Despite the heavy frosts, the last few days has seen the sun warm up the air to close on two figures making an afternoon trip particularly appealing. Ile Dumet lies in the Bay of Quiberon some 4 miles off the French mainland.
We chose to leave from Piriac, with ample parking and access to the sea. The beach at the end of Quai de Verdun was our choice at a low tide launch because it is relatively rock free allowing the use of trolleys
This small island is a registered bird sanctuary and now owned by the conservation society ‘Conservatoire du Littoral’
In the summer it gets crowded with all manner of water users, its two beaches always popular. Outside of the summer, spending time on Dumet alone is always a good experience.The island is 600 meters long and just 200 meters at its widest point, and has two forts. The oldest is Fort de Ré constructed in 1756 by the Duke of Aiguillon
The larger square fort was built in the style of military engineer Sébastien Vauban in 1845. Dumet’s history and the presence of two forts shows its strategic importance, serving as both protection and early warning for entry to the river Vilaine as well as the French coast.The trees found on the island are quite recent, however they are not doing well on this rather exposed island. Introduced in the early 1950s by Henri Dresch the owner of the island at that time. They have developed into some quite distinctive shapes sculpted by the weather.
In 1759 the troops stationed on Dumet would have witnessed one of the most important victories of the time for the English Navy. Admiral Hawke commanded 24 vessels and decisively deafeated Marshall de Conflans at the Battle of Quiberon Bay (called Battle of the Cardinals by the French)
Dumet has seen many such battles and during its history has been occupied by the Saxons and Vikings as well as the English and the Spanish.
With the sun going down, it was time to return to the mainland.