cycling routes - around town

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    Tower of London

    Freewheeling along the tourist trail in central London

    Start
    Natural History Museum
    End Tate Modern
    Time 60mins with no stops

    Spending a morning on a bicycle in central London is enough to take in many of the capital’s sights. This route can be cycled at any time, but if you’d like to take in Borough Market on its most bustling day (and, equally enjoyable, a quiet City), then Saturday is your best bet.

    Start at the Natural History Museum or, across the road, at the V&A . Once museum visits are done, cycle up Exhibition Road to Alexandra Gate and into Hyde Park. Just a short stretch here takes in the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery and the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain before you cross The Serpentine.

    Turn right along Serpentine Road to where it ends at Hyde Park Corner, the busy roundabout poised on Park Lane at the southern tip of Mayfair. Navigate Hyde Park Corner, taking the second left into leafy Constitution Hill. This road is closed to traffic on Sundays, although bicycles are still allowed. Beyond that whopping great wall on your right is Buckingham Palace.

    There’s a better view from the Queen Victoria Memorial, which helps explain the tourists clambering all over it. Cycle around the memorial and turn left into Birdcage Walk which follows St James’s Park all the way to Parliament Square and Big Ben. Head up Whitehall, past 10 Downing Street – well, past the gated entrance and its heavy security – and the Horse Guards, who do their best to ignore the camera-weilding tourists, to Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

    Turn right into the Strand and along to Fleet Street, once home to the newspaper industry. Cross Ludgate Circus and up an incline, and there she is – St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s a hard-hearted Londoner whose breath doesn’t catch a little when they spy a glimpse of the dome. Inside, the Whispering Gallery, 99ft up, is fun – cock an ear towards the curving wall of the dome’s vault, and you can hear the whispered words of a person standing far away at the opposite point on the gallery’s circumference.

    Keep cycling along Cheapside and you’ll come to Bank, blissfully quiet at weekends. This is the City – the Square Mile which otherwise bustles with financiers, bankers and other suit-wearing types. From here, head to Tower Bridge and, if time permits, first drop down into St Katharine Docks, once part of the extensively walled London Docks created to stop the pilfering of ships’ cargo. The Tower of London sits at the northern end of Tower Bridge , which you’ll cross and, if you’re lucky, catch one of the nine bridge openings that still happen each week.

    Turn right into Tooley Street and cycle past the lengthy queues for the London Dungeon to London Bridge and Borough Market. Time for a pit stop – there are ample cycle racks outside the tube entrance by the market. The market is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (when it is rammed to bursting point). Revived, cycle along Southwark Road to Great Gilford Street and Tate Modern . Simone Baird

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Natural History Museum Tate Modern 60mins with no stopsSpending a morning on a bicycle in central London is enough to take in many of the capital’s sights. This route can be cycled at any time, but if you’d like to take in Borough Market on its most bustling day (and, equally enjoyable, a quiet City), then Saturday is your best bet.Start at the Natural History Museum or, across the road, at the V&A . Once museum visits are done, cycle up Exhibition Road to Alexandra Gate and into . Just a short stretch here takes in the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Gallery and the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain before you cross . Turn right along Serpentine Road to where it ends at Hyde Park Corner, the busy roundabout poised on Park Lane at the southern tip of Mayfair. Navigate Hyde Park Corner, taking the second left into leafy Constitution Hill. This road is closed to traffic on Sundays, although bicycles are still allowed. Beyond that whopping great wall on your right is Buckingham Palace. There’s a better view from the Queen Victoria Memorial, which helps explain the tourists clambering all over it. Cycle around the memorial and turn left into Birdcage Walk which follows St James’s Park all the way to and Big Ben. Head up Whitehall, past – well, past the gated entrance and its heavy security – and the Horse Guards, who do their best to ignore the camera-weilding tourists, to Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.Turn right into the Strand and along to Fleet Street, once home to the newspaper industry. Cross Ludgate Circus and up an incline, and there she is – St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s a hard-hearted Londoner whose breath doesn’t catch a little when they spy a glimpse of the dome. Inside, the Whispering Gallery, 99ft up, is fun – cock an ear towards the curving wall of the dome’s vault, and you can hear the whispered words of a person standing far away at the opposite point on the gallery’s circumference.Keep cycling along Cheapside and you’ll come to Bank, blissfully quiet at weekends. This is the City – the Square Mile which otherwise bustles with financiers, bankers and other suit-wearing types. From here, head to Tower Bridge and, if time permits, first drop down into St Katharine Docks, once part of the extensively walled London Docks created to stop the pilfering of ships’ cargo. The Tower of London sits at the northern end of Tower Bridge , which you’ll cross and, if you’re lucky, catch one of the nine bridge openings that still happen each week.Turn right into Tooley Street and cycle past the lengthy queues for the London Dungeon to and . Time for a pit stop – there are ample cycle racks outside the tube entrance by the market. The market is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (when it is rammed to bursting point). Revived, cycle along Southwark Road to Great Gilford Street and Tate Modern . Easy | Medium | Advanced

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Paul Hughes
Paul Hughes

A really indispensable site for anyone who loves London and wants to discover it on two wheels. Some great routes of varying types to suit everyone - even the Boris bike visitor - and all manner of fascinating TimeOut-type things to discover along the way. I used it yesterday on a rare sunny winter day and had a great day out