Newton House and Dinefwr

Over the summer I was working at the National Eisteddfod, the annual Welsh cultural festival that this year took place near Tregaron in west Wales. Deciding to make something of a weekend of it before I started work, I stopped off at Llandeilo in the neighbouring county of Carmarthenshire so I could spend a couple... Continue Reading →

Looking ahead to 2023

I've been umming and ahhing over whether I should write one of my usual 'looking ahead' posts because when I look back over what I wrote in previous years, I find I rarely end up doing half the things I say I'm going to do and end up doing something completely different. Alas, planning is... Continue Reading →


Chic, laid-back, friendly, welcoming and playful are just some of the words I'd use to describe the historic French city of Nantes. The former capital of Brittany (it's called Naoned in Breton) has been dubbed the 'city of the dukes of Brittany'. Even though it hasn't been part of Brittany since the Second World War... Continue Reading →

Île aux Moines

The Golfe du Morbihan, off the southern coast of Brittany, is studded with islands – 42 to be exact. The largest of which is the Île aux Moines (Monks' Island). Having glimpsed the island a few days earlier from the Pointe d'Arradon (Brittany's riviera, which is home to some very posh houses), we were keen... Continue Reading →


The sleepy, unassuming Breton village of Sainte-Anne-d'Auray is the unlikely home of one of France's most significant pilgrimmage sites. On driving into Sainte-Anne-d'Auray, it seemed like any other quiet village in the Morbihan countryside – until, that is, we came upon the massive basilica that dominates its centre. Sainte-Anne-d'Auray's claim to religious fame dates back... Continue Reading →


With its winding medieval streets, colourful timber-framed houses and handsome stone buildings, the old Breton capital Vannes (or Gwened in Breton) has bags of character, great shopping and lots of photogenic buildings. Originally named Darioritum, the charming market town, which sits at the mouth of the rivers Marle and Vincin, has a long history. It... Continue Reading →

Presqu’île de Quiberon

The Presqu'île de Quiberon is a 14km-long slither of land on the southern coast of Brittany. Boasting a wild, rugged coastline, attractive resorts and pristine beaches, the narrow peninsula is attached to the Breton mainland by a small sandbank, the Isthme de Penthièvre. We drove down to the Presqu'île de Quiberon after spending the morning... Continue Reading →


Of the many sights to see in Brittany, perhaps the most famous (and mysterious) of all are the megalithic standing stones at Carnac. The prehistoric site is centred around three clusters of stones, or menhirs as they're also known, not far from the small town of Carnac. We began our visit at the largest of... Continue Reading →

Auray and Saint Goustan

When Benjamin Franklin set foot on French soil in December 1776 to seek support in the American War of Independence, he came ashore in the tiny Breton port of Saint Goustan. Situated on the banks of the River Loch, adjoining the town of Auray, Saint Goustan is a delightful, picturesque affair. With a cobbled quayside... Continue Reading →

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