When you imagine cities best explored on your bike, you may think of obvious spots like Copenhagen and Amsterdam long before considering London.
This is because the city is best known for its congested roads and the London Underground as its primary form of transport.
But, the capital is quickly transforming into a cycle-friendly space.
With an influx of new cycle lanes, it's safer than ever to ride your bike in London.
During national lockdowns, cyclists had time to map out new, exciting routes all over the city. Some of these cycling routes explore parks, others follow rivers, and many take in London landmarks.
You can take countless twists and turns to uncover different areas.
But we recognise that you don't want to trudge through a bunch of average routes to find the hidden gems.
So, we've done the hard part for you!
We've sourced the most enjoyable routes across London and sorted them by location.
Whether you're living in the northernmost or southernmost city limit, you'll find a nearby trail that'll take your breath away (and not just from the exercise).
Now - on your bike!
Why Cycle in London?
When there's such a comprehensive metro system in the city, you may wonder what's the point of cycling in London?
Our answer - it's fun!
Cycling is a way to get some exercise and gives you a sense of accomplishment when you get to your destination.
It also has benefits on your mental and physical health.
Plus, it's a great way to see more of your neighbourhood. If you take the tube everywhere, you miss out on all the sights between your starting point and endpoint.
We think this is a tragedy, and so we aim to introduce you to some cycles that aren't about getting to places you need to be.
Instead, they focus on seeing more of the city and enjoying the journey.
Safety When Cycling in London
First things first - safety.
Cycling in London can be intimidating. It's a city with famously busy roads - chockablock with cars, taxis, and buses in a hurry to their destination.
So, it's essential to take all the safety precautions possible.
When you ride a bike you're in a vulnerable position.
Though most of our bike routes stray away from busy streets in favour of open roads, it's important that, wherever you ride, you use safety measures to protect yourself.
The most important way to do this is wearing bicycle helmet that is well fitted to your head.
Other than that, the best way to prevent injuries is wearing appropriate cycling clothes.
Now you've got a helmet and know what to wear - you can start your journey!
North London Cycle Routes
If you're a cyclist from North London, lucky you.
Heading out of the city's central hub onto quieter roads can take you to beauty spots like Epping Forest. Or, lead you out of London altogether to nearby areas, such as St Albans.
These places are only a stone's throw from many North London Boroughs but feel far removed from the bustle of the city.
That said, there are plenty of great spots for cycling that are closer to home than you'd think possible.
Whether it's through Finsbury Park or Camden Town, there'll be somewhere you can nip for a short ride nearby.
Our absolute favourite rides in North London are:
- Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to Epping Forest
- Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace
- Regents Park to St Alban's
- The North London Escape
- Swain's Lane to Hertford (or Potters Bar)
- Hampstead Heath
To find out more about the routes and reasons we love them - Click Here!
South London Cycle Routes
There is so much diversity in what you can see in one bike ride through South London.
You often begin your ride with cityscapes and end it with the pure countryside. It's so easy to venture into Surrey without travelling too far - and it comes with scenic rewards.
That isn't to disregard South London's own gorgeous journeys.
Right on the south bank of the River Thames, there are routes that are stunning in a different way.
You have the opportunity to take in iconic skyscrapers all the while travelling on cycle paths that are removed from the danger of traffic.
There are countless sights of both natural and man-made beauty in the city's south. And, we've fitted many of them into our top bike rides in the area:
- Westminster Bridge to Box Hill
- The Cyclist's Tour
- Battersea Park
- Putney Bridge to Greenwich
- Tate to Tate
- The Wandle Trail
Are you interested in the specifics of these routes? Click Here!
East London Cycle Routes
The east of London is home to an array of terrains.
There aren't many places where you can go from a lock to a park, to marshes, to a town, to wetlands - all within a matter of miles.
But, when you're cycling in East London, it's possible.
This is great fun for you because it means your bike rides can be varied and fulfil your different needs.
One day you may fancy a riverside spin, another a shopping trip to somewhere like Stratford.
For our picks in East London, we've included a wide range of types of rides:
- Greenwich to Gravesend
- Stonebridge Lock to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
- Regent's Park to Limehouse Basin
- Hackney Marshes to Walthamstow Wetlands
- Shoreditch to Stratford
- Hackney Wick Loop
Are you itching to learn more about these routes? Click Here!
West London Cycle Routes
West London, too, has many picture-perfect places to go cycling.
With some of the cities most beloved parks in its arsenal, West London has a lot to be proud of.
It's also home to Buckingham Palace, Wembley Stadium, and the Royal Gardens.
And, if the sights themselves are not making you rearing to go, the bike paths that link the sites will!
West London has so many great routes. But, when it comes down to choosing our favourites, they have to be:
- Victoria Embankment to Kensington Palace
- Kingston to Staines
- The Tamsin Trail
- Richmond Park to Kew Gardens
- The Wembley Loop
- Kew Gardens to Osterley Park
To learn about these routes in all their glory - Click Here!
Cycle Routes in London
By now, you should be a walking encyclopedia on the many incredible bike rides around London.
And, hopefully, with that knowledge comes the discovery of a route you'll love.
Some of the journeys we've detailed are classics that you've undoubtedly heard about before but perhaps not in enough detail to convince you to try.
Others are off the beaten track that may even be new to London cycling connoisseurs!
Whether you're an expert or a newbie, we urge you to give one of them a go - you never know what beauty you'll find.
And, what better way to complete these stunning routes than on a bike to match.