Riding around Richmond park is delightful, it’s such a beautiful park and you really feel like you’re out in the country in the middle of London. Unfortunately it’s not car free, however cars have to drive really slowly and often have to stay behind you because the road is narrow and hard to pass on.
You can just carry on doing as many circuits as you like or could stop and see some of the sights on the way, such as the famous view through the trees to St Paul’s Cathedral.
The River Wandle
This is a great cycle that goes all the way down the Wandle from the Thames at Wandsworth up to Carshalton. It’s traffic free virtually all the way and there’s a wealth of interesting things to see. Some of the highlights are Morden Park, the river looks particularly lovely here, particularly as it flows through the water mill and Carshalton which has a lovely park where you can recover before heading back.
The Regents Canal
The ride along The Regents Canal is a long and interesting one. Some of the highlights are Little Venice, Camden Lock, Victoria Park and the Olympic Park.
The River Lea
You can cycle all the way from the Thames at Limehouse out of London, passing on the way the Olympic Park, the old Big Breakfast house and ending up at Lea Valley Park. It’s totally flat and traffic free so a very pleasant and easy ride. In parts of the London ride you feel like you’re really in the country.
Parkland Walk is a disused railway line that once ran from Finsbury Park to Edgeware. The railway closed in 1970 and Parkland Walk was opened in 1984.
It is a nice flat ride and extremely leafy, you really could be in the countryside here.
Look out for the remnants of the platform of Crouch End Station.
When you get to Highgate the route stops and you could head up to the lovely Highgate woods or you could pick up the next part of the route on the road that heads up towards Muswell Hill and then takes you around to Ally Pally, another lovely spot for a rest and to enjoy the fine view of London.
Cycling in Hyde Park is quite restricted but the route that you can take is very enjoyable. I used to cycle there every day on my way to work. It’s a great feeling whizzing over the bridge over the Serpentine early in the morning and certainly beats traveling along the congested roads in the area. It’s also a pleasant place for a leisure cycle with lots of interesting views and places to visit such as the Pavilion, and The Serpentine of course. You are also close to the Albert Hall which is truly beautiful both inside and out.
Crystal Palace to Alexandra Palace
This is a more difficult ride but a very interesting one with great views at both ends. Crystal Palace is one of the highest points in London so you might want to start not end here, unless you like climbing in which case it is probably the best climb to go up in London. From Crystal Palace which is a pleasant park and the site of the palace itself which was burnt down in 1936 (although there’s talk of it being rebuilt by a Malaysian businessman) you can to Sydenham Hill and some stunning views over London. There’s lot of routes you could take but one of them is to head into town via Peckham and the Old Kent Rd ending up in Waterloo, then over the river and up towards Regents Park then Camden, Crouch End and finally an uphill stretch to Ally Pally.