Beach at St Pol de Léon © Yannick le Gal, BRTC

St Pol de Léon travel guide

About St Pol de Léon

St Pol de Léon in Brittany is an historic town known for its religious heritage and the vegetable farming around the town, which made it one of the largest market-garden regions in Europe.

Dating its origins back to Gallo-Roman times, St Pol de Léon was an important religious centre in the 6th century when it became a bishopric and eventually evolved into a monastic town. Today, the prevalence of churches, the cathedral and other religious monuments in the town showcases its religious and artistic heritage. The Kreisker chapel has the highest spire in all of Brittany and towers 78m into the skyline. You can climb up the 169 steps to the top for some fantastic panoramic views of the town and the surrounding countryside, and you can see right out to the coast with Roscoff and Ile de Batz, and even Trégastel, all visible from the top on a good day.

Explore the architecture of the town by following the Circuit des Ruelles. From the 3rd century Gallo-Roman walls to the half-timber medieval houses, there is much to admire in the buildings of the town. A visit to the cathedral will unveil many fascinating relics including Les Etagères de la Nuit (the night shelves), 32 small boxes containing skulls of bodies exhumed to make room for the recently deceased in the churchyard, a practice which was performed up until the 19th century. There are also several pretty manor houses, chapels and châteaux in and around the town to explore.

St Pol de Léon is famous for its vegetable farming and produces most of the artichokes grown in France. Visit the markets to try some of the local produce and be sure to enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants and crêperies in the town. Most use local ingredients with dishes using artichokes, pink Roscoff onions and seafood caught off the coast. You'll find a large selection of tasty savoury galettes and sweet crêpes to try too. Be sure to wash it all down with a mug or two of local cidre (cider).

Overview

  • Country: France

  • Region: Brittany

  • Department: Finistère

  • Population: 7,000

Holidays in France

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Gite in Atlantic Loire Valley

GITES AND COTTAGES IN FRANCE

View of the Hotel Aigue Marine, Tréguier

HOTEL HOLIDAYS & BREAKS IN FRANCE

Family walking on the beach

FAMILY HOLIDAYS IN FRANCE AND SPAIN

A man and a woman reading by their car

CAR & MOTORCYCLE TOURS IN FRANCE

Getting to Brittany

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Plymouth Hoe

ROSCOFF - PLYMOUTH

Galicia at sea at Portsmouth

ST MALO - PORTSMOUTH

Ferries to France

FERRIES TO FRANCE

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