Social Distancing Holidays

Looking for an alternative to a staycation in Cornwall?

Find everything you need from a seaside break in Cornwall, or travel just a little further with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle to glorious Brittany on the French coast.

Cornwall, at the southwestern tip of England, offers stunning coastline and wild moorland to explore, along with plenty of fishing villages, tiny hamlets, and cream teas. While seaside holidays along the British coastline are a wonderful way to spend a few days unwinding, you might find that you have the same idea as half the population and the idyllic scenery is soon filled with fellow tourists.

A great alternative to a staycation in Cornwall is a trip to Brittany. Just a short journey across the channel will leave you surrounded by sand, sunshine, and plenty to see and explore to ensure you have the full seaside experience.

Driving from Calais to Brittany

Driving from Calais to Brittany takes approximately 6 and a half hours. Taking the A84, you’ll be treated to an almost continual view of the coastline for the entire drive. The journey also offers the chance to explore some of the unique towns in France while you drive. If you’re eager for some French cuisine, Cancale is the perfect place to stop en route. Alternatively, if you can’t wait to get into the water and start exploring, Dinard has plenty of places for you to rent a canoe or kayak. 

Comparisons with driving to Cornwall

Taking approximately 5 hours from London, the journey to the Cornish Rivera is a mixture of motorways, dual carriageway, and scenic country lanes as you approach the coast. As Cornwall forms a peninsular on the south coast, quiet harbour villages like Fowey and Falmouth are nearby, while ever-popular spots like Land’s End and Newquay are also well within your reach.

Similarities between Cornwall & Brittany

These coastal areas are both filled with quintessential seaside towns and villages, plus well-loved by anyone interested in surfing or coastal walks.

Like Cornwall, Brittany has many hidden gems to explore during your time there. Local towns like Dinan are filled with character and make the perfect place to learn more about the region’s history. The coastline of Brittany also features one of the oldest structures in the world, the Cairn of Barnenez, a Neolithic monument featuring carved megalithic art. The bay of Morlix where the Barnenez sits has plenty to offer visitors, including the chance to take a boat out and explore the surrounding islets.

Similar to Brittany, Cornwall is a diverse county with plenty for visitors to enjoy. Brittany’s picturesque coastline is mirrored in Cornwall by the stunning fishing village Port Isaac. Here you can watch local fishermen returning to shore with the catch of the day and possibly enjoy the same fresh fish later at one of the port’s many restaurants. Another unmissable spot is St Michael’s Mount, a tidal island which reportedly once housed the Cornish giant Cormoran. This is not to be mixed up with Mont Saint-Michel, also a tidal island, but lying between Brittany and Normandy, France.

Great surfing

One of the best activities for any seaside holiday is surfing. In Brittany, La Torche in Plomeur is considered the ultimate spot to surf. The vast beach is populated with dunes and wild grasses, and the waves are known for being vast and wild, particularly during the off-season.

Watergate Bay in Cornwall is one of the most popular seaside breaks in the area. Not only are one-to-one surf lessons offered on the beach, but the Watergate Bay hotel also offers some of the best breakfast waffles around.

Beautiful seaside towns & villages

If you’re less keen on the beach, both Brittany and Cornwall have an abundance of seaside towns and villages for you to enjoy.

Brittany is renowned for producing some of France’s most delicious dishes, and the seaside towns are a great place to sample them. Be sure to try seafood from Auray in the Port of Saint Goustan, or better yet, visit during the town’s annual oyster festival. The town also has an array of book and craft fairs throughout the year and the cobbled streets and half-timbered houses make it a pleasure just to walk around.

Similarly, St Ives in Cornwall mixes the beauty of the coastline with plenty of charm in the town itself. Larger than some of the towns in the area, St Ives has an abundance of things to do including a sculpture garden and a branch of the Tate Gallery. There is also ample opportunity to sample some of the best scones in England, just make sure you get the jam and cream the right way around!

Glorious, sandy beaches

The beaches in both Cornwall and Brittany are iconic. In Brittany, the fine sand and width of the shore make, the Plage de l’Écluse a popular spot for families. For something slightly quieter, La Palue beach is rich in wildlife, unspoilt sands, and hidden coves. A great spot for hiking and escaping the crowds’ La Palue offers a different side of Brittany.

In Cornwall, Kynance Cove is a glorious place to spend the day. The crystal-clear waters, white sand and moss-covered rocks make the beach seem almost ethereal. While the tide does cut the beach off later in the day, the hillside café has plenty of tea and scones on offer, so don’t rush off as soon as the water starts to rise.

Brittany alternatives to Cornish staycations

Regardless of what you want from your holiday, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy in Brittany.

Brittany or Cornwall for families?

With similar travel time, an abundance of sandy beaches and the opportunity to learn to surf, both Brittany and Cornwall are great for families.

Glamping staycations in Cornwall compared to Brittany

Both Brittany and Cornwall have incredible glamping sites on offer. In Cornwall you can choose from Tipi Holidays in Port Isaac, Hideaway huts in Looe, or luxury camping on the beach in Newquay, as well as many others, depending on what you require from your glamping experience.

Brittany has several similar glampsites on offer, including La Ferme de Penquelen where you can spend the night on a farm, helping to herd cows and collect chicken eggs before settling down in your luxury tent.

Log cabins staycations – Brittany or Cornwall?

In Brittany, the log cabins in Finistère are a popular destination due to your proximity to the beach. Spend the day enjoying the surf, playing volleyball, and topping up your tan before returning to your safari style log cabin complete with a private sun deck and outdoor kitchen.

While you generally don’t get the same beachside views, Cornwall is full of luxury log cabins in tranquil areas which still leave you with only a few minutes’ drive from the shore.

Seaside towns in Cornwall & Brittany

Known for their beaches, and sense of seaside charm, both Cornwall and Brittany have plenty of seaside resorts for you to choose from.

While Cornwall has many popular spots like Saint Ives, towns like Gorran Haven and Polzeath are less busy than other spots so are good options if you fancy some peace and quiet while still enjoying a seaside break.

Places like Carnac in Brittany also manage to encapsulate the tranquillity of the coast while still remaining family friendly. Carnac-Plage has five sheltered beaches all of which have a variety of things to do, including hikes and kite surfing. Further up the coast is the ‘Home of stones’, three fields containing around 3,000 granite stones. Much like Stonehenge, it’s unclear why the stones are there, but they are still a sight to behold.

Camping & caravan staycations

Both these coastal destinations are perfect for taking your home away from home and pitching up for a lovely camping break.

Caravan & camping holidays in Brittany

Camping in Brittany gives you the chance to enjoy the best of both worlds and experience the valleys, forests, and rivers as well as the coastline during your trip. Popular camping sites include Château de Galinée, where you can enjoy the beauty of the French coastline from the sites stunning outdoor terrace and bar area.

Le P'tit Bois is a popular choice for families due to the extensive pool complex and proximity to the previously mentioned Bay of Mont St Michel across the border with Normandy, known to be one of the world’s most beautiful bays.

Caravan & camping staycations in Cornwall

Drift off to sleep to the sound of waves crashing against the shore at one of Cornwall’s many holiday parks. Many of the Cornish sites have incredible seaside views and activity centres for children. At a stone’s throw from the beach, you’re never far away from your next dip in the ocean.

Start your Brittany holiday with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

We’re sure you’re already dreaming of sand between your toes or a surf lesson or two, so why not book your next holiday in Brittany today? Eurotunnel can get you from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes and from there you’re well within reach of your next seaside vacances.

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