Hatch Warren Beggarwood CC 19 in Normandy
This part of Normandy is probably best known in the UK for the Normandy landings, but it also has tremendous variety in the wonderful landscape that offers cyclists both flat and hilly routes.
This trip is similar to one I’ve offered commercially, but for the club we’re just sharing the costs – hence it is for regular club members only.
This holiday starts in the port of Portsmouth. Daytime ferries enable us to ride every one of the four days to make a fantastic break. Here are just some of the things that we will enjoy:
- the attractive, airy town of Aunay-sur-Odon
- a half-day day ride through Caen with much of the riding on a smooth dedicated cycle path alongside the River Orne
- a day ride to Bayeux, with time to visit the tapestry or WWII sites
- supported cycling between the Caen ferry and your base in Aunay-sur-Odon (with luggage transferred for you)
- a day enjoying the amazing landscape of Suisse Normande, an area famed for its unique geology. We have both riverside routes and more undulating countryside to enjoy
We are based in one hotel and our trip offers three and a half guided days exploring the area – read more about cycling with us. This hidden gem in the North of France offers riverside paths, stunning gorges, the historic towns of Caen and Bayeux and the recent history of the Normandy Invasion. This holiday provides the perfect introduction to cycling along well-planned and manageable routes. We will adjust the pace to suit the group (usually 10 – 15 mph) and the aim is to look around and enjoy the views rather than stay head down and following a wheel. If there are more than 12 riders going, we’ll make sure that there are two lengths of route available each day to suit everyone.
The routes are planned to provide sightseeing time off the bikes as well as cycling, and although the itinerary has a suggested distance for each day, the exact route can be tailored to group needs during the week.
|Thursday 16 May 2019 – Sunday 19 May 2019||£ see Facebook group|
Aunay-sur-Odon grew at the crossroads between two trading routes in Gallo-Roman times. It was chosen to be one of the first towns to be rebuilt by the Marshall Plan after WWII, and care was taken to keep the typical style of the region. It regularly features in towns and villages in bloom and is a lovely place to visit.
It is ideally situated about 28km from both Bayeux and Caen, and close to the rocky area of Suisse-Normande.
The actual riding days described below will be varied to take advantage of local market days, events or attractions.
We meet at the ferry terminal in Portsmouth for the morning ferry to Ouistreham, near Caen. After a relaxing crossing we follow a waterside bike path (perfect tarmac surface!) to Caen via the famous Pegasus Bridge. The beautiful waterside path continues for another 16km before we enjoy some rolling hills as we ride into Aunay-sur-Odon, our base for the trip.
Total distance 40km, mainly flat terrain on a cycle path.
An undulating route takes us to the historic town of Bayeux via a number of wartime points of interest and some picturesque countryside. We are free to visit the older history of the tapestry or the more recent monuments and museums relating to the Second World War. Stronger riders may opt to spend 60 – 90 minutes riding to the coast to see the guns of Longues-su-Mer or the floating harbour at Arromanches.
Total distance 70km or 90km, undulating terrain.
The next day introduces us to the stunning scenery in Suisse Normande. We have a pocket full of meandering routes which we will put together once we know the final mix of riders. So whether you want a bias towards riverside relaxation or sampling every ascent (and in this area there are a few!), we will help you fall in love with ‘little Switzerland’. Whichever routes we choose, the roads are well-surfaced and uncrowded. We set the pace to sit up and enjoy wonderful views and villages.
Total distance from 40 to 90km, undulating terrain.
Day four – Caen and riverside cycle path
This is a glorious route which starts in rolling hills and descends onto the new, long section of tarmac cycle path alongside the river Orne that we enjoyed on day one. There is adequate time to explore Caen, which has some fascinating attractions spanning centuries of history. We have a pleasant time exploring old streets or simply enjoying time to sit, drink and relax.
We then catch the late afternoon ferry and return to Portsmouth that evening.
Total distance up to 40 km or 60km, some limited undulating terrain.
We will be staying the whole time in one location, so there will be no need to unpack more than once during this holiday!
Our hotel is situated in the centre of Aunay-sur-Odon and we are staying on a half board basis (Dinner, Bed & Breakfast). You buy your lunches and the meal on the return ferry.
What is Included
We are budgeting for ferry tickets, use of Dave Gisby’s van for luggage and half-board accommodation. This break includes:
- return ferry Portsmouth – Ouistreham
- half board accommodation including one drink with your evening meal
- support from a qualified mechanic
- ride leaders (fuelled by regular donations of coffee and gateaux)
- pre-planned routes
Getting to Portsmouth
Travelling within France
SNCF – trains around France – http://www.sncf.com/en/passengers
Brittany ferries – Ferries to Caen and Le Havre – http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/
Paris Underground – http://www.ratp.fr/