St Malo to Cherbourg by a Touring Novice

flatflr

Über Member
Location
Just over here
Earlier in the year I decided that rather than do my normal summer holiday of loading the bike into the car and driving to France I would do a little tour, only problem was that I didn't have a touring bike. Having wanted to build my own bike for a while I decided that I'd do it myself. Wanting to try something a little different I picked up a SRAM Apex 1x system and a Genesis Croix de Fer frame, some Hope Twenty5 wheels and various other bits from Ebay I had a bike. Adding a rack, a pair of Ortlieb Back Roller Classic and a Ortlieb Bar Bag I had a tourer, of sorts.


I do have some camping kit but it's either a bit knackered or way to heavy so I upgrade my tent and sleeping bag made a ferry booking and it was all systems go for a weeks tour.


Day one – Newbury to Portsmouth

I'd planned to head off at 12:00 to get the overnight ferry to St Malo, but was all packed by 11:00 so decided to head off early. Avoiding as many hills as possible my route took me through Highclere, Winchester, Fairoak, Botley (where I stopped at a pub near Botley for probably the best burger and chips that I've ever had), then on through Wickham and over Portsdown Hill dropping down into Portsmouth in plenty of time for the ferry. On board entrecote frites and a couple of pints and a good nights kip.
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Day two – St Malo to Mont St Michel

First off the ferry I headed through the town of St Malo East following the coast as much as possible. After about 5 miles I passed an open store so popped in and picked up a baguette and some pate for lunch. Continuing East I changed from the road to a hard packed gravel cycle route through a farming area, getting hungry I stopped at the first convenient place I could find where I met a German couple who were doing a driving tour through Northern France. After lunch it was a sort ride to the campsite at Mont St Michel for a mooch around, dinner, a couple of beers and a good nights sleep.
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Day three – Mont St Michel to just north of Granville

Slightly overcast as I packed up and headed off roughly following the Route De La Baie up to Avranches where I missed my exit road. Heading Northn from the centre I ended up going down the steepest hill I've ever been down, I was just praying I wouldn't have to try and get back up but found it dropped my onto the road I wanted, result! After a couple of miles I found my route barred by a new autoroute under construction with no way past, I back tracked and found another route. Dropping into a Super U I picked up a baguette and some cheese which I carried with me until I happened on a viewing point looking over the plage of Jullouville for lunch. After this is was a drop down to the road through Granville and on to the campsite. Arriving at my pitch I set up camp and had a look around. Popping down to the seafront I grabbed a pizza and headed back to my tent, noting that another cycle tourer had pitched next to me. While eating the other cycle tourer returned from the beach, saw me and asked where I got my pizza, and went off to get her own. On her return we got chatting and ended up sharing a bottle of wine, it turned out we were following a similar course just in different directions and at different paces.
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Day four - Just north of Granville to Creances

We both packed up and at the same time and left the campsite together, saying goodbye to my fellow tourer I took a flat route heading North taking ages finding a boulangerie where I picked up a quiche and a jam filled biscuit thing and headed to the beach to eat it. After lunch I carried on North and found a nice campsite in the dunes (turns out it was the same campsite my cycle touring acquaintance had stayed at after following each other on Komoot). Popped to the shop for a tin on cassoulet and a couple of beers.

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OP
flatflr

flatflr

Über Member
Location
Just over here
Day five - Creances to Le Rozel

Woke up with light rain, so quickly packed up and headed off with heavy skies, pretty much sticking to the D road North to Portbail where I switched to the lanes following the coast, stopping at Barneville-Carteret to pick up a baguette and some ham. After getting a little lost I found my route again stopping for lunch at a wayside cross. It was a short spin to my next campsite, a rather nice 4 star one at Le Rozel, right on the beach with a shop and a bar. While pitching my tent the lady in the next plot welcomed me, asked where I'd ridden from and offered to let me use their stove if needed, I thanked her and said that I was carrying my own. That night a strong wind blew up but nothing too serious.
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Day six - Le Rozel to Cherbourg

Clear skies were back this morning. Tent came down early and I set off, planning to make it to the North Western limit of the peninsular before heading East to Cherbourg. Made it to Auderville by mid morning, had a mooch around then head East. Stopped at a boulangerie in Greville Hague where I picked up a quiche and what turned out to be the most amazing fruit filled pastry thing then headed down to the coast just past Landemer to eat lunch. After lunch it was I nice relaxed spin into Cherbourg along a really good cycle way to the hotel I'd booked for my last night in France.

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Day seven – Cherbourg to Portsmouth to Newbury

Waking up earlier than I had thought I would I decided to go for a bimble before my ferry. Heading to the coast I stopped in a sea side park and cooked up my porridge and coffee and had breakfast watching the runners and walkers going past, very relaxing. Then came time to head for my ferry, check in was quick and easy and I rode around to wait in lane, where I got chatting to a motorcyclist, just 5 minutes later we were waved on board. Arriving in Portsmouth I was first off and breezed through immigration, and deciding to take it easy I headed to Fratton to catch the train to Reading via Basingstoke then used Sustrans 4 (which after French cycle routes was bloody awful) to get home to Newbury.
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Seven days of cycling, 305 miles, lots of smiles, no mechanicals.
 
Last edited:

raleighnut

Guru
Location
On 3 Wheels
Day five - Creances to Le Rozel

Woke up with light rain, so quickly packed up and headed off with heavy skies, pretty much sticking to the D road North to Portbail where I switched to the lanes following the coast, stopping at Barneville-Carteret to pick up a baguette and some ham. After getting a little lost I found my route again stopping for lunch at a wayside cross. It was a short spin to my next campsite, a rather nice 4 star one at Le Rozel, right on the beach with a shop and a bar. Pitching my tent the lady in the next plot welcomed me, asked where I'd ridden from and offered to let me use their stove if needed I thanked her and said that I was carrying my own. That night a strong wind blew up but nothing too serious.
View attachment 483544 View attachment 483546


Day six - Le Rozel to Cherbourg

Clear skies were back this morning. Tent came down early and I set off, planning to make it to the North Western limit of the peninsular before heading East to Cherbourg. Made it to Auderville by mid morning, had a mooch around then head East. Stopped at a boulangerie in Greville Hague where I picked up a quiche and what turned out to be the most amazing fruit filled pastry thing then headed down to the coast just past Landemer to eat lunch. After lunch it was I nice relaxed spin into Cherbourg along a really good cycle way to the hotel I'd booked for my last night in France.

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Day seven – Cherbourg to Portsmouth to Newbury

Waking up earlier than I had thought I would I decided to go for a bimble before my ferry. Heading to the coast I stopped in a sea side park and cooked up my porridge and coffee and had breakfast watching the runners and walkers going past, very relaxing. Then came time to head for my ferry, check in was quick and easy and I rode around to wait in lane, where I got chatting to a motorcyclist, just 5 minutes later we were waved on board. Arriving in Portsmouth I was first off and breezed through immigration, and deciding to take it easy I headed to Fratton to catch the train to Reading via Basingstoke then used Sustrans 4 (which after French cycle routes was bloody awful) to get home to Newbury.
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Seven days of cycling, 305 miles, lots of smiles, no mechanicals.
:thumbsup:
 
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