London, we know it well for the hustle and bustle of the busy streets, iconic landmarks, and vibrant culture, and while all of this is true, the noise of the city can sometimes distract us from the abundant natural beauty we have at our fingertips. Taking time out to become immersed in nature is good for our health, it’s a proven fact! So, what better way to explore our sprawling parks, ancient heaths and picturesque canals than on two wheels?
Exploring the city by bike allows you to zip about quickly and freely while taking in the scenery and offers a refreshing break away from the thick of our urban jungle. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or casual rider, we’ve rounded up our favourite (and most enjoyable!) cycle trails across North and West London, all of which are relatively easy routes; perfect for a weekend dalliance on home turf or a sunny afternoon romp around the Big Smoke.
Where better to begin than with a North London route that traverses the serene and historic Regents Canal Towpath. Stretching for approximately 4.6 miles, this traffic-free trail offers cyclists a peaceful route along the water’s edge. The route also snakes its way through some of the enclosures of London Zoo, offering glimpses of resident tigers, warthogs, and wallabies! As you pedal your way along, be sure to take a moment to admire the narrowboats, colourful houseboats, and occasional resident swans that drift on by. End the trail at Camden Market to grab a delicious bite to eat before making the return journey home. Whenever you’re around the canals, please always be mindful to stay kind and slow down, to ensure the safety of everyone.
Ah, beautiful Hampstead Heath! It’s a haven for nature lovers and cyclists alike and you can make this adventure as long, or as short as you’d like. While the park itself offers a whole heap of outdoor activities to enjoy (think swimming in Hampstead Ponds and picnicking on Parliament Hill), the park’s cycling trails are not to be overlooked! The multi-use paths (be respectful of other path users) wind through a variety of scenery ranging from ancient woodlands, grassy meadows, and offer breathtaking views of the city skyline from elevated points – take snacks with you to enjoy perched on top of a grassy knoll with a view! It’s an ideal ride for a leisurely family bike about.
The Parkland Walk
The Parkland Walk is the longest linear nature reserve in London, at around 2.5 miles long and follows the former railway line connecting Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace that opened back in 1873. Featuring lush green corridors and stunning wooded sections dappled with light, this beautiful stretch of scenery has reached global acclaim (for good reason!) and now often features on ‘must do’ lists for tourists. When visiting, be aware that sunny weekends might be busier, but even so, it’s a peaceful ride and the ambient nature of this beauty spot is unrivalled.
Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace (part of Parkland Walk above)
Starting in Finsbury Park (you can easily get to Finsbury using the Thameslink from our property development!), this flat path joins the Parkland Walk above, a small part of this trail connects two sections between Highgate and Muswell Hill, with the second path taking you up to Alexandra Palace and its spectacular views. We encourage you to head up here: on a clear day from this raised position you can easily spot London landmarks along the breathtaking skyline and take a well-deserved breather before heading back to Finsbury Park from the train station – simply whizz down the other side of the hill to get there. In total, this route (including The Parkland Walk above) is around 4.5 miles.
Regent’s Park Outer Circle
This one is great if you have little ones in tow! More of a loop than a route, this is a delightful cycling route stretching approximately 4.3 miles that circles the parameter of Regent’s Park: somewhat of an oasis known for its stunning gardens, water features and world-famous zoo. Start in the far corner just up from Regent’s Park tube station and head anti-clockwise around the park. The immaculately-kept flowerbeds and wide open space make this one of London’s prettiest parks to fly around on two wheels; don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the elegant property terraces, boating lake and open air theatre, not to mention the occasional cheeky appearance from London Zoo’s giraffes over the treetops!
King’s Cross to Notting Hill
The longest route we’re highlighting here, this trail is approximately 6.2 miles from start to finish. Bookended by short stints on quiet roads, this route will take you from the home of Platform 9¾ (a hot spot for all Harry Potter fans!) to bustling Portobello Market in hardly any time. After joining the Regent’s Canal Towpath at Granary Square, it’s plain sailing until you come to the iconic Trellick Tower, head past Camden Lock, (again, have fun spotting some of the zoo wildlife as you fly on by!), and make sure you take a little break by the waterside in picturesque Little Venice. After this, turn off the path at the brutalist beacon and wend your way down the quiet side streets into the beating heart of Notting Hill.
Each of these cycle routes offer a welcome break from buzzing London life and remind the rider of London’s nature-packed edges we so often forget about, so in our eyes, they’re well worth giving a go. Our property development at NW2 comes with secure cycle storage as standard within the building, allowing you to travel easily and sustainably around the city, not to mention with the wind in your hair! Purchasing a property here also means you’ll enjoy excellent transport links, including the upcoming Brent Cross West Thameslink station, which will only be a short walk away from your door.