Petit Tour de Manche & Tour de Manche cycle routes
About these cycling tours in France and England
A circular cycling route that spans the Channel, you can enjoy the best of both the French and English countryside on the Petit Tour de Manche and the Tour de Manche!
Petit Tour de Manche
Travel along the coastlines of Devon, Dorset, Brittany and Normandy on a journey that will you past some spectacular views, particularly the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Mont St Michel in Normandy and the Jurassic coast of Dorset. Also taking in the stunning Emerald Coast and the Isle of Jersey, this cycling tour is generally suitable for families with some small hills that do not detract from your enjoyment of the view. Stretching across largely quiet roads, 232km of the route is on traffic-free greenways so you don't have to worry about cars and other vehicles spoiling your ride.
Tour de Manche
A longer route, taking in more of Devon and Brittany, has recently been completed, the Tour de Manche, which is around 1,200km and uses the Petit Tour de Manche route but extends it's circular route to include Plymouth and Roscoff. This newly completed route is a great way to explore the best of the landscape around the Channel.
Petit Tour de Manche cycle tour details
Starting from Cherbourg in Normandy, the route takes you down the Cotentin Peninsula to historic St Lô, which was one of the worst destroyed cities of WW2. The church, partially destroyed and rebuilt in dark green stone to show what parts were rebuilt as a memory of the war, it is one of the town's highlights. From here you will continue south through historic Vire to the picturesque small town of Mortain. The route then journeys west towards Brittany and the spectacular bay of Mont St Michel. An incredible abbey stands on the Mont St Michel, a tidal island in the bay, that was a very famous pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages and is still one of France's most visited attractions today. Make sure you take a detour to explore this magical place!
From Mont St Michel, you will enter Brittany to visit beautiful St Malo, the last town on the French part of the route. Visit the historic heart of the city, Intra-Muros, and enjoy a wonderful meal in one of the many restaurants, making sure you sit outside on the terraces of the cobbled streets. Cross over to Jersey and stop off for a pleasant cycle around this pretty island where French and English culture intermingle. Arrive back in England on the spectacular Jurassic coast of Dorset and start your journey in Weymouth, passing the famous and striking Chesil beach. Take a detour to Corfe Castle on a steam train from the Swanage Railway, a great day out for all the family, before finishing the route in Poole with its pretty harbour.
Tour de Manche cycle tour details
The Tour de Manche begins in Poole in the UK where you'll cycle alongside most of the 95 mile Jurassic Coast all the way down into South Devon where the route crosses the Channel from Plymouth to Roscoff. In France, you continue the route along more spectacular coastline beside the wonderful Pink Granite Coast around Rsocoff and the Bay of Morlaix to the stunning Emerald Coast at St Malo, where the French leg of the Tour meets up with the Petit Tour de Manche.
Download a map of the cycle route
Cycle tour stages
|The Stage||Distance rounded (km)||Distance on greenways (km)||Major towns and cities on stage|
|Cherbourg - St Lô||128||75||Cherbourg, Bricquebec, The Hague Well, Carentan, St. Lô|
|St Lô - Mortain||106||73||St Lô, Vire, Mortain|
|Mortain - Ducey||32||32||Mortain, Saint Hilaire du Harcouët, Ducey|
|The bay of Mont St Michel||30||8||Ducey, Pontaubault, Mont-Saint-Michel|
|Mont St Michel - St Malo||57||4||Mont-Saint-Michel, Cancale, St. Malo|
|Jersey||11.4||11.2||St Helier, St Aubin|
|Dorset||75||27||Weymouth, Dorchester, Wool, Corfe Castle, Poole|
|Total distance rounded (km)||440||232|