It’s been a couple of weeks since I joined in with #LittleLoves blog link-up so I have plenty of news and things to share. Read I’ve borrowed my mum’s slow cooker so I’ve been reading a couple of her slow cooker recipe books. The recipes don’t honestly seem any simpler than usual except the end result just arrives a lot slower. For example, most recipes still require the ingredients to be sautéed before adding to the pot. I could do that with a casserole pot in the oven, couldn’t I? I am not yet convinced. More on this further down the page. Watch I have a strong recommendation in this department! I have found an unmissable costume drama series on the Drama channel (freesat) called “The White Princess”. It’s an…View Post
Most parents will be familiar with the challenge of getting children to willingly go on a walk. It’s much easier to say “we are going to explore such-and-such a place”. Our kids are not wise to this yet! On our Brittany holiday, hubby and I wanted to stretch our legs on the famously pretty Breton streets of Quimper. We picked a more cloudy day when the beach would be a bit too cool for swimming, programmed the Sat Nav, and off we went.
The Breton Spirit of Quimper
Quimper (pronounced “Kemper”) is the historic capital of Cournouaille (almost pronounced “Cornwall”). It’s strange to think that Cornwall and Brittany were once the same nation because only a few things give a hint of this now, such as these names. The food is different, the architecture is different, the shop opening hours are particularly different! The most obvious similarities are in nature: the rolling landscape, flowers, plants and coastline were all very reminiscent of Cornwall. Brittany is almost ten times larger, however.
Why Walk through Quimper?
Quimper does have the air of a capital, with an impressive waterfront, cathedral and formal town square. There are also ancient town walls and public gardens. It’s quite easy to spend time walking around Quimper’s cobbled streets because there are so many of them; nearly all are picture-postcard pretty. Most streets in the centre are pedestrianised and so you may stop and stare at the half-timbered houses in safety. It was very crowded but down by the river there were less people. Here there are impressive stone-built French buildings from a later period. Several pedestrian bridges criss-cross the river, lined with boxes of flowers.
We also walked through the woods high on the opposite bank which had great views across the old city. Back down in the old town a labyrinth of charming old streets gave us endless possibilities of pretty views and quaint shops. We were quite glad to have a route plan to see more of it and avoid getting lost. The small streets meant that there was a new view every twenty yards, and the children never got bored. We were really pleased with our walking route which we had adapted from a French guide book we found in our gite.
Our recommended family walking route of Quimper
We parked at Parking Marechal de Lattre de Tassigny on the Rue des Douves, which seemed a good choice. We walked down the hill to the roundabout then took the Rue Toul al Laer (right), soon turning right again to arrive at the cathedral square. Walking diagonally across the square we took the Rue du Roi Gradlon to the waterside. We turned left along the Boulevard Amiral de Kerguelen.
At the junction with the post office we crossed the river and took Rue Theodore le Hars. We walked to the end. Opposite the t-junction is a flight of stairs between the buildings. We went up here and followed the steep slope until it bent right to take us among the trees. This path through the woodland is Promenade du Mont Frugy and there are good views over the rooftops of the old town. The path then comes down again to the Tourist Information Office on the Rue de la Deesse. There were fairground market stalls opposite when we visited, and we paused for ice-creams and churros.
We then crossed back over the river on a pedestrian bridge. At this point we took a wrong turn and went up a parallel street. The one we meant to go up is the Quai du Steir which is another pretty waterfront. At the end it’s a left turn onto Rue Astor and ahead is the Place Tere au Duc. Turn right to leave the square and turn right again at the next junction to join the Rue Kereon. Instead we could have turned left out of Place Tere au Duc and explored more, but we were getting a bit tired. Whatever you do, don’t miss coming back to Rue Kereon, as it’s the most photogenic part of Quimper. This road heads back towards the cathedral. The walk could end here, having done 2.2km.
Back at the cathedral we had a brief look at the Cathedral gardens then left the square this time by the tiny little Rue du Gueodet. We turned right onto Rue des Boucheries then left onto Rue des Gentilshommes. This is all so pretty. Near the end of this street we turned right to go uphill on Rue Saint Nicholas. At the top is tree-lined Place Mesgloaguen and we continued straight ahead until we reached a big road junction near Place de la Tourbie. Here we turned right and followed the old city walls. Where the wall meets Rue Elie Freron there is a superb turret, straight out of a fairytale.
We walked a little way down Rue Elie Freron and entered the gardens “Jardin de la Retraite” and “de la Paix”. This is a wonderfully restful spot with many nooks and corners, much like the town itself. Our walk ended here as were just over the road from our carpark. This additional part of the walk is 1km.
Google maps claims the whole 3.3km walk takes 42 minutes but we managed to stretch it out to several hours.
Tips for a family walk in Quimper
Tip: Before setting off, download a google map of the area onto your phone. Then you’ll be able to follow the route without using up your data roaming. Alternatively there is a car park right next to the tourist office so why not pop in there and pick up a town map. With a pushchair I would miss out the section up the hill and through the woods. Turn right before Rue Theodore le Hars and walk down the riverside to the Tourist Information office to miss this part out.
Even better tip: Print out my summary of the walk before you visit Quimper. Free printable of the route, click here.
Please forgive the lack of accents in the French names as I have not been able to persuade my WordPress website to display them in the text. Read another blog post from this trip: Breton Galettes and Crepes: A Cooking Demonstration
Linking up with #FarawayFiles no. 58
Since our family saw the total solar eclipse we have been dreaming of more astronomical experiences. We want to visit a dark sky park and hope to see the northern lights one day. So when the Star Name Registry offered me the gift of a Bright Star Name set to review, of course I jumped at the chance to name a star! This gift idea is perfect for us. I put my husband’s name on the certificate. He is quite difficult to buy for, but he will love this. It’s quite appropriate as we saw a shooting star on our first date.
Name a Star Review
The Bright Star Name gift set arrived a little quicker than I expected and was well packaged in anonymous wrap. The framed certificate came in a nice silver box. I’ve just added ribbon and put it under the tree. There are a few information leaflets inside the box and a chart with a guide to help find the star in the sky. Star Name Registry are happy to explain that this is a novelty gift. It’s not connected with the IAU used by scientists, who only give numbers to stars. Star Name Registry are pushing forward the concept of naming stars.
The Bright Star Name gift set is one of the most popular packages on the website and includes an A4 certificate in a silver colour frame. Also included are
Entry into the registry.
A4 Star Name Deed.
The Sky Atlas star maps.
Surrounded by light blue tissue paper
Large silver presentation box
Extra Bright Star gift explained.
The price includes free first class delivery via Royal Mail.
Would you like to name a star for someone you love? The lovely people from Star Name Registry have offered a prize to one lucky reader of this blog, Falcondale Life. A voucher worth £24.99 will buy a Bright Star Name certificate on their website or you can use the voucher and upgrade to the gift package. The prizedraw is free to enter. Click on the Rafflecopter box below for your chance to enter. NB. If you win, then respond promptly so an order can be made in time Christmas delivery up until 18th December.
Please enter now with just a few clicks, and be sure to tell your friends.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and conditions
1. THIS PRIZE DRAW RUNS FROM 09 DECEMBER 2017 TO SATURDAY 16th December 2017 AT 23:59. 2.ONE WINNER WILL RECEIVE A VOUCHER TO SPEND WITH STAR NAME REGISTRY. IT IS SOLELY FOR REDEMPTION WITH STAR NAME REGISTRY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND HAVE NO CASH VALUE. NO ALTERNATIVE WILL BE OFFERED. 3.YOU MUST BE OVER 18 AND A UK RESIDENT TO ENTER. 4. ENTRY IS VIA RAFFLECOPTER. 5. ONE ENTRY PER PERSON. 6. THE WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN AT RANDOM WITH RAFFLECOPTER. 7. THE WINNER WILL BE INFORMED BY EMAIL OR TWITTER (IF APPROPRIATE) BY 18TH DECEMBER 2017. THE WINNER HAS 72 HOURS TO RESPOND AND PROVIDE AN EMAIL ADDRESS FOR THE PRIZE. IF THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN THEN ANOTHER WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN. 8. THE PRIZE WILL BE DELIVERED BY THE PROMOTER STAR NAME REGISTRY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. 9. THIS PRIZE DRAW IS GOVERNED BY ENGLISH LAW AND THE COURTS OF ENGLAND SHALL HAVE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OVER ANY DISPUTE ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH IT. THE WINNER’S NAME WILL BE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST. 10. THE WINNER’S DETAILS WILL BE HANDLED BY FALCONDALE LIFE FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF RUNNING THIS PRIZEDRAW AND FOR LEGAL COMPLIANCE.
I was given the Star name gift set for the purposes of this review but all opinions are my own.
This is a collaborative post.
Each year the motoring organisations produce plenty of winter road safety advice for drivers. Articles are produced to help cyclists too but there’s little information for parents. Children do sometimes get a talk at at school about “be safe; be seen”. According to government statistics*, personal injury road traffic accidents in 2016 reached 136,621 casualties. Injured road users can seek legal advice. For example Slater Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation to road users including pedestrians.
Getting out on dark days
Nowadays my daughters walk to secondary school in dark clothing and dark coats. It’s actually part of the school uniform rules that they wear black or other dark shades on their journey. I’m not very impressed with that rule because no matter how smart they look, I think they are being encouraged to dress impractically. We get snow every single year in Yorkshire and the girls are not allowed to wear boots either. After walking to school in snow, they spend the day in damp tights. Thankfully it’s only a five minute walk.
It’s tempting to stay stuck in the house all winter, light some candles, throw some marshmallows in a hot choccy and call it “hygge”. In reality we all need our exercise and vitamin D. Millions of us make long journeys to see relatives over the Christmas period too.
What do I tell my children about winter road safety?
1. As pedestrians
Assume that drivers find it hard to see you. Often in the dark a pedestrian will be just a shadowy silhouette. It’s much safer to wear light coloured clothes or carry a pale bag. Don’t trust the drivers but cross where you have a clear view. Even in our quiet street, never play on the road after dusk. In icy weather keep your hands empty if possible just in case you fall. Watch out for cars spraying you with slush.
2. As cyclists
Try to complete your journey in daylight. Use cycle routes and paths rather than the main roads where possible. Even on a winter’s day it will be fairly dim and you may need lights on your bike. At the front of your bike get a strong white light which will show you any potholes in the dark. Wear reflective clothing and your helmet. Check your tyre tread, pressures and brakes. Tell someone where you are going and what time you will be back.
It is possible to cycle in the snow, but it’s not often that you can do it safely. If only a little snow has fallen and the temperature has remained above freezing, it may still be safe to cycle. You’ll get horribly wet and slushy! As soon as it gets really cold, or after the snow has been packed down, it will be far too slippery.
3. As car passengers
Don’t forget your coat. Go to the toilet before setting off because in wintery weather there always seems to be more chance of getting stuck in a jam. Be ready early so we can allow more time for our journey. Try to have your phone fully charged, in case we need to call for help and someone else’s phone may have gone flat. If we come to a complete halt in a jam or a snowdrift, unplug the tablets and phones from the car. When the car engine is off, we don’t want to be draining the battery.
What do you teach your children about winter road safety? Let me know in the comments!
*source: Department for Transport