London to Paris

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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London to Paris

Postby Cusqueno » 2 Apr 2015, 8:55am

Hi. I have searched the CTC Forum but surprisingly can't find answers to this.
My daughter wants to cycle to Paris in August with some university friends. They are in Nottingham but presumably will start from London. They don't want to go on an organised ride. They are university rowers and hence generally fit but they are not experienced cyclists.
What would be the best route? Eurostar or ferry? Newhaven-Dieppe or Southampton-LeHavre?
What about stops? Not camping but not expensive - probably hostels.
Returning? Probably by train.
Many thanks.

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Re: London to Paris

Postby gaz » 2 Apr 2015, 9:13am

London to Paris crops up on the forum from time to time, most frequently as a Charity Ride but there are some independent traveller type posts in there too.

Avenue Verte has been discussed on the forum as a possible route.

Eurostar does not take full size solo bikes. There is Le Shuttle service from Cheriton, otherwise it's a ferry crossing.
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Re: London to Paris

Postby stu1102 » 2 Apr 2015, 11:41am

I would strongly suggest you use this route (From Dieppe to Paris) Donald Hirsch also has an accommodation guide on the site as well. Whilst I understand that they wish to camp/hostel etc then you will regret not staying here which I have described as the worlds best bed and breakfast for cyclists:


'Chambres du Confiturier. A truly exceptional place to stay, close to halfway mark between Dieppe & Paris. Every visitor has been bowled over by the hospitality of the confiturier (jam maker), Marie Dupuis - who looks after you “magnificently”. “Great food; lovely, welcoming family”. “Most cycle friendly place' ... nfiturier/ Source Donald Hirsch site. I agree with every single word of this description

if they are cycling from London to Dieppe then suggest you use this route below: ... -bike-ride

-bike-ride (From London to Newhaven)

I am based in Nottingham so if you need further advice pop around if you wish my wife and I live in Beeston

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Re: London to Paris

Postby nirakaro » 2 Apr 2015, 6:46pm

Why start in London, unless that’s where you happen to be? Cycling in London is pretty challenging if you’re not familiar with it. If it seems like wimping out to get a train to, say, Gatwick – it’s a nice ride from there to Newhaven – they could start somewhere further north (Nottingham?), and skirt round to the west of London. Nicer cycling, easier navigation, cheaper accommodation.

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Re: London to Paris

Postby chocjohn9 » 2 Apr 2015, 8:33pm

For the crossing there are only 2 Eurotunnel trains that you are allowed on. 9am and 3pm. They need to be pre-booked and the system is that you are given details of a hotel to meet at and a mini bus with a trailer turns up. You go through on that. I did it once and found it OK but why put yourself through the hassle of pre-booking and the stress of not making the hotel because of a visit from the puncture fairy....or something else.

The other option if the ferry. Turn up at ANY time, go on ANY ferry, ANY route and I think it's just £20. There are quite a few companies and crossings so you will never wait long. Pay on the gate. When you get to the ferry terminal at Dover, go into the ticket office, pay and then follow the red line through the port. Dead easy. I've done this loads of times and NEVER had a problem.

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Re: London to Paris

Postby JJF » 3 Apr 2015, 8:17pm

In this thread gaz said "Eurostar does not take full size solo bikes."
You can't wheel a bike onto the train with you but there is a bike service.

Here is a short extract from "the man in seat 61".

Taking bikes to Paris, Brussels or Lille by Eurostar...
Option 1: Take it with you for £30 using one of the special bike spaces on board Eurostar: You can pre-book one of the bike spaces on the same Eurostar as you for £30 each way ..... First buy your own Eurostar tickets in the normal way, then call Eurostar's baggage line on 0844 822 5822 to book a bike space on the same train as you ......

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Re: London to Paris

Postby gaz » 3 Apr 2015, 8:35pm

I stand corrected.

Full policy here. Travel on Eurostar with a bike may be possible but only from St Pancras.
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Re: London to Paris

Postby Barrenfluffit » 5 Apr 2015, 7:17pm

Definitely Newhaven Dieppe, the riding is good and the entry into paris on Mr Hirsch's route is terrific. In theory its possible to do the whole thing in a couple of days but don't. Its a nice ride and surprising rural in places. Even traditional looking stone villages. There are GPS routes to help with routefinding.

YHA London thameside is not far from the start of the london exit route and good value. YHA Telscombe and YHA South Downs are in easy striking distance of Newhaven.

The return is a bit of a conundrum. Eurostar is direct so it cuts out faffing with french train connections, ferries and uk train connections, and lands you in london in 3 hours.
However the return leg of a ferry and train ticket is relatively cheap.