In the space of twelve months our whole livelihoods have changed. We’ve gone from commuting into work to working in front of our makeshift desk-cum-dining tables, from being to explore the best of London to exploring the four walls we call home only. In this time we’ve perfected our crochet, our sourdough starters and can now play the guitar, kind of.
With the UK’s roadmap lined out, we’re all beginning to settle into this ‘new normal’ and have different opinions about using public transport. If you’re like the estimated 14 million Brits tackling this challenge hands on and opting for the #cyclelife, we dedicate this guide to you.
Whether you’re an avid cyclist or you’re just starting out, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite routes across London, ranging in difficulty, to try out on Sunday afternoon post-lockdown.
The Tamsin Trail, Richmond Park
Our favourite place to head when we’re in need of a little countryside feel is always Richmond Park. Running from all corners of the green expanse, the Tamsin Trail stretches just over seven miles in length and is an ideal spot for a leisurely cycle. Although this is usually quite a lively spot for walkers and cyclists alike, you’ll be at one with nature as you cycle past deer, wildlife and shaded areas.
Abrim with deer and wildlife, Richmond Park is also the perfect place for a weekend picnic so why not make a day of it stopping off at certain points for a quick cool down drink or bite to eat.
Please note that cycling is currently suspended in Richmond Park – keep up-to-date on guidelines on the Royal Parks website & enjoy this cycle path post-lockdown
Length: 7.35 miles
Find more information on the trail here
Victoria Park to Epping Forest
If you’re looking for any excuse to flee the city for an afternoon, the Victoria Park to Epping Forest circular circuit is an ideal route. You’ll begin your journey amidst Hackney’s Victoria Park before venturing down along the Olympic Park. The circuit then runs alongside the River Lea before making its way down to the wooded Epping Forest. Definitely one for those who are avid cyclists as the route gets steep at certain stages.
Length: Around 30 miles, if you loop back round
Battersea Park Loop
One cycling route that’s perfect for those finding their feet in the cycling world is the Battersea Park Loop. Coming in at under two miles per circular circuit, you’ll be able to test out your cycling skills along this traffic-free trail and gradually breath your way into the process easily. Once you ease into your cycling stride, you could challenge yourself to tackle two or three loops at a time.
Length: 1.8 miles per loop
Tower Bridge to Rainham Marshes
If you’re feeling a slightly longer journey from central London to Rainham Marshes, you’ll want to locate the National Cycle Route 13. Follow the trail along the Thames as you cycle past some of London’s most iconic landmarks before ending up at Rainham Marshes. Spend your afternoon exploring the best of this natural reserve, walking or cycling along the marshes spotting a dragonfly or water vole along the way.
Length: 20.5 miles
Regent’s Canal (Through to Little Venice)
Regent’s Canal is dotted with little pockets of pretty, from the bohemian-inspired narrowboats through to the canal-side houses and their pottering gardens. It’s the perfect stretch for a casual Sunday cycle stroll thanks to its easy ride and benches and stop off points along the way. If you feel up for it, venture through to Little Venice and on a sunny day, it’ll feel as though you’ve been ‘transported’ to the real deal in Italy.
Length: Depends how far you want to venture…
The Parkland Walk – Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace
We mentioned this beautiful parkland stroll in our recent London walk feature, but the trail follows the old railway line that once ran between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace. Today you’ll find the beaten up tracks have been used as a pathway running up and down them, with arched trees clouding overhead, and will transport you far away from the ghost city to a tranquil space only you know about.
Length: 4.5 miles
The Wandle Trail
Another longer London stretch that’s perfect for an afternoon cycle is The Wandle Trail. On this 14 mile riverside stroll, you’ll cycle past Morden Hall Park before you catch a glimpse of the watermill that’s located in the Merton Abbey Mills. Now that the spring has sprung, the trees are glistening and the wildflowers flourishing, it’s really rather beautiful to see.
Length: 14 miles
Or, if you’re really invested in the #cyclelife, London to Brighton
This one certainly isn’t for the faint hearted, but the London to Brighton cycle ride takes place every Summer. Post-lockdown you could work your way up to the challenge and take part in your own London to Brighton cycle, stopping off at different points along the Sussex trail, before ending your ride along the infamous Brighton seafront.
Length: 55 Miles
Looking for a new bike to try one of these cycling routes out on? Check out our guide to the best city cycles here