Last Friday six of us, who usually cycle in the Cycle Seahaven touring rides, hopped across the channel for a weekend of cycling in the countryside around Dieppe.
The ferry crossing from Newhaven only takes 4 hours and is quite cheap so it’s an attractive proposition to hop across to Dieppe and do some cycle ‘touring’ rides in France. It’s something I have considered in the past but Cycle Seahaven isn’t insured for organising rides abroad.
Therefore, we decided to each make our own ferry and hotel arrangements for this weekend of cycling so that the club wasn’t involved; hence it wasn’t shown on the Calendar of Rides.
Anyone who has cycled in France will be well aware that cycling there is a rather different experience to cycling on this side of the channel and, arguably, a more pleasant experience for road cyclists. Country roads tend to be quieter, road surfaces in better condition and drivers more considerate towards cyclists.
Over the weekend we cycled just over 100 miles which included some cycling along the Avenue Verte to Neufchatel-en-Bray and along country roads to Criel-Plage, Le Tréport an Eu. There were also many café stops!
The Avenue Verte, which starts a few kilometres south of Dieppe and continues for about 45 kms to Forges-les-Eaux, is part of the signposted route for cyclists between London and Paris, also called the Avenue Verte. This 45 kms stretch of Avenue Verte to Forges is a superb path for cycling as it’s wide, superbly surfaced and virtually flat although there are some gradual ascents and descents which are hardly noticeable. We cycled along it for about 30 kms to Neufchatel for a café stop.
Dieppe is a good place to be based for a few days of cycling as there’s plenty of accommodation as well as bars and restaurants. We stayed at the Hôtel de la Plage which has a garage to the rear of the hotel where bicycles can be stored. Also, it’s in a good location along the boulevard on the seafront and only a short walk to the shops and the marina where there are many of the bars and restaurants. We spent two very pleasant evenings at the marina; there’s certainly no shortage of fish restaurants!
All in all, this has been a super weekender in Dieppe. We’ve had some good cycle rides, the weather has been reasonably good for September and we’ve had a couple of very pleasant evenings in Dieppe; good food and drink and great company. We must do it again next year.