London by Bike: cycle routes

Time Out's staff show you the best cycling rides in the capital

We sent out five of our most adventurous writers to explore all corners of London and recommend the best routes for you to discover on a bike. You can tackle each route in full or simply select a section of the journey to try for yourself. Where possible, our writers have highlighted the nearest Barclays docking station where you can pick up and drop off your bike, but for a clearer view of all Barclays docking stations, check out this map. Remember to bear in mind the price of hiring a Barclays bike before embarking on your cycling route.

Choose your routeCentral l North l South l East l West

The route in detail

© Abi Lelliott

Head down Parkway towards Regent's Park and turn right into Gloucester Avenue, where there are signposts onto the canal path. Once on the path, head towards bustling Camden Lock. Here, you’ll have to come off the path and cross Camden High Street and rejoin the canal path the other side, taking in the smells of the hot food stalls as you go. Continue along the canal – past houseboats, moorhens and swans – until the path comes to an end. Now on Muriel Street, turn left and continue past the Barnsbury Estate. At the next junction, turn right and then immediately left into Hemmingford Road. At the end, turn right into Offord Road and then pass over Liverpool Road into Laycock Road. At the end you’ll be at the junction with Upper Street, opposite the Union Chapel.

Turn left, you’ll now be approaching the busy Highbury Corner (1), where you will need to take the road straight on, Highbury Place. From here you’ll be cycling along the edge of Highbury Fields. Look out for the green plaque commemorating the artist Walter Sickert, who lived at No 1. Continue past the park until you get to the junction with Highbury Park. Turn left and continue until you reach Seven Sisters Road, then turn right, where you’ll see the trees of Finsbury Park ahead.

Once inside the park, take the left hand road and cycle a way up until you see the Oxford Road exit. Pass over a small footbridge and immediately on your right is the start of the Finsbury Parkland Walk. This path takes the route of an abandoned train line called the Northern Heights. You’ll cycle past some disused platforms, after which you’ll need to come off the path into Crouch Hill Road. Take the next right turn into Hornsey Lane, which will take you up to Highgate Hill. By now you’ll be in need of a rest stop. The picturesque Waterlow Park is on the left, or take some refreshment at the cute High Tea of Highgate (2).

From Highgate High Street, take the road straight on into Hampstead Lane. Along here you will find the entrance to Kenwood House (3) in the beautiful setting of Hampstead Heath. Cycle on as the road becomes Spaniards Road and, at the roundabout, go straight over and take the second left into East Heath Road. All that upwards climb earlier is rewarded now with a swift descent to Hampstead Heath station. From here, there is the option to take in the view at Parliament Hill.

Primrose Hill Primrose Hill

Continue down South End Street and left into Constantine Road. From here you turn right into Roddick Street, cross Mansfield Street into Southampton Street, then take the left fork into Maldon Road. At the junction with Prince of Wales Road, turn right, then immediately left into Crogsland Road. Cross over Chalk Farm Road into Regent's Park Road and head up to Primrose Hill (4). Here you may want to stop for a much-needed drink, so head to Queens (5) on the edge of Primrose Hill. Continue until the road becomes Gloucester Avenue and then you're back on Parkway.

Ridden by Abigail Lelliott