When you visit Dinan in the Cotes d’Armor, Brittany, it’s a short journey to the neighbouring village of Léhon. Well worth the detour, picturesque Léhon is historic and full of charm.
From Dinan, you can easily walk to Léhon along the riverbanks of the Rance from Dinan which takes around 30 minutes. Or cycle – there’s a charming towpath along the river. Léhon is a classified “town of Character” first settled by the Roman army 2000 years ago. In fact it’s much older than Dinan which was founded around 1000 years ago.
What to see in Léhon
It’s a very pretty little town and worth visiting to see the 12th century castle ruins – allegedly the oldest castle in Brittany. Recent restoration work to the walls has made it even more impressive.
The streets are lined with 17th century houses. The little bridge over the river is a postcard dream.
And you can also see the Abbey Saint-Magloire. Legend has it that Welsh monks arrived here in the 9th century. Wanting to settle, they asked Nominoë, first king of a unified Brittany for some land. He required them to bring him some relics to place in the church they intended to build. In a remarkably un-Christian display, they looted the relics from monks on the island of Sark and returned triumphant with their spoils to claim the land. Legend has it that “when the monks’ boat, loaded with the relics of Saint Magloire, reached the banks of the Rance in Léhon, the place became joyful and bloomed like paradise.”
The abbey architecture dates to the 11th century onwards. Don’t miss the little tower by the river in which monks were allowed to drink a glass of wine and smoke a pipe on Sundays. Regular art exhibitions are hosted here and there are pretty gardens.