Winter has once again passed and spring is here – it’s time to get out on your bike and explore once more what one of the world’s greatest cities has to offer. Here is FOFFA’s guide to the best cycle routes in London.
Richmond to Hampton Court
The leafy enclave of Richmond is only a short train ride from Waterloo, or you can take the District Line. As long as you are not trying to get there during the weekday rush hour you can take your bike on the train or tube. Once you arrive at Richmond make your way down to the meandering Thames and follow the signs for the Thames Path all the way to Hampton Court. On this 9.3 mile route you will encounter Ham House, a 17th century stately home; the Teddington lock, rolling parkland and you can even peek into the back gardens of some very beautiful homes. You would never know that you were in London.
Columbia Road Flower Market to Islington
Columbia Road Flower Market is a beautiful sight after a long winter. Open only on Sunday from 8am-3pm this East London market gets very busy, and plenty of quirky independent shops line this little street. There are plenty of coffee shops and pubs around if you are looking for a spot of lunch or a break before you head off. After a mooch round the market either head into the city and explore its narrow alleys and hidden squares, or make your way to the Regents Canal, a short ride north of the market, and follow the tow path to Islington.
The City on the weekend
The City or the Square Mile goes from being a thriving centre of commerce to a quiet ghost town on the weekend. The heavy traffic is replaced by empty roads and the din of construction falls silent. The City on the weekend is almost a tranquil place, a sleeping dragon that won’t wake until 6am on Monday. Start at St Pauls’, we won’t give you a route to follow because the city is best explored at your own pace in a haphazard way. Cycle down the narrow alleyways and discover hidden gardens, church yards, pubs and coffee shops. Stop at the numerus blue plaques and enjoy unearthing 2,000 years of history. You can regularly find forthcoming Hollywood movies being filmed on the weekend in the Square Mile, so keep your eyes peeled! Don’t miss St Dunstan’s-in-the-East, St Michael’s Alley and Spitalfields Market.
Take the Grand Union towpath from Camden Lock and enjoy a cycle to Regents Park. It is only a little over a mile to the park from Camden, but take it slow and admire the view. Once you arrive, take a leisurely ride around the park and enjoy a picnic. Round off the day by puffing up Primrose Hill to enjoy the sun setting behind the London skyline.