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Véloroute du Lin
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Your French isn’t failing you: this really is the Linen Cycle Route. That’s not a reference to the surface (which is blissfully smooth tarmac), but to the flax fields in this part of Normandy.

This new rail trail from Dieppe to Fécamp is an 80km route through quiet countryside with gentle, if unrelenting gradients. You could use it as an alternative to EuroVelo 4 along the Normandy coast, or make a circular route from the two. It’s almost entirely traffic-free, except for a short central section between Saint Pierre le Viger and Saint Vaast Dieppedalle.

This is cider country, and the route promoters have planted apple orchards with rare local varieties at the haltes along the way. Several of the original stations have been preserved, and you’ll see route charts painted on the tarmac to chart your progress.

Between the two port towns of Dieppe and Fécamp, you won’t pass through anywhere with a population of more than 3000 – this is a very rural ride. Luneray, Cany Barville and Valmont all have boulangeries and other useful services; Valmont in particular is a pleasant, sleepy little town.

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