Older routes and rides stories
Cycle Touring in France
For several years Anne & I have enjoyed touring cycle camping holidays in France. We travel from campsite to campsite with all our luggage in panniers and, these days, a trailer.
We're not lightweight campers! We take a cable for electric hookup and a laptop for route planning and video editing.
We've covered a lot of Brittany and the Vendee coast. In 2018 we rode the southern sections of the Velodyssey up from the Spanish border.
If you've thought of cycle camping or cycle holidays in France, I'm happy to share what we've learned about routes and sites.
if you have good tips to share, I'm happy to listen and learn.
Use the Contact Me page on this website.
There are a load of videos on my YouTube page
Click here and have a search through.
Below are some write ups from earlier tours:
France cycling 2013
Anne & I rode over 500 miles through Brittany and Vendeé in September. There's a write up here. Have a read and let us know what you think.
There are some 8 minute videos on my YouTube page search peatvdb or click here.
Cycle tour of Brittany
In September 2012 we had a two week cycle circular around part of Brittany. It was a good adventure and you can find out more by clicking here or on the map.
my You Tube page has loads of cycle videos for your enjoyment and entertainment. Click the screenshot to see them and be amazed.... a bit ;-)
Fascinating bicycle fact:
The idea arose whilst on holiday in north Wales where we saw small signs showing a bike and a number 5 like those near our home in Walsall. We discovered that National Cycle Network route 5 was marked on maps from Holyhead right down to Walsall and beyond. We decided to spend our next summer holiday cycling it.
The first challenge was to get used to cycling reasonable distances carrying our stuff in panniers. The second was buying train tickets from Arriva Trains who have just two cycle spaces on trains to Holyhead and we needed a train with both available.
So, ridiculously early one July morning we cycled from our home, to the nearest station, boarded a local train to Birmingham, found the Arriva train with its tiny cycle cupboard and several hours later we were standing on Holyhead platform with a bemused foreign tourist taking a photo for us.
and we're off
Holyhead Railway Station, ready to go
Route 5 was clearly marked near the station exit and the signs were indeed plentiful all the way home. It was sunny and warm as we rode to a B&B in the middle of Anglesey. The next day dawned drizzly but brightened as we got closer to Llandudno. Without the cycle and pedestrian bridges between Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr we would have come unstuck.
A day of two halves followed, starting off along the flat coastal path to Prestatyn. Then we had a big hill to climb before descending to Flint and on into the heart of Chester. Despite the overcast and often chilly weather the changing scenery and views were worth it.
Our longest day’s ride, at sixty miles began the ‘wrong’ way north to Frodsham before turning down the map and homeward. It was an interesting mix of lanes, farm tracks, riverside, canals, and old railways. We appreciated the excellent canal route for miles right through the middle of Stoke avoiding city traffic.
Our last day from Trentham to home had the longest section where there is a ‘gap’ in route 5 south of Stafford. We found a good bridle way which avoided the major hills of Cannock Chase and picked up the route 5 signs again at Chasewater for the last few miles home.
All in all we covered around 230 miles in five days with no punctures or mechanical problems and without getting lost! We stayed at B&Bs and Premier Inns who allow bikes in their rooms.