The cottage is in a hamlet deep in the countryside around Saint Germain-en-Coglès, a very pretty village surrounded by woods and hills, known as a ’village fleuri’ for the number of flowers on display (it’s recently gone from two to three flowers).
Every part of Brittany has its own charm, its own folklore, even some time its own language. The cottage is situated in an area known as Coglais, an unspoilt area of undulating countryside known as bocage – small fields surrounded by hedges and groves of trees, sunken lanes, small lakes, rivers, woods. You can stumble on châteaux, little shrines including a moving one from the religious wars, and on areas devoted to ecology such as the Jardin de l’eau in St Germain. See http://www.coglais.com/Tourisme/.
Further north is the Couesnon valley, a similar bocage-type countryside with wooded slopes down to the river – see http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/rennes-and-brittany-s-historic-gateways/unmissable-sites/the-couesnon-valley.
The wider area is known as the ‘Marches de Bretagne’ – the gateway to Brittany, the border of a region that was heavily fought over in the past. As such, it is filled with ancient fortified castles (in Fougères, Vitré and Châteaugiron) which make it an attractive area for anyone interested in history.
Nearby Villages and Attractions
It has a boulangerie, a butcher, a pharmacist, a post office and an excellent small supermarket which is several cuts above local supermarkets in Britain. It also has its own ecological area – Le jardin de l’eau.
There are supermarkets in St Brice en Coglès and in Fougères where the nearest doctors’ surgeries, dentists and vets can also be found.
Three of Brittany’s greatest tourist attractions lie within a five-mile radius of the house.
Fougères and its castle
Fougères boasts the largest fortified castle in Europe, which between 1000 and 1500 defended Brittany from the rest of France. The town itself is on a bluff, and you can walk up and down winding streets and terraced gardens with magnificent views, with buildings dating from the 17th century and a medieval quarter. There is also a lovely museum dedicated to Emmanuel de la Villéon, a Breton impressionist.
Parc Floral de Haute Bretagne
Twenty-five hectares with 24 themed gardens with a huge array of different plants – a botanist’s paradise, fun for all the family, or just a place to relax or get away from it all.
There’s also an excellent restaurant – Le Casse-Graines, all of whose dishes rely on fresh, local ingredients.
Château le Rocher Portail
Newly reconstructed and open to the public, this is 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.