London to Paris route recommendations, please

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
I'm planning a London to Paris ride, probably next month (depending on my work schedule).

Newhaven-Dieppe seems the most sensible ferry route, both to minimise the distance for time-off purposes, and because there's an overnight crossing available (though it gets in at a very anti-sociable 3am - I hope they let you sleep on for a while!).

All route recommendations very welcome! Ideally mostly backroads, but no off-road unless it's tarmac - the trike isn't very practical on canal tow-paths and the like.

Ben
 

TheDoctor

Europe Endless
Moderator
Location
Stevenage
I'd be astounded if they do let you sleep on. I got that ferry a few weeks ago on daytime sailings. They started banging on the doors 45 mins before we docked, and made sure everyone was out of the cabins before we docked. We then waited 35 mins after that before they unlocked the doors down to the car decks. Perfect.

The avenue verte from just outside Dieppe goes half-way to Paris, and is smooth tarmac. Ignore the sighposted deviation about 5 k past Neufchatel-en-Bray. The deviation takes you a few extra very hilly miles, to avoid a 5 yard section that's subsided a little (and can be by-passed on the flat grass edging, at full tilt on a Brommie).
 
OP
CopperBrompton

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
Buggers - it'll be a lot less practical if we get woken up at 2.15am to be thrown off at 3am.

Many thanks for the Avenue Verte link - that looks excellent.
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
You can get nearly 4 hours sleep on the night crossing. As recommended by a member of staff I found the smartest lorry drivers in the front upper saloon. Not the ones along the side - it is used as a TV theatre in the day. Very quiet and not bright. You simply remove thee velcro-ed seats - put in line betwen the row on the floor and you have quite a passable free mattress. If you have just cycled down from London - sleep should be no problem.

On t'other side you can go to the terminal and use their decent loos for a wash and brush-up. Sadly the seats are hard so not much chance of more sleep. Best to set out for Avenue Verte (about 10k out of town but giving you a traffic free 40km - ie into daylight). The signpost in Dieppe is Paris - 146km!

Newhaven is a complete dump. If you arrive early - go to Sainsburys. Its near the terminal, just ask the way. They do a good cheap evening meal and you can keep an eye on your bikes through the window.

The terminal cafe is also a really good greasy spoon. I had an enormous breakfast and pint sized mugs of tea on the return trip. Oh and cyclists get on the ferry first - very nice.
 
OP
CopperBrompton

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
StuartG said:
You can get nearly 4 hours sleep on the night crossing.
I was hoping for a bit more than 4 hours! But will give them a call and find out the earliest boarding time, as that may be a way round it. Otherwise, I think we'll just spend the night at Newhaven and take a morning crossing.

The signpost in Dieppe is Paris - 146km!
I assume that's for the most direct route, and that it's rather further on the cycle route?

Newhaven is a complete dump.
Most port towns tend to be, for some reason. Thanks for the Sainsbury's tip, though I suspect a pub will be more of a priority by then. B)
 

TheDoctor

Europe Endless
Moderator
Location
Stevenage
No idea, sadly. Try the ViaMichelin route planner - it has a cycle option.
How are you planning on getting back? I suspect Eurostar may not be all that open to the notion of 'bents...
 
OP
CopperBrompton

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
Will do, thanks.

I've emailed Eurostar, so we'll see what they say.
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
Sorry, Ben its 4 hours tops - you get on the boat about 30 mins before departure and you need to be up before it docks. There are NO decent pubs in Newhaven. I searched very hard and took local advice. That's why I ended up in Sainsburys!

Not all ports are like that. Dieppe shows how it should be done. Do plan to spend a little time there. If 4 hours is not enough then if the weather is good you could cycle up Avenue Verte and kip down on the grass verge somewhere. It is practically deserted until mid-morning so I would feel safe.

But with Paris beckoning, why would you not want to push on as quickly as possible. Sleep is for wimps - not cyclists :rofl:
 
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CopperBrompton

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
To be honest, this is all about the journey and not at all about the destination. I'm in Paris all the time on business (been there 50-60 times, I'd guess), so the extra hours in bed win. :-)
 
Location
EDINBURGH
That ferry crossing is pretty good and the trike gets you first on and first off, at least it did with me, that means you can straight to your cabin and hit the zeds, I naturally wake up as the boat approaches port anyway, done that crossing twice with the trike now.
 

crisscross

Senior Member
Hi Ben, I have posted our route on my thread about the ride we did last week

https://www.cyclechat.net/

I hope it helps a bit.

We did the diversion off the Avenue Verte - it was the only part of our 200+ mile ride that my 7 year old got off and walked up a hill.

I wish we had investigated the reason for the deviation now!
 
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