Sunday 10 September 2017

Brittany diaries : The charming town of Locronan

Despite the hordes of summer tourists visiting Locronan (near Quimper in Finistère), it is like stepping back in time. Ambling down cobbled streets, you soon come across La Places des Charettes (Cart Square) and can almost imagine that some farm labourers have just popped into the nearby inn for a tankard of ale, leaving their carts outside.

The town is classified as one of the prettiest in France and it is very well maintained - every single one of the houses is kept in character.

It caters to tourists, with ice creams and crêpes on offer, but you'll only find small independent shops and businesses. There are no big chains here, which is what makes it seem so authentic.

You do get the odd car driving through the village for deliveries, but all tourists have to park in one of the car parks on the outskirts of the town, which cost €4 however long you stay. For this price, you get a sticker to put on the windscreen which means you can come back as often as you like throughout the year.

There are lots of shops selling Breton cakes and biscuits, including the one on the left called Au Loup-Garou Gourmand - the Greedy Werewolf ! Most of these shops have little saucers out with pieces for you to try, much to the Madhouse kids' delight.

There are lots of little alleyways leading off from the main square that you can amble down to explore.

Life kind of slows down here, so you're happy strolling along at a leisurely pace, rather than racing around trying to get from A to B as quickly as possible, as is usually the case.

It's a small town - a village really, as only 800 people live here (goodness knows how many tourists pass through though !) - so it's all very rural, with fields and gardens all around.

Juliette was very impressed with the hydrangeas (or hortensias, as they are in French), especially when I told her that the colour depended on the acidity of the soil. Nice little chemistry lesson there !

Wandering down a fairly steep pathway, we chanced upon a quaint little chapel. Just in front is the old "lavoir", where the women of the village used to assemble to do their laundry and undoubtedly have a gossip.

We popped inside to have a look at the stained glass windows, before going round the back to see the "calvaire" (one of the many ornate stone crosses dotted around the countryside and in the towns and villages of Brittany).

We climbed back up the hill, looking out for little things of interest to keep the kids going.

Back in the main square, we went to have a look at the gothic church. (A trick of the light in this photo makes it look like the man on the left has just been teleported in, or has maybe been blessed with a divine ray of light !)

Like the rest of the town, it's very pretty, so I wasn't surprised to learn that it has been used as a backdrop in several films, including Roman Polanski's 1979 film Tess.

The Madhouse kids aren't big on architecture or monuments, but even they liked spotting the gargoyles and this heart design.

Everything is so peaceful and quaint, it really is like stepping back in time so I did a doubletake when I saw a little knight strolling down the side of the church !

After lots of wandering around exploring, little tummies started grumbling, so we decided to opt for the classic Breton snack : crêpes.

They are cooked to order on the traditional crêpières, so there was quite a big queue, but it was fun to watch them being cooked while we waited. I love the squeezy bottle of homemade salted caramel sauce with a triple nozzle !

Bon appétit !

Another typical French/Breton snack that we picked up was a bag of Madeleinettes (mini madeleines), free with a flyer picked up on the counter in a treasure hunter's shop that we'd wandered into. Bonus ! We also bought some very reasonably priced old fashioned lollipops and handmade soaps from other shops as souvenirs.

I was pleased to be able to grab a quick geocache before we left too. (There were a couple more but everyone wanted to go home - boo !)

We grabbed a minute to immortalise our time in Locronan (and those salted caramel crêpes) in the obligatory Madhouse Family selfie, then headed for home.

This sign that we spotted on the way back to the car summed up the day rather nicely. Le plus bel endroit du monde est ici - the most beautiful place in the world is here !

Country Kids


  1. Ohh those crepes would be the highlight of my day, I adore having them when they have just been cooked fresh. Mich x #Countrykids

  2. What a delightful looking town, it looks like something lost in time with all those stunning buildings and cute shops with all kinds of delights - except for the Greedy werewolf delicacies! I'm not surprised the town has become the setting for films, it really does lend itself. What a lovely time you had exploring and yum to those crepes.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  3. What a truly lovely village! I love the last sign - perfectly sums up the place, and your post.

  4. What a beautiful village and it really is like stepping back in time. I love the sound of the salted caramel crepes! #countrykids

  5. This looks like the perfect place to film from, so picturesque #countrykids


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