West Coast Stories pt.1

In June of 2017 Mary and I decided to spend our holiday exploring some of the west coast of France.

We planned to take the ferry to Cherbourg and spend a few days near Bayeux, then travel south for a few days to the Loire Valley, and on into Charente-Maritime before following the coast north to Brittany.

The first few days were enjoyable as we settled into our holiday routine and took in the sights of the Normandy beaches and the Bayeux tapestry. Our first surprise came when we moved to the Loire Valley and visited Saumur.

Here, we accidentally found ourselves in the the Anjou Velo Vintage festival. There were hundreds of riders, in costume and all on bicycles from before 1987.

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There was a real party atmosphere - including the balloons.

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We visited chateaux, including Saumur (above) and Montsoreau (below).

We found this lovely area of wild flowers behind the Chateau of Montsoreau.

See part two for our adventures when we moved south west to the Charente-Maritime.

West Coast Stories pt.2

Travelling south west to the Charente-Maritime. We arrived at the municipal campsite of Saujon, a town near Cognac. This was a good base for visiting the coast south of La Rochelle.

Exploring the area we drove through Cozes, on our way to the Gironde estuary and the small town of Meschers-sur-Gironde. Here, there are traditional fishing cabins along the shore.


On other days we drove to La Isle de Olleron and La Rochelle.


I found the the towns and villages along the coast, such as Chaillvette, Talmont and Royan more interesting.


We had booked a visit to one of the most extraordinary places I’ve ever been to, but more of that in part three…

West Coast Stories pt.3

Having travelled to a site just outside St-Laurent-sur-Sèvre in the Vendée department. We visited Grande Parc Puy du Fou. It’s described as an historical theme park, but if you expect to find rides here you will be disappointed. What you will find is an absolute feast of amazing re-enactment.

I’m not going to list all of the attractions in the park. This link to their
Wikipedia page describes everything. Highlights for me were…

The Viking raid


Le Bal des Oiseaux Fantômes


The Roman chariot race


This was all more convincing than I had expected, in part because everything looked so authentic. The Roman arena was built in stone, for example.

On the following day we walked into St-Laurent-sur-Sèvre. The town is well known for the ancient church of St. Laurent, with a rather spooky calgary.


On the day after that we travelled on to Brittany and what happened there is in part four.

West Coast Stories pt.4

We travelled to a campsite just outside Concarneau. This is a very picturesque part of France, with interesting fishing ports and pretty coves to explore.

Concarneau is very ‘touristy’ but well worth a visit.

We toured the area and enjoyed some really beautifully walks on the coastal paths.

The plan, was to travel north to one last campsite in Normandy. The plan was not to be!

In the final part of this account shows the value of being well insured.

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