This superb new route follows the valley of the Somme for 170km from Ham, near Saint Quentin, to the coast.
Years of investment have created a traffic-free route beside the river and its canalised variations, with a firm surface and easy navigation – you’ll rarely venture far from the waterside. Lock-keepers’ cottages have been redeveloped as cycling hubs, picnic sites installed, and generally no expense spared to make this an appealing route for families and experienced tourers alike.
The 20th century history of the Somme needs no explanation here, but there is much else to see on the route. The river remains a major waterway and you’ll see both commercial and leisure craft. There’s much natural charm, too, in the lakes, streams and wetlands of the wide valley – be sure to bring binoculars.
For cyclists visiting from the UK, there are easy, bike-friendly TER trains from Calais to Amiens, and from Amiens to the current start of the route at Ham.
In the future, the route is projected to link Reims and the Marne valley via more towpath riding.