Published: 4th OCTOBER 2019

Best routes in London

The National Cycle Network is a great way to explore and discover London. It takes you along the Thames, past tourist attractions and through parks. Slow the pace and get to know this city by cycling and walking these routes.

Viewing platform with people on it suspended above river with trees and greenery

A viewing platform along the Wandle Trail

Explore south London... Wandle Trail

Distance: 11.6 miles, 18.7 kilometres

More than 10 parks and green spaces lie on the route. It's a great opportunity to see local wildlife and escape the bustle of south-west London. With many cafes, pubs, restaurants and local attractions such as Merton Abbey Mills, Deen City Farm and Wandsworth Museum, there's something for everyone here.

Spot wildlife… Rainham Marshes

Distance: 3.6 miles, 5.8 kilometres

This is a great route for bird lovers looking to explore London through a tour of the Rainham Marshes RSPB reserve. The reserve has two bird hides, several open viewing areas and a great café.

People on bikes cycling over bridge in London

Cycling beside the Thames

See the sights… Tower Bridge to Greenwich 

Distance: 4.7 miles, 7.6 kilometres

This section of National Route 4 starts from the iconic Tower Bridge. It weaves along the Thames past docks, historic pubs and alleys and on to fantastic Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

Go back in time… Hampton Court to Putney

Distance: 12.6 miles, 20.2 kilometres

You can ride or walk this route in either direction, so why not start in Putney and end up at the glorious Hampton Court Palace? Get lost in the maze, tour the beautiful gardens and relive Tudor England at its best.

Cycling and walking path through a park

Follow south London’s rivers... Waterlink Way

Distance: 6.2 miles, 10 kilometres

This route follows the Pool and Ravensbourne rivers. Beginning in Cator Park, it passes through Catford and Lewisham before arriving in Greenwich. Including both urban and more wild sections, it’s a great way to explore some of the Thames’s tributaries.

Take the family out... Ingrebourne Valley

Distance: 3.2 miles, 5.2 kilometres

This is a short, family-friendly walk or ride bookended by the green spaces of Hornchurch Country Park and Upminster Park. It also passes near Ingrebourne Hill, an area of park and woodland which has miles of walking and cycling routes plus a children’s play area. And, if you’re feeling energetic, there are three kilometres of mountain biking trails.

Woman in coat and scarf with earphones on walking across bridge

Meath Bridge across Regent's Canal on the Lea Valley route

Explore the marshes... London Docklands and Lea Valley 

Distance: 20.7 miles, 33.3 kilometres

From the busy tourist spot of the Greenwich to the town of Cheshunt, this 20-mile route threads through the Lee Valley Regional Park. Along the way you’ll pass Hackney Marshes (now drained), and Walthamstow Marshes Nature reserve. Here, you can spot grazing cattle, kestrel and even kingfishers.

Discover more routes in London

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