We are planning to cycle London to Paris. There are a number of options available to those wanting to complete this classic route. Organized rides are one option, but for those wishing to set their own schedule there is an official route of cycle paths stretching from the London Eye to Paris named Avenue Verte. This 345 mile route via the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry is available in a spiral-bound book here.
We however, have decided to follow the alternative low-traffic, minimum mileage 200 mile route as detailed on the excellent Donald Hirsch site which has a wealth of information for those wanting to plan a London to Paris ride.
Navigating London to Paris
Aswell as taking a paper map as backup, our primary source of navigation will be via an iPhone app. Both the official Avenue Verte and Donald Hirsch sites provide links to download routes as GPX files. However, finding a suitable app to upload this route to (and customize with our own stops) proved difficult. After some research, I settled on the Ride with GPS App which, although turn-by-turn navigation requires a paid subscription of $6/month (can be cancelled at any time), it allows uploading of GPX files and route editing via a desktop browser that can then be synced to your phone.
Parking in London
As we will be returning via Eurostar, parking in London that is close to St.Pancras station is the preferred option. It’s no surprise that parking here is very expensive. However, using the site Just Park we were able to rent a space within 1 mile of St.Pancras station for only £10/day!
To get from Newhaven to Dieppe, we will be travelling one-way with DFDS Seaways ferries for £28/person+bike. The return journey will be via Eurostar from Paris to London. It’s costing £30/bike on top of the ticket price to transport the bikes back on the same train as us (booked in advance). There’s a small reduction in this price if you opt to have your bike travel on the “first available train”, but no guarantee the bike will arrive before (or with) you. It’s also worth noting that bikes cannot be taken off the train before London, so you need to go to St.Pancras.
We are taking a fairly relaxed schedule, with accommodation choices from the Donald Hirsch site and some of our own. We’ll be using road bikes and travelling with small panniers.
Day One – London to Newhaven (approx. 60 miles).
Day Two – Ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe, then Dieppe to Forges-les-Eaux (approx. 35 miles).
Day Three – Forges-les-Eaux to Cergy (approx. 65 miles).
Day Four – Cergy to Paris (approx. 37 miles).
London to Paris routes
The routes we’ll be following either side of the channel taken from Donald Hirschs site look something like this. I’ll be customizing these routes to include our accommodation stops and hope to log the exact routes in part 2 of this post.
Click ‘View full route’ to explore in more detail.
London to Newhaven
Dieppe to Paris
So, with the planning now done, it’s time to get some training rides in before we cycle London to Paris!
Part 2 of this post is here.