Paris to London Cycling Holiday
Self Guided or Guided
Start / FinishParis / London
Distance217 miles/350 kms
An exciting cycling holiday, connecting two of Europe’s most iconic cities with a highly enjoyable ride through gorgeous countryside and charming villages. The leisurely and varied route follows quiet lanes and dedicated cycle paths past elegant chateaux and cosy country pubs.
Spend a night in Paris, enjoying the sights and sounds of one of europe’s most romantic cities before cycling out into a more peaceful, rural world of quiet, leafy lanes and unspoilt countryside. The route leads you north into charming Upper Normandy where you join the Voie-Verte, a greenway cycle path that heads toward the English Channel coast.
Bid au-revoir to France in Dieppe and cross the channel to Newhaven, close to Brighton, in the country of Sussex. The route to England’s historic capital city leads you north through the beautiful Sussex Downs and along the idyllic Cuckoo Trail. The finish line is in Westminster beneath Big Ben in the heart of London. Writer Samuel Johnson said, “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” so we’re sure you will enjoy your night in this ancient, vibrant and exciting city.
Whether it’s the rolling Sussex Downs, or the fields and forests of Normandy, this route is a delight, providing a continuous flow of interesting sights and experiences along the way.
The route is mostly flat although you should be prepared for a few, slightly hilly sections between the Sussex Coast and London. You will cycle on traffic-free cycle paths and quiet country lanes with a few short stretches along slightly busier roads near Paris and London.
Itinerary & Map
The route is mostly flat although you should be prepared for a few, slightly hilly sections between London and the South Coast of England. You will cycle on traffic-free cycle paths and quiet country lanes with a few short stretches along slightly busier roads near the cities.
Day 1: Arrive Paris
On arrival in Paris make your way to your first hotel, the remainder of the day is yours to relax or explore. Paris is simply amazing with so many parks, churches, museums and monuments at your doorstep. If this is your first time in Paris you may need to consider a few extra nights! The Louvre, the largest art museum in the world, Notre Dame and of course the Eiffel Tower are must-sees. For those who like to shop or simply window shop, you are spoilt for choice with a huge selection of department stores, chic boutiques and flea markets waiting for you!
Day 2: Paris – Cergy, 35 miles/55 kms
Leave the city cycling along the Axe Historique with its famous monuments including the Louvre, The Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. Cycle onwards passing wonderful villas and gardens and islands where the impressionists loved to spend time. In Conflans-Sainte-Honorine you have the opportunity to visit a riverboat museum. Overnight in Cergy, a suburb of Paris.
Day 3: Clergy – Gisors, 37 miles/60 kms
Today you leave the city behind cycling through the heart of the Vexin natural park. Today is all about picturesque towns, castles, and beautiful rural countryside. Stop at Villarceaux to admire the eighteenth-century castle before cycling on to Gisors and the fortress which marks the historical Franco-Norman border.
Day 4: Gisors – Forges-les-Eaux, 41 miles/65 kms
Cycle on through gorgeous, open rolling countryside to the spa town of Forges-les-Eaux in Normandy, which is proud of its regional gourmet cuisine. On the way, be sure to stop and wonder round Gournay-en-Bray, a delightful little town with some beautiful old, half timbered buildings.
Day 5: Forges-les-Eaux – Newhaven, 38 miles/60 kms plus ferry
Today you follow the brand new cycle path to the port of Dieppe where you will take the ferry across the English Channel to England. En-route you cycle through open countryside dotted with farms and pretty little towns. Just before the coast you reach the Arques estuary, a haven for waterfowl, overlooked by the romantic hilltop ruin of Château d’Arques-la-Bataille. The channel crossing takes 4 hours and on arrival in Newhaven you check-in to a nearby hotel for the night.
Day 6: Newhaven – East Grinstead, 35 to 47 miles/55 to 75 kms
Start the day by taking the train to the nearby village of Polegate. You can also consider cycling to the nearby, vibrant city of Brighton just along the coast and then taking the train to Polegate from there – this will add another 13 miles (20kms) to the day but in our opinion it’s worth it as there is lots to see and do in our home town! From Polegate, follow the delightful Cuckoo trail, a disused railway route, north as far as the village of Heathfield and then switch to quiet lanes – with a few hilly sections – to the tiny village of Groombridge. After that it’s an easy ride to the old market town of East Grinstead where you spend the night.
Day 7: East Grinstead – London, 28 miles/45 kms
Your last day’s cycling takes you to the modern town of Crawley, near Gatwick Airport where you catch the train up to Couldson just south of London. From here cycle on into the bustling city finishing the ride under Big Ben. The rest of the day is yours to explore this exciting city and celebrate you incredible achievement.
Day 8: End of trip
After breakfast it’s time to check-out and head for home for your next adventure.
Dates & Prices
|2019 Arrival Dates|
|August||2, 3||9, 10||17||24|
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|Deposit per person||£125|
Self-guided: 7 x Breakfast
Guided: 7 x Breakfast, 5 x Dinner
Maps and route information.
Ferry Dieppe - Newhaven
Support van in area
Guided tour also includes: Tour guide
Bike hire & helmet (see supplements)
Train journeys, day 6 & 7
Extra night Paris, single, superior (£174)
Bike with pannier & lock. See practical information (£87)
Electric bike with pannier & lock (£200)
The bikes provided on this tour are modern aluminium framed, 27-gear unisex bikes with comfortable gel saddle and upright riding position. The bikes come equipped with pannier, handlebar bag, water bottle, water bottle holder, odometer and lock plus one repair kit per cabin.
Electric bikes are also available for hire.
Helmets are included, however we always suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons.
Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard.
Comfort: Comfortable hotels and guesthouses.
Paris: Holiday Inn Express Paris – Canal De La Villette
Cergy: Novotel Cergy-Pontoise
Gisors: Hotel Moderne Gisors
Forges-Les-Eaux: Forges Hotel
Newhaven: Premier Inn Newhaven
East Grinstead: Crowne Plaza Felbridge
London: Park Plaza Westminster Bridge
- Date - 26/08/2017
- Name - Anonymous
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Everything was well organized and easy to work with.
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - We were pleased with the entire trip. Everything went as planned and in an efficient, competent way.
- Flexitreks response - So glad you enjoyed it and thanks for the lovely review.
- Date - 03/07/2017
- Name - Catlyne Hos
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Everything went well, all enquiries were answered promptly and satisfactorily. Information given was very good.
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - WE loved the tour for the tremendous variety of countrysides and cycling conditions we covered. Our electric bikes were fantastic and, once we got the hang of navigating, we managed very well. There were some really rough sections through woods and farmlands as well as beautifully smooth paths along the Avenue Verte. Overall it was great! All hotels were good and Matteo was helpful.
It would have helped enormously if the reading material had been available for us in the hotel on the Saturday night as described in the briefing notes. It really was too much to take in at 8.30 Sun morning, when you are sorting out your bike, sorting out the app on the phone, trying to read the map and read the instructions while Matteo is also talking. Matteo said the hotel loses them, but I don't think that is good enough. We needed time to take it all in, so that on Sunday morning we could get set up on the bikes and go.
The instructions were not clear about the start of the route. Some said it was Notre Dame in Paris, but we were in the Hotel 5 kms out of town. It wasn't clear that we would cycle in to the city first. I think it should have been clear that we start at Canal de Villette.
At times the route signage was perfect and at other times really hit and miss. We did get lost a few times as did others. Also, the instructions, the map and the app sometimes differed. Luckily, we could work on the app and managed reasonably well.
The rough tracks were also quite a challenge in some places, you felt you needed a mountain bike.
Navigating to leave Paris and the final cycling in London are not for the fainthearted!! Walking around those cities again, I don't know how we didi it, but I am glad we did.
- Flexitreks response - Many thanks for the thorough review Catlyne. Matteo was mortified that the packs went missing at the start of the trip and is very sorry that this made the first morning quite stressful for you.
Your feedback on the route notes is appreciated and in light of your comments we have asked our local guide to review the instructions .
I'm glad that despite these minor issues you enjoyed the holiday overall.
- Date - 13/12/2015
- Name - Helen Parker
- Service rating - 4.0
- Service comment - Excellent personal service from Flexitreks
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - The tour guide was patient, fun and understanding. She instantly had as bonding as a group before we even left Paris and set the tone for the entire 7 days. I could not ask for a better tour leader. The route was picturesque and perfect for a not very experienced rider- hardly any traffic. We through major towns, small country towns, and on bike paths- I always felt safe and never in any danger of being left behind despite our group of 21 cyclists.
- Flexitreks response - Dear Helen,
It is nice to hear from you and thank you for the kind comments. Your feedback on the trip itself is really detailed and useful, so thank you. The Flexitreks team.