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Welcome to Val Rive

Val Rive is a superb choice for anyone looking to stay in an idyllic and relaxing location, full of charm, and from where it’s really easy to explore medieval Dinan and the very best that Brittany has to offer.

VAL RIVE IN PICTURESQUE LÉHON

A Beautiful Location


Val Rive is a historic house with five self-catering apartments arranged on three floors. The holiday cottage of Le Pintadeau lies adjacent to the house, just beyond the garden.

Built in 1814, Val Rive is situated in a river valley in the quaint quartier of Léhon on the outskirts of the historic town of Dinan – one of the best-preserved medieval towns in France. Val Rive’s setting is very picturesque, overlooking a medieval toll bridge that crosses the Rance river from where a cobbled street leads to the 9th century Abbey and ancient ruined Chateau of Léhon. Indeed, Léhon has the status of ‘Petite Cité de Caractère’ (small town of character) and visitors fall in love with it, returning year after year to this charming village.

Looking out to the Rance you might well chance upon an angler sitting on the riverbank or see the occasional boat slowly chugging along. It’s a timely reminder that this was once a hugely important crossing point as early as the Roman period. The area abounds with historical connections. Many English Kings and nobility fought in Brittany and Bertrand du Guesclin, the Breton soldier, is a French legendary hero whose wife Tiphaine is said to have had magical powers. A statue of Du Guesclin, mounted on horseback, stands in Place du Guesclin in Dinan where the market is held.

For those who like to swim, Léhon has a 25m public swimming pool (outdoor heated, with waterslide) less than 5 minutes walk away. Léhon also has a tennis club (with four indoor courts and one outdoor court) about 10 minutes walk up the main street towards Dinan.

A WONDERFUL LOCATION FROM WHICH TO EXPLORE

Discover the Charm of Dinan and Beyond


The town centre of Dinan can be reached on foot in about 25 minutes or by car in 5. The riverside paths in front of Val Rive lead into the tranquil Breton countryside – perfect for walking, cycling or taking a picnic – and to the scenic river harbour of ‘Port de Dinan’ where you will find many restaurants and brasseries. From here you can walk up the pretty cobbled street of Rue Jerzual, through the old town wall gates, to the centre of Dinan.

The Rance flows out to the sea between Dinard and Saint-Malo and these scenic seaside towns are both well worth finding the time to visit. Indeed, there is much to explore in the surrounding region: rugged beaches, ruined castles, beautiful churches, and town squares with delightful cafes serving their local specialities.

Brittany has a vibrant social and cultural life with many festivals and events, large and small. A wide variety of other activities are well catered for, including cycling, golf, hiking, rock climbing, fishing and many watersports. For a fairly comprehensive list of where you can find further details on these and peruse many other suggestions on things to do while staying at Val Rive, click here to view our Lots to See and Do section.

VAL RIVE IS LOCATED IN THE HEART OF BRITTANY

A Little Bit of History


The Benedictine Abbey in Léhon was founded in the 9th century by Nominoe, the first Duke of Brittany. The old bridge of Léhon was originally a toll crossing of the river, with the toll producing revenue for the Abbey. It was a strong fortification point between the banks of Léhon and Lanvally. The castle was built in the 12th century on the feudal mound dominating the bridge, and it was once razed to the ground by Henry II of England during his invasion.

The Duchy of Brittany was a medieval feudal state that existed between approximately 939 and 1547. The duchy was established after the expulsion of Viking armies from the region around 939. The Duchy of the 10th and 11th century was politically unstable, with the dukes only holding limited power outside their own personal lands. The duchy had mixed relationships with the neighbouring Duchy of Normandy, sometimes allying itself with Normandy, and at other times, such as the Breton-Norman War, entering into open conflict.

Henry II of England invaded Brittany at the end of the 12th century, making his son, Geoffrey, the Duke. The Angevins remained in control until the collapse of their empire in northern France in 1204 and the conquest of the Duchy by Philip II of France. The French Crown maintained its influence over the Duchy for the rest of the 13th century. Monastic orders supported by the Breton aristocracy spread across the Duchy in the 11th and 12th centuries, and in the 13th the first of the mendicant orders established themselves in Brittany’s major towns. Civil war broke out in the 14th century, as rival claimants for the Duchy vied for power during the Breton War of Succession, with different factions supported by England and France.

The independent sovereign nature of the Duchy began to come to an end upon the death of Francis II in 1488. The Duchy was inherited by his daughter, Anne, but King Charles VIII of France had her existing marriage annulled and then married her himself. As a result, the King of France acquired the title of Duke of Brittany jure uxoris. The Duchy was finally merged into the Kingdom of France in 1532 through a vote of the Estates of Brittany.

Louis Chupin, a very popular mayor of Lehon, lived at Val Rive in the second half of the 19th century and named the impressive house Maison Chupin. He owned a textile factory employing local workers and also purchased a tannery at the edge of his property. He was instrumental in campaigning to obtain funds for the restoration of the Abbey.