Home travel A week on the Canal de Nantes à Brest (part 2)

A week on the Canal de Nantes à Brest (part 2)

by Clare Mansell
A week on the Canal de Nantes à Brest (part 2)

Last week I shared the first batch of photos from our family holiday aboard river boats in Brittany and today I want to share a few more, along with a short film of the trip and a video tour of the boat we spent the week on.

This trip was the third time we’ve holidayed as a large family group on hired boats and we really enjoyed exploring the Canal de Nantes a Brest. There is always a bit of flexibility and freedom with the route you choose on these kind of trips allowing you to decide how many miles you want to cover each day and the places you want to stop. Sometimes you have to modify your plans as you go especially as the locks are only open for set hours and close at lunchtime every day.

On one day we found ourselves held up going through the locks and I had to disembark and pedal at speed to the local town to buy bread for lunch before the boulangerie shut, but what a beautiful place to arrive in, totally worth the exertion!


Part of the reason we as a family love these holidays is because we spent very little time on the trip standing still. There was always a new place to move on to for lunch or a mooring for the night and we only saw the same places twice when we turned round halfway through the week at Malestroit and started heading back to Messac.


Even after we turned, the view on the return trip wasn’t all the same as we took a slight deviation to visit La Gacilly, a lovely quirky little town an hour’s cruise up a branch of the river. The town is home to several artists and when we visited was holding a photo exhibition in the grounds of the local arboretum. It was a great place to escape the heat of the day and get a cultural fix.

leboat36La Gacilly also has a vet who is very close to the river where we got the dogs wormed before their return journey, though judging by the confusion we caused asking for the pet passports to be stamped I don’t think its something he does too frequently! leboat_jane7leboat_portrait4leboat_jane20leboat_jane19

As is often the case, some of the best places we stopped were quiet moorings beside the river where we stopped for lunch and a couple of hours peace and quiet. One thing we didn’t do this time (mainly through lack of planning) was have an overnight at an out of the way mooring, so next year we must add this to the list!


One of the surprising highlights of the trip was the riverside graffiti in Redon. Judging by the artists updating the collages in broad daylight it’s obviously something supported and encouraged by the city and the work was amazing.

My sister and I could have happily spent all day here taking photos with the backdrops and Theo and his cousin Archie also had great fun at the skate park which was right next door.


Despite the stresses of a crawling baby on water and our outward ferry being cancelled meaning we had to leave 24 hours earlier than planned (!!) this trip was even better than our last one. The food and scenery were wonderful and there was something to keep all ages happy. We’ll be back again next year and this time we’re hoping to try out one of the new Horizon boats which Le Boat are adding to their fleet in the spring.

If you want to get a feel of what our trip was like please do watch the short film below which is less than two minutes in total and gives an idea of the wonderful relaxing week we had on the river..

And if you like to see inside the boat we stayed on, I did a quick video tour here…

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