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5 Fantastic Cycle Rides in the North of France

Canal de l Ourcq Paris Sevran

The North of France is dotted with amazing cycle rides and the majority of them can be navigated even if you are going on a biking holiday with your family and have a need to cater for riders of all abilities.  We have though, included one route for the cycling enthusiast of greater ability amongst you who can be found glued to the goings on of the Tour de France each year. Let us take a look at some of them:

La Baie de Somme à Vélo

La Baie de Somme a Velo (1)

The Somme Coast in the Picardy region features seven Cycle Paths. Most of them run along the seashore so you can enjoy the view of migratory birdlife around the Somme Bay, considered one of the most beautiful bays in the world. The paths come together to form one long coastal cycleway.  The presence of the Baie de Somme railway means you can transport your bikes on trains including steam engines.  This is allowed free of charge.

Avenue Verte Dieppe-Forges

Avenue Verte Dieppe Forges

This is a 45km route between the Channel coast at Dieppe and the green holiday resort of Forges. It is the prime spot for a leisurely cycle through picture-postcard Normandy countryside. The thermal waters of Forges-les-Eaux create a spa feel and this town is renowned for its family friendliness.  You can focus on cycling in the area but not far away, is the Bois de L’Epinay. This is a nature reserve with lakeside discovery trails, horse rides, giant outdoor chess and frequent festivals and well worth a detour.

Voie Verte Bernay–Broglie

Voie Verte Bernay Broglie (1)

This beautiful green way is part of an interlinking system of cycle paths in the upper Normandy area. Riding here takes you on a gentle 13km journey along an old railway line besides the River Charentonne through two charming historic towns. If you are going with the children, you need to remember that the path turns into a looping Véloroute de l’Eure. The Center Parcs Les Bois-Francs is close by so you can stop over with the family here to enjoy other attractions besides bike riding.

Voie Verte Trans-Ardennes

Voie Verte Trans Ardennes

This 85km voie verte is for hardcore cycling so you may want to stay away from it if you are not ambitious and energetic.  It begins from an old towpath and runs through the amazing Meuse valley between Charleville–Mézières and Givet. It is also close to the Belgium border. A train runs through the valley so you can always get on it if you begin to feel the strain!

Canal de l’Ourcq Paris-Sevran

This cycle ride will takes you from the Parc de la Villette in north-eastern Paris through old flour mills and out into the countryside to Claye-Souilly, about  27km from the city (top photo). It is the perfect proof that you can also enjoy bike-riding holidays away from the countryside. If you have the kids riding with you, La Poudrerie is the ideal place to make a stop. It can be found 14km into the ride. Set in a forest park on the side of an old powder mill at Servan, you’ll discover nature centres, a farm as well as a planetarium.

These are some of the best cycle rides in Northern France. They are guaranteed to leave every cycling enthusiast thoroughly delighted.

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