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A beautiful harbour town

The harbour town of Morlaix in north-west France is both intriguing and beautiful. Built on a base of three hills, the town winds its way up slopes from a little marina on the river. A nineteenth century viaduct overlooks the town, along which the Paris - Brest railway currently operates.

Elegant town with a unique character

Elegant old houses line the river bank at the beginning of Morlaix, the area exuding a very special ambience. Parts of the town are reminiscent of Cornish harbour towns, and Morlaix is in fact twinned with Truro in Cornwall. In the old quarter of the town you can wander through the little winding streets of cobbled stones and gaze at the amazing overhanging houses which cast a shadow on the streets below. These houses are constructed of stone and timber, and give Morlaix a unique character. Take a careful look at the buildings as you walk past too, because many have fascinating sculptures, both of religious and secular origins, clinging to their façades.

Morlaix's museums

One of these houses is La Maison de la Reine Anne, or Queen Anne's house, which is now a museum. Here you can go into the house and see it exactly as it would have been at the time when the Queen lived there. This sixteenth century house is said to be one of the oldest in the town. If you enjoy museums, it is also worth visiting the Museum of the Jacobins in Morlaix, where you can trace the history of Finistère. This is now housed in a former convent.

A tragic memorial

Morlaix has, like many French towns, been touched by tragedy from the days of the second World War. In 1943, in addition to the 100 lives lost when the bridge was bombed, Morlaix was witness to the execution of some hostages by the Nazis. The square where this took place is named the Place des L'Otages, or the Square of the Hostages, in memory of those who were killed.

All mod cons…

Despite its historical feel, the town has all the modern conveniences you require for life in the 21st century. Shopping is excellent, with intriguing small boutiques and craft shops as well as the big supermarkets for your everyday needs. There are schools, banks and leisure facilities, and dining out here is a delight as there are some very good restaurants and bistros.

Anyone for sports?

Morlaix and its environs offer unrivalled opportunities to enjoy sports of all types. Being close to the sea, Morlaix is ideally placed for those who enjoy sea sports such as surfing, sand buggying, kite flying etc. Those who prefer dry land will love the walking in this area, as there are some superb coastal paths to follow, and you can look out onto France's tallest lighthouse, the Phare de L'ile Vierge. Inland activities include bowling, golf, horse-riding and many others. There is also a cinema and a swimming pool in the area.

How to get there

Morlaix is easily accessed from the UK. If you like to fly, Ryanair have flights into both Dinard and Brest airports. You can also fly to Brest with flybe. The ferry is another very practical option, as Morlaix is within easy reach of St-Malo and Roscoff ports. Brittany ferries provide excellent and regular services.

Property prices and availability in and around Morlaix

Property in Brittany is still increasing in value, despite major increases in recent years. It is becoming harder to find bargain properties within a certain radius from the coast, but if you turn your search inland a little you will find prices more reasonable. It is worth remembering that as Morlaix is such a lovely town in a desirable area there will be a good rental market for your property when you are not in residence.

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Morlaix AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Morlaix?

Morlaix is located in the north-west of France. It lies in the north-east of the department of Finistère, very close to the coast.

Morlaix Property Map

IN THE REGION OF BRITTANY

Brittany Guide

Brittany Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF FINISTÈRE

Finistère Guide

  Finistère Map


Population: 16,000


Access: By air: Fly to Brest or Dinard airports. By Ferry: The nearest ferry ports are St-Malo and Roscoff.


Economy: The economy of Morlaix is traditionally based on fishing and agriculture… surf and turf! Tourism is now also a feature.


Interesting fact: The viaduct which dominates the town of Morlaix was bombed during the war, causing the deaths of 100 people below.

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