ON THE BEACH hotel based route
(average 25, longest 40 miles) Odd name for a route until you see the beach at Le Pouldu - a beautiful spot that reminds me of the Cornish beaches of my childhood.
This is a ride for regular cyclists - not lycra clad racers with shaved legs, but if you cycle regularly - most weekends, commute etc then though the longest day is 60 kms (40 miles) you'll not find it hard, The reward is a route that takes you to some wonderful places, not least a Chateaux at the top of a hill where you'll dine like kings (or Queens) and the most beautiful beach you can imagine...
First night (Saturday) 22 kms
And easy first ride and an evening spent at the tiny B&B 'Canal Choette' set right on the canal at Glomel - a very special place where you can sit by the picture window and look at the wildlife using the binoculars provided. This is a two-hour ride all along the flat cyclepath.
Day 1 (Sunday)to Huelgoat - 40 kms
A beautiful day combining cyclepath with quiet roads, but with a very easy last 20 kms with just enough climbing inbetween to make dinner worthwhile as you cycle into the Parc de L'Armorique where you'll stay overlooking the lake at Huelgoat (and the Hotel du Lac).
Day 2 - 30 kms
Today is very short, but that's because it takes you over the edge of the 'Black Mountains' and through several small towns - each worth a stop and a look round, you don't want to have to rush. At the end of the day you will stay at the Chateaux/Manor house at the Manoir de Toullaeron - an 18th century Manor complete with towers, flagged floors and a real 'chateau' feel. Here the patron will provide a beautiful meal for 22 Euro including wine. A very special place...
Day 3 - 68 kms
This is the longest day by some distance, but with 1000 feet to fall over the day there's a lot more down than up, and 15 kms are on flat cyclepath made from the old railway line. Le Pouldu is a bit of a tourist trap with a huge sweep of sand. What most people don't realise it that at its western end, behind a spur of land lies a sandy cove out of 'Poldark' - you can imagine the smugglers and even in August it doesn't get packed. The hotel is tucked away just 100m from this in what looks like a little residential street and has a cracking little restaurant opposite.
Day 4 - Well the route is called 'On the Beach' so that's what we expect you to do, however the coastal path runs along the top of the cliffs not 100m from your hotel and is a wonderful walk - take a picnic...
Day 5 - 35 kms
A little shorter, but you do ride up from the coast so a bit more up than down. Once again you get lost in the countryside pretty soon after leaving the coast. The high spots of the day will be the visit to Quimperle (known as the 'kiss' of Brittany) and then of course the magnificent covered marketplace at your destination of Le Faouet...
Day 6 - 28 kms
A very pretty ride though the large village of Guemene and then up the Scorf valley to bring you all almost all the way to a lovely little Chambre D'Hotes again lost in the countryside. The owner used to run a major restaurant in the Cantal and it shows:-)
Day 7 - 15kms
Saturday and the return, a short ride all of it on the canal towpath - it even slopes gently downhill:-) Reckon on a couple of hours maximum, an hour if you press on.