The city of London and its attractions need no introduction— this capital city of England is among the most visited places in the world. Being a major city, there are several ways to tour London, a place that is the perfect blend of rich history and modern attractions. But if you want to explore the city at your own pace without spending an exorbitant amount on travel, cycling in London is an excellent idea as the city is quite cycle-friendly and has some scenic routes that you can explore. Cycling in London is increasingly gaining popularity among residents and tourists alike, and the city has witnessed some major improvements to its cycling network in the recent years.
If you are in the city as a tourist and don’t own a bicycle, you can rent one from one of the many bike hire companies that offer rental bikes of various types at reasonable prices. If you opt for a folding bike, you can even take it with you on many of London’s public transport vehicles, including the Tube and buses. Remember to take the necessary safety precautions (like wearing a helmet) before you set out to go cycling in London, and get ready to experience a unique and refreshing way of discovering this beautiful city. Although London has numerous bike routes all over the city, some of them are simply too beautiful to miss. Here are some of the routes that you should try, whether you are an amateur cyclist, a veteran, or are simply looking to enjoy some memorable family-time cycling in London.
Cycling in London: Secret Routes
Limehouse to Little Venice
Route length: 8 miles, approximate duration: 1.5 hours
Discover this scenic route that is not known to many, and you are sure to be returning to it more than once. Starting at the Limehouse Basin, this is one cycling route where you can escape the noise and traffic of the city and pedal along in a leisurely manner as you take in spectacular sights such as yachts in the Marina. Once you start cycling along this canal network, you can cycle northwards and pass Mile End Lock. You can make a pit stop here at the Mile End Park to visit the famous and eccentric throwback pub, the Palm Tree. Once refreshed, saddle up again and you will pass Dalston, and carry on along the canal towards Camden Town. The Island Queen pub is another of the attractions along this route, but you can choose to pedal on and stop at the Canal Museum where you can learn about the interesting history of ice cream in Britain. If you want to sit someplace quiet to rest for a while and take in the beauty of the place, Camley Street Natural Park would make the perfect stop for you. Once you cross Camden Town, you can get a peek inside the London Zoo, and then skirt around Regent’s Park before going up towards the Grand Union Canal and finally into Little Venice.
Richmond to Hampton Court
Route length: 7.5 miles, approximate duration: 1 hour
If you are looking for a relaxing experience while cycling in London, whether alone or with friends and family, this is one of the best routes for you as it offers a scenic cycle ride along the Thames. What makes it a great cycling route for everyone is that it is flat almost all the way, ensuring a stress-free cycling experience for you. You can begin cycling at Richmond Station to reach Richmond Bridge, a point where you can join the Thames Path. Pack in some sandwiches and you can have a lovely little picnic on the sandy beach along the first stretch of this path. Then, you can continue upstream towards Teddington Lock, past which the tidal section of the river comes to an end, and the scenic countryside begins. After cycling for around a mile, you will reach the Kingston Bridge and then to the other bank to arrive at Hampton Court Palace. You can take a break here to enjoy some tea and snacks on the lawns as you soak in the old-world beauty of the place. You can then return to Richmond and have an unforgettable experience of cycling in London on another one of its secret routes. This route too has several pubs along the way, but remember to go easy on the pints so you find it easy to stick to the track.
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