Somme tour

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
david20807
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Somme tour

Postby david20807 » 10 Oct 2015, 11:12pm

Hi, my friend and I intend to take a 5 day cycle tour of the battlefields and WW1 sites around Albert - Mons area.
Anyone got any tips or good routes please?

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Penfold
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Re: Somme tour

Postby Penfold » 16 Oct 2015, 12:11am

You may glean a few ideas from here:

A cycling tour of the Somme/Arras areas

http://jeremybanning.co.uk/blog/

Click on the maps and use the 'menu' tab to see all the info you will need.

Excellent site.
Last edited by Penfold on 16 Oct 2015, 7:02pm, edited 2 times in total.
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slowpeddler
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Re: Somme tour

Postby slowpeddler » 16 Oct 2015, 4:28pm

The Tourist Office in Albert has routes and maps around the sites and they are all easy to bike to from Albert.
So much to see there and all accessible by bike, some sites at first thought don't sound that interesting but the South African memorial and museum was really good.

I camped at the Albert municipal camp site about 5 /10 minutes pedal from the church with the golden Madonna. It is also easy to cycle over to Perrone to visit the Historial of the Great War (really good as it gives a broad view rather than the usual Anglo-centric one ) and down to Cappy to see the narrow gauge railway.

I used the Major Holt's Guide to the Somme Battlefield which tells you everything but the accompanying maps are only useful in that they identify everything worth seeing but are not that useful as a cycling map so use the book and map to plan the day but use a proper map for the cycling.

It is easy to put the bikes on the train from Albert to Compiegne (via Amiens) and cycle through the forest to see the Armistice clearing: you may not have enough time but it makes a great day out on the train and bike.

Check out
http://www.sbpartner.fr/somme_battlefie ... ds_partner

http://www.historial.org/

John

jeremyduncombe14
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Re: Somme tour

Postby jeremyduncombe14 » 16 Oct 2015, 5:33pm

+1 for Major Holt's guides ( www.guide-books.co.uk ). No, they are not cycling specific, but they will tell you all you need to know about the battlefield relics, war memorials and museums. When I visited Ypres and Passchendaele, Major H's guide took me to lots of interesting places I would never have found otherwise. Cycling is a great way to see the battlefields, you can see a lot in a day without undue stress.

FarOeuf
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Re: Somme tour

Postby FarOeuf » 16 Oct 2015, 6:10pm

Hi,

I've just cycled down through that area. While I'm not into WW1 stuff, I did feel morally obliged to go to the Flanders museum at Ypres. I picked up Edmumd Blunden's Undertones of War, which I can really recommened. Though maybe if you're touring that area specifically you already know his book.

cheers,
Doug

david20807
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Re: Somme tour

Postby david20807 » 16 Oct 2015, 10:19pm

Hi Thanks to you all for helping out. Ill take a look at all you say D

BottomGear
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Re: Somme tour

Postby BottomGear » 17 Oct 2015, 12:45am

David, I've not cycled the area but visited a few years ago when retracing my family's wartime connections in the area. I can only imagine cycling would be a joy as the roads are quiet and the scenery sublime. I think this is something I'd like to do and would be interested to hear how you get on.

I'd certainly recommend Beaumont Hamel park, scene of the slaughter of the brave Newfoundland regiment during the first day of the Somme. The trenches are still evident and along with the visitor centre there are guided tours which are very much worth joining. Thiepval memorial is something quite incredible, and nearby at The Ulster Memorial Tower dedicated volunteers lead facinating tours also. There is just so much to see so again like others I'd recommend a decent guide book such as Major and Mrs Holts to help you plan your trip. Best of luck, hope you have a great time.

FarOeuf
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Re: Somme tour

Postby FarOeuf » 17 Oct 2015, 7:25am

Oh, one thing I found out after cycling through there... The cycle route numbers (signed) are actually junction numbers. So each junction on the 'cycle routes' have a number, and paths around there point you at 52 or 64, etc. I had thought I was trying to follow 'route 52', which was wrong, I was actually cycling to junction 52 where the signs for it (obviously) stopped. You can get a map of all the junction numbers, and then you just do something like following the signs: junction 52, junction 14, junction 23, etc.

Hotels and Tourist Info have the maps, and, even if you're following a GPS route, they're worth carrying.

cheers,

david20807
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Re: Somme tour

Postby david20807 » 17 Oct 2015, 6:38pm

Hi all... Not sure how to reply to each post but thanks to you all. We have decided ( being from N Ireland) that hiring bikes might be the best option actually flights are booked so its now the only option. Ive been looking for a shop which will hire decent hybrids or such likes in the Albert area without success. Again, any help is much appreciated. Ill sure post a review of the whole thing when we come back :D

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Graham
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Re: Somme tour

Postby Graham » 17 Oct 2015, 8:42pm

david20807 wrote: Ive been looking for a shop which will hire decent hybrids or such likes in the Albert area without success.

A quick search using google.fr for "location velo albert" gets me to this page :
http://www.somme-tourisme.com/cdt80/nat ... on_de_velo

. . . of which there a single specific entry for Albert : The Office de Tourisme Tél. : 03.22.75.16.42
To determine whether they actually hire bikes themselves - you will have to ask.

Clicking on the link for the O de T takes me to :
http://www.paysducoquelicot.com/

. . . .which reveals nothing more about hiring a bike BUT does reveal an email address :
officedetourisme@paysducoquelicot.com

AND that the O de T is open all year.
This may save you one of those painful/entertaining phone calls in fringish.
EDIT [ It is very probable that someone in the Office de Tourisme will speak good english. This area is of very special interest to tourists from english-speaking nations due to it's extraordinary part in our history. ]

The one bike shop I find sells bikes - no mention of hiring.

The SNCF used to hire bikes, but that may now be of historic interest.
I've just checked. At Albert that does not seem to be possible.
The O de T will advise you [if] otherwise.

Good Luck
Last edited by Graham on 18 Oct 2015, 8:51am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Ici on parle anglais.

FarOeuf
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Re: Somme tour

Postby FarOeuf » 17 Oct 2015, 9:25pm

david20807 wrote:Hi all... Not sure how to reply to each post but thanks to you all. We have decided ( being from N Ireland) that hiring bikes might be the best option actually flights are booked so its now the only option. Ive been looking for a shop which will hire decent hybrids or such likes in the Albert area without success. Again, any help is much appreciated. Ill sure post a review of the whole thing when we come back :D


I stayed at a hotel which hired out bikes (fairly generic uprights, but would easily do the job), Tourist Info should be able to tell you which ones do. For example the Ibis hotel offer free use of bikes (you have to stay there). Hotels and B&Bs are the only places in the smaller towns I've seen hiring out bikes.

david20807
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Joined: 10 Oct 2015, 11:01pm

Re: Somme tour

Postby david20807 » 17 Oct 2015, 11:27pm

Thanks again. Ill mail the tourist office in Albert and see if any of the hotels hire. Im well impressed with the help!!