Destinations Magazine

Taking The Avenue Verte To Paris

By Simon Hales @itertrav

The Avenue Verte (which is French for the Green Avenue or Green Way) is a route between London and Paris that is mostly free of traffic and which is designed for walkers, cyclists and even horse riders. The route is a combined Anglo-French initiative and to date is not complete and there are still some temporary sections, but most of it is useable.

In England the route utilises much of Routes 21, 20 AND 2 on the National Cycle Network from London to the South Coast.

This makes use of many small roads and greenways and the route is signposts as ‘Avenue Verte‘ from the very center of London all the way to Newhaven. There are many beautiful cycle paths the meander through London’s southern suburbs and then head south from the outskirts of the city to the English Channel at Newhaven. Some of the going is quite demanding and is more suitable for cyclists with some experience over this kind of terrain,

There is no need to follow the most direct route as there are several optional stages, dog legs and circular diversions through beautiful countryside that can be taken to extend the journey. For instance travellers could choose to ride from Brighton from Newhaven or to take a diversion via Royal Tunbridge Wells. For cyclists who want a shortcut, there is always the possibility of taking the train for part of the journey, though it is important to check in advance that cycles are allowed on that particular train journey; generally cycles are permitted on trains, but not always.

The cross channel link is from Newhaven to Dieppe. There are thirteen crossings per week and they take round about four hours. The ferries are comfortable with all the facilities passengers are likely to require including restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops; even a range of bicycle spares can be purchased.

On arrival at Dieppe, it is only a short distance to the center of the town. From there the route follows the French National Cycle Network route which is mainly on ‘voies vertes’  or greenways, though some sections are also on roads  which also cater for motorists.

The distance from Dieppe to Paris is around 250km and crosses eight ‘departments’ or counties. These include Oise and Seine-Maritime, Val d’Oise, Eure, Yvelines, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and finally Paris. There are also a number of optional routes, and just as in England it is possible to take the train part of the way.

The London Paris Avenue Verte is not for everyone. If you are not an intrepid walker, cyclist or horse rider then you might prefer to take the travel coach to Paris. Not only is it faster, more comfortable and relaxing, it is also cheaper.

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This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, travel passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Pets and Travelling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (Claire_Chat).

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