When it comes to travelling around the vast capital, many of us opt for public transport as it is quick and most convenient. However, when the tube is the main mode of transport, we miss out on seeing the iconic landmarks and beauty spots on the streets above. So next time you have plans to venture into the city, why not hop on a bike instead. We’ve picked out three of the best cycle routes around London…
10th February 2022
The Tower of London – The Mall Loop from Wapping
This route is perfect for cyclists who have a couple of hours to spare sight-seeing in the city. Starting at Wapping train station, head towards the Tower of London with the Thames to your left, where you will pass by the iconic ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ installation, which comprises of an impressive 888,246 ceramic poppies blanketing the grounds outside the castle wall.
Next, hop on the Cycle Superhighway CS3 towards Big Ben and continue down to Chelsea Bridge, before crossing the River Thames to visit the Peace Pagoda which stands out against the leafy green background of Battersea Park. After you have taken in the views of the verdant park, head back across Chelsea Bridge, turning right and following the route back up to the top of Westminster Bridge, before cycling along Horse Guards Road and then down The Mall, with the magnificent Buckingham Palace and The Queen Victoria Memorial just visible up ahead through the trees that line the road.
Now it’s time for a quick pit-stop. Pass through Royal Green Park via Constitution Hill and pop into The Athenaeum where you can refuel with a delicious energy-boosting drink or bite to eat in the restaurant, before heading back out into the winter sun to begin the final leg of the journey. Head towards Hyde Park Corner and enjoy the beauty of the vast green open space, with Speakers’ Corner a historically famous spot for protests, rallies and marches. Then, turn back and follow the route taken earlier, arriving at the top of Westminster Bridge. Re-join the Cycle Superhighway CS3 and follow the route back up to Wapping station.
Richmond Park Loop from Strawberry Hill
Taking approximately three hours, this cycle route is an excellent way to spend a sunny afternoon in London. Start at Strawberry Hill train station in Twickenham and cycle along Tower Road before joining Cross Deep northwards onto King Street and then London Road. Turn right onto Arragon Road and cut through to Amyand Park Road where you should continue east, crossing the River Thames into Richmond. Your first photo opportunity lies just around the corner on Richmond Hill. Just over halfway down the road, turn to your right and admire the glorious blooming greenery of Richmond Terrace Field and Gardens. Venture a little further on down the road and you’ll come to the entrance of the royal Richmond Park – a National Nature Reserve which spans an impressive 2,500 acres of land. Here you can spot a variety of fascinating wildlife and rare species, including bats, beetles, birds and wildflowers. As you cycle along Sawyer’s Hill, keep your eyes peeled for the Red and Fallow deer that roam freely. There are 630 in total.
Once you have absorbed the beautiful surroundings and expanse of the park, exit through Roehampton Gate and follow the road, turning right onto Upper Richmond Road. You will now be in the district of Putney, where you should head north and cycle over Putney Bridge, before taking another right onto New King’s Road, which turns into the iconic King’s Road of Chelsea, which is steeped in history and is associated with some of the most quintessential names in music, fashion and the arts. This is also an excellent spot to grab a bite to eat. The Bluebird is our favourite, with the outdoor terrace a perfect choice in the summer months.
With energy suitably boosted by artisan coffee, head back out into the winter sunshine and turn down Lots Road, following it around onto Cremorne Road and the Chelsea Embankment for stunning views of the river. Pass by Chelsea Bridge and then take a left onto Lupus Street, passing Pimlico tube station and crossing Vauxhall Bridge Road onto John Islip Street. Make your way up Marsham Street and continue to cycle towards Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster. The former a gothic church and a historic site for royal coronations and the latter the official home of the UK parliament.
When you have taken in the sights, grab your bike and follow Abingdon Street back down to the Chelsea Embankment, trailing the route you took earlier in the day. Cross over Putney Bridge and take a right down Clarendon Drive, turning onto Queen’s Ride and then Upper Richmond Road. Continue along Sheen Road and then cross the river back into East Twickenham, making your way back to Strawberry Hill station.
St Paul’s Cathedral – The Tower of London Loop from Stamford Brook
This is another great cycle route that takes in the key London landmarks over two hours. Beginning at Stamford Brook train station, cycle along Goldhawk Road towards Notting Hill Gate and Hyde Park Corner, before cutting through Green Park via Constitution Hill. At the end of this road you’ll be standing at the foot of the impressive Buckingham Palace. Take a look at the roof to see if the Queen is present – if she’s in residence you’ll see that the Royal Standard flag is flying. Next, turn onto Birdcage Walk and cycle up to Westminster Bridge and Big Ben, taking a left and following the Cycle Superhighway CS3 up to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the historic site of many royal weddings including Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana’s.
The Tower of London is your next stop. Renowned for being a historic location of imprisonment and execution (Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and Guy Fawkes all knew this place well), it is certainly worth the visit. After you have soaked up a bit of history or admired the breath-taking poppy installation from over the castle walls, head over to Tower Bridge where stunning panoramic views of the River Thames await. Cross over the bridge and turn right, cycling through Potters Fields Park before doing a quick loop of Bermondsey. This is an ideal spot to take a break and enjoy a refreshing cup of coffee in one of the many independent coffee shops, before heading back out to begin the journey back to Stamford Brook station.
Follow the cycle route back the way you came, using the Thames Path cycle trail at Blackfriars for a scenic view of the riverside, before re-joining the Cycle Superhighway CS3 back down to Westminster Bridge. When you reach Hyde Park Corner, turn left and follow South Carriage Drive towards Kensington High Street and Hammersmith, before turning onto King Street and then arriving back at Stamford Brook train station.
Why not make a weekend of it and join us overnight!
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