"The Gateway To Brittany (Revisited)" Roscoff by johngayton

Roscoff Travel Guide: 48 reviews and 152 photos

Plymouth to Roscoff Day Trip

My first trip to Roscoff was in May 2005. I'd not long joined VT and this was one of my first attempts at page building. In those days I didn't have a camera and so the photos I used were scans from the various leaflets, business cards and tickets that I'd picked up.

I've just returned from another, long overdue, day trip and so it's time to update this page. I'll leave all the original text in place from my first set of tips and the latest additions to those will be those in BLUE. I'll also replace most of the pics with my own, except for the odd one or two which are still relevant.

New tips will be in standard format though.

Here's my original intro from May 2005:

Roscoff is stunningly beautiful, stunning is perhaps an underexaggeration. If Roscoff was a woman she would be Sophie Loren, Brigitte Bardot and Naomi Cambell fused together will all their best attributes brought to the fore.

The reason for my trip is that I'm a terrible smoker and for the last twenty odd years my poison of choice (or addiction if you want to call it that) has been Gauloises rolling tobacco which I normally go over to Calais for.

Having recently moved back down to Devon from Essex, one of my work colleagues suggested Roscoff as an alternative, crossing with Brittany Ferries. I visited their site brittany-ferries.co.uk and found that they do an overnight "day-trip" for the amazingly cheap price of GBP 12.95. The ferry goes from Plymouth leaving at 2300 hrs, docks at Roscoff 0800 and then returns 1630 that afternoon getting back to Plymouth about 2130. It is only a 45 minute check-in and this gave me the best part of the day in Roscoff itself.

I hate to say anything against a place I visit, but Calais is a port of transit, a place to buy cheap booze and tobacco and then go home, Roscoff is entirely different, it is a destination in its own right.

The crossing itself, I sailed on the "Bretagne", was perfectly comfortable, good friendly staff, the dj was a bit naff - but then that's a personal opinion. When the bar closed at 1 am several of us took our drinks into the lounge and leisurely finished them off there.

Then it was time to crash for a few hours in one of the reclining seats before getting up about for coffee, cigarettes and croisant (in that order) for breakfast before disembarking about 8 am.

2nd Day Trip - March 21st and 22nd 2010

Everything I loved about the place on my first trip still holds true. Roscoff really is a pleasure. She's easy on the eye, stimulating for the tactile senses, learning about the place historically gets the brain involved, walking the streets and clambering the shores gives the body a work out AND she's not wallet-busting - Yep! Everything a perfect woman should be!

This trip was almost identical to my first except that the ferry seems to be a bit slower, despite the fact that it is a new boat, and the price is now GBP 20 for the day return. The timetable, aboard the Amorique, involved leaving Plymouth at 2200 hrs to arrive at 0800 the following morning and then the return was at 1500 to get back at 2000. It didn't quite leave me the time for as lingering a lunch as previously but the menu formule, at Brasserie des Alizes, was still thoroughly enjoyed and my day was as unhurried.

Apart from a different lunch venue I didn't really do anything that I hadn't done before except that this time the tide was in and so most of my wanderings were on the town's streets. And I did have a camera and so all my original tips will only be slightly updated by changing the pics and a few new ones added where things caught the "camera eye".

A Digression

VT alters the way you experience a place. It defintely adds a dimension to your travel experience and by making you a keener observer that extra dimension is an enrichment. You still have the same interactions, social and sensory, that you would have had. The addition is that the back of your mind is filing things away for your tip writing and the eye and camera are working in conjuction with the registering brain rendering everything more acutely. The sensory palate of "colours" are captured more vividily - I use the word "colours" here as a catch-all for all the senses, whether taste, smell, hearing etc.

Pre-VT I was of the opinion that taking photographs when travelling would denigrate the experience. The photos would become my "memories" but the act of taking them would alter my perception and so I would take home only those memories that I had photos of.

With VT I take the pics as memory aids, and obviously to put on my pages. Then once I get home and start writing things up everything comes back in glorious three-dimensional technicolour. Even those social situations where I didn't take any pics are enriched - a quick snapshot of the street the following day is enough.

In my pre-VT days I'd enjoy my travels and get home to want to tell everyone about them. I'd be down the pub and bursting with experiences to share. Ach, maybe it's because I'm not a good story-teller. or maybe because I get too easily excited by what others think innane, but the glazing of my audience's eyes as I recounted my tales kinda spoiled my trips.

Here on VT at least I have an audience.

And I can't see your eyes LOL ;)

Here's an example that I'm sure would bore my pub mates to tears - try explaining why you liked this little concrete flower garden as one of your memories from a trip!

BTW Roscoff is pencilled in for another visit next year.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very attractive town, with good bars, restaurants and excellent scenic walks
  • Cons:NONE
  • In a nutshell:Everything You Could Ever Want From...A Day Trip LOL ;)
  • Last visit to Roscoff: Mar 2010
  • Intro Updated Mar 25, 2010
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johngayton

“The slow lane often gets you there faster”

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