Days 1 - 2: London – Newhaven – Dieppe – Paris
Cycle approx 385km (240 miles)
We meet in the afternoon at Blackheath Common and set off through the busy outskirts of London onto quieter roads. It is not long before we are among rolling fields and villages as we head south. Crossing the North Downs, we tackle our first demanding hills as we ride towards the Kent border, then enjoy a fairly flat section before the more undulating roads of Sussex. Passing through farmland and small villages on quiet roads lined with hedgerows, we head towards Polegate and the south coast.
Our last few miles in England take us on a beautiful rolling road across the South Downs, inland from the famous Seven Sisters. We roll down to the picturesque meandering Cuckmere River and climb again as we ride west towards Newhaven. The light will have faded by now, and we have time for an evening meal before boarding the ferry to Dieppe. On board we have a well-earned rest before we disembark and set off again.
We head southeast, leaving the busy port behind and quickly emerge into typical French countryside. Passing a few small villages, we ride through the small, 12th-century town of Neufchatel-en-Bray. Our small roads should be very quiet at this time of night, and we ride on through farmland and pockets of woodland.
Apart from an early breakfast stop, we plough on through the dark early hours of the morning, ticking off the miles towards Paris. As it starts to grow light again, we can appreciate the lovely scenery around us, and we feel newly refreshed and re-motivated! This part of our ride is fairly hilly, though generally the gradients are long and gradual with some well-earned descents, including a wonderfully long downhill stretch of over 10km near the town of Sainte-Genevieve. These descents are very welcome as we’ll be feeling very tired, but it’s even more important to stay alert when going downhill! We ride through more peaceful farmland and villages, but they soon give way to busier suburbs as we approach Paris after lunch. Looking out for the distinctive landmarks of the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré Coeur standing out on the skyline, we come to the suburb of St. Denis and the River Seine. We follow the river’s southern esplanade as it turns towards the city, and then peel off towards central Paris and the lofty Eiffel Tower, where our finish awaits.
We should arrive mid-afternoon, and after celebratory drinks and photos at the Eiffel Tower we’ll head to the hotel where you can rest before gathering together in the evening to celebrate your impressive achievement! Night hotel.
Day 3: Paris – London
After breakfast we transfer to the Gare du Nord in good time for our Eurostar train back to St Pancras, where we meet the bikes. (Lunch not included).
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.