From Paris to London by bike: the Avenue Verte

The Avenue Verte: an unusual 470 km cycle route between Paris and London.

If you are a cycling enthusiast, take the Avenue Verte and enjoy an adventure that takes you from one great European capital to another: from Paris to London! The 470 km route runs through towns, villages, fields, forests, past lakes and even to the sea! Charming corners of France and England await cyclists who will discover chateaux, cathedrals, remarkable towns, and villages, as well as local gastronomy. Travel across the channel from Dieppe to Newhaven is undertaken by ferry.

The Paris - Maisons-Laffitte section

© Liselotte de Bie Unsplash

The adventure starts in Paris, a place to enjoy cultural life, a stroll along the canals or along the Seine riverbanks, a panoramic view of the city from the butte Montmartre, a meal in a typical brasserie, a relaxing pause in the Tuileries Gardens or a tour of the little streets in the 13th arrondissement in search of works of street art. Then, it is time to climb on your bike!

The route begins in front of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, from where you set out to cycle through the Île de la Cité (Sainte-Chapelle, Conciergerie, Flower market …). You then turn into Boulevard Sébastopol with the Forum des Halles and the Bourse du Commerce on one side and the Centre Pompidou on the other. Next, you cross the Place de la République to join the picturesque Canal Saint-Martin, then the Bassin de la Villette and the Canal Saint-Denis along which you can admire impressive street art murals before passing close by the Stade de France. Afterwards, the route takes you along the Seine, among little islands and parks, which were a great source of inspiration for the Impressionists.

You follow the Seine to Maisons-Laffitte, where the delicious Paris-Brest cake was created and where the superb Château de Maisons stands. Stop to enjoy a well-deserved gourmet treat and then get back on your bike! After pedalling a little farther, you have the choice of two itineraries: either along the banks of the river Oise (Picardy - 472 km) or along the Epte Valley (Normandy - 406 km).

From Maisons-Laffitte towards Picardy

© Girard-OTCP

The Picardy route passes by Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent Van Gogh lived during the last years of his life. The Château d’Auvers offers an immersive journey through the history of Impressionism. The route then continues to the magnificent Château de Chantilly, where you can marvel at the largest princely stables in Europe and taste the famous Chantilly cream! Stop off for a rest at the medieval city of Senlis then cross the Oise Valley and admire the impressive Beauvais cathedral.

From Maisons-Laffitte towards Normandy

© Tak via Flickr

On the Normandy route you will discover the beautiful countryside of the valley of the Seine, as well as the Parc Naturel Régional of the French Vexin, the house and gardens of the artist Claude Monet in Giverny, the fortified castles of the Epte Valley and the medieval town of Gisors.

The other sections of the route on the way to London

© Abolade Akintunde Unsplash

Finally, the two routes converge at Saint-Germer-de-Fly before you cycle through the lovely Normandy countryside to the pretty city of Dieppe (the last stop before taking a ferry across the Channel to England), where you will see the spectacular cliffs of Normandy’s Alabaster Coast. On the other side of the Channel, you disembark at Newhaven and continue towards Polegate, Heathfield, Crawley, Redhill and Coulsdon before reaching the capital London, and its many cultural and gastronomic treasures and heritage. From Newhaven – before arriving in Polegate – don’t hesitate to take a slight detour (30 km return trip) along the coast to discover Brighton, its pebble beach, coloured houses, iconic pier, and typically British atmosphere.

Practical information for cycling on the Avenue Verte Paris - London

© Un monde à vélo

In France, the route is easily identifiable via the logo of the Avenue Verte Paris - London on the cycle route signposting.

In England, the route is indicated by the blue and white signs of the National Cycle Network, routes n.20 and n.21.

You will find accommodation providers, restaurants, places to visit, tourist offices and bike-hire and bike-repair service providers accredited with the quality mark ‘Accueil Vélo’, which guarantees a quality welcome and a high standard of services for cyclists along the cycle routes. See the list of approved establishments in Paris below.

© Emmanuel Berthier

Maps of the Avenue Verte Paris - London

Map of the section Paris - Maisons-Laffitte

© Avenue Verte Londres Paris

Map of the complete route

© Avenue Verte Londres Paris

The Avenue Verte Paris - London on social networks :

See the list of establishments with the Accueil vélo label

more ideas