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Rennes

(45 minutes away) In the heart of the land of King Arthur and the knights of the round table, Rennes has a long and fascinating history. As well as its historic city centre with traditional, colourful timber-framed houses, Rennes is a vibrant university city. With around 60,000 students, Rennes is particularly well-known for its nightlife.

As capital of Brittany, which was separate from the rest of France until 1534, the city saw the coronation of the Dukes of Brittany, at the Saint-Pierre Cathedral in Rennes. The palace of the Parliament of Brittany, built in the 17th century, you can take a look around inside, where you’ll find a collection of paintings.

Traditional fairs and markets abound: savour the sounds and smells at the market in the Place des Lices, where you can wander amongst over 300 stalls of local and regional produce. You’re in the kingdom of the crepe, so don’t miss the chance to taste a “galette” (buckwheat crepe) with butter, or with a million different savoury fillings. Also try the local speciality frigousse, a chicken dish cooked with chestnuts, apples and Breton cider.

The best of museums in Rennes could well be Les Champs Libres – Museum of Brittany, in a futurist building which also houses the Science Spaces and a unique Planetarium.

If you’re with friends in Rennes, follow the student crowd down the legendary rue Saint-Michel, nicknamed the “rue de la Soif” or “road of thirst”, for it is here you will find the biggest concentration of bars and clubs in Rennes. Whet your whistle with the local tipple: chouchen is traditionally made from buckwheat honey, and is drunk as an aperitif.

Wednesday 20th August 2014

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