Camping Along The Avenue Verte In France

One part of last year’s Grand Tour around Europe that I was particularly impressed by was the French section of the Avenue Verte that links London with Paris. I didn’t, of course, start in London; I joined the route in Dieppe and then headed south towards the French capital. It had everything that you might want when it comes to cycle touring; off-road cycling along disused railway lines, interesting places to visit, beautiful countryside and even for me in the summer of 2022, amazing weather, as the pictures below illustrate.

It also had some fantastic campsites to use along the way. Here is where I stayed…

…and here are the photos to prove it:

However, although I didn’t use this facility, there was a place where I could have stayed overnight but (because it was in the wrong place for me), I didn’t. Watch the video and listen especially to the question I pose at the end:

“I wonder if there any more of these further down the route?”

Well, my question has been answered, by Phil Pilkington who has sent an email:

“I’ve just arrived home from riding the Avenue Verte and while I spotted your bivouac site by the wayside, we spotted this possibly new idea just 50 metres off the trail. Let’s hope it catches on in other villages.”

This is what he’s referring to:

Exactly the same kind of idea. Basically a patch of ground where you can pitch your tent overnight with basic facilities to meet your needs. The place I spotted was just to the north of Mesniรจres-en-Bray (left) and Phil’s place was in the centre of Dampierre-en-Bray (right). I wonder if there are any others.

I came close to spotting the facility in Dampierre-en-Bray as I did find a cycling-themed cafรฉ just a few metres away. Alas it was closed when I arrived. Perhaps you’ll have better luck. Nice birdsong however. Have a listen:

And if you’d like to experience 10 minutes of the Avenue Vert, watch part one of Le Grand Tour film. The action starts at 10:53 when I leave Dieppe and start pedalling south…

Visit the dedicated Grand Tour page of to find out more about the 2022 cycle along some of western Europeโ€™s most iconic cycle routes.


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Categories: Adventure, Cycling, Le Grand Tour, Travel

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5 replies »

  1. Andrew, I followed the first half of your route in May. Rotterdam to Paris, then train to Chartres (where I got lost for a bit, missed the signs) to Mt. San Michel. Loved the Avenue Verte. It was just as you described. Had perfect weather the entire trip. I think with global warming, May is the new June, etc. Thank you for the route, and looking forward to the subsequent book!

    • Thanks Matt. It’s a great route – very different to what I imagined. Still working on the book (I’ve just arrived at the Canal de la Garonne so quite a bit to go…). Hopefully should be available later in the year or early 2024. Happy cycling!

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