Articles and Photos by David "Q." May                   All rights reserved ©2012
Cycle information current in 2012
 

To HomePage

Francais

Route 7: The Best Route from Paris to England, joining eventually the Avenue Verte Paris - London.

Bicycle Northwest from Paris to Auvers-sur-Oise, Pontoise, Chantilly, and beyond to Beauvais, Dieppe, and London.

Maps:  Paris map,
Map of Paris and suburbs (IGN TOP25 2313 and 2314 for example) or Top100 #190 and, for continuation to Diepppe #108 and #107, or from Eaubonne onwards, Michelin #511 and #513. Also see the map at travel.viamichelin.com
and particularly the embedded Google map below with the route traced on it.

Note: Unlike all the other rides on this web site, I have not personally ridden this cycle route — except virtually, using the street view feature of Google Earth and Google Maps. I have relied upon the trip reports and photos of Mark Cramer http://www.altiplanopublications.com (who kindly brought this route to my attention) and Peter Wedd (my frequent e-mail correspondent). Other information and the continuations come fromlong hours of study of maps and Internet sites. Please e-mail me at q.may@mayq.com with your comments or corrections. Thanks!!

Nature of the Ride:

This page details an easy to follow 31 kilometer bike route northwest from Notre Dame Paris (blue, pink and light-green lines on the map below) and its extensions to the northeast and to the north as far as the English Channel (red and blue lines). If you are riding the routes of this site as enjoyable day trips, save this route for last: it is entirely alongside or on streets and highways. That said, there are some interesting and even beautiful sights — the gennevilliers Trompe l'Oeil, Enghien along the lake, Eaubonne, and the Oise valley. Auvers-sur-Oise** and its countryside.

Lake d'Enghiem view from bike path.

In Paris you will ride mainly on bike paths, bike lanes or bike bands, but sometimes on the street. It is a 6 km trip from Notre Dame to the Porte de Clichy. An alternative is to take your bicycle on the RER C.

In the near-suburbs of Paris, you will ride 14 kilometers in bike lanes or on bike paths, or occasionally on roads with light traffic. After Eaubonne, the 11 or so kilometers to Auvers-sur-Oise is on highway D928 with light traffic during the day, except moderate-light traffic for the last 2 kilometers.

From Auvers-sur-Oise you can return to central Paris in less than an hour by taking the train from Auvers-sur-Oise to Saint-Quen-l'Aumone and transferring there to the RER C. Or you can ride 7 km to the RER C station in Pontoise and avoid changing trains.

With the exception of the hills leading into the Oise valley, this ride is flat. Continuations climb from the Oise valley, and are occasionally moderately rolling.

Continuations:

A) Chantilly or Senlis (See Part 4 below — orange, brown and green lines on map below): You can continue northeastward along the Oise river for 20 km, and then ride another 5 or 15 km to Chantilly or Senlis, respectively. After spending the night, you could follow the directions under this Site's Route #1 in reverse back to Paris from the northeast.

B) Beauvais (See Part 5 Section 1 below — red line on map below): From Auvers-sur-Oise you can cycle to Meru in 18 km, and Beauvais in another 22 km. Thus, by bike, Beauvais lies 70 kilometers from Notre Dame. There are frequent train connections from Méru and Beauvais back to Paris.

C) Dieppe (See Part 5 Section 2 below — blue line on map below): You can continue to Dieppe in another 105 kilometers or so, following the Avenue Verte Paris-London:

D) England (See Part 5 Section 3 below): You can cross the Channel in 4 hours to Newhaven and ride to London or elsewhere in the U.K.


View
Notre Dame, Paris to Auvers-sur-Oise in a larger map">


Click here to view Notre Dame, Paris to Auvers-sur-Oise in a larger map in a new window.
For my translation
of this map into GPX tracks, click here.

There are aternative routes towards Auvers-sur-Oise and beyond:

(A)The Avenue-Verte Route London Paris (www.avenuevertelondonparis.com) begins in Paris and eventually reaches Dieppe ). If you want to ride to Auvers-sur-Oise, I recommend foregoing the Avenue Verte, and to Dieppe, I recommend not getting on the AV route before Beauvais or Saint-Germer-de-Fly.

The AV is a quasi-commercial endeavor to support tourism along its route, supported by the departmental governments. It's route does often take bike lanes or minor roads. However, taking the meandering, even circuitous AV route from Paris will cost you dearly in kilometers and time. The initial sections of the AV through Saint Denis, according to online comments, can be unpleasant and hard to follow..

The bicycle route out of Paris suggested on this page is easier, clearer and shorter by 5 km to the point where the two routes temporarily meet in Gennevilliers, a Paris near-suburb. I have noted in the directions below the point where the AV route diverges in gennevilliers, in case you wish to follow it. From that intersection the AV route is 37 km longer to Auvers-sur-Oise.

To Dieppe, the AV main route is 36 kilometers or 20% longer than my route (or 21 km longer if on my route, as I suggest, you visit Beauvais); and the AV eastern variation which does visit Beauvais is 101 km longer from gennevilliers (or 64 km longer if you follow my route to Auvers-sur-Oise and pick up the AV eastern variation there).

(B) Donald Hirsch's route out of Paris (www.donaldhirsch.com/dieppeparis.html), described from north to south, which starting in Paris essentially follows my route #6 out of Paris to Versailles and into the Marly forest, and then turns north. (I strongly recommend using the better directions in my Route # 6 until after Versailles.)The Hirsch route, from Notre Dame to where it meets my route, at Saint-Germer-de-Fly is about 125 kilometers, as opposed to 93 kilometers on mine – 32 km or about one-third longer (18 km longer if you visit Beauvais on my route). The the Hirsch route's advantage – disadvantage for those like me who like to see suburban as well as rural life – is that it avoids suburban riding. Thus on the Hirsch route you ride from forest to forest to park to park without many urban interuptions. In my mind, if you are going to take Hirsch's route, you should take a slight detour adding 2.5 kilometers to ride along the Grand Canal of Versailles, as described in the "Scenic Variation" of my route #6. (If, for some reason the gate from Versailles is not open, as it is supposed to be, you would have to double back, adding another 3.5 kilometers, six in total, but given the beauty of the Versailles park, this will be a highpoint of your ride, and I, certainly, would not regret the kilometers.


Directions for the ride:

To print the itinerary, selectsections of the text below, and choose print selection.

Links:

Part 1: Cycling from Notre Dame, Paris to Epinay (13km)
Part 2: Cycling from Epinay through Enghien to Eaubonne (7 km):
Part 3: From Eaubonne to Auvers-sur-Oise (11.1 km)
TOTAL DISTANCE FROM PARIS TO AUVERS-SUR-OISE : 31 kilometers

Part 4: From Auvers-sur-Oise to Chantilly and Senlis (about 25 or 35 km)

Part 5, Section 1: From Auvers-sur-Oise to Beauvais (about 49 kilometers)
Part 5, Section 2: From Beauvais to Dieppe (about 105 kilometers)
TOTAL DISTANCE FROM PARIS TO DIEPPE: 185 kilometers

Part 5, Section 3: Info on cycling from Newhaven, in England

Part 1: Cycling to Epinay from Notre Dame, Paris (13 km).

If starting your ride from the Porte de Clichy, subtract 6 km from all distances given from Notre Dame.

From central Paris, ride, to the Porte de Clichy. (Or, you may take the RER C to the stop Porte de Clichy.) To ride to the Porte de Clichy, download the map "paris-a-velo-le-bon-plan" from this Internet Page: http://www.paris.fr/viewmultimediadocument?multimediadocument-id=66231. From central Paris follow route #6 on this map. You will ride about 6 kilometers from Notre Dame. As far as the Rue de Rome there are bike lanes, bike bands, and shared lanes with busses and taxis. Thereafter, you may wish to use the wide and mainly empty sidewalks.

Leaving the Porte de Clichy.

Starting from the Metro-RER station at the Porte de Clichy, ride northwest on the Avenue de la Porte de Clichy. Your lane angles right at a Y and goes under the Periphérique highway. You are now out of Paris, and in the Department of Hauts-de-Seine. Keep angling to the right onto D912, Bd. Victor Hugo (low to moderate traffic, possible biking on sidewalk). In about 8 blocks (after 0.5 km), turn left onto D110, Bd. du Général Leclerc (sign indicating Epinay and the Pont de gennevilliers) (low to moderate traffic, possible biking on sidewalk).

In six blocks at the traffic circle take the second exit (angling slightly to the right), D17, Rue du Général Rouget (sign for Epinay s/ Seine). Traffic is light. At the next traffic circle bear slightly left (3rd exit) still on D17. If for any reason the traffic on D17 is heavy, the sidewalk is smooth and empty. Cross the Pont de gennevilliers on the right sidewalk.You are, for only a couple of blocks, in Ansières, then you enter Gennevilliers.Take the first exit. You cross an on-ramp at a stoplight. Then, immediately angle left onto (wide) Ave. Laurent Cely (still D17). You pass in front of the tower in the photos below. The second photo was taken most recently by Peter Wedd.

Crossing the entry road to the four-lane highway towards Gennevilliers. You go left at the next street.

Grenvilliers tower updated

You have come 2.8 km from the Porte de Clichy. After one long block an ample and clearly-indicated (but unprotected) bike lane begins. Traffic is very low, and the riding is pleasant.

You pass on the right the entrance to the large Parc de Sévines. The multi-lane N315, which has been running in a cut, about 10 meters below you to the left, goes completely underground at a crossing with a stop light where the bike lane temporarily ends.

 
Trompe L'Oeil
In front of you on the right is a red brick building. Pay close attention to the front facade as you pass. It is a trompe l'oeil. The balconies and windows are fake. The bricks too.e. Take the time to note on the 3rd floor a beagle gazing out the window, and on the 4th a pajama-clad resident. The artist was Didier Chauvin. Image (edited for space) is from Netpadro.Blogspot.com , Patrick Drouin' photography site:

Route D17 becomes D911. Two (2) km from where you joined Avenue Laurent Cely, you reach a large traffic circle, where you take the 2nd exit, bearing slightly to the right, on Av. Marcel Paul. (This is where the Avenue-Verte bike route from Paris via Saint-Denis temporarily joins this route.)

 

 

 

You pass by an interesting, even beautiful, train station built in 1908, a protected historical monument, now a McDo. Then you cross over the Autoroute.(This is where the AV route veers off, making a left turn.) Continue straight. After riding 2.2 km from the beginning of Ave. Marcel Paul you reach the far end of the bridge over the Seine, now in Epinay, Department of Seine-Saint-Denis, on D234.

A cyclist poses before the McDonald's train station.

Part 2: Cycling from Epinay through Enghien to Eaubonne (7 km):

Continuing straight, you ride on Av. du 18 Juin 1940 and then Av. Salvador Allende (sign Cliniques des Presles, etc). These are wide four-lane streets with light traffic. You come to a T (600 meters from the Seine).

Where you keep straight for the Avenue de Enghien.

Turn left (heading northwest), cross under a rail bridge, and immediately stay right (straight) onto the Ave. de Enghien.You ride into the Department of Val de Oise, and in 1.1 km you arrive at a T (the street more or less ahead has a do not enter sign). Turn right on Ave. Gallieni.

The intersection at Ave. Galleni. After viewing the lake(to the right) you will continue on the
street directly ahead, where a bike path begins.
.

To view the lovely swan Lac d'Enghien from the benches of the promenade (recommended), continue straight for 200 meters. Then retrace your way to the Boulevard du Lac (D15) and turn right.

View from the Esplanade of the Lac d'Enghien.

To continue without visiting the lake, in one block cross to the left in the crosswalk and double back into the Boulevard du Lac (D15), taking the bicycle path along the right sidewalk. In this wealthy area you will pass lovely houses, some of stone, behind wrought-iron fences or walls.

Bike path and homes along the Avenue du Lac.
Bike path on the Avenue de Ceinture.

At the Angle right onto the Ave. de Ceinture, and be sure to stop at the open spaces on your right to view the lake before the hills of Montmorency in the distance. The water of this natural lake comes from those hills. The road gradually curves to the right and the bike path ends. The road now curves left and passes a Lycée on the right. Ave. de Ceinture branches off sharply to the right, and if you want to have another view of the lake, you can ride down it for 200 meters. Otherwise continue straight on tree-lined Ave. Mathilde (sign "Saint Gratien, Hippodrome). You again pass many attractive homes while you scarcely note a car.

At the lovely tree and flower-bedecked traffic island, bear right. A bike path begins alongside Ave. Kellerman in an commercial area of Soisy-sous-Montmorency. You come to a traffic circle. Continue along the bike path and under the rail bridge, and you come to another circle. (You many return to Paris here by taking the Line H train to Saint-Denis and the RER D from there.)

Follow the roundabout around to the left, leaving Ave. Kellerman, and with the entrance to the racetrack on your right, ride on the sidewalk along Chausée Jules César (sign A15, Eaubonne - Aut res Quatiers, etc.). The sidewalk appears to be bike path. This bears right in 100 meters into the Rue d'Enghien — with views of the race course. The bike path is bumpy from tree roots, so you may wish to bike in the street. After the race course, you are in a neighborhood of many small houses. Stay on the curvy Rue d'Enghein until this ends (along with the bike path) in Eaubonne. You have come almost 13 kilometers from the Porte de Clichy, 19 from Notre Dame.

On your left across the street is the covered market. Directly to your left is city hall. There is a small supermarket and a brasserie nearby. Turn right, and ride one block to the roundabout. The first road to your right leads by a Pizzeria and, after crossing the pavement, into a nice park nestled between buildings, the Parc Claude Monet.

From the roundabout, turn left (fourth exit) onto Rue Henri Barbusse (D140). In 100 meters or so a bike lane begins. The street changes its name to Jeanne Robillon. At the traffic circle continue straight (now Rue Tarbe du Sablons — sign, Cimetierre). The road is one way (with a bike lane in the opposite sense) and big trucks are not allowed. At the next traffic circle bear right. In one block you arrive at D928, which you will follow all the way to Auvers-sur-Oise. The intersection is a giant traffic circle in the form of a figure eight. You must go mostly around this, not leaving it the same direction that you arrived in, but more to the left (sign A 115 - A15. This spot is 1 km from the Rue d'Enghien.

Part 3: From Eaubonne to Auvers-sur-Oise (11.1 km)

There is no good alternative to D928 to reach Auvers-sur-Oise. Fortunately, although one is still in the Paris agglomeration, the traffic on D928 is light to moderate, except for the last two kilometers after the Francillienne Highway. That is because, for through traffic, a faster way towards Paris or other destinations is by taking the Autoroutes 15 and 115 and N184 and 104 (the Francillienne).

You pass through several pretty towns — Saint-Leu-la-Foret, Taverny Bessancourt, Sognolles, and Méry-sur-Oise —bounded on the North by the Forest of Montmorency. The roads in the forest are intermittent and mainly dirt, and therefore not very useful for road biking. As far as I can discern from Internet research, there are no destinations in the forest that warrant a detour from D928.

Looking downhill towards Auvers-sur-Oise in Méry-sur-Oise.
Bike path in Méry-sur-Oise alongside the Parc du Chateau.

There is a rapid descent into Méry-sur-Oise, at the bottom of which on the right lies the "splendid sprawling" Parc of the Chateau of Méry-sur-Oise. The Park is open from 12 PM to 8PM during the week and from 9AM to 8PM on weekends during the period from April 1 through September 30. Otherwise, on all days except Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is open from 9AM until 5PM. The Chateau itself is operated by its owner as a restaurant and a hotel.

After the park entrance, a shaded bike path begins. This ends at the Oise River. Continue straight, crossing the bridge into Auvers-sur-Oise**.

View of the Oise river just before Auvers.

The town has a great deal of charm, which is perhaps why many famous 19th century painters have come to Auvers-sur-Oise: Van Gogh, Daubigny, Pissaro, Cezanne, and Corot. Van Gogh's grave is located there. A virtual museum of their paintings may be found at this web address: http://www.auvers-sur-oise.com/heading/heading915.html. On this page there is a link to promenades, including one that visits the homes of these painters, and another that references views seen in Van Gogh' work. For the continuation of each of these walks, click at the bottom left. Some sample paintings are:

Vincent Van Gogh: L'Eglise d'Auvers-sur Oise (1890)
Cezanne: Chaumieres à Auvers-sur-Oise
Cezanne: Vue Panoramique d'Auvers-sur-Oise (1873)

To reach the railway station, turn left just after the railway bridge. (D4 - Rue du Général de Gaulle) and continue 200 meters.

To reach the RER station in Pontoise, ride southeast on D4. This becomes D947 and D14 in Pontoise. Keep left, straight ahead and ride over the elevated section. Stay along the Oise, passing by the bridge over the Oise and take the first right (sign: Gare). Turn left in 400 meters to reach the station entrance (7.2 km from Auvers-sur-Oise).

Part 4: From Auvers-sur-Oise to Chantilly and Senlis (25 or 35 km)

By riding to Chantilly or Senlis or even Compiègne, a loop can be made back to Paris following in reverse the directions for Route 1. Given the distances from central Paris, for most riders this will be a two- or even three-day trip.

After crossing the rail line in Auvers-sur-Oise, turn right immediately onto D4 (Rue Rajon). Continue 5.1 km until the Y, where you must angle right onto Rue de President Wilson. At the bridge (5.8 km), turn right and cross the Oise into L'Isle Adam.

At the first cross street, turn left and walk your bike on the sidewalk for one block before the street becomes one way. Angle left at the Y. (As an alternative, walk your bicycle up the Grand Rue, and turn left at the church and at the second street turn right.) Join another street that goes due East. Pass a pond to your left and come to a traffic circle. Continue straight, following D922 over the Autoroute. At the traffic circle you must go left to continue in the same direction as before on D922, bypassing Mours, or go straight through to go through Mours to rejoin D922. After passing under the rail line, at the traffic circle go right.

You enter Beaumont-sur-Oise. A bike path starts and goes up a hill. Soon the bike path ends. At the traffic circle continue straight, slightly to the right on Rue de l'Isle Adam, one way in your direction. This joins Ave. Camot angling to the left and you shortly angle to the right, still on D922, Rue de Paris. You reach another roundabout with a tree planted on a hexagonal brick platform with narrow steps. D922 bears right one block, then left (sign for Viarmes, etc. after the turn). You now pass some restaurants and a bakery. The street is one way in your direction.

After the traffic circle near the village of Les Oliviers there is a Y. Branch right (sign for Noisy s/ Oise) on a pretty road with almost no traffic. (It would be possible to stay straight on D922 — less scenic and more traffic but faster.) Pass by the sign for Beaumont-sur-Oise on the left that leads in one block back to D922. The road (Grande Rue) narrows through Ansières-sur-Oise. One block after a little roundabout with, in the middle, a Christ on a cross, bear left (sign: C1, Abbaye de Royaumont). Cross route D922. (If you have been riding on D922 it is easy to miss this left turn. The road angles across and there is a blue sign with a white arrow on it. If you miss it, turn left at the traffic circle on D909.) This road becomes unpaved for a short distance, and reaches D909.

A left here on D909 will take you in 600 meters to the entrance on the right for the Ancient Abbaye of Royaumont, which has two Michelin stars**. To continue to Chantilly from there, come back to D909, turn right, and follow D909 for 10 km.

If you are skipping the Abbaye de Royaumont,and if you would prefer a route deep in the countryside and forest, partly unpaved, continue straight across D909. After the curve, turn left and ride through Bailon to a T (2.3Km). Turn left(*Rue Santiago Solas). Continue northward past D118, and at the second large traffic circle (5.0 km) bear obliquely right on Av. de Goubieux. After several name changes this reaches a T at D909 (6.6 km). Turn right and continue into Chantilly (11.1 km).

If you are continuing on to Senlis, rather than following the shorter and pastoral D924 (9.7 km from this point, 9.2 km from the center of town), you can ride in the forest: Turn right just after the rail line before Chantilly, turn left at the traffic circle, onto the Ave. de la Plaine des Aigles, after some jogs, continue to the the cobblestoned Carrefour des Lions. Turn right on D924A, and at the next intersection turn left on D138. Ride to the T and turn right onto Rue de la Garenne and follow this, with jogs and name changes into D1017. Turn left to reach Senlis (12 km).

To link Senlis with Compiègne, head northeast on the Route de Compiènge.

And to make a circuit back to Paris, see my discussion on the page for Route 1, Northeast. on how to link to these towns to Gressy (north of Claye-Souilly on that route).

Part 5: From Auvers-sur-Oise to England (London or elsewhere) via Beauvais and Dieppe.

See the end of the introductory information on Continuations for a discussion of, and links to, alternative routes.

Strong riders, able to cover 80 to 105 kilometers per day, can reach Dieppe from central Paris in two full days. The second day could be only 80 km if Beauvais is skipped, but it would be a shame to miss the Cathedral. Slower-paced riders will wish to take three or four days, perhaps breaking their trip at Auvers-sur-Oise and Forges-les-Eaux.

It is also possible to continue from Auvers-sur-Oise to Dieppe using the Avenue Verte. This would be 14 kilometers longer than the direct route that skips Beauvais, and thus is the same distance as my route that does visit Beauvais. The city of Gisors on that route has one Michelin star, as compared to two for Beauvais. To join that route you would cycle south from Auvers-sur-Oise through Pointoise. (See the Avenue Verte site refrenced above.)

Section 1: From Auvers-sur-Oise to Beauvais (about 49 kilometers):

You have a choice of routes towards Beauvais from Anvers-sur-Oise. If you were to follow the Oise north-east, you can avoid some of the hills, but the distance your ride would be be longer. I favor the direct, shorter route, which has very little traffic and passes through fewer towns. Before Beauvais there are only three hills and none of the climbs are more than 150 meters. You will be riding among fields

To continue from Auvers-sur-Oise towards the north, after the railroad bridge turn left (west) on D4. In a few blocks (300 meters), branch right onto D928, which begins climbing. A cycle lane begins, ending after your climb is complete. In about 5.7 km from the rail bridge in Auvers-sur-Oise you reach a large roundabout in Hérouville, and D928 ends. Continue northward on D927 (sign Vallangoujard, Meru, etc.). D927 is well sign-posted towards Méru and then Beauvais.

You cross under the Autoroute and enter the ample town of Méru. You will see the railroad station on your right, 21 km from Auvers-sur-Oise. It can be accessed by an underground passage from the parking lot. on your right; or to avoid carrying your bicycle down the stairs, ride on the street that runs beside the tracks to the T. Turn right, cross under the tracks, and turn right again. There is hourly train service to Paris (Gare du Nord) on weekdays, every two hours on weekends. Bicycles are carried on all trains in the cars with a green and white bicycle pictogram. The same line serves Beauvais.

Continue north on D927. There are no navigation difficulties until you reach the Beauvais area . I suggest the following route into Beauvais, which will avoid climbs, heavy traffic in narrow roads or four-lane highways, and is no longer:

Just after you cross the autoroute and curve back to almost touch it, and then curve left, you reach a traffic circle. Go left, that is, take the third exit onto D2 (sign: Auteuil). Continue 4.3 km, passing by D93, and at D35 turn right (sign: Vaux). Follow this into Beauvais. Approaching Beauvais it becomes the Rue de Deportès, and curves sharply to the left, descending, and then back to the right. At the Y you fork to the right (the left fork is one way against you). (Don't ride on the bike band; it is too close to car doors.)

At the traffic circle continue straight for one block, then turn left on Rue Desgroux (sign: Beauvais Centre). Cross the tracks, and take the second turn left on Bd. Saint-Jean (or you will get caught up in a maze of one-way streets). (The train station is a right turn here, about 500 meters east.) This turns right (north) and in four or so blocks becomes Bd. Antoine Loisel. Continue three more blocks past a large parking lot on the right, and turn right on Rue Saint-Pierre to reach the Cathedral (another 10.8 km). You are 49 kilometers from Auvers-sur-Oise. The Tourist Office is 200 meters further on, on the right (1 rue Beauregard).

Michelin gives Beauvais two stars. The Saint-Pierre Cathedral*** is a masterpiece of Gothic art and contains a complicated astronomical clock. The Saint-Etienne church* combines romanesque and flamboyant styles.

In larger towns it is generally not safe to leave a bicycle locked on the street. If you are spending the night in Beauvais, make advance arrangements to lock your bicycle there in a courtyard or storage room while you see the town.

Note: If your schedule does not permit a visit to Beauvais or you wish to avoid bigger towns, you may cycle directly to Saint-Germer-de-Fly from Méru in 40 km on D129, (62 km from Auvers-sur-Oise). This saves 14 kilometers.

Section 2: From Beauvais to Dieppe (about 105 kilometers):

From Beauvais to Dieppe, I would suggest following the route described on www.avenueverte.com. I have copied this route onto the map above as a blue line, but you will find more details, photos, and some lodging information on the AV site. Their route is not the shortest by any means, but it is often more interesting, and it avoids main highways if possible. If you are in a hurry you might wish to ride the more direct routes, usually with only light traffic.

The roadside imagery on Google, from 2010, did not show route signs at important turns along the AV, but they may have been put in place since then. (If you ride this section before I do, please email me.) In any event, my experience has been that it is always helpful to mark the route out on a map before leaving -- or to put it into your GPS.

The Avenue Verte site breaks the bike route up into pages covering sections of short length, so I will list them below with the appropriate links:

Beauvais to Saint-Aubin-en-Bray (19.8 km): http://www.avenuevertelondonparis.com/etapes/beauvais-st-aubin-en-bray

Saint-Aubin-en-Bray to Saint-Germer-de-Fly (8 km): http://www.avenuevertelondonparis.com/etapes/st-aubin-en-bray-gournay-en-bray

Saint-Germer-de-Fly to Gournay-en-Bray (11.3 km): http://www.avenuevertelondonparis.com/etapes/neuf-marche-gournay-en-bray

Note: An off route detour adding perhaps 25 km to the trip can be made to the fabulous half-timbered village of Gerberoy**. A closer destination would be Beauvoir-en-Lyons*. For forest lovers, there's Lyon-la-Foret* village and its fabulous beech tree forest. Gerberoy and Lyon-la-Foret are on the official register of the most beautiful villages in France.

Gournay-en-Bray to Forges-les-Eaux (26.6 km): http://www.avenuevertelondonparis.com/etapes/gournay-en-bray-forges-les-eaux

Forges-les-Eaux to Neufchâtel-en-Bray (18.6 km): http://www.avenuevertelondonparis.com/etapes/forges-les-eaux-neufchatel-en-bray

Saint-Vasst d'Equiqueville to Arques-la-Bataille (12.6 km): http://www.avenuevertelondonparis.com/etapes/st-vaast-dequiqueville-arques-la-bataille

Arques-la-Bataille to Dieppe (8.7 km): http://www.avenuevertelondonparis.com/etapes/arques-la-bataille-dieppe

Dieppe has two Michelin stars.

Ships of the L D Lines (http://ldlines.co.uk) ply the Channel from Dieppe to Newhaven twice daily (possibly 3 times daily in summer), at approximately 5:30 AM and 6:00 PM (Check departure time online with dates due to tidal restrictions.) It is a four hour trip across the Channel, but keep in mind that it will be an hour earlier when you arrive due to the time change. You will need to lodge, obviously, in either Dieppe or Newhaven. The price of the ferry in the fall of 2012, for a person and bicycle, was €35.

Section 3: Cycling on from Newhaven, in England

The Avenue Verte web site outlines a route in England from Newhaven to London. They also mention the excellent British site http://www.sustrans.org.uk (Sustrans = sustainable transportation). On the Sustrans site, enter "Newhaven" in the blue box with the text "Search our mapping". This will bring up waymarked bicycle routes from Newhaven, including those to London. If you click the print symbol, a printable format of the map will appear. However, after examining these, I would urge you to strongly consider the route of Chris Smith /www.travelloglewes.co.uk/index.php?page=london--lewes--paris-bike-ride. That is the route that I plan to ride this summer. Close to London, it is usually the same as the Sustrans National Route #21 (though with suggested alternate routes to avoid mud if the weather has been rainy), but towards Newhaven it is much shorter (117 kilometers - 77 miles) and more scenic than Route #21. Chris's pages also have information on nearby points of interest and lodging.