Reading Feast

Mar 5, 2016 |

Roscoff, during one of Plymouth’s many fieldwork visits to Finistère

This weekend is turning into a reading feast of travel writing on Finistère.  I subscribed to the travel writing magazine, hidden europe, back in 2015 and in my third issue, actually issue number 48, the central feature covers the chapels of Finistère, contributed by Patricia Stoughton.  In her thoroughly researched piece, in keeping with the stated aims of editors, Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries, Stoughton lets us meet a local history enthusiast and shows us the chapelle Sainte-Barbe on the headland at Roscoff.   We, in the School of Tourism at Plymouth University, know the little granite-built chapel very well; it has been our first stopping point on our fieldwork in Brittany since 2009, my own review still survives on Google Places at

The coincidences do not stop there, though, Zoe Roberts, Plymouth’s very first Travel Writing Research Master, has just re-drafted her travel article on our field trip to Quimper in, yes, Finistère.  And I’ve been enjoying the new version of that, too.  Like Stoughton, Roberts introduces characterisation to provide more specialist tourism knowledge for her readers, whilst reinforcing the feeling that we, like her, are there in contact with a local, helping us understand the culture of Brittany.

Our French lesson for this blog-post has to be the slogan of Finistère’s place-branding:

Tout commence en Finistère.   Everything begins in Finistère, which nicely plays on the meaning of the name of the département, the end of the earth.

Read more of Zoe Roberts’ travel writing from Finistère on her blog at

And please pay a visit to hidden europe, who are keeping travel writing alive and in print, rather than just online

Dr Charlie Mansfield, Travels with Charlie in Search of French




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