Bike Event Details
Day 1: London – Dover – Dunkirk
An early start allows us to avoid the morning traffic as we pass through the outskirts of London onto quieter roads. It is not long before we are among the rolling fields and villages of rural Kent, passing orchards and traditional oast houses where hops are stored. We follow country roads across the hills of the North Downs to Dover and the coast. Taking the ferry to Calais, we have dinner on board and cycle the short distance to our hotel. Night hotel.
(Dinner on ferry not included)
Cycle approx. 136km (85 miles)
Day 2: Dunkirk – Cambrai
We head south from Dunkirk, riding roughly parallel to the Belgian border. A long day in the saddle lies ahead, but the terrain is fairly flat as we pass through small villages and farmland, with some areas of shady woodland. A few hills mid-way through our morning stretch the legs a little! The area we pass through saw a great deal of action in WW1 and many road-names in towns and villages testify to the history. Our afternoon is predominantly flat as we ride southeast, though a few hills await us before Cambrai, a town which dates back to Roman times. Night hotel.
Cycle approx. 161km (100 miles)
Day 3: Cambrai – Soissons
Today is shorter, but almost continually hilly, as we cross beautiful rolling landscapes, where fields of crops stretch for miles. For the first part of the day we pass small war cemeteries, reminding us of events a century ago. We have a great view of the River Somme, which we cross before our first water-stop. Narrow lanes lined with hedgerows take us through small villages with ancient crumbling buildings, and we follow wider boulevards through historic towns with striking churches and town halls. The last section of our route runs through an area involved in the WW1 Battles of the Aisne, with more cemeteries and memorials to the fallen. With roughly ten miles to go, the road climbs steeply out of the pretty village of Vauxaillon, winding through woodland and into open fields with wonderful views. A rewarding descent brings us to Soissons, an ancient town which lies on the River Aisne. Night hotel.
Cycle approx. 114km (70 miles)
Day 4: Soissons – Paris
Our final day’s cycling takes us southwest, on yet more undulating roads through small villages and farmland. There are some short sharp climbs in the morning, before we reach busier roads. As we cycle through the Parisian streets we look out for distinctive landmarks, feeling excited at being this close to our goal! Then we sweep around the Arc de Triomphe and down the famed Champs-Elysées to our finish beneath the lofty arches of the Eiffel Tower. We head to our hotel and get ready for a final meal together as a group to mark our achievement. Night hotel.
Cycle approx. 121km (75 miles)
Day 5: Paris – London
After breakfast you are free to explore the city; why not go up the Eiffel Tower or visit renowned attractions such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and Notre-Dame Cathedral. You are responsible for getting yourself and your bags to the Gare du Nord on time for your afternoon Eurostar train back to St Pancras, where you will be reunited with your bike.
For the July departure date, you can enjoy the huge spectacle that is the Tour de France! We don’t have a set area to gather, but the 71m-wide Champs-Elysées is by far the best place to watch the laps before the final sprint; head over with your new cycling buddies, pick a spot and enjoy the incredible atmosphere. Spectators gather early to watch the world’s most famous cycling event arrive home, and if you want a good view you are advised to get there many hours before the peloton! You are responsible for getting yourself and your bags to the Gare du Nord in time for your evening Eurostar train back to St Pancras, where you will be reunited with your bike. If you would rather see the whole Tour de France finale, we would suggest that you stay in Paris for an extra night and make your own travel arrangements back to the UK (at your own cost). If you intend on doing this, you will need to inform us prior to the confirmed deadline, so that we may cancel your return ticket and deduct £50 from your tour cost for the Eurostar.
(Lunch & Dinner not included)