Whether you’re just visiting London for the first time or you live there and feel it’s time to explore what it’s got to offer, we think there’s no better way than by bike.
A bike tour is invigorating and informing, being so much more interactive than sitting on an open-top bus and watching the world whizz by. It gives you chance to get right into the heart of the action, exploring its hidden secrets and historic buildings and landmarks. Plus, you can avoid the traffic, get some exercise and stop off at places that take your fancy (without having to worry about how you’re going to get home).
Here are some of the cool routes you could take:
A Tour of Central London
This is the most popular route for cyclist as it takes you past all the main monuments and attractions, letting you discover some of the must-see sights such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben. You’ll also venture into the vibrant West End and take things more seriously in the financial district.
An Olympic Tour of London
If you’re feeling up for it, this is a marathon of a bike tour. But even if you don’t think your legs will get you all the way around, there are options available with electric bikes (you can find out more about those here).
You can expect this cycle route to take around several hours (plus time to stop and explore) and it passes through key attractions like the Tower Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern Art Gallery. You’ll also get to see the Olympic Stadium (hence the name of the tour) which is located within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. You’ll get here after following the canals from Canary Wharf.
The Olympic Park in itself is a whopping 587 acres so you’ll want to allow yourself time to discover the Copper Box Arena, Velodrome and Aquatic Centre. You could even fit in a shopping trip at Westfield if you wanted to.
A Night Tour of London
For an added touch of magic and romance, why not cycle around London at night?
This gives you the chance to benefit from cooler temperatures and quieter roads, especially in the summer. And it’ll give you an entirely new perspective on those landmarks, especially along the river.
This tour can include Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Millennium Bridge, Covent Garden, and Trafalgar Square.
Ultimately, cycling around London gives you the chance to explore the breadth and depth of it without battling with other commuters, tourists or cars. It’s also a great way to venture into areas you might not see when you’re just ticking things off a tourist map.