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Ancenis - gateway to Brittany

The historic town of Ancenis, that lies just to the south of Brittany, in the western region of the Pays de la Loire, is known variously as the gateway to Brittany, the key to Brittany and the door to Brittany. This emphasis on its near neighbour, lovely thought that neighbour may be, does Ancenis a grave injustice, as the town and its region are worthy of recognition of their own sakes.

Ancenis is brimful of history

The town of Ancenis is brimful of history, and this makes it a fascinating place to visit. This old walled town has a majestic castle (now a school... lucky kids!), an impressive suspension bridge and many interesting and beautiful old buildings around the town. The overall ambience of the town is clean and elegant, with the buildings of cool white stone and the grey slate roof tiles making a striking picture. The riverside setting adds to the appeal. All around are the typical Loire landscapes of green pastures, vineyards and chateaux, with the great River Loire making its sparkling way through all this to the ocean.

Great shops and restaurants

Ancenis is well supplied with all mod cons, and offers all the amenities you would expect of a good sized town. There are shops, restaurants, bars and cafés too, so life is not only comfortable, but extremely pleasant! If you should wish to visit a larger city, then the wonderful western capital of Nantes is on the doorstep, and is well worth a day or two of your time to explore.

Out and about

There are so many fascinating places to visit in the region around Ancenis that you will never be stuck for something to do. Apart from the great city of Nantes there is Saumur, with its famous classical riding school; the historic city of Angers; many pretty towns and villages; and a countryside dotted with beautiful chateaux and wine estates. Then there is the accessibility of the glorious Atlantic coast, with the popular holiday area of the Vendée just to the south-west, and all the wonders of Brittany to the north-west of the town. A real must see in the region too, are the Troglodyte dwellings, buildings which are so set into the hillsides that they are part cave, part house!

Sports and leisure

The usually warm and sunny climate enjoyed in this part of France suggests any number of outdoor activities, and most that you can think of are available in or near Ancenis. Try golf, horse-riding, walking, swimming, fishing, cycling... and anyone for tennis?

How to get there

Reaching Ancenis from the UK is very easy and quite inexpensive. Fly to Rennes (flybe, Aer Lingus) or Nantes (Ryanair, Aer Arran), or let the train take the strain and glide into the town itself after an effortless journey from the UK on a combination of high speed efficient trains. Driving is also simple, as Ancenis is easily accessed from the A11 or the RN23.

Property availability and prices in and around Ancenis

Property in this area is popular, and prices can be quite high... but this also means that property here will hold its value well. Current possibilities on the market include elegant dwellings on the banks of the River Loire, and restoration projects in the countryside near the town.

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WHERE IS Ancenis?

Ancenis is found on the River Loire in the west of France. It lies in the east of the Loire Atlantique department, right on the border with the Maine et Loire department.

Ancenis Property Map


Pays de la Loire Guide

Pays de la Loire Property Map


Loire-Atlantique Guide

  Loire-Atlantique Map

Population: 7,010

Access: By air: Fly to Rennes or Nantes. By rail: There is a railway station in the town that has links to the TGV routes, so rail travel is easy. By road: The A11 and the RN23 are the roads to get you there.

Economy: The economy is thriving and varied, with elements of industry, agriculture and tourism. The town is also a wine centre and, incongruously perhaps, an important pig market!

Interesting fact: Ancenis is known variously as the "door to Brittany", the "gateway to Brittany", and the "key to Brittany"... because of its location just to the south of the Breton region.

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