Newhaven to Neufchatel by bike

Aug 6th, 2018, 09:30 AM
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Newhaven to Neufchatel by bike

this summer I was invited to visit a friend's house in Neufchatel. For those who don't know it the town is part of the way between Dieppe and Paris which used to be linked by a railway line but is now linked (for most of the length) by a beautiful bicycle path. The steps to the journey were
  1. Drive to Newhaven from home (in our case Yorkshire) and stay over night in a hotel (PremierInn hurrah) and eat in their Brewers Fayre (boo). In the morning we left for the small ferry car park allowing 90 minutes before departure at 7:30 am (way too much time) and took the bikes out of the car, paid the 4 a day for the carpark, and cycled into the system of security etc which is basically just a bunch of lads, some sheds and some old concrete.
  2. Wait...... while behind us a Virgin charity ride to Paris built up a big queue.
  3. Ride on board, lean bike against wall as instructed and watch 130 more bikes load on top of ours.
  4. Sit in the bow of the ship eating and chatting for 4 hours until we dock in Dieppe
  5. Go down to the lower deck and wait for 130 Virgin charity ride bikes to be taken off our bikes
  6. Ride off the ship and discover the 130 Virgins were leaving town the hard way up the cliff
  7. Rode through the flat town, avoiding the worse of the traffic (few good signposts but the down loaded APP helped)
  8. Found the start of bike path, dogged by Virgins everywhere until they pulled ahead, rode about 35 km, lots of countryside to see and at least 3 bars along the way and a couple of food shops, nearly all hidden or un-advertised so you either had to ask or just look in the logical place
  9. Got to our friend's house where we heard France erupt in football madness etc.
  10. We returned the same way a few days later heading for the 6pm ferry back which allowed us to have a healthy fish lunch in Dieppe, again sat in the comfy area but probably should have taken a dirt cheap cabin to get washed and rested. No Virgins on this ship. Double espresso from the bar before we left the ship and started the long drive home, docked at 22.30 driving home through the night (did you know they close the M1 for repairs during the night) getting to bed around 4:30 am.
It was not a bad way to enjoy a long weekend and seeing friends is always special. The bike route is very flat and easy with just the first 5km on streets, no real need for helmets unless you going especially fast or a Virgin. Dieppe abounds in bars and restaurants geared up to the tourist trade, Neufchatel less so but does have a famous cheese made there so probably worth a stop on the way. Newhaven is less inspriring with a large collection of fast food joints towards the docks. Do download the GPS route as signage is useless in Dieppe. Rumour has it that the route from Neufchatel to Paris is less forgiving but I didn't see it.
bilboburgler is offline  
Aug 6th, 2018, 09:56 AM
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I love Neufchatel, one of our favourite stops in France. The camp site is right on the Voie Verte. We've walked a fair way along it from the site. DH loves the heart shaped Neufchatel cheese too.

A couple of years ago my nephew-in-law rode from York to Paris on a charity ride to raise funds for the heart department that saved his son's life. He'd never ridden a bike until 3 months before he set off with a couple of equally novice friends. They rode the voie verte too.
hetismij2 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2018, 07:00 AM
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York to Paris about 800+kms, how long did he take?
bilboburgler is offline  
Aug 7th, 2018, 07:49 AM
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My mistake - it was from Wembley Stadium to Stade de France that he rode.
I don't think he has ridden since. Fell walking is more his thing. I suspect it seemed like a good idea after a bevvy or four. William is now a fit and healthy little boy, who sadly looks like his dad .

I'm always impressed by your bike rides. I fall off at every opportunity and haven't ridden for 10 years since I dislocated my elbow and had it put back by the local doctor/vet (hence the ketamine. Perhaps ).
hetismij2 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2018, 08:23 AM
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As Mrs bilbo says, we are not fast but we keep going
bilboburgler is offline  
Aug 7th, 2018, 10:59 AM
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Sounds like a nice trip. Never been to Neufchatel but we did stop off in Dieppe a few times whilst waiting for the ferry. Agree that Newhaven is a dump.

Mrs B is a cyclist after my own heart.
annhig is offline  
Aug 7th, 2018, 01:19 PM
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Never been to Neufchatel but heard of cheese - sounds like a neat place! I have biked in distant past all over Europe and found France by far my favorite cycling venue - did not have the many bike paths they have now but those D backroads were even better - largely untraveled and well paved.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 7th, 2018, 02:40 PM
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I always enjoy reading about biking in France. Every biker I've talked to is having a whale of a good time biking in the countryside. We met an English couple one time who returned year after year to a quiet part of Normandy to bike and botanize. The husband said to me, "It's not really biking; we bike just fast enough to keep the bikes from falling over." Obviously you and your wife are made of sterner stuff.
Coquelicot is online now  
Aug 8th, 2018, 09:02 AM
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While Newhaven itself is dump like the various little creeks and other inlets to the east of Brighton are all based around a pretty centre with some horrible housing estates added, all a bit smugglers "ahhhhh Jim" but quite unlike the large ports say Dover or Hull
bilboburgler is offline  
Aug 8th, 2018, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
dogged by Virgins everywhere
I'm saying nothing.
PatrickLondon is offline  
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