If we say Brocéliande, you’ll definitely instantly think of this mythical forest with mystical and legendary origins of which you’ve heard about growing up right? Until recently, it was the same for us. When we were offered to explore the region, we were obsessed with the idea of walking around the famous forest of Brocéliande we had been dreaming about since we were kids. Sure, we spent a wonderful day there but what about all of the other things left to explore? Well, we tried out several activities for you in the area and the least we can say is that there’s really something for everyone!
The Museum of the Scrap Metal Poet
Without any hesitation, our preference goes to the Museum of the Scrap Metal Poet which is an unreal, unusual, curious and captivating place located in the small village of Lizio. The Breton artist Robert Coudray is behind this crazy project. As he so perfectly says himself, he’s “graduated from the truancy studies of handyman poet and sponsored by the fairy of dumps”. For 25 years, this great dreamer has been putting together his original creations in his museum, a huge vacant lot that looks like an unreal fairy tale place. It’s hard to really know where to look, as there is so much to see, read and touch. The first part of the visit makes you wander in the middle of dozens of automata you’ll have to operate manually, all more ingenious than the others. It’s quite magical to see these little figures, often coming from the recycling of everyday objects, activate at the touch of a button.
The second part of the visit takes place in the open air and won’t stop surprising you. You’ll discover with wonder the sculptures animated by the simple action of the wind or flowing water. And there are huge beautiful colored and twisted houses that came straight out from Alice in the Wonderland. As the visit progresses, it’ll become increasingly clear to you that ecology and sustainable development are topics that matter to our poet. We were truly touched by such an extraordinary place. Much more than just a place of exhibition, the Museum of the Scrap Metal Poet is above all a place of life where we strongly advise you to spend a sunny afternoon!
27 Rue Martyrs de la Résistance, 56420 Plumelec
+33 (0) 2 97 42 34 00
10-15€ (12-17$ per person)
Our review : A family creperie where you’ll immediately feel at home. The prices are affordable, crèpes and galettes are delicious and service is really great, a very good address!
Photo Festival in la Gacilly
Every summer, the small town of La Gacilly is transformed into a huge open-air photo gallery, the largest in France. For 4 months, the gardens, alleys and even the facades of the houses welcome the work of photographers from all around the world with equally eclectic and exciting sensibilities. This year, the theme of the La Gacilly Photo Festival was Africa. It was then the perfect opportunity to discover the work of many talented african photographers. We wandered for 2 whole hours in the city, following our desires and the map we had gotten at the Tourist Office. Among the photos that touched us the most, we keep in mind this surreal photo by Paras Chandaria from his “Nairobi, the city is a jungle” series. At first, we thought that this picture of a giraffe surrounded by trees with a megalopolis in the background was a montage. But it unfortunately isn’t. It turns out that it was taken in Nairobi National Park which is the only park in the world to house wild animals in urban areas. Wedged between the business district, homes and the airport, 80 species of mammals are threatened by the exponential growth of one of the most dynamic metropolises in Africa.
I (Nath) loved to browse the beautiful black and white photos by Jean Depara from the series “The nights and days of Kinshasa, 1951-1975”. My parents were born in the 1950s in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thus, they were 20 years old in the 1970s. It was certainly the time of first loves and first nights out with friends. This time is also synonymous with a revival for Congo which had just acquired its independence from the Belgians. It amused me a lot to scrutinize the different shots of the famous photographer looking for a familiar face, a relative maybe.
Moulin de la Gacilly, 56200 La Gacilly
+33 (0) 2 99 08 37 37
approx. 20€ ($23) per person
Our review : A nice place ideally located in the center of La Gacilly. The food was very good and quite refined. On the other hand, we were a little disappointed with the “revisited mafé” elaborated especially for the Photo Festival. It was good but had nothing to do with a mafé.
Sentier d’Ozégan in Monteneuf
Back to nature with the discovery of the Sentier d’Ozégan, a fun and creative itinerary located in the heart of the Landes de Monteneuf. Each year, a route made of ephemeral plant creations is set up in the heart of the forest to allow young and old to discover the story of Ozégan, a malicious and amorous korrigan (little breton forest elf). We were pleasantly surprised by the fun aspect of this route punctuated by small games that appealed to our 5 senses. It’s rather an activity that we would recommend to families but it was still nice to fall back to childhood for an hour for this walk in the forest.
Start nearby the Auberge des VoyaJoueurs
from June to September
Walk with storytellers from July 11th to August 31st
Full rate 6€ ($7)
Reduced rate 3€ ($3.5) (children from 5 to 18, scholars)
Book online here
7 Place de la Gare, 56380 Guer
+33 (0) 2 97 22 00 26
approx. 20€ for a meal at dinner
Our review : The Bistrot is a former crèperie which was recently taken over by the owner of the adjoining gourmet restaurant with the desire of upscaling it. We weren’t particularly convinced by the food in this restaurant that we found quite expensive despite very good service.
The Kerguéhennec Estate in Bignan
The Kerguéhennec estate is a huge property in the middle of which proudly sits a superb 18th century castle. Far from its medieval past, it’s especially the rather unusual contrast that reigns at the Estate that got us there at first. Indeed, nowadays it’s a place of expression where artists of all horizons expose their works. There’s for example the Sculptures Park set in 2 itineraries during which you can see 2 dozens of contemporary art works. Temporary exhibitions are also organized in the castle and other buildings of the estate. We saw Jocelyn Alloucherie’s “The Shadow Room” and Benard Pagès’ sculptures, which unfortunately did not inspire us at all. We are not contemporary art insiders and it must be said that we had trouble being touched by these works that we found terribly inaccessible. To be completely honest, we have to say that employees of the estate were present during our visit and available to provide us with explanations that we simply did not dare to ask.
9 Chemin Glatinier, 56120 Josselin
+33 (0) 2 97 70 61 39
Approx 25-30€ ($29-35) for a menu
Our review : La Table d’O is a beautiful restaurant that offers a superb view of the Josselin Castle… which we didn’t dare to photograph since the restaurant is pretty chic. It’s an upscale restaurant where the clientele seemed kind of wealthy. We didn’t feel comfortable but the dishes were all very good.
Accomodation in Brocéliande
All these activities obviously require a decent place to stay and we must say that we’ve found another perfect place for this. We already told you about our crush for the Moulin de la Fosse Noire. This time, we’ll change the scene with this upscale bed and breakfast located at Croix-Helléann called Les Hortensias. Upon arrival, we were impressed by the immensity and charm of this old building which is in the middle of a beautiful well maintained garden. We were greeted with the smile of Monique, a cheerful retiree with a piercing blue gaze and a communicative joie de vivre. We stayed in the “Comme avant” room. It’s modern and refined decor is enhanced by a very nice recovery furniture, it’s really beautiful! The icing on the cake was this delicious and hearty breakfast, prepared and served with love the next morning by Monique on a nice little table in the sun, what else could we possibly ask for?
La Ville Robert, La croix Helléan, 56120 Josselin
+33 (0) 2 97 75 64 37
Rooms starting at 65€ ($76)
Book your stayhere
This article has been written as part of a partnership with Destination Brocéliande. The opinions expressed here are our own and have not been subjected to any influence.