Josselin is home to the fantastic 12th Century turreted Château overlooking the Oust River. Originally constructed of wood around 1000AD, added to and rebuilt a number of times over the next 500 years, the Château was extensively restored in the 19th Century and the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth has stayed there. Guided tours around some of the Château's extraordinary rooms run from April to September and twice a day the tours are in English.
There are guided tours of the town, which has many 16th century half-timbered buildings, available from the Tourist Information Office which is situated in one of the half-timbered houses just outside the Château entrance. Converted stables beside the entrance houses the Musée de la Poupée (Doll's Museum) which is a collection of over 500 antique dolls and doll's furniture.
The cobbled old town with street cafés, Tabacs, Restaurants and shops (including "The English Bookshop" !) run up the hill from the Château. Every Saturday morning the streets are filled with the street market where you can buy lots of fresh produce, food and souvenirs.
Every Bastille Day (14th July) Josselin recounts its historic past with the hugely popular Festival Médiéval when the whole town dresses up in period costume.
Just beyond Josselin lies the town of Ploërmel which is set on the edge of the magical Paimpont Forest. Legend proclaims that this is the home of Merlin the Magician, amongst other fantastical characters.
And in the wild woods of Broceliande
Before an oak, so hollow, huge and old
It looked a tower of ivied masonwork,
At Merlin's feet the wily Vivien lay
(For more on Merlin and the connection to Ploërmel click on the Broceliande link above)
The Lac au Duc is a rural gem. The largest natural lake in Brittany is only a kilometre from the town and is a centre of outdoor activity in Ploërmel, with sailing, swimming, fishing, safe beaches for families, golf, bike trail, and the famous trail of the hydrangeas. Sunsets can be spectacular.
The Ploërmel Carnival is the largest in central Brittany and is held on Saturdays at the beginning and end of May.