Saturday, 12 August 2017

Brittany diaries : The village in the rocks - Meneham, Côte des Légendes


The village of Meneham, tucked away in the cliffs of the Côte des Légendes in Northern Brittany, facing the English Channel between Brest and Roscoff, is a "site classé" or heritage site.


You can see the charming thatched cottages and bizarre dollops of rock before you've even left the car park.


It's a big hit with the tourists, so there are things like an inn (in the picture above), signposts, toilets and car parks, as well as a gîte if you want to stay the night, but is is all in-keeping with the olde-worlde feel of the place. It reminds me very much of the still wild places in Cornwall that we visited back in the early eighties - Land's End back when there were still no tourist amenities had the same rugged, mystical feel - so I hope it manages to retain its charm as it becomes more well-known. I bet the next time we go back, you will have to pay to get in or at least to park the car.


Mother Nature gave us the perfect weather conditions to really appreciate the beauty of the place - a (rare) sunny day in a week of drizzle, blue skies and fluffy clouds to really set off the photos.


There are a few information boards and signposts but you're pretty much left to your own devices to explore the rocks and paths.


We tried to spot different shapes and forms in the rock formations. Madhouse Daddy thought that the one on the left looked like a shark whereas I see a turtle (maybe it depends on the angle), but I was the only one to see a King Kong face on the right.


But everyone agreed that this one looks like a face - the kids said it made them think of Homer Simpson !


Tucked away in between two giant rocks is this little stone cottage. I thought the rocks were designed to offer shelter from the wind, but it is apparently a 17th-century coastguard’s cottage, camouflaged so that they could sneakily keep an eye on the coast to try to combat smuggling. There was a video running inside to show you the history but the kids were more interested in exploring outside.


There are lots of rocks to scramble over, tiny passages to squeeze through and strange formations to marvel at.


Amateur photographers (or Instagram fans like Sophie) can spend ages finding arty shots using the rocks as frames for the views.


Despite usually being fairly camera shy, the Madhouse kids kept posing in and on the rocks for me to take photos.


Even though the car park was packed, you can still get away from the crowds to enjoy the natural beauty of the place.


There is also a big sandy beach, studded with rocks, along with tiny boats bobbing in the sea at low tide. This tractor was dragging a boat up the beach but it is also used for harvesting seaweed.


These narrow ditches are seaweed ovens and were used for burning the dried seaweed to make sodium carbonate from the ashes, which was then sold to be used in soap and glass making, or iodine, used in medicine and for making photos.


The rock formations continue on the beach, and there are also protected species of plants to look out for.


"Look Mum, we found a whale !"



Following the path back up to the village, we had a look around the artisans' thatched cottages, where you can buy all sorts of handmade crafts and watch the artists at work.


You can also go inside some of the traditional buildings to see how they were constructed or discover some of the old fishing equipment, such as these lobster pots and handcarts.


There's plenty to discover and you really get a feel for the way the old village used to be.


We finished off with the obligatory family selfie before heading for home. It's a great place to go if you're looking for a free day out.


Country Kids

13 comments:

  1. It looks like a beautiful place to visit xXx

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  2. Great photos. Looks beautiful. I agree with the kids about homer 😂

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  3. What a fab place to visit, the houses are fascinating and the rock formations are splendid. Lol @ Homer Simpson, but yes, there is something about him in that rock. I also see a turtle, not a shark.

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    1. We're just back from Turkey where we saw real live turtles so maybe it was a premonition !! :)

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  4. What a lovely place to visit. There is definitely a face in the rock, do you think its a troll?

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    1. Ooh you could be on to something there ! :)

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  5. My family would love visiting this place

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  6. I love places like that to explore. The rock formations are interesting and there's definitely a face in there! I hope you're right and it doesn't get spoilt by too much tourism. #Countrykids

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  7. What a beautiful place to explore, such a beautiful setting to explore. I bet you could spend hours searching for shapes in those rocks, they're certainly impressive! I can imagine this little village used to be bustling with fishermen, I love that they tried to hide the coastguards cottage.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

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  8. This place looks amazing! I can definitely see the Homer Simpson resemblance too!

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  9. What a beautiful place to explore, I love the nearly untouched feel of it, whereby you can explore at your own pace without having to stay on the well trodden path. Love 'Homer' and the 'whale' - fabulous rock formations!
    #CountryKids

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  10. What a beautiful place, love the rock formations and you had such a gorgeous day for it too. #CountryKids

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  11. What a great place to explore. It looks fab. Beautiful weather. I am jealous! haha #CountryKids x

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