Beverley Middleton photographs France
Beverley and Scott Middleton visited Brittany eight years ago and decided to buy a holiday home there in 2005. Here, the couple tell us how after viewing 35 houses in 10 days, they fell in love with a property near Carhaix in central Brittany – a part of the world that also inspires Bev’s passion for photography.
Had you travelled widely in France before buying a holiday home in Brittany?
When I got married nearly 30 years ago, one of the first holidays we had was a coach tour through France – we loved it.
How long have you had your property there?
We visited Brittany eight years ago and decided to buy a holiday home there in 2005. After viewing 35 houses in 10 days, we fell in love with a property in central Brittany. It’s ideally located to reach the three coastlines by car in roughly an hour.
What else can you tell us about it?
The house is near Carhaix. The village has a bar-tabac, a hairdresser, a school and a great pizza place with a wood burning oven. The house needed very little work doing to it, as we didn’t want to spend all our holidays doing DIY when we could be out enjoying the countryside.
How often do you visit?
Usually we visit around Easter, which we’ve always been fortunate with the weather. Then we normally go late May early June and finally for two weeks in September.
Can you imagine making Brittany your permanent home one day?
Absolutely – the sooner the better! We hope to retire early in seven years time.
As a photographer Beverley, what do you find most inspiring about being in Brittany?
The light is fantastic – the skies are huge and very dramatic. I love photographing the old buildings and get very excited when I find a church open.
One of the most amazing things I’ve seen is the rood screen in Loc Envel church. Locronan is another fantastic place. The buildings are very old, the streets are cobbled and the atmosphere is electric.
Have you made many French friends?
Our next door neighbour Madeleine is a lovely lady, she doesn’t speak any English and I’m embarrassed to say our French is not brilliant, but we do try! We are always welcomed by her and sit in her tiny kitchen and drink coffee and have a laugh.
The French couple who we bought the house from also live in our village. Roger makes his own cider and often fetches us a bottle of the ‘latest vintage’.
Then there’s Suzanne who just lives down the road… We always buy eggs from her and the honey that her cousin makes.
You’re fairly active in the local community, then?
If there are any events on in the village while we are there, we always try and join in so people know who we are.
How else do you like to spend your free time
Well, we are keen cyclists and have a tandem in France. We are at the hub of a network of disused railway lines and only 3km from the Nantes Brest canal. We can go for miles without having to ride on the roads, but the roads are so quiet that it’s a pleasure to ride on them too.
There must be some lovely walks too…
We love walking and even after seven years, we are still finding new walks and places to visit. Obviously we have favourite walks – I love the pink granite coast and the south coast near Benodet.
- To see more of Bev’s photos of Brittany, visit Beverley Middleton Photography.