Follow the River Wandle from the River Thames at Wandsworth to Croydon. The trail follows the largely traffic free National Cycle Route 20 so the paths are well surfaced, signed and also suitable for walkers.
Starting in Wandsworth you head south to Southfields, passing along a traffic free section through public parks. You continue past Earslfield towards Wimbledon where you pass Wimbledon stadium and Summerstown. You continue to Merton Abbey Mills where you will find a pretty water mill and an arts and craft market. There is also a riverside pub which is a great place to stop for refreshments.
From Merton Abbey Mills you continue through Morden Hall Park where you will find 125 acres of National Trust owned parkland and gardens. The next section runs to Carshalton, passing Poulter Park and Allot Gardens. The final section runs from Carshalton into Croydon, passing through the pretty Beddington Park on the way.
Much of the trail is on traffic free, riverside paths so it's a good one for families. There are also good transport links along the way so it's easy to do just part of the route and then catch a train back.
Wandle Trail Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Wandle Trail Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Wandle Trail OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Wandle Trail Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
There's lots of good options for refreshments on your ride. In Morden Hall Park there are a couple of nice on site cafes where you can stop and sit outside. Breakfast and hot food can be purchased at the Potting Shed Café. There's also the Stableyard Café with coffees and ice creams. There's an outdoor seating area so you can enjoy your snack outside on summer days.
There's also some nice pubs located on the fringes of the park. The Surrey Arms is located at the southern end for example. There's a friendly atmosphere, nice outdoor area and a good menu here. You can find it on Morden Road with a postcode of CR4 4DD for your sat navs.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
You can extend the ride by continuing south along National Cycle Route 20 to Merstham, Crawley, Pyecombe and then onto the coast at Brighton. On the way you will also pass Tilgate Forest Country Park near Crawley. There's miles of good off road trails to be found in this expansive forest park.
At the northern end of the route you can link up with Cycle Superhighway 7 at Collier's Wood. The signed trail will take you to Cannon Street in the City of London, passing Clapham Common on the way.