Fancy cycling to Paris for a weekend escape? Oui.
A new route ready for the 2012 Olympics is being built that will link London to Paris. The plan is to utilise existing cycle paths and link them together wherever necessary with new routes. The starting point in London is at the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral and it ends at Notre Dam Cathedral, an 800 year old famous Parisian landmark.
As you can see in the above route map off the official website the route would go through Surrey and West and East Sussex. The crossing is at Newhaven and then in France it continues through Seine Maritime and into Paris along the route of the former Dieppe-Paris railway.
There will also be a second route called the Tour de la Manche which will go through East Sussex and Kent and cross the English Channel at Calais. It would then head west along the French coast line to rejoin the first route.
It is hoped that the majority of the route will avoid roads. The path will include cycle parking and rest stops with presumably facilities for bike repairs.
If you’re hoping to cycle the route then prepare for a saw bum, as it is around 218 miles long and will take an average cyclist around 3 days. There is some terrific scenery along the way however and it will save you around £200 for the train ticket. Of course if you are the impatient, adventurous, cycling obsessed sort then numerous routes have been posted on the internet. Just make sure you have a good comfortable saddle and nice pair of cycling shorts.
The route which has been called symbolic is projected to cost around £30 million for the UK side alone with funding from the project coming from the European Union grants and the National Lottery fund.
For more information on the route checkout the Franco-British Cycle Plan website.