FACT FILE: NANTES
How to get there: Take the ferry to Caen, Cherbourg, St Malo or Roscoff. It’s only two or three hours from any of those down through the Breton villages. How long for: A cheeky weekend is just right. Overnight boat both ways and take Monday morning off. When to go: It can be hot and busy in the summer – spring or early autumn’s good. How much: Nantes is big enough to have a good choice of budget hotels — even in the centre you can get a decent room for about £40-45 a night, and there are loads of cheap, decent restaurants.