Berlin to London

Berlin to London by recumbent trike

To sponsor me click here

Click here to see a track of my full route as I rode it: Auntie Helen’s Berlin to London track

My recumbent tricycle at the Brandenburger Tor, Berlin, in September 2011


Report from Day 1: Home to Harwich
Report from Day 2: Hoek van Holland to Düsseldorf by train
Report from Day 3: Düsseldorf to Berlin by train
Report from Day 4: Berlin to Borkheide
Report from Day 5: Borkheide to Oranienbaum
Report from Day 6: Oranienbaum to Nachterstedt
Report from Day 7: Nachterstedt to Bad Harzburg
Report from Day 8: Bad Harzburg to Einbeck
Report from Day 9: Einbeck to Nieheim
Report from Day 10: Nieheim to Gütersloh
Report from Day 11: Gütersloh to Münster
Report from Day 12: Münster to Oeding
Report from Day 13: Oeding to Duiven/Arnhem
Report from Day 14: Duiven/Arnhem to Utrecht
Report from Day 15: Utrecht to Delft
Report from Day 16: Delft to Hoek van Holland, ferry journey across the North Sea, Harwich to Great Bromley
Report from Day 17: Great Bromley to the Colchester Personnel Recovery Centre and then on to London and the finish!

And several weeks later: The cheque handover

In April/May 2012 I cycled from Berlin to London alone and unsupported on my recumbent trike to raise money for Help For Heroes.

The Route

The route I am taking is the header of this page but you can zoom in more closely by following this link: Auntie Helen’s Berlin to London ride

The German portion is part of the European Cycle Route R1 which stretches from St Petersburg in Russia to Calais in France. The Dutch portion is mostly R1 (although it is renamed LF4 with a short piece of LF40 as well). The English portion is an optimised route from Harwich to London which is a bit more scenic than the most direct route.

For the German section I have the excellent Esterbauer-Verlag Bikeline book (Europa Radweg R1) which gives route information as well as hotels and B&Bs. The Holland section is, at the moment, a bit of a mystery to me – but I shall do my best to research some B&Bs before I set off.

This may be one long cycle route but it wends its way through lots of interesting towns and villages, most of which I have not previously visited.

Leaving the Brandenburger Tor in the centre of Berlin (right next to the Reichstag, the German parliament building) I will head southwest towards Potsdam. From there I pass through Lutherstadt Wittenberg and Dessau, continuing along past smaller towns and skirting north of the Harz mountains, passing north of Paderborn and then going around Gütersloh heading towards Münster. From Münster I will head west towards the border with Holland just south of Entschede, then cycle through Arnhem, turning a little more northwards to Utrecht, from where I head due west to Den Haag (the Hague) and the North Sea! I follow the North Sea cycle path southwest to the Hoek van Holland (Hook of Holland) where I will catch a ferry across to Harwich.

From Harwich I will be cycling southwest towards London via Colchester (where I live), Tiptree, Maldon, Brentwood, Romford, Ilford and finally arriving in central London at Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

I plan to cycle about 100km (60 miles) per day as I trundle my way across Germany and Holland. I expect to take two weeks or a little more to cover the 1,239 kilometres (770 miles). This will be 511 miles in Germany, 177 miles in Holland and 82 miles in Great Britain.

I will be providing a track of my journey as I cycle with regular updates as to where I am (details nearer the time).

The journey to Berlin:

I will be leaving home on Friday 27 April to cycle to Harwich and then take the ferry to Holland, travelling by train through Holland to the border with Germany (Venlo). From Venlo I will cycle to Düsseldorf (about 40 miles) and stay there overnight. The next day I will take the train from Düsseldorf to Berlin, stay overnight in Berlin and then start my return journey by pedal power.

Fundraising support

I am doing this ride to support Help For Heroes, a UK Charity which raises money to support members of the Armed Forces who have been wounded in the service of their country.

As I live near the Garrison town of Colchester I am raising money specifically for a new facility which is due to open in Colchester this Spring. The Colchester Personnel Recovery Centre is a new build centre within the garrison at Colchester, built by Help for Heroes (H4H) for the MoD. The Centre includes new accommodation facilities, a social area, family rooms and a fitness centre. It will provide residential accommodation for 29 soldiers and 31 day attendees. The operating costs of the centre will be funded by H4H with support from The Royal British Legion.

I’m hoping to perhaps collect a few donations in a collecting tin as I make my way through Germany and Holland and the UK but the best and most tax-efficient way to support my ride and this Personnel Recovery Centre is through a donation through my H4H online fundraising page at

Thanks so much for supporting me!

The recumbent tricycle

I will be using my ICE Sprint recumbent tricycle with an Alfine 11 hub gear and a triple derailleur at the front. This trike, known as Alfie, was bought in July 2011 and has already visited Berlin once for a ten day cycling holiday.

For more information on ICE trikes visit their website at

Thanks to:

Olaf Storbeck and Katharina Slodczyk for help with the German translation of my flyer I shall hand out whilst I am underway

Marianne West, Help For Heroes Essex Co-ordinator, for talking to me about other ways to raise funds


  1. HI,

    Looking into cycling to meet a friend in Berlin – prob get ferry from newcastle to holland and go from there.
    How is the route? We do a lot of cycling in hilly northumberland but not done any touring before so this would be a first!
    Any advice would be appreciated.


    1. There’s a lot of information generally on this blog. The ‘official route’ (which you would join somewhere in the Netherlands) is generally very good, pretty flat compared to Northumberland and usually on quietish roads or cycle tracks. It wasn’t always an ideal route, in my opinion, as a recumbent triker, but was eminently suitable for German trekking bikes as long as you don’t mind doing some extra distance to avoid busy roads. There were also a few unmade sections. In the former West Germany there are usually loads of places to stay, there were fewer in the former East (there was a three day stretch where it was all very quiet) and you may want to divert off the official route to head for a nearer larger town to have a choice of accommodation. But I’m sure you’ll really enjoy it, and the choice of cakes is marvellous!

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