Regent's canal with canal boats either side
Regent's canal with canal boats either side

The Best Traffic-Free Cycle Routes in London

 

Cycling in London is one of the best ways to get around (apart from via Zipcar!). It’s convenient, sustainable, and means you don’t have to face the sauna that is the Central Line during rush hour. But cycling on the busy roads of the capital can be daunting. These traffic-free cycle routes in London are perfect for less confident cyclists who want to avoid the busy roads. Drive to the start of the route in a Zipcar, unload your bike and away you go!

 

The best parks to cycle in London

London’s parks are made for exploring on two wheels. These are the best parks to cycle in London.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

This park boasts a vast expanse of beautifully landscaped areas and impressive architecture, and the wide paths are perfect for cycling. Whether you want to explore at your own pace or follow a planned route, there’s so much to discover at London’s landmark Olympic Park.

Epping Forest

woman cycling in a forest

Epping Forest

Covering an impressive 339km², Epping Forest is a finger of green that stretches all the way from Walthamstow to beyond the M25. With a huge variety of landscapes, from ancient woodland to open fields to tranquil ponds, take it all in on the many cycling routes through Epping Forest. You’ll even find some mountain biking routes on rougher terrain.

Hampstead Heath

panoramic view of london from Hampstead heath

Hampstead Heath

From Parliament Hill to the bathing ponds and beyond, there are plenty of cycle-friendly paths running through Hampstead Heath. This enormous park in London has something for everyone, from open fields for sunbathing to secluded wooded areas. Just be careful not to cycle on the designated pedestrianised routes.

Regent’s Park

Trees hanging over a lake in Regent's Park

Regent’s Park

While cycling is mostly off limits in Regent’s Park, the Outer Circle is hugely popular with lycra-clad road cyclists getting their miles in before work. It’s gained a bit of a cult status among keen cyclists in London. Where else can you ride in a peloton while bemused giraffes look on from the side lines?

The best canal and river cycle routes in London

Make the most of London’s waterways with these canal cycle routes in London.

Victoria Park to Walthamstow Wetlands via the River Lea

a canal boat moored on the river lea

Victoria Park to Walthamstow Wetlands via the River Lea

Take a leisurely loop through Victoria Park before joining the Hertford Union Canal towpath and heading East until you reach the edge of Olympic Park. Then follow the River Lea north past Hackney Marshes until you reach the wetlands. You’ll pass plenty of beautiful London sights, not to mention cafes and bars.

Distance: 5 miles

Angel to Limehouse Basin via Regent’s Canal

canals in little venice

Angel to Limehouse Basin via Regent’s Canal

Join the Regent’s Canal towpath just north of Angel underground station and head east, bypassing Haggerston, the bottom end of Broadway Market, the towering skeleton of the old gasworks and the western edge of Victoria Park, before the canal turns south past Mile End park before arriving at Limehouse Basin.

Distance: 5 miles

Paddington to Minet Country Park via the Grand Union Canal

houses over looking the river

Paddington to Minet Country Park via the Grand Union Canal

On this canal cycle route you’ll head east along the Capital Ring from Paddington, bypassing North Kensington, Kensal Green Cemetery, Horsenden and following the canal all the way to the picturesque Minet Country Park.

Distance: 14 miles

The most scenic cycle routes in London

Ready to explore London by bike, without getting stuck in traffic? These traffic-free cycle routes have you covered. Load your bike into a Zipcar, park up and cycle.

Wanstead Flats, Wanstead Park and Leyton Flats

Wanstead Flats

Wanstead Flats, Wanstead Park and Leyton Flats

Start your cycle trip at the picturesque Wanstead Flats before looping through Wanstead Park and then on to Leyton Flats via the underpass. So much green open space without having to navigate a single road! On this route you could continue north all the way to Epping Forest, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling.

Woodberry Wetlands to Alexandra Palace via the Parkland Walk

alexandra palace

Woodberry Wetlands to Alexandra Palace via the Parkland Walk

Begin on the New River Path from Green Lanes, cycling past the tranquil Woodberry Wetlands nature reserve. Cross Seven Sisters Road and continue along the New River Path until you arrive at Finsbury Park. Loop around this popular north London park to join the start of the Parkland Walk, which follows the old train line all the way to Alexandra Palace (with a brief detour via Highgate Wood).

Surrey Linear Canal Park to Kennington Park via Burgess Park

burgess park gates

Surrey Linear Canal Park to Kennington Park via Burgess Park

Follow the narrow yet leafy Surrey Canal Walk path north to arrive at Burgess Park. Loop around the lake and head west through the park. You’ll briefly need to cycle along the (quiet!) Bethwin Road and cross John Ruskin Street to reach the south eastern edge of Kennington Park.

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