Dinard, british charm on the Coast
Pioneers of the seaside
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the crËme de la crËme of the English aristocracy in their bathing attire of petticoats, boaters and parasols on the beach in Dinard. Renowned for its mild climate, the seaside resort of Dinard, was, at the turn of the twentieth century, frequented by fashionable visitors who came to breathe in the fresh sea air. Here in the atmosphere of carefree elegance could be heard whispers of those society names that gave Dinard its high-class reputation, such as Mrs Faber, or Mr and Mrs Hallet. It was another era, governed by a different set of values, when the art of sea bathing was still in its infancy, but nonetheless, a trend for seaside holidays had been set.
A la Belle Epoque
A tour of the magnificent aristocratic villas built overlooking the sea offers a fascinating insight into the architecture of seaside resorts at the end of the nineteenth century. Visitors will admire the profusion of styles inspired by Italian villas, Yorkshire cottages and Louis XIII lodges. Once upon a time, certain of these villas were the scene of the clamour of parties and high society receptions, but today they are admired for their quaint Belle Epoque charm and the exotic gardens which surround them. Be sure to stop off at homes such as the Empress EugÈnieís villa, the house of the Black Prince, the Grand Hotel and the Queen Hortense villa, which belonged to a Russian prince.
Let the sea spray be your guide for a pleasant walk along the coast by the foot of the cliffs, all the way to the nearby resort of Saint Lunaire. Enjoy a stroll along the"ëClair-de-Lune" promenade dotted with picturesque villas, then breathe in the fresh air on the "Pointe du Moulinet" headland and contemplate the spectacular view over the bay of St Malo. Further to the west, if you set out from the ìEcluseî beach, you will arrive at the "Promenade de la Malouine", cradled by the murmuring of the waves upon the rocks. Charming, isnít it?
Not to be missed
The British Film Festival, a high-profile cinema event held every October; the Regattas organised by the Yacht Club; the Belle Epoque Casino; the celebrated Dinard golf course (one of the oldest in Europe); a cruise along the Valley of the River Rance or if you prefer driving, follow the arrows along the scenic route.