1. Bienvenue à Paris!
Those arriving in the early afternoon can make a first visit of the Ville Lumière.
2. Paris – Cergy (55 km)
Au revoir Paris! Starting from Notre Dame you can follow the Axe Historique from the Louvre with the Champs Elysées through the Arc de Triomphe till the new Défense district. After Nanterre, you will come to the islands and parks so dear to the impressionists, once a destination for Sunday trips, somewhere to spend the afternoon “en plein air” on a boat between the Seine and the Marne. Welcome to the Promenade Bleue in Paris!
3. Cergy – Gisors (65 km)
Your journey continues through the heart of the Vexin natural park, home to picturesque towns, castles and farmhouses. After Théméricourt and its spectacular Maison du Parc, you continue to Villarceaux and its eighteenth-century castle bearing the same name. After the small town of Bray-et-Lû you will proceed along the river Epte to Gisors and the fortress marking the historical Franco-Norman border.
4. Gisors – Forges-les-Eaux (65 km)
Departure from Gisors for Gournay-en-Bray and then on to Forges- les-Eaux, the renowned spa resort. Welcome to Normandy, or rather to Gourmandie, land of unique flavours!
5. Forges-les-Eaux – Newhaven (60 km by bike + ferry)
From Forges-les-Eaux you follow the brand new cycle path that will take you directly to the sea, through the wonderful countryside dotted with farms that supply their excellent products to the Norman and Parisian markets. Along the second half of the route the landscape is tinged with blue as you pass through the Arques estuary, overlooked by the castle of the same name and ancient sand caves that have become a refuge for marsh birds. Here you are in Dieppe, France’s leading seaside resort and a favourite place for many impressionist painters. Appointment on the quayside for the trip across the Channel. Overnight in Newhaven after the crossing.
6. Newhaven – East Grinstead (55/75 km)
From Newhaven take the train to Polegate where you start to pedal. Alternatively you can cycle till Brighton and take the train from there but in this case you will extend the mileage by 20 km. Along the Cuckoo Valley and the old railway line, you will come to Heathfield. From here it gets more difficult but once in Groombridge it will be flat again. Following the Forest Way you arrive to the historic local market town of East Grinstead.
7. East Grinstead – London (45 km)
From East Grinstead you take the Worth Way, a cycle path through a wonderful wood till Crawley: an ultramodern city, this will get you ready for The Old Smoke itself, London. From Crawley you take the train to Couldson, where you start cycling through green parks and quiet districts to the heart of London. Your finish line for the week will be Westminster.
After breakfast, goodbye and au revoir!
Due to organisational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during the holiday. Along the way you may find temporary deviations (for example road works) which cannot be foreseen; in this case each rider can decide autonomously how to deal with these stretches.