Things to do
This is walking country, and a great way to connect with nature and to experience the different landscapes is to explore the many footpaths, cycling tracks and voies verts. There are 200km of 17 suggested guided walks in Coglais and there is a RandoGuide with walking suggestions in in the cottage. You can also look on the website – http://www.coglais.com/Tourisme/Decouvrir.
Just outside Fougères there is the Forest of Fougères which extends for 1,500 hectaires, and is beloved by walkers, cyclists and horse riders. There is a leisure centre in the middle with riding and bathing.
Lovers of gardens will enjoy the Parc Florale de Haut Bretagne (see Destination Guide); other gardens within easy reach include the Château de La Ballue, with its 17th century garden, the Château de Bonnefontaine – and of course the Jardin du Val Nançon in Fougeres, with their magnificent view of the Château.
Old towns and châteaux abound – Châteaugiron, Rennes, Vitré, Combourg and Dol-de-Bretagne, all within an hour of the house, and all with their own character, interesting buildings, and just begging you to stroll and sit in their cafés. The Château de Montmuran dates from the middle ages but has been built onto, and is close to the lovely village of Les Iffs with its church with 16th century stained glass.
Just over an hour away is Mont-Saint-Michel, the medieval town and abbey on top of a rocky island which is now a Unesco World Heritage site, and the second most visited tourist attraction of France; the nearby Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, with its wild birds and salt meadows, is an area of great biodiversity.
Also just over an hour away is Cancale, where you can enjoy the beach, walk along the coastal path, and eat oysters or mussels in one of the many restaurants!
Drive over into Normandy and visit the wonderful fortified old medieval town of Domfront, set in rolling Normandy countryside. Or further north, visit the beaches of the Normandy landings, west of Ouistreham.
Further into Brittany, visit Dinan, another picturesque medieval town, perched on top of the Rance, or Dinard, a perfect example of a 19th century seaside town, much loved by the English.
Itinerary Planning Ideas
St Germain has a boulangerie, a butcher, a pharmacist, and an excellent small supermarket which is several cuts above local supermarkets in Britain. Particularly to be recommended are the galettes which they do on Thursdays.
Local vet: 2bis pl Republique, 35300 Fougeres
tel. 02 99 99 04 40
Visit the Parc Floral de Haute Bretagne (Le Châtellier). This remarkable park extends over 25 hectares and comprises 21 thematic gardens drawing on different geographical and historical eras.
Spend an afternoon strolling round the village, and a walk through the Jardin d’Eau, a park of 6 hectares with wetland and considerable biodiversity, and a multimedia interpretation of the role of water in the local area. Finish off with a patisserie from the local boulangerie.
Venture further afield with one of the 17 walks listed in the Randoguide, through unspoilt countryside and stumble upon the odd château!
Visit the wonderful Château de Fougères, and stroll up to the top of the town and back again to the medieval quarter through a route that takes you through two gardens.
Visit the museum dedicated to the Breton impressionist painter Emmanuel de la Villéon, little known but when you see his works, you wonder why.
Visit Le château du Rocher Portail (Maen Roch, Saint-Brice-en-Coglès), a late 16th century château built by a courtier of Henry IV, and providing a unique view of the architecture and furniture of the period.Find out more
Over an hour away, but doable in a day
Visit Mont-Saint-Michel, a medieval town and abbey on top of a rocky island and now a Unesco World Heritage site.
Visit the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, with its wild birds and salt meadows, an area of great biodiversity.
Drive over into Normandy and visit the wonderful fortified old medieval town of Domfront, set in rolling Normandy countryside.
Further into Brittany, visit Dinan, another picturesque medieval town, perched on top of the Rance.
Visit one of the many nearby historical towns – Châteaugiron, Rennes, Vitré, Combourg, all with their own character, interesting buildings, and just begging you to stroll and sit in their cafés.
Visit Dinard, a perfect example of a 19th century seaside town, much loved by the English.
Day 1 Explore the wonderful town of Fougères, with its enormous medieval fortified castle, its gardens, its museums, its ancient alleyways, and its magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.
On your return, wander round the lovely village of St Germain-en-Coglès, familiarizing yourself with its shops and perhaps picking up a patisserie.
Day 2 Visit Mont St Michel, taking a leisurely stroll up the ancient streets of the town, and exploring the ancient abbey. Afterwards, visit the surrounding Bay, which, with its wild birds and salt meadows, is an area of great biodiversity.
Day 3 Visit the Parc Floral de Haute Bretagne, which is a collection of 21 themed gardens ranging from prehistoric, to classical, to Renaissance, to Japanese. Finish off with a meal at the wonderful restaurant next door, Le café casse-graines, with its excellent locally sourced food.
Day 4 Go on one of the many walks listed in the Randoguide (see the folder in the house or http://www.coglais.com/Cartographie/Carte-interactive-des-sentiers-de-randonnees), pick the length depending on your energy!
Day 5 Visit the nearby Château le Rocher Portail, built in the 16th century and a unique example of its period. Afterwards stroll in the nearby forests. In the afternoon, take a short drive to Chateau de la Ballue near Antrain, a 17th century house with a beautiful garden and many literary associations.
Day 6 Take a trip slightly further afield, to visit one of the medieval cities in the area, such as Domfront, Vitré or Dinan. Or, you could visit the World War II landing beaches west of Ouistreham, and the American Visitor Centre at Colleville-sur-Mer.
Day 7 Have a day by the sea – walk the coastal path by Cancale, and eat in one of their oyster restaurants!