Brittany by Rail

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Travel Editions

Occupying an isolated peninsular jutting out into the Atlantic, Brittany is culturally and geographically distinct from the rest of France and so offers a glimpse of unique cultures and traditions, along with a blend of glorious coastal scenery, quaint towns and mysterious pre-historic sites. 

This rewarding tour will give you a taste of the real Breton character from ancient sites such as Neolithic Carnac, typical towns including Dinan and Dinard, majestic castles like Normandy’s Mont Saint-Michel and dramatic scenery, the pink cliffs of the Cote de Granit Rose being of particular note. Based in the lively regional capital Rennes, your lovely central hotel is housed in the old printworks of the Ouest France newspaper. 

LUGGAGE TO YOUR HOTEL
Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890

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Places of Interest

Brittany by rail
For a France overview and useful information: France Travel Guide

Rennes
Our base for the tour is the regional capital, Rennes, a lively town with plenty of restaurants and bars in its largely pedestrianised historic centre. This was rebuilt in the 1720’s following a devastating fire, although some medieval buildings remain alongside the 18th century replacements. Sights here include the Palais de Justice, Museé de Bretagne et des Beaux Arts, several typically Breton churches such as St Germain and an attractive old town lined with traditional half-timbered houses.

Dinan, St Malo, and Dinard 
Dinan has a beautiful old town with well-kept half timbered houses and a lively market. Sights here include the 15th century Tour d’Horloge (clocktower) and Basilique de St-Sauveur and ruins of the Abbaye St-Magloire. St Malo, once a fortified island, has a wonderful old walled city, best viewed from the ramparts that encircle it. Sights here include the Chateau de St Malo, National Fort and Cathédrale de St Vincent. Nearby Dinard is a charming, traditional seaside resort. 

Mont Saint-Michel and Fougères
Though not in Brittany, Mont St Michel is undoubtedly one of the highlights of this (or any other) itinerary. Set on an island now linked to the mainland by a causeway, Mont St Michel dates from the 8th century but enjoyed its greates tinfluence in the 12th and 13th centuries when pilgrims travelled from afar to honour St Michael. Today, the village below the abbey is thronged with shops and restaurants serving the 850,000 visitors annually. The Abbey above is a daunting sight, protected by high walls and unchanged for centuries. Highlights within include the Eglise and a group of buildings known as La Merveille, which include the Guests’ Hall, Cloisters, Knights’ Hall and Refectory. En-route, we will also visit the interesting fortress town of Fougères, protected by ramparts and its impressive chateau, comprising 13 towers and walls over 3m thick.

Carnac and Vannes
Our day to the southern coast of Brittany takes us to Carnac and Vannes. Carnac is one of the world’s great prehistoric sights, with almost 3,000 menhirs (megalithic stones) in parallel rows north of the town and an exceptional Musée de Prehistoire. Its long, sandy beach also makes Carnac a popular seaside resort. Vannes was the capital of Brittany in the 16th century and is a busy,commercial city today with a well-preserved medieval quarter. Highlights here include the 16th century Places des Lices, Cathédrale St-Pierre, dating from the 13th century and interesting archaeological museum, housed in the 15th century Chateau Gaillard.

More Info

PASSPORTS
Valid passport required by all, except:

(a) EU nationals holding valid national identification cards;

(b) Holders of national identification cards issued to nationals of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland.

VISAS
Are not required by EU citizens. All other nationalities should enquire at the French consulate (PO Box 57, 6A Cromwell Place, London SW7 2EW

Tel: (020) 7838 2000/1. Information Service: Tel: (0891) 887 733. Fax: (020) 7838 2046. Opening hours: 0900-1130 (and 1600-1630 for visa collection only) Monday to Friday (except French and British national holidays).

TRAIN
As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras and Lille, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.  Porters are sometimes but not always available at St Pancras.  The Eurostar and French trains are very long (18 carriages in the case of Eurostar and nearly 400 metres long) so there can be quite lengthy walks from the station entrance to your seat.  On all legs of the journey you have reserved seat and carriage numbers which are shown clearly on your ticket. 

LUGGAGE TO YOUR HOTEL
Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890

HEALTH & INSURANCE – EHIC CARD
Please note that EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) only allows access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the EU country they are temporarily visiting. It is NOT an alternative to travel insurance and will not provide the same level of cover as a travel insurance policy. The EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. It is also important to note that each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, so the EHIC might not cover everything that would be generally free on the NHS. On the EHIC application website,  there is a section called Access to Healthcare Abroad which clarifies all the conditions and inclusions. We strongly recommend that you take out an appropriate travel insurance policy when you travel abroad.

Accommodation

Mercure Rennes Centre Parlement
The hotel sits on a quiet street in the very heart of Rennes, just a few minutes’ walk from both the train station and the city’s historic centre. Hotel rooms are spacious and bright, offering a private bathroom with bath and hairdryer, air-conditioning, television, WIFI and minibar. The hotel also has a breakfast room and a bar that serves light meals.

Mercure Rennes Centre Parlement website

OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
Housed in the old printworks of the Ouest France newspaper, the hotel is well-located on a quiet street close to the pedestrianized streets of the historic centre, and a stone’s throw from a wealth of restaurants and shops.

Pre-tour accommodation is available at the Premier Inn, London Kings Cross St Pancras, about a 5 minutes walk from St Pancras International, at an approximate rate of £120 per room. Bookings can be made direct with the hotel on 0871 527 8672 or visit their website.  

Travel Info

Please hover over the departure dates in the panel on the left of this page for train departure points and timings.

Destinations
  • France
  • Brittany
  • Europe
  • Rennes
Tour Types
  • Seniors
  • 50 plus
  • Rail Tours
Departure Points
  • St Pancras

For more information about the places of interest please click here or on the tab above

Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Paris and onwards to Rennes by TGV. On arrival, transfer by coach to the Mercure Rennes Centre Parlement.

Day 2: Full day tour to Carnac and Vannes. Mysterious Carnac is one of Europe’s most important prehistoric sites, in use since 5700BC. Around 2,000 menhirs (megalithic stones) stand in parallel rows north of the delightful town. Pass through the gateway Porte St- Vincente of Vannes’ walled and well-preserved old town and you enter a stroller’s paradise of lively squares, winding streets overhung by timber fronted houses and charming gardens. Busy, modern Vannes has plenty of grand public buildings and fascinating museums.

Day 3: Full day tour to Mont-Saint-Michel and Fougères. The breath-taking Mont-Saint-Michel is definitely worth a quick sojourn into Normandy. The island commune has been the seat of a monastery since the 8th century though it was at its most influential in the 12th and 13th centuries as a pilgrimage site. The abbey, unchanged for centuries, crowns the island, the village at its foot full of shops and restaurants. En route, we will visit the fortress town of Fougères which is protected by ramparts. Its impressive château comprises 13 towers and walls over 3 metres thick.

Day 4: Full day to relax and explore Rennes at your leisure. Rennes, the regional capital is a likeable, lively city. Though much of the historic centre was rebuilt in the 1720s following a devastating fire, there are still medieval gems to be found amongst the grand 18th century replacements. For an excellent overview of life in Brittany since prehistoric times visit the Museé de Bretagne whilst the Musée des Beaux Arts is notable for its paintings and drawings collection.

Day 5: Full day tour to Dinan, Dinard and Saint- Malo. The medieval walled town of Dinan sits on a hilltop overlooking the River Rance. Some of its many historical buildings date back to the 13th century and the city walls are excellent for a stroll that will lead you to the Château de Dinan. Belle Époque villas and sandy beaches made Dinard France’s top resort until the 1930s and attracted many famous names including Picasso, Debussy and Winston Churchill. Saint-Malo is a walled port city that was once notorious for piracy. Today the only treasure is the elegant, old architecture, particularly the superb citadel at the city’s heart.

Day 6: Full day tour to Côte du Granit Rose and Paimpol. The picturesque Côte du Granit Rose gets its name from its reddish-pink granite cliffs, the stone from which has also been used for many of the area’s buildings. Paimpol is a charming Breton fishing port with cobbled streets and a Quartier Latin.

Day 7: Transfer by coach back to Rennes station to catch the return TGV to Lille. At Lille, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.  

INCLUDED

  • Return Eurostar and TGV from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Rennes via Paris/Lille including transfer in Paris
  • Six nights' accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the four-star Mercure Rennes Centre  
  • Transfers and full coach touring itinerary as detailed above conducted by tour manager
  • Tour manager throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Standard Premier / 1st class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg.
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls.
  • Porterage and gratuities.

PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras and Paris, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.

Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
09-Sep-2021
6 Nights
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Touring with Travel Editions

Offering a wide range of extended tours and cultural short breaks for the discerning traveller, Travel Editions was established in 1994 and is now one of the leading specialist independent escorted tour operators in the UK. The company started with the idea of creating itineraries that were not readily available on the high street, and the team still remains focused on offering escorted tours that appeal to travellers rather than tourists.

Over the years, Travel Editions has developed and diversified its range of escorted tours to include rail tours, air tours, history tours, Christmas tours and even specialist interest tours that have specific appeal for walkers, foodies, art lovers, music addicts and flower enthusiasts. From enjoying wonderful walks and tasty local cuisine in Crete to visiting the art nouveau buildings of Milan and exploring the architectural gems of the Netherlands, Travel Editions creates amazing tours to suit every budget and interest.

As rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel, the company has carefully developed nearly 30 exciting escorted rail tours that include trips to France, Spain, Brussels, Arnhem, Luxembourg and the Italian Riviera. Travel Editions believes that the journey becomes part of the holiday, and is why this specialist tour operator also offers a range of tours by air, such as Delphi and Mount Pelion in Greece, the beautiful Italian city of Florence, and Paphos, Nicosia and the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Whatever the escorted tour or the destination, Travel Editions provides holidays that are packed full of cultural and historic treasures, as well as plenty of free time to relax and soak up the local atmosphere and the regional food and wine.

One of the best things about Travel Editions is that the team can tailor-make all tours to your group’s budget and specification, be it shopping till you drop in New York or tasting the most delicious gastronomic delights of Sicily. Not only can the activities be tailored to meet your requirements but so can the travel options, hotel selection (three, four or five-star hotel) and the whole itinerary. Alternatively, you can simply pick one of the many carefully curated escorted tours listed on the Travel Editions website.

In almost all cases, daily excursions are included in the price of a trip, and all excursions are taken by private coach. The size of the group varies depending on the escorted tour, and Travel Editions limits some holidays to lower numbers to suit the nature of the specific holiday. Walking, culinary and special interest tours are limited to approximately 20-30 passengers, and the Europe by Rail and Europe by Air holidays are limited to a maximum of 35 passengers. Then there’s the UK British Heritage Tours with a maximum capacity of 49, however, some are much less than this. No matter which tours you choose, you will never feel as though you are in a big group.

Travel Editions is passionate about delivering a personal service every step of the way, and its team of experts will arrange your holiday with minimum fuss and maximum effort. Customer service and attention to detail are at the heart of everything they do, plus you will always be treated as an individual and get the benefit of affordable prices by travelling as a group. Another bonus is that Travel Editions is ABTA and ATOL protected, which means your money and your holiday will be protected from the moment you book.

In addition to offering extended tours and cultural short breaks, Travel Editions offers a large range of special events in the UK that bring the culture and history of the United Kingdom to life. These events can be found in the Art & History Abroad programme and include expert speakers, entertaining concerts and impressive dinners in historic locations.

 

 

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tour details

This tour is operated by Travel Editions

6 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Start:St Pancras
Finish:St Pancras
Group size:0 - 36
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