Thanks to the Tube, getting to any London tourist attraction is easy. But why bypass so many beautiful streets and iconic structures by travelling underground?
Taxis can be admittedly pricey, and public buses can be a little on the crowded side. Thankfully, there’s a healthier, cheaper and more adventurous way to get around.
For just two quid, you can rent a bicycle from one of the 750 docking stations for 24 hours. When your time’s up, you can leave your bike at any docking station in the City. In the meantime, enjoy the sights of our great capital by riding along hundreds of miles of cycle paths. Here’s our pick of the most rewarding London cycle routes.
Go deer spotting on The Tamsin Trail
This scenic 7-mile route circles the perimeter of Richmond Park. Along the way, you’ll see the beautiful Isabella Plantation, a 40-acre Victorian woodland garden with displays of colourful seasonal flowers. Nature lovers should also keep their eyes peeled for royal deer in the park’s meadows.
More of a history buff? Take it slow as you pass Pembroke Lodge, a Georgian mansion, and Ham House, a 17th-century home. The gravel and tarmac circuit is suitable for cyclists of all fitness levels. If you want to work up a sweat, cycle to the hilltop, where you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Cycle past London’s landmarks along the Thames
Some of the City’s best views are seen from the River Thames. If you don’t fancy a boat ride on the water, ride a bike along the path beside it. This route starts right in front of Big Ben and follows the Thames to the Royal Botanic Gardens.
You’ll pass iconic landmarks such as the Palace of Westminster, the Tate Britain, Fulham Palace, South Bank, the London Eye and more. If you ever need ten minutes to catch your breath, refuel and reward all your hard work with a quick pint at a riverside pub.
Follow the meandering Regent’s Canal
Another waterside cycling route begins next to Regent’s Canal, where Mare Street meets Andrews Road. You’ll head west along Andrews Road and pass the London Canal Museum, Camden, London Zoo and Regent’s Park. After your 8-mile workout, you can treat yourself to a coffee and a cake at a quaint waterside café in Little Venice.
Get outside on the Wandle trail
If cycling through crowds of pedestrians by the Thames or Regent’s Canal doesn’t appeal to you, you might prefer the scenic and mostly quiet route that goes through South West London’s green spaces. The Wandle Trail is flat, sign-posted and traffic-free. As well as being an easy route for any cyclist, it’s one of the prettiest.
As you follow National Cycle Route 20 by the River Wandle, you’ll have plenty of chances to stop off for some pub grub and whipped ice cream. You need to get some energy from somewhere!
Cycle along the lake at St James’s Park
A cycling tour of London wouldn’t be that rewarding without stopping at Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. As luck would have it, both of those iconic landmarks are just outside of St James’s Park, which has a cycling route that’s shorter and easier than any other on our list.
The entire perimeter of St James’s Park is just over a mile long. In addition to the residences of our Prime Minister and Monarch, you’ll have the chance to snap photos of Victoria’s Monument, St James’s Palace and Lancaster House.
For more great ways to explore the streets of the capital, check out our amazing full-day tours of London. You’ll get to see the very best of what the capital has to offer.