Malestroit is our local town and very pretty, especially in the centre and down by the canal. The town is over one thousand years old and has historical interest, having been the site where a treaty was signed in the 100 Years War (at the very pretty ruins, Les Vestiges da la Madelaine). The town has some interesting Gothic andRenaissance houses, with “humorous” wooden carvings. Market day is Thursday and is well worth visiting. It has a wide range of local produce, together with clothes, household goods and so on. One of the delights of the town is the central square which is a really nice place to have a coffee or eat a crepe. There’s also a friendly wine cellar (La Forge aux Vins) where you can buy (and taste) a wide range of wines and ciders.
The town is set by the side of the River Oust (part of the Nantes-Brest canal); there are pleasant walks in both ways by the side of the canal in Malestroit. This appears to be an especially popular activity by local people on Sunday morning. The pathway (suitable for walking or biking) goes the whole length of the canal from Nantes to Brest and can be accessed at a number of places near us (especially St Laurent where a new pedestrian bridge allows you to access the path on the other side). A pack of local walks is provided in the house. You can hire canoes and kayaks near the camp site by the side of the canal and near the bridge in Malestroit.
In August, look out for Les Vendredis du Canal. This is a series of free out-door concerts (on Friday evenings) in the town square. Mostly folk/jazz groups. Nearly all the town seems to turn out for this. The atmosphere’s pleasant and friendly. The bars, of course, remain open.
Tourist office: there’s a very helpful tourist office, now located off the Place du Bouffay. You can get information here about bike and canoe/boat hire, tennis courts, golf, horse riding and anything else you might need. English is (well) spoken.
The gites are located in a small hamlet called La Roche St Vincent, 5 miles from Malestroit. Ruffiac, two miles away, has shops, restaurants, bars and a small supermarket. St Laurent sur Oust is even nearer and has a bar/restaurant/ shop all in one. The gites are very handy for cross-channel ferries. St Malo is around one and a half hours drive away while it’s about 3 hours to Caen. There are also planes from different UK airports to Dinard, Rennes and Nantes.