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Travels with a Brompton in the Cévennes and other regions

Travels with a Brompton in the Cévennes and other regions: Compelling and delightful – cycling travel memoir bursts with joie de vivre

Embracing the ‘slow’ movement before it became one, Sue Birley retells her enchanting cycling adventures through France on a Brompton folding bicycle.

An unwitting supporter of the ‘slow’ movement (which is all about living each moment to its fullest), Travels with a Brompton is the unputdownable retelling of Sue Birley and her husband, David’s adventures through France, using only the train and their Brompton folding bikes for transport.

A delight from the very first page, the author’s descriptive writing and the couple’s derring-do to experience the best of France without getting on a plane, or jumping in a car, will fire up the wanderlust of many adventurers and their armchair counterparts.

Living still very much under Covid’s shadow, Travels with a Brompton is a literary wake-up call to all to get out there and embrace all that life has to offer. And if that involves a folding bike, so much the better.


There were vultures circling above us and I was told to keep moving in case they thought I was dead…

Travels with a Brompton is a sparkling narrative about the adventures of an English couple and their folding bicycles over nearly 30 years of exploring France. This is a wine-fuelled account of sweaty pedalling and hard earned freewheeling via cols, war memorials, lavender fields, and vineyards. It is a travel guide for those who long for two-wheeled trips in France and a lively read for the armchair traveller who chooses sofa over saddle.

The author’s Brompton, Modestine, is a descendant of the donkey Robert Louis Stevenson took on his travels in the Cévennes.

Hugh Dancy, actor says:

“Sue Birley has written a tale of great charm and frankly of daunting endurance. Faced with the near impossibility of getting ‘big bikes’ on Eurostar and French trains, our author arrived at the logically unassailable if entirely batty decision to use that famed folder, the Brompton. I recommend this delightful book to anyone who believes that the journey is the destination, and that gentle (and often uphill) adventure is the stuff of life.”

The author says:

“An account of many cycling journeys (from 1993 on) in most areas of France, travelling there by train with folding Brompton bicycles which then become the means of transport. I am not aware of similar written accounts of holidays by folder, and indeed have never seen other pliables (folding bikes) used, with luggage, for touring holidays in France.”

Published by Cranthorpe Millner Publishers, Travels with a Brompton in the Cévennes and other regions is published on 26th April 2022 and is available in paperback (£10.99) and Kindle format.

It is also available from the following:

Waterstones | Foyles | Amazon |Cranthorpe Millner