No Nellie ~ Stay!

Bike hire in Morliax / location de vélo a Morlaix.

A super new facility is available to visitors to the town. A bicycle hire shop has been set up in the ex -tourist information office, which was formally a railway station building.  Conveniently situated just close to the viaduct, in the Place des Otages, the shop is called the ‘Pavillon de la randonnée.’  It is open all year from 9am until 7 pm, including lunch times (closed on Sundays except in July and August)

C’est possible  à louer des vélos au centre ville de Morlaix. Le Pavillon de la randonnée est situé tout près du viaduc dans l’ancien office de tourisme, Place des Otages.   Les horaires sont 9 hrs au 19 hrs tous les jours.  (Fermé  le dimanche, sauf juillet et aout)

Quelques différents modèles sont disponibles.  Vélos pour les enfants entre 6 et 12 ans.  Several types of bicycle are available, including bikes for children from the age of 6 – 12 yrs.

VTT  – Vélo tout terrain  – off roader

VTC – Vélo tout chemin  – mixed off roader and city bike.

VAE – Vélo assistance électrique.  Electric bike for adults.

It is also possible to hire a trailer for children ( UNE REMORQUE)  a baby seat (9 – 20 kilos)( PORTE – BEBE) and basket / saddlebags. ( PANIER / SACOCHE)

On peut louer les remorques, porte bébé ( 9 – 20 kilos) paniers ou sacoche.

Bicycles are hired with a helmet and luminous vests. Une casque et une veste lumineuse  sont inclus avec la location.

A family who stayed with us in August about to set off on an excursion!

It is advisable to reserve in advance for the summer season. Vaut mieux réserver en avance pendant la saison estivale.

For information and prices/ renseignements et prix :

Contact Yannick Le Fuc . e mail 0033 ( 0) 2 98 63 87 82

Mediaeval Houses in Morlaix

Morlaix is fortunate in that it has managed to retain approximately one hundred and twenty 15th and 16th century timber framed buildings.   La Maison du Pondalez is a typical Morlaisian house, built in the 16th century and then inhabited by a nobleman.



La Maison du Pondalez is located in the heart of Morlaix, in the street called “la grand rue”.  It was, and still is, a commercial street where, in the past, the linen traders were found.  In those days the harbour in Morlaix was very active and the trade in linen contributed towards the great wealth of the town, and the area.

The 14th century “War of Sucessions” made many noblemen poor.  Those who wanted to trade in linen, to earn money, had to give up their noble titles in order to do so.  By surrendering their nobility they also gave up many privileges but felt ashamed to have to do this.

In order to make themselves feel, and appear, more important they built themselves splendid homes, whose architecture was inspired by their rural manor houses.  The interior designs of these houses are unique in the world, and a very special feature.

Front Elevation

These timber framed houses are called “maisons a pan-de-bois” or “a columbages”.  The space between the timber frames is rendered with a mixture of clay and straw, or sometimes horse or cow hair.  The outside face of this is covered with a lime wash to help keep out rain water.

This house has three floors, and each floor projects forward in front of the one below and is called corbelling.

Do you know why corbelling is used in the design?   ≈ It serves as a form of protection for the house, reducing solar gain, by creating shadow, and it helps to stop rain water running down the face of the building.

The distance between similar houses on either side of a street is about 5.8m at ground floor level and only about 3.3m on the top floor.   Some timber framed houses have had slates hung on their facades to keep rain water out.  La Maison du Pondalez  house does not, however, it is possible to see many nearby that do.

On the front of this house there are many sculptures and it is possible to imagine how wonderful this street must have looked when all the houses had such statues.

On the first floor there is the statue representing “L’Annonciation” or “Lady Day”, with the Angel Gabriel on the left and the Virgin Mary on the right.  The two statues in the middle represent two angels playing music.  Together these represent both themes normally found in sculpture, namely religion and feasts.

On the second floor there are the statues of St Jacques, St Laurent, St Nicolas and Ste Barbe.  Sainte Barbe is the protectress saint of the town of Roscoff.  Sainte Barbe is also the patron saint of firemen   So the sculpture of Sainte Barbe on this house acted as a good luck charm against the possibility of fire.  Wooden houses, built so close together, burn very easily, however, the designers incorporated stone walls between each house to prevent the spread of fire.

Inside La Maison du Pondalez the unique architecture is split into three parts:

1.  The Booth (shop) was where business was done.  Goods or commodities were presented for sale on a stall.  When the shop was closed for business the stall became a shutter.  This one was restored completely a few years ago  The stained glass windows have been restored too, using the original methods of construction.  It is made up of little pieces of blown glass set into lead cames (H shaped pieces of lead that clamp the glass between the wings of the H).

The original windows opened outwards, unlike most windows do in France today, and the hooks are still there that fixed them open and served to prevent them from banging.

2. The Manor Room was a common space, inspired by the design of the Breton manor houses.  This space is unique as it provides a central atrium running up through the house from ground floor to the underside of the roof.  There are spiral staircases linked by little bridges called “pont d’allees” or “pondalez”.  This Breton word means “landing” or “corridor”.

3. The Back Room was either a bedroom or cellar.  It’s exact function is not really known.

Click here for more photos


Maison de la Duchess Anne

 Anne de Bretagne, who was born and lived in Nantes, was crowned Duchess of Brittany (Duchess Anne) on 10 February 1489.  Duchess Anne was twice Queen of France, having married Charles VIII in December 1491 and then Louis XII in January 1499.

In June 1505 she decided to visit her region, and when she visited Morlaix she was received with acclaimed and made most welcome.

This house is called “the Duchess Anne House”, not because Duchess Anne stayed here, she did not, but the house was new when she visited Morlaix, and has been known by this name ever since.

We can see many sculptures on the front elevation, representing one of the most common themes: “the feast”.

One of the best things to do in Morlaix

I have already commented briefly on the local all day trip from Morlaix called “A fer et a flots”  Look at a my previous blogs dated 18 April and 1 May 2011.  The trip has been documented by the French TV channel TF1 and is well worth looking at.  If you cannot speak any French, please do not worry as I am sure you will get the gist of the whole thing, the pictures and the happy faces tell the story very well.  Really it is a fabulous day out ~ to be recommended ~ It is rated with the Taylor’s **** stars!

Chateau de Taureau

Click here to see the video


To recap on the day’s adventure:

You will leave Morlaix either by boat or by train, dependant upon the time and state of the tides.

You will go to Roscoff, a charming little town and well worth the visit on its own.  Do not think this is just a ferry port and ignore it.

You will go to the Isle de Batz, a great place to walk around, to hire bicycles, to enjoy the eating places or just go to the beach.

You will pass the island bird sanctuaries, the super little light house called Isle Louet and the Chateau du Taureau.  The chateau is a formidable fortress built especially to keep the English out !  Again this is a great visit in its own right. It has been renovated to a high standard.

You will come home after a very interesting, entertaining and super family day out, and maybe even a little tired.

The must haves are ~ warm clothes to wear on the boat (just in case) and sun tan cream.

Isle de Batz

Food is not included on the trip so be prepared with your own picnic or choose somewhere to eat on the Isle de Batz.

Click here for more info and to book.

Le Telegramme Tresco Trophy ~ part 1

Queuing to go in the lock in Morlaix

Jazz Band

The second lock is full

The Telegramme Tresco Trophy, organised by the Yacht Club de Morlaix,is now en route for Gurnesey.  At about 16:30 this afternoon 1May 113 boats queued up for the lock in Morlaix harbour.  About five locks worth of boats later they were all on route for the open sea and the start of the race.  They were seen off by hundreds of well wishers and a fantastic Jazz band.  For more photos click here.

The safety boat

They are off

The first yachts started their race at about 18:30.  The bigger class of boats were still coming down the river as I returned home to make sure my guests were still content.

Two More Walks and places of interest


I love to go to Ploumanac’h.  The little port is beautiful and for a sailor, the entrance into the harbour looks awesome.  If you decide to go and have a look for your yourselves, I suggest trying to park in the port area, as there are plenty of spaces to park.  Then follow the road (anti-clockwise round the port) and then right up the foot path near the Bureau du Port. You will then have a super little walk around the headland and back into the centre of Ploumanac’h.  There is a lovely little statue near the top of the beach.  It will attract you with its round shape … As you approach, you notice there is a small monument: the oratory of Saint-Guirec. This curious edifice, built on a pile of rocks and submerged by the waves at high tide, originated in the 12th century.

Chateau Coastaeres a Ploumanach

The statue of Saint Guirec was very popular with sailors’ wives who came to pray for the return of their husbands, and he was admired as much by the girls.
A caption read,  that if they were able to stick a needle in the nose of the saint who sat there, they would be married within the year.  The original wooden statue became so damaged that the parish eventually replaced this with a copy statue made of granite.

Admire the chateau on the island off the beach.  Enjoy a fantastic ‘fruit de mer’ in the cafe overlooking the beach.  Walk a little further around the footpath (Sentier des Douarniers) towards Perros Guirec and have a close look at the little lighthouse and the fantastic lifeboat station in the cove around the corner.  If you are exhausted, there is a shortcut back to your car using the roads via the centre of the village.

Les Sept Iles, or the seven islands, are one of the most important bird sancturies in Brittany. These islands lie just off the coast and you will see them on this walk.  Half – day boat trips leave from Perros Guirec and Ploumanac’h. The islands are home to many species including puffins and petrels.

See more photos here


This little island is just offshore from the town of Roscoff.  If you came to Brittany via Roscoff ferry terminal you will have passed it by on the way in.  From the centre of the town take a water taxi from the port to the island. It is a 10 ~ 15 minute trip.  On the island you will find bicycles for hire, or in less than a full day you can walk around the island and soak up the atmosphere of the sea and land together.  It is a super place to go with some nice restaurants and you can climb up the lighthouse tower and enjoy the view.

Next weekend, 29 May 2011,  is the local festival of the pommes de terres (potatoes).  These are early spuds and they are small but delicious.  Look at these websites:-

Porz Kernok ~ Isle de Batz

Dimanche 29 mai, a fer a flots  sera sur l’île de Batz pour la fête de la pomme de terre. Apéro paysan, expositions, ventes de légumes.. Il reste des places.  On Sunday 29 May a Feraflot trip will be going to the festival of the first crop of potatoes.  There will be an exhibition and sale of vegetables.

There are still some places remaining on this trip ~ hurry now!

See more photos here

Our web site ~

Épreuves de voile à Morlaix – Sailing Events in Morlaix

Stripping varnish

Jenny and I moved to Morlaix for many reasons, the house was beautiful, the location ideal for a B&B and Gite business and a marina in which to moor our boat “Silent Flight”, and to go sailing.The business has occupied more time than originally envisaged, and sailing has been seriously curtailed.  Jenny did tell me so!!!  Every year I prepare the boat for the season and watch as boats are taken out of the water and put back in all ready to go sailing.

L’atmosphère festive qui entoure le TELEGRAMME TRESCO TROPHEE commencera le week-end du 28 mai  avec l’arrivée de très nombreux voiliers qui viennent participer à la course et qui vont rejoindre tous ceux qui sont déjà dans le port.

Le depart ~ Chateau de Taurau

Dès 16 heures, le mercredi 1er juin, les concurrents rejoindront les écluses, remonteront la magnifique rivière de Morlaix  pour se présenter  sur  la ligne de départ, à proximité du Château du Taureau. N’hésitez pas à venir encourager les équipages qui vont prendre le départ d’une longue navigation de nuit pour rallier Guernesey. Les différents sas seront animés par une fanfare de Carantec qui sera là également au retour.

Le depart

St Peter Port

Vous pouvez également suivre la remontée de la rivière sur le parking du château de Lannuguy (le château blanc), le long de la corniche jusqu’à Locquénolé  et évidemment à Carantec à la Pointe de Pen al Lann.
Mais vous pouvez également aller à la Pointe de Barnenez en passant par Plouézoc,h. Vous aurez un merveilleux point de vue sur la flotte qui s’élance vers le large.
La flottille du TELEGRAMME TRESCO TROPHEE représente environ 650 équipiers qui vont donc naviguer de nuit pour atteindre Guernesey, y séjourner 48 heures, pour les plus rapides, et revenir, le samedi matin vers PERROS-GUIREC et reprendre la mer le dimanche 5 juin pour rallier Morlaix et remonter jusqu’au port. Le dimanche soir la fête se termine à Langolvas par un buffet au cours duquel les résultats sont proclamés et les récompenses attribuées.

Le dimanche 5 juin les écluses s’ouvriront dès 19 heures.


The carnival festival that surrounds the Telegramme Tresco Trophy commences on the weekend of 28 May with the arrival of many yachts, to join those that have their home in the port of Morlaix.

At about 16 :00 on Wednesday 1 June the competing yachts will squeeze into the lock before running down the magnifcent estuary to the start line close to the Château de Taureau.  Do not hesitate to come and cheer the boats and crew off on their first long trip to Guernesey, a distance of about 73 miles.  There are a number of really good viewing places from which to do this, both at the start and on their return on Sunday 5 June.


You can try the parking space opposite the château de Lannuguy ( white château ), or along the corniche at Locquenole, in Carantec at the Pointe de Pen al Lann, or even at the Point de Barnenez near to Plouezoch (opposite side of the estuary).

There will be approximately 650 members of crew participating in the race.  The course will take them direct to Guernsey, followed by a 48 hours rest and then a race to Perros-Guirec, and the following day a race back to Morlaix.  The lock at Morlaix will open at about 19 :00 on Sunday 5 June.  The event will be rounded off by a party, with buffet and a prizegiving.

“Entre Terre et Mer”~ 28 – 31 Juillet 2011

Ballades nautiques, courses, animations autour du patrimoine culturel et naturel… Le Trégor et le Léon prendront des airs de fête du 28 au 31 juillet prochains avec le nouveau festival “Entre Terre et Mer”.

Mettre en avant une complémentarité historique entre marins et terriens. Renouer avec les traditions ancestrales qui ont permis aux hommes et aux femmes de la baie de Morlaix d’y vivre et d’y travailler. S’appuyer sur le ballet entraînant de voiliers cabotant de ports en mouillages pour redécouvrir les trésors cachés d’une région rare. C’est ce que propose “Entre Terre et Mer”, nouvel événement maritime lancé sous l’impulsion du Télégramme et de l’Association Terre et Mer en Baie de Morlaix.

Cette manifestation, qui se déroulera du 28 au 31 juillet 2011, est née de la volonté de mettre en lumière toute la diversité du patrimoine culturel et naturel de la Baie de Morlaix.

De Roscoff au Diben, en passant par Saint-Pol de Léon, Carantec, Térénez, Le Dourduff et Morlaix, de nombreuses animations ludiques et pédagogiques seront proposées au public à terre et en mer. Elles permettront de découvrir l’éventail des activités humaines de ce territoire, de l’agriculture à l’ostréiculture, en passant par les chantiers navals, le ramassage du goémon, …

Les bateaux de la Baie au cœur de la fête

Répartis en différentes flottilles, les bateaux participeront également à l’événement. Ils évolueront d’escale en escale pendant ces 4 jours et navigueront en baie, à la journée, à l’occasion de courses, de randonnées ou de balades nautiques, sur des parcours différents.

Si les grands voiliers, les bateaux de travail, de la belle plaisance ou les voile-avirons seront à l’honneur, un soin tout particulier sera apporté à la mise en avant des bateaux originaires de la Baie de Morlaix : cotres de Carantec, Cormorans, goémoniers…

“Entre Terre et Mer”.  Between Land and Sea.

This a new event proposed for the period between 28 ~ 31 July 2011.  The proposal is to combine in one festival a mix of maritime and land based events representing the history of sail , boat building, fishing, collection and farming of Oysters, moules, seaweed, and the land based based farming traditions of the areas both sides of the Bay of Morlaix, namely Le Trégor et le Léon.  If the superb events, of a similar nature, held at Douarnenez and in the Gulf de Morbihan are anything to go by this should prove to be something really spectacular.  There will be sailing events for many different types and size of older style of boat.  At different times these boats will be in Roscoff, St Pol de Leon, Carantec, Morlaix, Le Dorduff, Terenez and Le Diben.  I can’t wait!  I am very tempted to enter Silent Flight.

Small Walks and Things to do and see

New knee bits

You know, I find that getting on a bit in years does make life a bit difficult sometimes. It is especially so when you still think like a 21 year old ~ well nearly !!  Well I have had to have a new knee, Jenny has had her toes done and so for us walking long distances is just not on.  So I thought that those readers with sympathetic traits might like some ideas for a gentle day out.

A gentle walk near Carentec

We can lend you some detailed maps to help you with your enjoyment.

Isle de Louet ~ lighthouse

It takes about 15 minutes to drive to Carentec along the beautiful coast road via Loquenole.  On approaching the centre of Carantec turn right at the second round about towards the Point de Penlan.  You will drive through a lovely suburban part of Carantec, straight across a mini roundabout until you reach the tennis club on the left.  Park just beyond this on the right and retrace your steps until you are opposite the tennis club.  Here you will find a rather overgrown Arboretum.  Entrance is free and you can walk down through the arboretum to the coast.  You will arrive at the bottom of the hill on a road/coastal path.  Here there is an Oyster farm shop selling delicious oysters and other crustaceans.  If that is not for you, walk east along the footpath (turn left at the base of the hill).  After some while you will pass the end of the promontary with amazing views across the Baie de Morlaix toward the Château du Taureau and the little lighthouse on the Isle de Louet.  In the distance, across the bay, is Terenez and Le Diben, whilst on the horizon you can just see Treburden.  If this is enough walking for you, follow the footpath directly up the hill to your car.  If not continue on the coastal path.  At the next headland it is again possible to return directly to your car.  Continue on the coastal path and you will find yourselves on the lovely main beach at Carantec and a selection of beach side cafes where you can  quench your thirst and or hunger.

Baie de Morlaix ~ from Roscoff

Château du Taureau

I think that this is a must see if you are going to stay at Coat Amour for any time.  In the medaeval times the English and French sailors of a piratical disposition spent some of their time raiding each other’s ports.  The Château du Taureau was built in XVI century to keep the English out of Morlaix.  It is a very special place, well restored, and a superb example of a defensive castle.  You should go and see it,  children and adults alike will enjoy the experience.  Parts of the château are subtly annotated  in English as well as French and you will understand the history of the place.  Boat trips go to the château from  Carentec, Roscoff and Plougasnou (Port du Deben).   See for further info.

Chateau du Taureau


This is a super seaside town with a little port, and excellent sandy safe beach and some good cafes/restaurants.  In fact something for most relaxed holiday makers.  It is only twenty minutes by car from Coat Amour.  For a good post lunch walk we suggest leaving the port and following the road past the church and the post office out toward the point.  The views towards St Michel en Greve and Treburden are marvellous and the going easy.  This little walk takes you anti clockwise around the coast and brings you back to the large north facing beach on the far side of the town.  It is a short walk back to the port via the church.

Tag Cloud