Forum home Road cycling forum Tours, routes, audaxes & organised rides Tour & expedition

Art of the possible

phy2sll2phy2sll2 Posts: 680
edited February 2012 in Tour & expedition
Need some help, I think! Have never toured before. :oops:

I have two of days holiday left to take before April. Could take them either side of a weekend to make a four day weekend and head over to the continent for an extended ride. :D

The two options I've been considering are:
1) Ferry to Calais, a loop to Dieppe maybe via Amiens, then home from Newhaven.
2) Train to Brussels (perhaps Thursday night?) then cross country to Paris, train back home.

Assume for now that fitness and expense are not problems: are either of these realistic?
Is it possible to tour with just a change of clothes and just stay in hostels and eat out (don't really want to drag a tent & sleeping bag around)?
Any tips? Places I should aim to see / stay in?

Posts

  • Sounds like a good idea but you could be even more ambitious, you can do a lot in 4 days!

    Me and a few mates are doing a 3 day trip similar to your option 2 over the Easter bank holiday that might give you some ideas.
    Friday London -> Harwich then night ferry to Holland,
    Saturday Holland down to Bruges for a night out
    Sunday maybe a bit worse for wear so just 40 miles down to Lille for Eurostar home, back in London Sunday.
    Relax bank holiday Monday :)

    For ours the biggest worry is fitness, we're not really cyclists and not really fit either but if that's not a problem for you you could attempt something much harder! Maybe set a target like 4 countries in 4 days?

    Staying in hostels is what we've done before, just email ahead to make sure they have secure bike storage as most won't. I wouldn't fancy lugging a tent about and at least a hostel is always dry.

    After researching ours I'm glad we chose Bruges over Brussels, it looks really nice and we have a hostel lined up that looks good if that helps.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    As far as the train option is concerned, if you haven't already done so check out the eurostar web pages - you can take an undismantled bike but it'll cost you £30 each way (costs nothing if you carry it in a bag).

    You could also head for the south coast and go to Brittany or Normandy.

    In all honesty though, for a four day tour I'm not sure it's worth the trouble and cost of going to France/Holland/Belgium. You could do a four day tour of Kent and Sussex for example leaving from your front door, or if you cycle across London to one of the train stations you have a huge range of possibilities.
  • phy2sll2phy2sll2 Posts: 680
    Friday London -> Harwich then night ferry to Holland,
    Saturday Holland down to Bruges for a night out

    Interesting suggestion. 8)

    I see you can go Le Shuttle for £16 one way with your bike.

    http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/traveller-info/vehicles/bicycles/
  • phy2sll2phy2sll2 Posts: 680
    andymiller wrote:
    You could do a four day tour of Kent and Sussex for example leaving from your front door, or if you cycle across London to one of the train stations you have a huge range of possibilities.

    You are probably right, but for me it doesn't have the romance of hitting the continent, although I would struggle to remember enough French to buy some cheese!
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    phy2sll2 wrote:
    You are probably right, but for me it doesn't have the romance of hitting the continent...

    You've not been to Calais then. :wink:
  • +1 for Belgium - as long as you don't mind cycle paths and the odd cobble!

    Amsterdam is a good option too, for obvious reasons
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