Dinan in Brittany is a charming riverside town, full of medieval history, with a 13th century castle and ramparts that encircle this well-preserved sanctuary where time has stood still.
Wander through Dinan's narrow cobbled streets, lined with pretty half-timber houses, and discover the Flamboyant Gothic St Malo church, the Basilica of St Saveur and the 40m high Tour de l'Horloge (clock tower). Climb the 158 steps to the top for some fantastic views of the town and surrounding area. For even better views, why not take a walk along the ramparts, which, at nearly 2.7km long, are the oldest and most impressive in Brittany? In July the Fête des Remparts (the Ramparts Festival) takes place, a marvellous festival recreating life in medieval times with street celebrations, a market and a jousting tournament and many people dressed in medieval costume. The Château de Dinan is now a museum dedicated to the town's history and Dinan's famous hero, Bertrand du Guesclin, a Breton knight who became a military commander during the Hundred Years' War is remembered with 4 different memorials across the town. In 1357 the English laid seige to the town but it resisted. When Thomas Canterbury kidnapped du Guesclin's brother he settled the matter by single combat in the Place du Champ Clos opposite the Place Duguesclin, which is named after him and where today you will find the town market on a Thursday morning.
Dinan has some wonderful traditional shops and gift shops as well as crêperies and riverside restaurants where you can relax with some good food - or sit outside on a warm day with a cold mug of cider on Rue de la Cordonnerie, nicknamed Rue de la Soif or 'thirsty street' because of its 9 bars. Crowned a ville d'art et histoire (town of art and culture), Dinan is full of artists, sculptors, glassblowers and many other creatives whose work is exhibited in the art galleries in the town. Do not forget to walk down the hill of Rue du Petit Fort for a great view as you go down towards the port and its restaurants on the waterfront. Tours and boat cruises can be organised at the Tourist Office (Office de Tourisme). For those looking for some outdoor activities, there is a lovely coastal route to Dinard and St Malo about 23 miles long and suitable for walking, or why not rent a bike for the day?
Nearby are the coastal towns of Dinard, St Malo and St Lunaire whilst on the other side of the river is the town of Lanvallay.
Holidays in France
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GITES AND COTTAGES IN FRANCE
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