This route takes you through the busy heart of tourist London, but you will also find quiet green spaces off the beaten track on the Rotherhithe peninsula.
For a relaxed family cycle ride or if you use a wheelchair, handcycle or pushchair we recommend the section of this route between Greenwich and Rotherhithe.
Information on this page
- Historic Maritime Greenwich including the Cutty Sark, the Royal Naval College and the Greenwich meridian
- Trading and engineering history on the Rotherhithe peninsula at the old Surrey docks and the Brunel Museum (paid entry), and new green spaces made from old docks
- Tower Bridge and the Tower of London
- London’s South Bank, including Southwark Cathedral, Borough Market, the Golden Hinde, the Globe Theatre, Tate Modern and the London Eye
- Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
- Tate Britain Art Gallery
- From Chelsea Embankment see Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park, the Chelsea Physic garden (paid entry) the National Army Museum and Carlyle’s house (National Trust)
- Mudlarkers can access the Thames foreshore at low tide from a number of places.
There are frequent local shops, cafes and pubs along this central London route.
By train: Greenwich, Surrey Quays, Canada Water, Rotherhithe, London Bridge, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Imperial Wharf, Putney.
By tube: Greenwich, Canada Water, Bermondsey, London Bridge, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Lambeth North, Pimlico, Putney Bridge.
Docklands Light Railway (DLR): Greenwich, Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich
By river: Greenwich, Greenland (Surrey Quays), London Bridge City, Bankside, London Eye (Waterloo), Millbank, Cadogan, Chelsea Harbour, Putney.
Find out more about using public transport to get to the National Cycle Network on our Get started on London’s National Cycle Network page.
We recommend these local circular routes for family-friendly, traffic-free and accessible adventures.
- The 8-mile Horseguards and the Royal Parks route is a traffic-free route exploring St James’ Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. It is a short hop across Westminster Bridge from Route 4.
- The 2-mile Battersea Park route is flat and traffic-free. Cross the Thames on Chelsea Bridge from Route 4 to join it.
- The 9-mile Southwark Park ecology trail is flat and mostly traffic-free, exploring Southwark Park, Surrey Docks and the Rotherhithe peninsula.
Want to explore more of the National Cycle Network from this route?
Follow these directions to find other National Cycle Network routes near here:
From Greenwich, take the Thames Path east to Dartford on Route.
From Greenwich go via the Greenwich foot tunnel to join Route 1 northbound to Docklands, the Lea Valley and Cheshunt.
At Russia Dock Woodland join Southwark’s greenways between the Thames and Burgess Park on Route 425.
At Tower Bridge cross the river to join Route 13 eastbound to Beckton and Rainham.
Cross the Wandsworth bridge to connect with the Wandle trail from Wandsworth to Carshalton and Farthing Downs on Route 20.
From Putney continue on the Thames Path west to Hampton Court on Route 4.
Want to explore more of London’s walking network from this route?
Find out which other routes you can join from Route 4:
- At Greenwich join the Thames Path National Trail eastbound or westbound (south bank route).
- At Lambeth Bridge or Tower Bridge join the circular Jubilee Walkway
- Join the Jubilee Greenway northbound at Lambeth Bridge, or eastbound at Greenwich
- At Putney Bridge join the Thames Path National Trail eastbound or westbound (south bank or north bank routes).
- At Greenwich join the Greenwich Meridian trail southbound through Greenwich Park or northbound through the Greenwich foot tunnel.
Find more useful information about walking in London on our Get started on London’s National Cycle Network page.
At Greenwich Reach swing bridge there are staggered bollards with a 1m gap. An alternative crossing is 150m to the south at Creek Road.
In Deptford, there is a chicane barrier between Glaisher Street and Borthwick Street.
At South Dock, Surrey Quays the crossing over the lock is 1m wide. There is an alternative route around the dock.
In Stave Hill Ecological Park there are chicane barriers at the entrance.
The entrance to the western section of Belvedere Road has barriers, bollards and kerbs. Use the vehicle gate if you require a wider gap.
The western end of the shared pavement at Chelsea Embankment is narrow in places where there are mature trees.
In Fulham, there is a traffic barrier at Elswick Street which has a gap of less than 1.5m on the road.
In Deptford, there are cobbles on Sayes Court Street (80m) and Borthwick Street (120m).
At Southwark Cathedral there are cobbles on Montague Close (150m).
At Waterloo, the surface of Upper Ground is uneven in places.
Steeps and steps
There are 12 steps (with a wheeling ramp) in Pepys Park. These can be avoided by taking quiet parallel streets Millard Road, Bowditch, and Barfleur Lane back to the Thames path.
This route has these busier on-road sections.
At London Bridge, this route uses the very busy Tooley Street for 600m.
At Blackfriars Bridge this route uses very busy Southwark Street (A3200) for 150m.
At Waterloo, this route uses Upper Ground and Belvedere Road for half a mile. These streets can be busy with coaches and taxis.
At Waterloo, this route uses the very busy Lambeth Palace Road (A3036), Lambeth Bridge and Horseferry Road for a mile.
In Pimlico, this route uses the busy local road Lupus Street for half a mile.
In Fulham, this route uses the busy local Hurlingham Road for 300m.
If crossing Putney Bridge take great care. Cyclists are only permitted to cycle on the road with traffic.
Between London Bridge and Waterloo, some streets are narrow and can be extremely busy with pedestrians.
Please give way.
If you are in a hurry consider taking a different route.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness.
However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes.
Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces.
Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.