London to Paris Cycle 2018
This action packed cycling challenge links two great European cities, London and Paris, covering around 300km in just three days.
Help to raise vital funds for Marie Curie whilst cycling to the heart of Paris, ending at the finish line beneath the Eiffel Tower.
Why cycle with Marie Curie?
By taking on this once in a lifetime challenge for Marie Curie you will help us care for more people living with a terminal illness. When you join us you will benefit from:
- Training guides, hints and tips to get you ready for the big challenge
- Lots of fundraising ideas in your welcome pack. If you’re keen to get started with your fundraising right away, check these ideas out.
- Access to a local community fundraiser who will advise you and help you smash your target
- Two Marie Curie representatives who will cycle the entire journey, join you on a training day and organise a post-cycle reunion
- A brightly coloured Marie Curie cycle jersey
Want to know what a Marie Curie cycle is really like? Mark completed our 411 mile Niagara Falls to New York Cycle Challenge this September and shared a daily diary of why he loved his experience on the road. Read Mark's blog.
This challenge is organised through Classic Tours. Classic Tours has been leading the way in charity challenges since 1992. They use locally owned services and always bear in mind environmental and cultural issues when looking at challenges to develop.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to sign up online?
Signing up online is quick and easy to do and it saves us vital money to put towards supporting people living with a terminal illness. The registration form is also available to download and print. If you are not able to sign up right now, why not save this page to your favourites so you can sign up online later?
What are the highlights?
Cycling with your team mates across the River Seine, followed by crossing the finish line at the iconic Eiffel Tower. Watching the pelotons complete the final laps of the Tour de France 2016.
Who can take part?
Anyone over the age of 18 who is looking for a challenge is able to take part. The group size will be at least 60 riders. The majority will be on their own, but some will go with friends, partners or relatives. This will be fantastically rewarding and suitable for anyone with a bit of grit, determination and willingness to work as part of a team.
How fit do I need to be?
All our challenges are designed to suit people who are fit and have trained to take part – the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the adventure. We expect all participants to be prepared for consecutive days cycling up to 100km. This challenge is not suitable for those who have not cycled before. Training is essential.
Will I need specialist kit?
You must wear a cycling helmet. Please ensure you bring seasonal clothes and equipment. We will send you a recommended packing list in your welcome pack which will detail any specialist equipment you may need.
What will the food and drink will be there?
A typical breakfast will consist of bread, cheese, eggs, salads, cake, jam, tea and coffee. Lunch will be soup, sandwiches or pasta in pub or restaurant. Evening meals include meat, chicken or fish with potatoes, pasta or rice, salads, vegetables and fruit. Please let us know in advance of any special dietary requirements.
What is not included in the package?
- Registration fee
- Personal spending money
- Your own personal kit
- Travel to and from the challenge
- Bikes, helmets (must be worn at all times when cycling), bell (required by law in France)
- Tips and gratuities
- Travel Insurance
How will I be supported?
Beforehand: You will be sent a fundraising pack with great tips on how to meet your sponsorship target. We will be in touch regularly and will organise a briefing day where you’ll meet other participants and hear more about the event.
During the trip: Your group will be accompanied by a tour leader, medic and bike mechanic as well as a Marie Curie representative. Local guides will escort the group along the route. Your luggage will be transported to each night’s hotel.
What will be the weather be like?
Day time temperatures may be 20-25 degrees Celsius with pleasant night time temperatures around 12-15 degrees Celsius. You should be prepared for rain as well as strong winds.
What’s the accommodation like?
It will be a mixture of basic hostels and hotels varying from twin to dormitory style.
Can I cover the cost of the trip myself?
We ask you to raise a minimum of £1,750. A minimum of £1,040* will go directly to Marie Curie, as well as anything you raise over the minimum sponsorship. If you would like to pay for the trip yourself please contact us on 0800 716 146.
*Based on minimum participant numbers
Passports and visas
EU citizens do not require a visa to enter France. However, you must have at least six months' validity on your passport from the date of return to the UK. Marie Curie will ask you for your passport details.
Can I extend my stay?
Anyone wanting to stay on after the cycle challenge can arrange to do so through Classic Tours at a cost and subject to availability.
Do overseas challenges damage the environment?
Marie Curie is committed to responsible tourism. This challenge is organised by our tour operator, Classic Tours, who will provide guidelines on responsible tourism.
What are the deadlines for my sponsorship money?
We require the 80% minimum of £1,750 (£1,400) by 28 June 2018. The remainder of the sponsorship is due four weeks after you return from the event.
If you have any further questions please call the events team on 0800 716 146 or email email@example.com.
London to Dover: approx. 116km
Ferry crossing Dover to Calais
Transfer Calais to Dieppe
Our starting point is the borough of Bexley. It's an early start, cycling slowly through south-east London and north Kent. After 26km we reach the city of Rochester with its 1,000 year-old Norman castle, historic cathedral and strong links to former local resident Charles Dickens. From Rochester the route becomes more peaceful, cycling through small towns and villages along the edge of the North Downs.
After lunch we continue cycling along the cliff tops with views of the English Channel and, on a clear day, we may even see France. We continue to cycle along the coast all the way to Dover where we catch the evening ferry to Calais with dinner on board. In Calais we board the coach which will take us to the hotel in Dieppe where we'll spend the night.
Dieppe to Gourney-en-Bray: approx. 88km
After a hearty breakfast, we set off through Dieppe, an old-fashioned port town nestled between two limestone cliffs. The streets are likely to be crowded with people shopping at the traditional Saturday street market.
In less than 2.5km we're cycling in the pretty Normandy countryside. The route to our first stop in the village of Torcy-le-Grand is gently undulating. The terrain is similar for the next stretch to the centre of Saint-Saens. From there we encounter a few uphill sections, some longer and more challenging than others. From Bosque Eveline, we experience a long sweeping descent until we reach the quiet village of Argueil and lunch in the square opposite the 16th century church of St. Maurice. The last stretch of cycling is another succession of sleepy villages along quiet roads, with an uphill stretch that affords beautiful views of Saint-Aubert and Ons-en-Bray.
We'll spend the night in the picturesque town of Gournay-en-Bray.
Gourney-en-Bray to the Eiffel Tower: approx. 107km
We leave Gournay-en-Bray in a south-easterly direction bound for Paris and a beautiful day of cycling through rural Normandy. As we progress through the day, our surroundings start to change as we enter the suburbs of Paris.
After lunch we enter a forested area known as Le Parc aux Etoiles for about 3km. From there, it’s a steep descent towards the River Seine. We cross the river twice before regrouping inside the Bois de Boulogne park for the final stretch of cycling. We exit this pretty expanse of greenery together at Place de la Porte de Passy. From there the excitement starts to mount as we cycle along the wide Parisian boulevards towards our final destination.
We cross the Pont d’Iéna and finish the challenge.
Paris to London
This morning we transfer from the hotel to the Eurostar terminal for our train back to London, along with some amazing memories of the challenge.
This is a complex itinerary and is be subject to change.
Calls to 0845 numbers cost no more than 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.