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London to Paris GOSH Cycle Challenge (TDF)

UK, France Cycle CHALLENGING
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About the Challenge

Cycling from London to Paris is one of the great cycle experiences in Europe. Passing through picturesque English countryside, we cross the Channel at Portsmouth and continue through the small villages and medieval market towns of Northern France, making time to take in some of the Normandy landing beaches.  With long days in the saddle and some strenuous hill-climbs, the sight of the Eiffel Tower, our finishing point, will evoke a real sense of achievement. Our last day in Paris allows us to explore the sights and soak up the romantic atmosphere of this majestic city!


London to Paris GOSH Cycle Challenge (TDF)

5 DAYS
  • An early start allows us to avoid the morning traffic as we pass through the outskirts of London onto quieter roads. It’s not long before we’re pedalling through the Surrey countryside and onto the North Downs near Guildford. Our route undulates relatively gently, though there are some steeper climbs to test our legs. Heading predominantly southwest, we enter Hampshire and pass through Alton. Look out for steam trains, as this old market town is also the terminus of the famed Watercress Line. We pass Jane Austen’s house in the lovely village of Chawton soon afterwards, and continue our ride south across the sweeping South Downs, where more hills await us. Finally reaching the outskirts of Portsmouth, we make our way to the harbour for the overnight ferry to Caen. Night ferry. (Breakfast on ferry not included)

    Cycle approx 120km (75 miles)

    Route Profile

    Day 1 Chessington to Portsmouth.png
  • We ride west along the coast to the small town of Arromanches, heart of the Normandy Landings. Parts of the mulberry harbour built here can still be seen out at sea and on the beach. We ride to Juno and Gold beaches, then head back east on small roads towards Pegasus Bridge, near Caen, where the first house to be liberated from the Germans in June 1944 still stands. Now a café and museum, there is an opportunity to visit and see the original bridge, time permitting. We then continue east, on quiet rolling roads that take us through farmland and apple orchards – this area produces lots of cider and calvados! We see Lisieux’s 11th century cathedral as we approach the end of today’s ride; approximately two-thirds of the town was destroyed by allied troops in the D-Day bombardment but the cathedral survived unscathed. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 120km (75 miles)

    Route Profile

    Day 2 - Caen to Lisieux.png
  • Another long day ahead of us today, as we ride through lovely, typically French rural countryside. Passing through picturesque hamlets and small towns, it’s hard to picture this peaceful countryside dominated by the battles of World War Two. There are some short sharp climbs, though our legs should take them in their stride by now! We ride west through rolling farmland and wooded valleys to the ancient cathedral city of Evreux. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 142km (88 miles)

    Route Profile

    Day 3 - Lisieux - Evreux.png
  • Our last day: Paris beckons! We cycle east, crossing the River Eure and riding through small towns as we pass through the valley of the Seine. Nearing the city, we cross the River Seine and cycle through the suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt. As we head towards the centre of this iconic city, we look out for the distinctive landmarks of the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré Coeur standing out on the skyline. We pass the Arc de Triomphe and down the famed Champs-Elysées to our finish beneath the lofty arches of the Eiffel Tower – an impressive end to our challenge. After checking into our hotel we enjoy a great celebration to mark our achievements. Night hotel.

    Cycle approx 112km (70 miles)

    Route Profile

    Day 4 Evreux - Paris.png
  • After breakfast you are free to explore the city; popular attractions include the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Sacré Coeur and the Louvre, or simply wander along the river-bank and watch the world go by. Later you can enjoy the huge spectacle that is the Tour de France! The 71m-wide Champs-Elysees is by far the best place to watch laps before the final sprint. The atmosphere will be electric as spectators gather early to watch the world’s most famous cycling event arrive home! You are responsible for getting yourself and your bags to the Gare du Nord in good time for our Eurostar train back to St Pancras, where we will be reunited with our bikes.  (Lunch & dinner not included)


Prices may vary depending on date.

  • Available pricing options

    Fundraising Option
    Registration Fee £100 Fundraising target £1,550 Tour Cost - Airline Taxes - Book now

    Pricing Explained

    Registration Fee (i)
    Payable on booking

    Fundraising Target (i)
    Paid 10 or 6 weeks prior to trip departure

    Trip Cost (i)
    Payable 8 or 4 weeks prior to trip departure

    Download Challenge Details

Detailed Information

  • Accommodation is usually on a twin-share basis in hotels convenient to our route. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller.

    There may be a limited number of single rooms subject to request, on a first-come first-served basis, after you have booked. Extra charges will apply.

  • We usually stay in hotels or lodges of a 2-3* standard or equivalent. Standards may vary between the hotels but they are generally comfortable and convenient for our route. Hotels are often on the outskirts of towns to minimise unnecessary extra mileage and avoid traffic.

  • The food provided is plentiful and will give you plenty of energy. Lunches are generally buffet-style while dinners are usually eaten at the hotel. Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply.

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders and support crew, including mechanics. Our leaders are selected for their knowledge and experience, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises; they are also trained in first aid. The crew will have mobile phones and/or radios where appropriate, medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary.

    The number of crew and support vehicles looking after you will depend on the final size of your group, but the team will be looking after every aspect of your trip whether that’s transporting your luggage, ensuring your route is well-marked, making you lunch and sorting out any mechanical problems. Support vehicles are with the group all of the time, and carry all luggage and spares.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

  • For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Preparing for the Challenge

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check requirements on our website; please ensure you allow plenty of time.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

Cycle Training Weekends

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£160 Special Offer - Only when you book at the same time as registering for your main challenge

Discover Adventure Cycle Training Weekends take place in and around the valleys and ridges of the chalk downs around Salisbury. They are designed to gauge your fitness so that you can be confident you are well prepared for the challenge ahead!

MORE INFORMATION

grade | CHALLENGING (1)

Trip grades range from Challenging (1) to Extreme (5).

CHALLENGING trips involve full days of activity, and are designed to be challenging for those of good health and fitness, but are achievable for most people with a commitment to training and a can-do attitude.

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Our 2017 / 2018 Challenges Brochure is available by Post or Download