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 Mesnières-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 café 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…
LATEST CYCLING EUROPE POSTS:
- Visiting Europe’s Best Cycling Towns And What To Take With You
- Wheeling Towards Sustainability: Exploring The World’s Top Bicycle-Friendly Cities
- The Cycle Touring Festival 2023: Next weekend!
- 20 Is Indeed Plenty… Although Some (Men) Might Take Persuading
- The Cycling Europe Podcast: Episode 075 – Craig Fee – Cycling Into The Unknown
Since 2009, CyclingEurope.org has established itself as a valued, FREE cycle touring resource. There’s now even a podcast, The Cycling Europe Podcast. If you enjoy the website and the podcast, please consider supporting the work of CyclingEurope.org with a donation. More information here.
Catch up with The Cycling Europe Podcast: