Five Thousand Kilometres Through France

In the trail of the Young Lawrence of Arabia


TE Lawrence - Cycling in France in 1906 and 1907

The young TE Lawrence cycled around France in the summers of both 1906, when he cycled primarily around Brittany, and in 1907, when he arrived via Normandy (with his father) and then made a longer trip down to Saumur and Angers in the Loire Valley.

He based himself in Dinard on the coast, where his family had lived a decade before.

In 1906, as he turned 18, he was joined by his friend xxWF Beeson, nick-named Scroggs. His aim was to see the castles and medieval cathedrals and abbeys in Brittany.

Over he made a number of trip out of Dinard again, this time photographing the buildings where there were no good He also undertook longer rides, riding more than 100 miles in a day - for instance xxovernight to Mont St Michel and down to the Loire.

These journeys are recorded in his letters home, which he would often write on Sundays. The letters were usually addressed to his mother, though they were intended to be read by his father and the rest of the family. They also recorded useful notes for himself and his later studies (see more about his thesis).

In his letters Lawrence comments quite regularly on his cycling, from the punctures he repaired to his ability to cover long distances. See more about Young Lawrence the Cyclist.