Beach scene, Dieppe
Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral
Saint Peter Beauvais cathedral, in Beauvais, France
Church in Auvers Sur Oise, France
Basilica of Saint Denis (Basilique royale de Saint-Denis)5 (Paris, France)
Chateau de Chantilly, France
Arc de Triomphe in Paris with a big French flag under it
One barge in Conflans Sainte Honorine, France
Tourists on bicycles on Avenue des Champs-Elysees, Paris, France
L’Avenue Verte® on the French way
The Paris <-> London cycling route has existed since 2012. Greenways along the banks of the Seine and the Oise lead you away from the urban areas of Île de France, before winding their way through the Norman bocage up to Dieppe. The departure from Paris Notre-Dame is legendary, but there are many other points of interest that will leave unforgettable memories: Auvers-sur-Oise and its church, so dear to Van Gogh, Chantilly, the chateau and the Ducs de Condé parkland, the Senlis and Beauvais Cathedrals with their extraordinary stained glass windows and, more prosaically, the French end of the Avenue Verte, 50km of cycle path with a gentle false flat descent: in Dieppe, brake before you find yourself on the ferry to Newhaven !
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Seeing Paris in a day is impossible! But this is a wonderful opportunity to get close to some iconic places. Reach the Eiffel Tower via the Esplanade des Invalides before heading to Place de l’Etoile and climbing to the terrace of the Arc de Triomphe. Next, head down the Champs-Elysées to the Jardins des Tuileries and the Louvre Pyramid, crossing Ile de la Cité to visit Sainte Chapelle on the left bank, before ending your journey on the Notre-Dame Parvis, where your trek will begin the next day.
MyTripTailor Tip: This tour of Paris is a 10km circuit. It can be done by bike, taxi or public transport, but going on foot will ensure you appreciate the city’s special ambiance.
You begin at the Parvis de Notre-Dame, point zero for the roads of France. With caution, the reserved lanes lead you to the Bassin de la Villette, the Canal Saint-Denis, and the 12th century Basilica. Its collection of recumbent effigies is unique in Europe. The cycle path leads you to Colombes, decorated with the impressionists, and the greenway along the Seine to Maisons-Laffitte. 4km of forest further, you will enjoy a nice arrival in Conflans-Ste-Honorine. A clearly urban, but very pleasant, route.
The Oise is your route for to day. In Pontoise, you can admire the pretty town centre and 15th century Cathedral St-Maclou. Auvers-sur-Oise, a source of inspiration for the Impressionists and Vincent Van Gogh, will illuminate your journey. Towns and villages follow, one after another, from the charming (L’Isle-Adam) to the industrial (Beaumont) through to the prosperous Royaumont Abbey. In Chantilly, you’ll find the splendid chateau, park and stables. Finally, the heritage of old Senlis, around its magnificent 12th century cathedral (XII) will bring a beautiful day of cycling to a close.
The Chaussée Pontpoint, through the beech forest of Halatte, leads to the Abbaye Royale du Moncel: both the courtyard and carpentry are impressive. After crossing the Oise to Pont-Ste-Maxence, you can walk along the fragile ecosystem of Marais de Sacy. Pretty villages and beautiful churches mark your route to Clermont. Next, you cross the Forest of Hez reach Beauvais. St-Pierre Cathedral is a masterpiece of exceptional Gothic art.
The Pays de Bray is a landscapes of groves, apple trees, soft undulations, hedges, ponds and sweeping and pretty panoramas: Normandy is close and it shows! The Gothic 12th century abbey in St-Germer-de-Fly is remarkable. A few miles further is Ferrières-en-Bray, where Petit-Suisse was invented: you can walk along the huge factory that produces it today. Next, head to Forges-les-Eaux: its ferruginous waters were favoured by the blacksmiths, long before the curists took an interest.
The Avenue Verte is a cycle path of « some prestige » in the hollow of the valley of Bethune. It takes you “without a push of the pedal” to the outskirts of Dieppe. Pull up in Mesnières-en-Bray: the Renaissance chateau and park are very pretty. Your picnic spot? Near the ancient ballastieras! The sight of the remains of the fortress of Arques-la-Bataille signals your arrival in Dieppe from a distance: at the end of the pier, admire the panoramic view, the chalk cliffs, the pebble beach. And breathe : you have arrived !
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