Captain Claire for the weekend © Claire Richardson
Claire Richardson, Picture Editor at Lonely Planet Traveller magazine, recently returned from a long weekend in Brittany in northwest France.
Tell us more? My fiancé and I enjoyed a self-drive boat tour on a stretch of the Nantes-Brest canal in Brittany, exploring traditional Breton villages along the way, attempting to spot wildlife and watching sunsets from the deck of our boat, whilst dining on local cheeses and red wine.
In a nutshell? The Nantes-Brest canal is one of Brittany?s most historic waterways; Napoleon Bonaparte ordered its construction in 1821 to protect his men and supplies from the cunning British fleets patrolling the Breton coastline.
Once a busy transport route, the tree-lined banks now paint a much quieter scene, providing a pretty backdrop for people to enjoy by boat, bike or on foot. We rented a boat from Nicols, and the best part is that no experience is necessary, so after a quick induction you?ll be captain of your vessel, cruising through the leafy countryside.
There’s nothing like a quiet cruise through the countryside © Claire Richardson
Defining moment? Sitting at the wheel of our boat steering gently along the meandering waterways, under canopies of trees; listening to a soundtrack of tweeting birds, lapping water and the gentle hum of the engine and realising that no one was around. It was a wonderful feeling.
Good grub" Brittany is famous for its crępes and cider, so it?s worth mooring up at Breton villages to visit their cręperies, cafes and restaurants. For a cheaper option I?d recommend checking when the local markets are on and picking up fresh produce. We bought delicious local cheeses, pâté, fresh fruit and wine from the Saturday market in the village of La Gacilly, which we enjoyed on the deck of our boat as the sun went down.
The beautiful Breton village of Malestroit © Claire Richardson
Any wildlife encounters" Spotting wildlife was one of the highlights of...