Langon < > Marsac-sur-Don
STAGE PROFILE: 29.3 km 7h20
There are two possible itineraries for the pilgrim several kilometres after leaving Langon : that which heads towards Redon, and the other, more direct, which heads towards Blain whereupon the two paths join up again.
For those among you who choose the second possibility, you simply cross the bridge of Beslé, above Pâtis Vert to leave the Ille-et-Vilaine and undertake your first steps in the department of Loire-Atlantique.
The village of Beslé is a paradise for freshwater fishermen as well as an excellent resting place and holiday resort. The marshes you cross to get to Guémené-Penfao were valued and exploited by the different monastic orders which existed here throughout the centuries.
0.00 Leave Langon, with the chapel of Ste Agathe behind you, via the small Rue de la Bimais for 180m as far as a right-hand bend. Here take a track on the left alongside some allotments to pass under the Rennes-Redon railway by a small pedestrian tunnel. Come out onto a tarmac road, which you take to the right for a little less than 400m. There on the left hand bend, turn right onto a stony path, partially grassy in the middle, which veers left after 200m to go alongside the railway and get to the river Vilaine after 1km. At the intersection, turn right on the towpath – passing under the railway bridge – which 1.8km further, after having touched upon the remains of the Roman road, arrives at a junction with the D59, at Pâtis Vert (3.6km).
Cross the bridge over the Vilaine [Near this bridge is the beginning of the stage which goes to Redon.] as well as the railway and continue straight ahead to the centre of Beslé-sur-Vilaine via Rue de la Duchesse Anne and Rue de la Corne de Cerf.
1h00 04.1 – At the intersection with Rue de la Résistance (D46), turn left. Leave the church of Beslé to your left. After 300m, at the fork with a roundabout (before Richebourg), fork right. Pass between the areas of Étang (to the left) and Plaisance (to the right). Turn right further on (5.6km) towards Les Châtelais. Keep going straight ahead for 3.5km.
2h15 09.0 – Just before Beau Soleil, turn right. Arrive at the D15 and follow it to the left for 50m before forking to the right towards Feuilly. Further on pass under a disused railway bridge. At the hamlet, turn left onto the D125 for 300m. Take a right onto the PR which follows the old railroad, just after an old level-crossing signalman’s house near to a road. After a little less than 2km, keeping right half way along, arrive at the gates of Guémené. At the junction with a road (Avenue de la Garenne), turn left, then right further along onto Rue Nominoë [formerly Rue de la Garenne] ; go right then immmediately left (Rue Eugène Leblay) to take – on a bend opposite a house – a track alongside an old cycling track which has been turned into a rugby pitch. Exiting from the track, head opposite onto Rue des Porteaux, with a small square to the right. Cross a road after 100m, then 50m further, along with the GPR, bear right onto Rue de la Chevauchardais. After 125m at the intersection with the Rue du Vélodrome, go left to Place de l'Eglise of ...
[The church of St Michael has eight pillars with bas-reliefs of saints, with St James represented wearing a cloak with scallops on the shoulders. He holds a little bumblebee in his right hand.]
3h30 14.1 - Guémené-Penfao. From the church, go straight down via Rue de l'Eglise. When you get near a roundabout, cross Place Simon diagonally to the left to take the little Rue du Lavoir on the right with steps. Go down towards the river Don (Rue du grand Moulin). Here turn left, near the washhouse (lavoir) and go alongside the old mill before crossing the Don.
Fork left to get to the bank of the Don, in the direction of the hippodrome ; go along by the left of it. At the far end of the race-course, take a right after about 100m onto a path (15.6km) which you take towards the left.
Continue to follow the GRP® waymarks and go alongside the river for about 900m before leaving the riverbank and turning right. Climb, sometimes up steps, the quite steep wooded hill (Rocs de Gascaigne) to get to the other slope where you find the pond Etang de la Vallée below the road. Turn left.
4h20 17.6 – Go by the ruins of Moulin de la Vallée. The small road then takes a right hairpin. Follow it for about 750m.
[Behind you, a view of Château de Juzet and the old mill.]
Before the left-hand bend, leave the road to keep right on a track which, several hundred metres further, passes to the right of a house. 200m of steep uphill next, before leaving another track to your right. Continue straight ahead through a clearing to get to a small road about 1km further down ; turn left towards the hamlet of Tréguély which you go around by the right. At the far end, turn right, go up for 250m then turn left onto a track parallel to a road for 500m. At the junction with a small tarmac road, turn right and reach a Cross after about 200m.
5h20 21.4 – At the intersection between the D42 and the D125, at the Cross, turn left onto the D125 and follow it for 300m, then again turn left onto a tarmac road which becomes stony, then continue after 500m onto a path to the right towards...
5h40 22,8 ... Chapel of Lieux Saints, at the edge of the woods (worth a visit).
[The chapel of Sainte-Anne or Lessaints (or Lieu-Saint), was founded in the Middle Ages by monks who came from Ploërmel (and/or, it seems, by the forefathers of Maximilien de La Chênaie, on their return from the seventh crusade with Saint-Louis). This place "le Lieu-Saint"(Holy Place), where there was a hermit known as the Solitaire de Lessaints, was visited by the duchess Anne de Bretagne who « drew from her alms-purse a handful of gold pieces » Thus the chapel took the name of Sainte-Anne de Lessaints. The pilgrimage to Sainte-Anne de Lessaints was renowned. A 20th century stained glass window depicts a time of French colonisation. To the left of the altar is a wooden statue of Saint-Méan. The frescoes depict the history of the site and the legends linked to it.
The chapel is open every Sunday – to visit on other days phone : 02 40 79 60 14]
Leave the chapel and go around it to the left towards the grotto of Sainte-Anne below. Go down towards a small paved road.
Take a left on this road as far as a large ‘goose-foot’ junction nearby. Keep right to take a tarmac road towards the area of La Noë situated approximately 1.4m away.
[After approx 700m, a path on your left leads (there and back is approx 1.3km) to Pont-Veix, historic site of one of the battles of Conquereuil. You get there by the old Roman road, crossing the Don here by a remarkable stone structure. On the other side of the Don, beside the existing Château du Pont-Veix, is the first Manor of Pont-Veix and the chapel of the château. Here also the monks of the priory of Marsac-sur-Don built a hostellerie (XV century) to welcome pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela]
At La Noë, at a T-junction opposite a large farm, take the road to the left. At the exit of this area, after 200m, keep left. (Don’t take the cul de sac opposite) 200m further, after having gone alongside a very large farm in the area of Le Souchay close to La Noë, leave a path to the left and continue along the tarmac road for a little less than 2km to arrive – after having gone through the areas of Launay-de-Bouin and La Ville-Goué – at a junction in the area of Chesneau. Carry on straight ahead for 1.5km as far as the area of Moulin du Don after having crossed La Réauté. Just after, there is an intersection with the D124. Turn right and take a pedestrian pathway to the right of the D-road as far as the centre of...
7h20 29.3 - ... the town of Marsac-sur-Don