Urban Adventure: London's Hottest Cycling Routes Unearthed!

1. Quirky London Route

  • Start: Neal's Yard
  • End: Cross Bones Graveyard
  • Length: Approximately 6.5 km
  • Difficulty: Manageable

This route is located in the heart of London, surrounded by numerous commercial facilities. If you feel a bit tired during the ride, there's no problem with stopping for a cup of coffee. Along the way, you'll pass by many iconic landmarks, such as the 'Golden Boy of Pye Corner' at the corner of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane. This statue was erected to commemorate the 17th-century Great Fire of London.

Finally, the endpoint is the Cross Bones Graveyard, a medieval paupers' burial ground where approximately 15,000 individuals, predominantly sex workers and children, were laid to rest. Today, the graveyard has transformed into a memorial garden adorned with ribbons on its gates. Despite being situated in the heart of London, this route avoids the hustle and bustle of popular attractions, providing a peaceful and enjoyable biking experience.

 

2. Shoreditch to Stratford

  • Start: Shoreditch
  • End: Stratford
  • Length: Approximately 8.2 km
  • Difficulty: Easy

In East London, there is also a relatively simple short-distance biking route, spanning just over 8.2 kilometers from Shoreditch to Stratford. The advantage of this route is its peacefulness, with no busy city areas in between. While the route doesn't pass by any iconic landmarks, the scenery along the way is beautiful, as it goes through two rather large parks.

First is Victoria Park, offering a vast expanse of enchanting greenery. Within the lush forest, you'll even find a Chinese-style pavilion. Then there's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where you can explore various facilities left behind by the Olympics, including the impressive Olympic venues.

 

3. Olympic Park Canal Loop

  • Start: Victoria Park
  • End: Victoria Park
  • Length: Approximately 16 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate


If you're seeking a longer route, you might want to consider this nearly 16-kilometer loop. This circular path offers a balanced length and maintains a mostly even terrain, ensuring a ride without significant difficulty. I recommend commencing from Victoria Park.

Then, trace along the scenic Regent's Canal, providing breathtaking views throughout the journey. Upon reaching Limehouse Basin, a charming harbor adjacent to the River Thames, take a moment to pause and appreciate the scenery. Continue along the riverside, and consider a rest stop at Three Mills.

You might also explore The House Mill, a charming museum open only on Sunday afternoons. Of course, you can also pedal your way to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and then follow the riverside trail back to Victoria Park.

 

4. Off To Market

  • Start: Orange Square
  • End: Portobello Market
  • Length: Approximately 11.7 km
  • Difficulty: Easy

If you feel the canal-side route is too tranquil, consider trying this super vibrant option. Starting from Orange Square, it spans roughly 11.7 kilometers. En route, you'll pass through three distinct markets, making it a fantastic choice for ‘food connoisseurs’.

The initial market you'll encounter is Pimlico Farmers' Market, operational every Saturday. While its focus is on farm produce, you'll also find a variety of snacks and pastries. Moving forward, you'll arrive at Notting Hill Farmers’ Market, also open every Saturday. This market is famed for its bread and an array of delightful desserts, offering a great pit stop for those in need of an energy boost.

The final destination on this route is Portobello Market, a renowned London hub for second-hand items and antiques. It's open every day except Sunday, and it houses a wealth of intriguing treasures, making it well worth a visit. Beyond the markets, Notting Hill itself offers a fantastic environment for cycling, adorned with an array of picturesque, colorful houses sure to evoke a sense of delight.

 

5. Tower & Hamlets Tour

  • Start: The Tower of London
  • End: The Tower of London
  • Length: Approximately 22 km
  • Difficulty: Challenging

Starting from The Tower of London, this circular route covers a little over 22 kilometers. Along the way, you won't encounter particularly bustling commercial areas. The route offers diverse terrain, including flat roads and countryside lanes, making it well-suited for seasoned cycling enthusiasts.

Commencing and concluding at The Tower of London, this route passes through several lesser-known small parks, in addition to the previously mentioned Victoria Park and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Throughout the journey, there are minimal bustling commercial areas. If you're looking to get away from the city without venturing too far, this route is an excellent choice. Close to half of the route traces the riverside, providing a remarkably broad field of view.

 

6. Thames Cultural Cycle Route

  • Start: Various Options
  • End: Various Options
  • Length: Approximately 27 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This is an immensely famous cycling circuit in London, and its name alone implies an abundance of culturally significant sights en route. The circuit covers a distance of 27 kilometers, and On The World Map.com provides a comprehensive cycling guide, outlining a total of 50 attractions along with a range of cycling tips.

While landmarks like The Tower of London and Tate Modern are undoubtedly familiar to many, let me highlight a few hidden gems. Firstly, there's The Clink Prison Museum, which was once a functioning prison featuring a collection of historical implements of punishment, as well as the stories of its former inmates.

Then there's the HMS Belfast, a naval vessel moored on the River Thames and now part of the Imperial War Museum. A visit allows you to delve into the historical aspects of naval warfare and explore the various facilities on board. Admission to the vessel requires a ticket, starting at £23 for adults.

The cultural landmarks along this route are abundant, each with its own rich history, making them well worth a dedicated exploration.


7. Newham's Gold Medal Loop

  • Start : View Tube
  • End: View Tube
  • Length: Approximately 23 km
  • Difficulty: Manageable

This is a wonderfully relaxed circuit in London, spanning a total of 23 kilometers. The terrain remains even throughout, and you'll find plenty of designated bicycle lanes along the route, making concerns about traffic congestion largely unnecessary. The circuit begins at the View Tube in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where there's a dedicated bike rental facility.

From there, you can smoothly follow the riverside. The stretch from Limehouse Cut to Limehouse Basin offers the easiest ride and boasts a multitude of picturesque scenes. Once you depart from the harbor, you can continue along the National Cycle Route 13, passing iconic landmarks such as The Shard, ExCel London, and Newham Quay, all of which are perfect spots for snapping memorable photos. Aviation enthusiasts will also have a great view of London City Airport across the river, complete with a variety of aircraft and runways.

 

8. The North London Escape Route

  • Start: Near Alexandra Palace Car Park
  • End: Customizable
  • Length: Approximately 44 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This circuit ranks as one of the longest cycling routes within the heart of London, covering a total distance of 44 kilometers. As its name suggests, this route is tailored for individuals seeking an escape from the urban hustle and bustle. Throughout the journey, you'll find yourself immersed in a tranquil environment, providing ample opportunity to relish the moments of cycling along peaceful country roads.

Despite its substantial length, the route doesn't pose a particularly high level of difficulty. The path is consistently asphalted, with occasional gentle inclines that are not excessively prolonged, thus alleviating concerns about road conditions. The journey commences at a parking lot near Alexandra Palace. From this point, you'll venture northward along the park, completing a loop before circling back to the starting point.

While there are no notably popular landmarks or commercial hubs along the way, the relaxed countryside scenery offers its own distinctive allure, making it an excellent choice for those in search of serenity.

 

Embarking on these cycling expeditions in the heart of London is like embarking on an urban adventure like no other. With routes ranging from serene riverside paths to bustling cultural circuits, each journey unveils a unique facet of this vibrant city. Whether you're exploring historic landmarks or venturing into tranquil countryside escapes, these routes promise an unforgettable experience for both seasoned cyclists and leisure riders. So, gear up and get ready to pedal through the best that London has to offer! Your urban adventure awaits!

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