Greater London Cycle Routes
Greater London is an interesting place to cycle with central London becoming more cycle friendly largely thanks to the London Cycling Campaign, Transport for London and the National Cycle Network.
The outskirts offer many attractive routes with Wimbledon Common, Richmond Park and the River Thames offering some pleasant off road cycling opportunities.
The central area is also well served by cycling lanes and signed routes which you can view and download below.
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the Greater London Cycle Map
There are several National Cycle Network signed routes in the county many of which have been mapped and can be viewed and downloaded below.
For more information on NCN routes in the county (including free cycle maps) please click here
For more information on cycle routes in Greater London including tips, advice and free cycle maps please click here
|Alexandra Park||1 miles (2 km)||Enjoy a walk or cycle through this popular park in North London. The park covers nearly 200 acres and surrounds the historic entertainment venue of Alexandra Palace. It includes a pretty boating lake where you can enjoy a boat ride or a lakeside snack at the cafe. There is a also a large garden centre with a Victorian style greenhouse, a deer enclosure with a small herd of fallow deer and a 10 hole pitch and putt golf course. You can also climb the park's tree-lined sloping hill where you can enjoy super views over London.|
Alexandra Park is located between Wood Green and Muswell Hill. Alexandra Palace railway station (Muswell Hill branch) is located right next to the eastern end of the park.
|Barnet to Welwyn Garden City||14 miles (22 km)||Follow NCN Route 12 from the outskirts of London into Hertfordshire on this fairly easy route. The route starts by High Barnet tube station and follows minor roads and tracks to Hatfield and then onto Welwyn Garden City. Route highlights include a spell through Monken Hadley Common at the start and Hatfield House and Gardens which is an ideal spot to stop for some refreshments. There are also several off road sections to enjoy making this a leisurely ride.|
|Battersea Park||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy a walk or cycle through this riverside park in London. There's a cycle trail running through the northern end of the park and footpaths taking you around a boating lake, through Sub-Tropical Gardens and along the River Thames. There's 200 acres (83-hectare) to explore with a children's zoo, a boating lake, a bandstand and cafe. There's also a 3 hectare nature area with mixed woodland where you can look out for butterflies and birds such as blackcap and bullfinch. Good footpaths take you around the lovely Sub-Tropical Gardens with a mixture of exotic plants and then to the Old English Garden with a fountain and pretty hedges and flowers.
The whole of this circular route is designed for walkers but there is a traffic free cycle track running through the northern end of the park. You can then cross Chelsea Bridge and continue along the Thames to Battersea Bridge. The Thames Path runs through the park so you can extend your walk by continuing along the thames.
|Bayhurst Wood Country Park and Ruislip Woods||5 miles (8 km)||Bayhurst Wood Country Park and Ruislip Woods are located in the London Borough of Hillingdon and contain numerous walking and cycling trails. Ruislip Woods covers 726 acres and became the first National Nature Reserve in an urban area of England in 1997. The site includes grassland, ponds, streams, marshland and the delightful Ruislip Lido Lake. |
The site is popular with Mountain bikers as there are a number of challenging off road trails. However there are also family cycle routes such as the David Brough cycle trail which is located in Bayhurst Wood and is suitable for all abilities of rider.
|Brent Reservoir||1 miles (1.2 km)||Brent Reservoir and the Wesh Harp Open space is a popular place for walkers and cyclists. A traffic free path runs long the northern shore of this large lake with views across the water and woodland trails. It's a popular site for bird watching with two bird hides and visitors which include great crested grebe, gadwall, shoveler, common pochard, tufted duck and common tern. There's also the Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre which is a 15 acre woodland site where children can have a hands-on experience with nature. |
If you'd like to extend your walk you could pick up the Capital Ring walking route and follow it west to the nearby Fryent Country Park.
|Brockwell Park||2 miles (2.5 km)||This park near Brixton has a cycle path running around the perimeter. There are also good footpaths taking you around the 50 hectare (125 acres) site with its pretty lake and wide lawns. In the park you can climb a small hill and enjoy views of the skyline of the city and Central London. Here you will find the early 19th century Brockwell Hall where you can enjoy refreshments in the cafe. There is also a popular open-air swimming pool named Brockwell Lido with a a Grade II listed art deco building and cafe. There are good family facilites with a playground, paddling pool and miniature railway.|
If you'd like to continue your exercise then Clapham Common and Tooting Bec Common are both close by.
|Clapham Common||2 miles (3 km)||Enjoy a walk around this large open space in South London. The common covers 220 acres (89 hectares) with miles of walking trails taking you to open grassland, three ponds and a Victorian bandstand. Wide trails take you to the flower gardens and around Eagle, Long and Mount Ponds. There's also a cycling trail running through the centre of the park. Facilities include a running track, bowling green, Australian rules football pitches, Tennis courts and a skateboard park. The Windmill Pub at the park's eastern side is a good place for refreshments. |
If you'd like to extend your exercise you could head south through Balham to Tooting Bec Common where there are more cycling and walking paths to try. The Capital Ring long distance walking trail runs through Wandsworth Common about a mile west of Clapham Common. You can pick this up to extend your walk.
|Colne Valley Trail||7 miles (11 km)||Follow the Colne Valley Trail from Uxbridge to Rickmansworth and enjoy riverside and canalside walking or cycling.|
The trails follows the Grand Union Canal and the River Colne while also passing a series of pretty Lakes including Lynsters, Stocker's and Batchworth Lake. The trail finishes at Batchworth Lake by the car park in Rickmansworth.
|Croydon to Petts Wood||10 miles (16 km)||This route runs from East Croydon railway to Petts Wood along residential roads and off road tracks and paths. The ride includes a stretch along Addiscombe Railway Park - a disused railway path that offers a safe, traffic free ride. You will also visit Norman Park, Ashburton Playing Fields, Bromley Common and the delightful Jubilee Country Park Nature Reserve. The Park consists of 62 acres of grassland and ancient woodland and was purchased by Bromley Council to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977. It is full of wildlife with amphibians, birds, butterflies, insects, mammals, reptiles and wild flowers to look out for. |
Good access points for the cycle ride are East Croydon train station and Petts Wood station.
|Epping Forest||19 miles (30 km)||This circular route starts at Epping tube station and takes you through the quiet roads in and around Epping Forest.|
The route is on road so will suit all types of bike but if you're on an MTB or Hybrid it's well worth exploring the signed off road paths and tracks in the forest.
|Greenwich to Cheshunt||21 miles (34 km)||Follow NCN route 1 on this pleasant ride or walk through north London into Hertfordshire. You start by the Thames at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich and crosses to the Isle of Dogs via the Greenwich tunnel. This section gives splendid views of the River Thames and Canary Wharf. |
Shortly after leaving the Thames behind you will come onto the Lee Valley path which will take you along the Regent's canal and through Tower Hamlets and Victoria Park. You then join the River Lee near Lea Bridge for some more waterside riding. The off road path then takes you past various Reservoirs until you reach the lovely Lee Valley Park - London's largest open space. After going through the park you will soon pass close to Waltham Abbey in Essex before you arrive at the finish point at Cheshunt station next to Cheshunt lake.
|Greenwich to Croydon||16 miles (25 km)||This ride follows NCN route 21, taking you through south east London. The ride starts by the Cutty Sark on the Thames in Greenwich and heads south along the Ravensbourne and Pool Rivers to New Beckenham. From there you continue south to Elmers End where you will pass through the lovely South Norwood Country Park. You then pass through Addington golf course and Addington Hill along the London Loop taking you to the finish point at South Croydon rail.|
|Greenwich to Gravesend||27 miles (43 km)||Starting in Greenwich on the banks of the river Thames follow NCN route 1 to Gravesend via Dartford. |
The first section of the route takes you along the Thames path to Erith with views of Canary Wharf and the Millennium Dome as you go. You then join the Darent valley path taking you along the River Darent to Dartford. You continue to Gravesend on more off road tracks passing the enormous Bluewater shopping centre on the way.
|Hainault Forest Country Park||4 miles (7 km)||This country park contains open space parklands, numerous public footpaths, a large lake, the Hainault Forest Golf Club and Fox Burrow Farm. There are 336 acres to explore with several paths suitable for cyclists so you can bring your bike and enjoy miles of traffic free cycling.|
The park is located between Chigwell and Romford with Hainault underground station a good access point.
If you'd like to extend your outing you could follow the London Loop to the nearby Havering Country Park.
|Hampstead Heath||3 miles (5 km)||This large London park covers 790 acres and contains miles of well laid out footpaths. You can climb the 98 metre (322 ft) high Parliament Hill for terrific views of major London landmarks such as Canary Wharf, the Gherkin, the Shard and St Paul's Cathedral. Along the eastern edge of the park are the pretty Highgate ponds which include three open-air public swimming pools. At the northern end of the heath you'll find Kenwood House. This former stately home is run by English Heritage and consists of gardens, ancient woodland and sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Eugene Dodeigne.|
Several long distance walking trails run past the heath - you could pick up Dollis Valley Green Walk, Green London Way or the Capital Ring if you would like to extend your walk.
The route below is devised for walkers but cycling is also permitted on the heath but please be respectful of other users. Click here to see a map of the heath with the cycle route marked out.
|Hampton Court Park||2 miles (4 km)||This 750 acre park is open to the public and sits next to Hampton Court Palace and Bushy Park in south London. It's great for an afternoon stroll with long tree lined avenues running along the Long Water canal in the centre of the park. At the end of the canal, the Golden Jubilee Fountain shoots spectacular 30 metre jets of water into the air. Deer, descended from Henry VIII's original herd roam around the rest of the park freely. Adjacent to the park you will find Bushy Park which is a great option if you'd like to continue your outing.|
|Hertford Union Canal||1 miles (1.7 km)||Enjoy an easy, waterside walk or cycle along this canal in Tower Hamlets. It runs for about a mile, linking the Regent's Canal and the Lea Valley Walk. You'll pass a series of locks and bridges along the way. It runs alongside Victoria Park so there is scope for continuing your walk through the park or along the Regent's Canal.|
|High Elms Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy the woodlands, nature centre, ice well, formal gardens and wildflower meadows in this 250 acre country park in Orpington. You'll also find the Clock House, Grade II listed building and the attractive Yew avenue (created 1896) in this varied and interesting park.|
Chelsfield rail station is about a mile from the park but there are also car parks at the park.
|Hornchurch Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||Enjoy a walk or cycle through this large country park in Havering in the Ingrebourne Valley. Features in the park include the River Ingrebourne, grassland, a fishing lake and woodland paths. The park is also a Local Nature Resrve with marshes containing the largest freshwater reed bed in London. As such it is a great area for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. |
The park is also the site of the former RAF Hornchurch base which was used in the First and Second World Wars. As such there are some historical features including an aircraft dispersal bay, pillboxes, and Tett turrets.
The Ingrebourne Valley walking and cycle route runs through the park so you could pick this up and head towards Rainham or Upminster to continue your outing.
|Ingrebourne Valley||3 miles (5 km)||This is a nice easy, family cycle ride or walk through the Ingrebourne Valley near Upminster. The route includes a stretch through Hornchurch Country Park with its ponds, lakes and pleasant scenery. You will also visit Ingrebourne Hill which offers brilliant views across the Thames and a variety of wildlife. Finally, there is a lovely stretch along the Ingrebourne River to enjoy, making for a peaceful, varied easy walk or ride.|
Good access points are the stations at Upminster and Rainham.
|London to Brighton||65 miles (104 km)||Travel from the banks of the River Thames in Greenwich to the South Coast on this popular route along National Cycle Network Routes 21 and 20. |
The ride starts by the Cutty Sark on the Thames in Greenwich and heads south along the Ravensbourne and Pool Rivers to New Beckenham. From there you continue south to Elmers End where you will pass through the lovely South Norwood Country Park. The route continues through the pretty Addington golf course and on to Addington Hill along the London Loop.
The ride then heads through New Addington, Warlingham and Caterham to Redhill. There are several off road sections to enjoy on this section with pleasant stretches through Holt Wood near Warlingham and Mercers Country Park near Redhill.
From Redhill you continue to Crawley, passing Horley before an interesting traffic free section through Gatwick Airport take you to Crawley.
The final section runs from Crawley to Brighton first passing through Tilgate Forest and its golf course. The route continues to Handcross where you can see the pretty Nymans Gardens before passing the villages of Staplefield, Bolney and Hickstead. A long traffic free section then follows taking you to the outskirts of Brighton with views of the South Downs as you go. The final stretch takes you through Brighton passing the attractive pavillion gardens before finishing near the prom.
|London to Paris||314 miles (506 km)||This ride takes you along the proposed route for the Avenue Verte - a traffic-free cycle path, safe enough for a child, linking London and the French capital. |
The ride includes some climbs - the toughest being the North Downs for people cycling the route from south to north. Most of the route is rolling countryside, apart from Redhill to Crawley (via Gatwick airport!) in the UK, and the capital cities themselves. There are some pleasant waterside stretches to enjoy too, notably a run along the River Wandle in London and then a lovely spell along the wooded banks of the Seine in France.
For a fantastic full route guide from Stephen Mulvey of the BBC, please click here
|Paddington to Northolt||10 miles (16 km)||This short easy ride takes you along the Grand Union Canal from Paddington to Northolt. You'll pass through Kensal Green, Stonebridge and Alperton along the towpath of the canal, enjoying some pleasant scenery as you go.|
This route is one of the Transport for London signed local routes.
|Pilgrimage Way||23 miles (37 km)||This is a largely traffic free cycle ride or walk from Barking Abbey to Waltham Abbey via Three Mills, Limehouse Basin and the Olympic Site.|
The route starts at Barking Abbey and heads through Plaistow and Mill Meads to the Limehouse Basin. This section follows a cycle track for most of the way and includes a stretch along the River Lea.
From Limehouse the route turns north through Victoria Park and Hackney Marsh to Lea Bridge where you begin a section along a series of reservoirs including West Warwick Reservoir and Lockwood Reservoir. The final section takes you through the lovely Lee Valley Park and along the River Lee Navigation Canal to the finish point at Waltham Abbey.
As this ride is mostly on off road paths and tracks it is also suitable for walkers.
|Putney to Coulsdon||16 miles (25 km)||Follow NCN route 20 through south London on this easy ride. The route starts in Wandsworth Park and heads along the Thames to Wandsworth. You'll then head south through Southfields and Earlsfield where you'll join the River Wandle. Here you join the cycle friendly Wandle Trail (mostly off road) through South Wimbledon, Morden and Carshalton. Highlights on the trail include Merton Abbey Mills and the lovely Morden Hall and Poulter Parks. The final on road section from Wallington takes you through the Oaks Park and Mayfield Lavender farm to the finish point at Coulsden rail station.|
|Putney to Greenwich||14 miles (23 km)||This route follows NCN route 4 and the River Thames from Putney to Greenwich. The ride starts on Putney Bridge and heads through Battersea to Westminster passing the Tate Gallery and the Houses of Parliament on the way. You then continue along the Thames to Bermondsey and Rotherhithe before finishing at the iconic Cutty Sark near Greenwich.|
|Rainham Marshes||6 miles (9 km)||Explore the RSPB Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve on this easy cycle or walk along NCN route 13. The route runs mostly along a riverside path by the River Thames from Purfleet to Rainham. The reserve has a variety of regular winged visitors, including peregrines, lapwings and wild ducks. There are also water voles and rare dragonflies to be seen across the boardwalks. Also take time to explore the visitor centre which has a wealth of information about the area.|
This route is easily accesible with train stations at either end at Purfleet and Rainham.
|Regent's Canal||9 miles (14 km)||Follow the Regent's canal through Regent's Park and Central London on this pleasant waterside cycling and walking route.|
Starting at the Little Venice basin in Maida Vale, you follow the canal into Regent’s Park where you will find the famous Zoo. You then pass through Camden, with its popular market, before continuing towards the East End. The route then passes the revived Mile End Park with its arts pavilion, terraced gardens and green bridge with views of Canary Wharf. You finish at the River Thames at Limehouse Basin.
|Richmond Park||7 miles (11 km)||Enjoy miles of super cycling and walking trails in this large deer park in London. Richmond Park is the largest of London's Royal Parks at 955 hectares or 2,360 acres. For cyclists National Cycle Network Route 4 and the Tamsin Trail run through the park on roads and well surfaced off road tracks. |
The Tamsin TrailThe route below shows this cycling and walking trail which runs around the perimiter of the park on lovely resurfaced paths. It's a very popular route as it provides a great, largely traffic free ride in London. On it you'll pass woodland and ponds with a section along the pretty Beverley Brook. Cycles are available for hire near Roehampton Gate and, at peak times, near Pembroke Lodge in the north west corner of the park.
If you're on foot you could head to the beautiful Isabella Plantation. Here you'll find a 40 acre woodland garden with evergreen azaleas, ponds, Rhododendrons and Camellias. There's also the delightful Pen Ponds. The ponds are divided by a causeway which you can walk along and look out for a variety of birdlife.
If you'd like to continue your walk you could pick up the Capital Ring which runs through the park. One good option is to follow the trail to the nearby Wimbledon Common. Or you could head to Ham House at the western side of the park.
|South Norwood Country Park||2 miles (2.5 km)||A cycle or walk through this pleasant country park in Croydon.|
|Tooting Bec Common||2 miles (3 km)||This large open space in South London has a cycling trail running through the western side of the park. There's also miles of walking trails taking you to avenues of trees, acid grassland and a small pond with wildlife. The common covers 92 hectares (221 acres) so you can easily spend a couple of hours strolling around. There's also a cafe, tennis courts and an athletics track. A park run takes place every Saturday at 9:00am at the time of writing. Tooting Bec cafe is situated in a historic Victorian building and is a nice place to sit outside and take on some refreshments after your exercise.|
The Capital Ring long distance walking route runs through the common so you can pick this up to extend your walk to either Wandsworth Common or Streatham Common which are both nearby. If you're on a bike then on road TFL cycle routes will take you to Clapham Common and Wandsworth Common from Tooting Common.
The whole of this route is suitable for walkers while cyclists can ride the shared surfaced path on the common's western side.
|Tower Bridge to Barking||11 miles (17 km)||Follow NCN route 13 through the London Docklands on this interesting route. The ride starts by St Katherine Docks near Tower Bridge and heads east along the Thames path to the Royal Victoria and Albert docks. The route then turns north to the finish point at Barking train station. Much of the route is on off road paths making it a nice easy ride.|
|Trent Country Park||2 miles (4 km)||This country park on the outskirts of London has 413 acres of rolling meadows, brooks, lakes, ancient woodland, and historical sites to explore on foot or by bike. |
The wide variety of habitats in the park attracts an abundance of wildlife - look out for Muntjac deer, rabbits and pheasants. In the woodland areas you can see great crested grebe, kingfisher, hobby, treecreeper, nuthatch and great spotted woodpecker while the two large lakes attract geese, swans, mallard ducks and mandarin ducks.
Also in the park is the Grade II listed Trent House, surrounded by statues, lime trees, an obelisk, a water garden, an Orangery and the Camlet Moat. This scheduled Ancient Monument first appeared in local records in 1440.
Trent Country Park is located in Enfield close to Cockfosters tube station on the Piccadilly Line. The London Loop runs through the park so you could pick up this trail and head to the nearby Whitewebbs Country Park.
|Twickenham to Hampton Wick||6 miles (10 km)||A pleasant, easy cycle route through the London Borough of Richmond. The route begins at Twickenham Rail Station and starts with a lovely traffic free waterside stretch along the River Crane. You then cross Twickenham Golf Course, before a short on road section takes you to the delightful Bushy Park. Passing through the park on the cycle track you will see the resident deer, the Diana Fountain and Heron Pond.|
|Uxbridge to Watford||12 miles (20 km)||This ride takes you along a section of the London Loop that runs along the Grand Union Canal from Uxbridge to Watford.|
The canal has some lovely sections at Denham and Harefield and there are also views of Stocker's and Batchworth Lakes near Rickmansworth.
This is a a nice easy ride in a pleasant area of Greater London and Hertfordshire.
|Victoria Park||2 miles (3.2 km)||Enjoy over 200 acres of parkland in East London on this short cycle or walk. The park boasts two cafes, a boating lake and several tree lined walkways. National Cycle Network route 1 also runs through the park so you can bring your bike.|
Good access points are Cambridge Heath and Hackney Wick rail stations or Mile End tube station.
|Wandle Trail||11 miles (18.5 km)||Follow the River Wandle from the River Thames at Wandsworth to Croydon. The trail follows a largely traffic free National Cycle Network route so the paths are well surfaced and signed.|
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.
|Wimbledon Common||4 miles (6.5 km)||This large area of open space in south west London covers 1,140 acres. It's great for cycling and walking with numerous trails criss crossing the area.|
The route starts at the iconic windmill and follows good tracks around the Wimbledon Common golf course which covers a large section of the common. You'll pass the pretty Queen's Mere and King's Mere which are surrounded by woodland paths.
Other attractions on the common include the windmill museum and an easy access nature trail taking you through grassland, woodland and heath. This can be accessed near the windmill.
If you would like to continue your exercise then you could head to the nearby Richmond Park where there are miles of cycling and walking opportunities. The delightful Beverley Brook Walk also runs along the western edge of the common so you could pick this up and head to the River Thames at Putney.
|Windsor to Putney||34 miles (55 km)||This fabulous cycle ride follows NCN route 4 from Windsor to Putney along the River Thames. |
Starting in Windsor travel past the famous castle and through the great park with its beautiful scenery.
Then follow the river Thames along NCN route 4 through Staines and then past the famous Hampton Court Palace (below). You then continue through Kingston upon Thames before passing through Richmond park with its resident deer and ending in Putney.
|Windsor to St Albans||31 miles (50 km)||This fairly flat route takes you along NCN route 6 from Windsor on the river Thames to the pretty Hertfordshire town of St Albans. |
Sights on the route include the Jubilee River near Slough and the iconic Windsor Castle. There are several off road sections including lovely rides along the Grand Union Canal and the river Colne. The route finishes at St Albans with its beautiful cathedral.