Belleme is Goring’s twin village in Normandy, located between Le Mans and Chartres. Cycling there provides a good mini-adventure and lots of fun.
Four Goring cyclists made the trip in September 2019, with the itinerary shown below. The map page provides an interactive map of the whole route as we cycled it. To download GPX files of the individual stages, cleaned up to remove our navigational mistakes, click the file name below each day’s summary.
To get a flavour of what it was like, watch the video:
Leave Goring at 9 am, coffee at Kingsclere, lunch at Alresford, arriving in Portsmouth in plenty of time for the overnight ferry to Caen (Ouistreham).
01 Goring – Portsmouth Ferry Terminal.gpx
An early start thanks to the ferry, then a fairly gradual ascent to Camembert and our overnight accommodation nearby.
02 Ouistreham – Fresnay-le-Sampson.gpx
A shorter day than Friday, so as to arrive with hosts in Belleme mid-afternoon. Fast progress on rolling French roads with good surfaces and little traffic.
03 Fresnay-le-Sampson – Belleme.gpx
Rest day in Belleme, with an optional shortish ride (20 mi/30 km) to see the forest, of which the Bellemois are justly proud.
04 Balade Belfort-en-Perche.gpx
Less than half-way back to the coast, to allow time for a leisurely goodbye to our hosts.
05 Belleme – St Evroult de Montfort.gpx
The second French half of the return journey. It is longer than the first because it has more descent, and there is more time when heading for the overnight ferry.
06 St Evroult de Monfort – Ouistreham.gpx
Return to Goring by train. Taking the slow train from Portsmouth to Basingstoke avoids any bike restrictions. It would of course be possible to cycle back to Goring by reversing Thursday’s route.