London is beautiful throughout the year and there are many cycle routes to enjoy. In case you’re struggling for inspiration or want to change your usual route take a look at these suggestions. From parks, historical sites and funky neighbourhoods, there’s a route for everyone. These are simple suggestions to give ideas of where to start and finish, how much you deviate or adjust is up to you. We’ll also include some quick cycling tips in case you’re thinking of taking up cycling in the future.
King’s Cross to Notting Hill
Distance: around 5.5 miles
This is a flat and easy cycle ride that will take you through some nice areas. King’s Cross itself has the National Library and is adjacent to Regent’s Canal. You’ll also go by Regent’s Park if you wish to detour slightly. You can deviate it a bit too and cycle through beautiful central areas like Marylebone. There’s a lot to do if you want to make this a sightseeing route with Lord’s Cricket Ground. As you get closer to Notting Hill you can stop and watch the world go by at Rembrandt Gardens Little Venice or simply keep following the canal till you’re going through Westbourne and into the pretty back streets of Portobello Road and Notting Hill. There are dozens of artisan shops, pubs, restaurants as well as beautiful architecture to explore. Cycle there Saturday morning and enjoy the market once you’re off the bike.
Distance: around 7 miles
There are several routes you can take around this massive park. It all depends on whether you want to go off-road or which direction you choose to take and which side of the park you enter from. Richmond Park is a gorgeous park in south west London filled with deer and other wildlife. In general, if you want to stick to the paved cycle route a lap is around 7 miles. A great place to enter is North Sheen and go anti-clockwise to avoid some of the roundabouts and roads for cars. By doing the full lap you’ll have a good amount of both flat and incline as you descend and ascend the park’s hills. If you’re with the family be sure to bring some food and blankets as there are lots of great spots for picnics.
St John’s Loop via Buckingham Palace
Distance: around 28 miles
For a much longer route that will show you some of the most iconic historical sites in London consider starting and finishing at St John’s. It’s quite a long route so a good level of fitness is required and be aware that there are some sections you may have to dismount. Of course, you can also make a longer day of it – take your time to explore monuments and have a break. By starting at St John’s you’ll be by The Tower of London and you’ll set off going past Victoria Embankment with a terrific view of the Thames. Head towards The Mall all the way to the impressive Victoria Memorial and onwards from there right up to Buckingham Palace. Eventually, you will also swing by Hyde Park Corner and make it to the east side of Regent’s Park. Finally, you set yourself on the roads back to St John’s.
Finsbury Park to Alexander Palace via The Parkland Walk
Distance: Around 7 miles
Two of the most stunning parks are in North London and the short distance between provides a fun cycling route. Whether you start in Finsbury Park or Alexander Palace you only need to cycle about 4 miles around The Parkland Walk. This forest-filled flat path is scattered with walking trails as well as a disused railway line. In Alexander Park, you have some incredible hilltop views that on a clear day will have you seeing much of London and its landmarks. To start the Parkland Walk head west from Finsbury Park until you get to Highgate, where you’ll go north east alongside Highgate Wood School and through Crouch End Playing Fields. When you’re at Park Road you’re just a stone’s throw to the entrance of Alexander Palace.
Wandsworth to Windsor Castle
Distance: around 24 miles
We’ll finish on a very long route for those who really enjoy a challenge. Going one way from Wandsworth Town station you can pass through Richmond Park taking you through Teddington and eventually Twickenham. Any rugby fan would enjoy a quick stop to marvel at the birthplace of the sport, Twickenham Stadium. Heading further west out of London you travel through Bedfont Lakes County Park until you’re in Staines. Aim to go between Runnymede and the Thames, which should be on your right. You can even stop and see the Magna Carta – a significant historical charter of Rights signed in 1215. There are numerous historic sites from here including the De Vere Beaumont Estate and of course the town of Old Windsor and its iconic Windsor Castle. Take your time to explore the sights in this pristine area such as Eton and Frogmore House.
We hope you enjoy your cycle in and around London. The capital is relatively flat and increasingly open to new cyclists. However, always make sure you’re well aware of road rules before you start and make sure you check the route beforehand carefully. A few more tips to keep in mind.
- Always signal clearly when turning.
- Never approach a vehicle’s blind spot, particularly at junctions.
- Keep at least one meter from the kerb.
- Approach any crossings or traffic lights at a slow speed.
- Give plenty of space when passing parked vehicles.
- Make sure the bike tyres are pumped and the chain oiled, especially if it hasn’t been used in a while.
- Bring lights in case it gets dark.