Brittany received its modern name when it was settled (in around 500 AD) by Britons, whom the Anglo-Saxons had driven from Britain. Breton history is one long struggle for independence — first from the Franks (5th-9th century), then the Counts of Anjou and the Dukes of Normandy (10th-12th century), and finally from England and France.
The Breton people maintain a fierce sense of independence to this day, as displayed by their local customs and traditions.
In the past 5 years or so a resurgence of the regional identity has happened in France. Breton art, music and culture are recognized across the nation.
The people of Brittany all speak French, and many speak English quite well. Only 5% of the population can speak the Breton regional language. While France tried to discourage the use of regional languages, their use is rebounding, bringing a stronger understanding of culture, contributions, and history. Through the local efforts of the Bretons and their Diwan (Breton language schools), children are being taught in the native language while they learn standard curriculum. The Diwan schools are supported by world wide efforts through various groups, including the International Committee for the Defense of the Breton Language.
Menhirs and Dolmens Brittany has a large number of megaliths, which simply means "big rocks". These menhirs (standing stones) and dolmens (stone tables) were sites for burials and worship. See some magnificent examples at the bay of Morlaix and the gulf of Morbihan. Museums at Vannes and Carnac detail the archaeolgical finds made at these sites.
Artichaut (ateliers et galerie), Keranheroff, 29690 La Feuillee (Leave La Feuillee on the Berrien road, take the right hand turn by the stone cross), ☎ 02 98 99 06 91, . 1000 - 1400, 1200 - 1800, Tuesday, Wednesday,Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Artichaut offers art and craft classes for all ages, from pottery to feltmaking. Suitable for residents and also holidaymakers, for short sessions or all day courses. Artichaut is also a gallery showing small pieces by Tim and Amanda Bates and other artists.Courses from 6euros per 2hr session to 45euros for full day adult class. edit
Walk the GR34, . The Grande Randonnée 34 (also known as Le Sentier des Douaniers) is a 1,700 km walking trail which hugs the coastline of nearly the entire Breton peninsula. The elevation changes are mild, making this trail enjoyable for either a few hours or, for avid hikers, a few days. Many locals around Saint-Brieuc will recommend traversing Cap Erquy and Cap Frehel in the north, and those who heed their advice will be treated to a spectacular coastal scenery. edit
When swimming in the sea, watch out for rips and undercurrents. Be mindful that the tide can come at a very fast pace so watch out or you might be stranded on an outlying island! Check the tides (marées) in your local tourist office. Ask for a table of the tides.
Mont Saint Michel - in Normandie, but very close to the Brittany border; monastery and town built on a tiny outcrop of rock in the sand, which is cut off from the mainland at high tide. It is one of France's major tourist destinations, and as such gets very busy in high season. Check the times of the tides before you visit!