Insider guide: How to enjoy a socially distant London staycation
Put the Berlin trip on ice, say ciao to Rome for now and indulge in some of the capital’s best bits with our guide to safely making the most of London in this new era.
31st July 2019
Ride London – known this year as Prudential Ride London – is one of the amazing sporting legacies of the London 2012 Olympic Games. It was held for the first time in 2013 – the year after the Olympics – and quickly became a popular cycling festival. It involves everything from a professional cycling race, to the opportunity for anyone to enjoy traffic-free cycling around the landmarks of London.
Prudential Ride London includes a number of fantastic events that take place across London, meaning anyone can get a slice of the action.
This one-of-a-kind event in the centre of London sees roads closed so that families can cycle around a traffic-free city. Taking place from 9:00 to 16:00 on Saturday 3 August, this is a time to experience the city on two wheels only. The FreeCycle route passes close to The Athenaeum, and cyclists can travel along Constitution Hill through Green Park and then take in the roads around St James’s Park. The car-free zone extends into the heart of the city along the Strand, Victoria Embankment and around St Paul’s Cathedral. There are also various festival zones along the way where you can listen to live music and enjoy culinary delights from food stands.
This central London cycling race covers a 5.4km route. It passes some of London’s major icons, including Whitehall, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square. Classique sees some of the world’s greatest cycling pros race it out for the winning title and prize. It’s quite the spectacle to watch, so take it all in on Saturday 3 August.
Brompton World Championship Final
This exciting race involves an eight lap circuit around St James’s Park…and the only bike allowed is the Brompton folding bicycle! Just 500 riders are chosen at random to participate, and the race has a sense of humour too, as the dress code is ‘strictly no Lycra’! Instead, cyclists are told to ‘dress to impress’, and part of the fun for spectators is spotting the best outfit! This year’s event takes place on Saturday 3 August.
This serious long distance race involves a 100-mile route from London to Surrey and back again. The race starts early on Sunday 4 August at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and continues on closed roads through west London, Richmond Park and Bushy Park, travelling as far south as Leith Hill. Participants then take a different route back, finishing in The Mall – not far from The Athenaeum. Spectators can find their favourite spot along the route to cheer the cyclists on and enjoy the atmosphere.
This is an event for those who want to enjoy a leisurely cycle along part of the Surrey 100 route, but without the competitive edge! Cyclists travel along the same route for the first 27 miles, before heading back into London. Spectators will see plenty of younger cyclists and those riding for charity on this one – so go ahead and support them on Sunday 4 August!
Another great event for families and children, this 19 mile race starts in Surrey and travels to Buckingham Palace. There are still spaces to participate in this event – so enter online if you’re interested!
This race is reserved for 150 of the world’s best pro cyclists and takes in a similar route to the Surrey 100. The perfect event for budding cyclists to feel inspired, head along to spectate and be wowed by professional cycling prowess on Sunday 4 August.
There’s something for all cycling enthusiasts during RideLondon – even those who don’t feel like getting on two wheels for the festival! The free RideLondon Cycling Show takes place at ExCeL from 1 to 3 August and showcases the latest bicycles and gadgets, as well as talks by inspiring cyclists and experts.
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