London to Paris Cycle Route Opens

Published by Lyn on 25 June 2012

Cyclists have for years ploughed various London-Paris cycle routes – now, an 'official' cycle path linking the British capital to its French counterpart has been inaugurated. By Lynette Eyb.

The Avenue Verte London-Paris, officially opened by Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë on June 23, 2012, enters France using the Newhaven-Dieppe Channel link in Normandy. From there it's on to Gourney-en-Bray via the Neufchatel-en-Bray and Forges les Eaux voie verte.

From Gourney-en-Bray, cyclists can take one of two options: they can continue south via Gisors and Fourges, before heading east towards Conflans Sainte Honorine, where they can follow a river route all the way to Paris – just over 400km from London.

The second option from Gourney-en-Bray heads east to Beauvais before looping down through Clermont, Ceril and Beaumont sur Oise. This option rejoins the first just north of Conflans Sainte Honorine, and in total covers some 474km in total.

See the promotional video here or the official website here (in French) – it has a route map also.

The Connexion newspaper reports that only one-third of the route is actually on dedicated greenway cycle paths routes, though it is hoped the entire route will one day be car-free. The English portion of the route uses existing National Cycle Network routes, administered by Sustrans. There is additional information here from East Sussex County Council, a partner in the project.

This BBC article – written in 2010 – is getting a little old now but still gives you a flavour of what it's like following the entire route. There is a useful Q&A here, too.

Are you cycling from London to Paris?

Read about how Paris became a cycle-friendly city, and take our cycling in Paris safety quiz.

For information on cycling for charity, see our dedicated charity section.

For channel crossing information, see our getting to France page.

The public bike sharing scheme, Vélib, has bicycles available for short trips all over Paris, including in the near suburbs. For day hire it may be chaeaper to rent from a bike hire outlet – for bike hire in Paris, see our France bike hire listings.

See our accommodation page to search for hotels, B&Bs, self-catered apartments, hostels and campsites, or zoon into our map below.

You can read more about how years of campaigning by cyclists ultimately led to a more cycle friendly Paris on our guest blog by campaigner Audrey de Nazelle.

Cycling routes in and around Paris

Mark Cramer has written this article on great day and overnight trips around Ile-de-France that are accessible from Paris, this guide to getting out of Paris by bike and these 5 bike routes around Paris. See also Bruce McAleer's Cycling Fontainebleau to Milly for a lovely dayride outside of Paris.

Books and maps

For tourist guidebooks to Paris, see Lonely Planet's Paris city guide, the Pocket Rough Guide to Paris, or Time Out's Paris guide.

For city maps, see DK Eyewitness' tourist map or Michelin's Paris city plan. Michelin's Outskirts of Paris map is useful for getting in and out of the city. See also IGN's Paris and Surrounds map and IGN's Ile-de-France map.

Some of the walks in City Walks Paris: 50 Adventures on Foot can be adapted to two wheels if you want to see Paris' key tourist sites by bike.

Paris: Women & Bicycles is a photographic book by Gil Garcetti that celebrates cycling culture among the women of Paris.

For fans of cycle sport, Paris-Roubaix: A Journey Through Hell is a wonderful overview of one of the legendary one-day race. (Gerry Patterson cycled the route for Freewheeling France and has this report. His tips for surviving the ride are here).

Graham Robb (see our interview here), author of the excellent The Discovery of France, has written Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris, which includes Robb's discovery of a col in Paris.

Additional reading

For charity cycling inspiration, see Coughing the Distance: Paris to Istanbul with Cystic Fibrosis.

For guidebooks on cycling in France, see our most recent list here and our original list here.

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