With its grand royal palace, Ride 40 Anniversary starts from the historic town of Fontainebleau, some 30 miles south of Paris. From here you ride north-west through the small villages and medieval market towns of Northern France on a mix of quiet roads and traffic-free lanes until you reach Dieppe. Crossing the Channel to Newhaven, you will finish your ride by pedalling the last hilly miles north from Brighton to Richmond.

Day One  Wednesday 13 September 2017

We will whisk you to Fontainebleau, via Eurostar and coach, in time for a special civic reception at the historic Town Hall. Later you will return to your 4* star hotel Mercure Château de Fontainebleau Hotel.

Day Two – Thursday 14 September 2017: Fontainebleau to Dreux (77 miles)

Our route today leads us on wide shaded roads through the extensive green forests of Fontainebleau, formerly a royal hunting park. We continue through typical French villages with squat Norman churches, colourful shuttered houses and tree lined market squares to Dreux which dates back to pre-Roman times. Dinner in town before returning to overnight hotel.

Day Three – Friday 15 September 2017: Dreux to Rouen (65 miles)

Much of the morning’s route is on quiet lanes cutting through endless fields of crops, following the River Eure, a major tributary of the Seine. Later we reach and cross the Seine as it winds through the countryside and ride alongside it for the last few miles into Rouen, capital of Normandy and an important centre in medieval times. Dinner in town before returning to overnight hotel.

Day Four – Saturday 16 September 2017 Rouen to Dieppe (60 miles) with crossing to Newhaven and transfer to Brighton

A climb takes us out of the city, giving our legs a good stretch! Then it’s relatively flat for much of the morning as we pass through a pretty agricultural area known for its dairy produce and calvados. The road ramps up gradually before descending to the small spa town of Forges-les-Eaux where we join the Avenue Verte. This wonderful route to Dieppe is largely traffic-free and much of it downhill. We catch the ferry to Newhaven and transfer by coach to our overnight hotel in Brighton. Please note that dinner on the ferry is not included.

Day Five – Sunday 17 September 2017: Brighton to Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham Riverside (71 miles)

A hilly day for the last leg of our journey! We ride north from Brighton up and over the rolling chalk downs as we pass Lewes and cross the beautiful South Downs. Our most significant climb takes us up onto the high ridge of the High Weald, before descending through ancient Sussex villages and tackling a series of short sharp climbs through the leafy lanes of Surrey. Predominantly downhill now, our last few miles crossing Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park, to finish in Richmond/Twickenham Riverside for drinks and canapes at Orleans House Gallery.


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