As sustainable tourism continues to grow in various parts of the world, more people are finding joy in cycling holidays, which allow travellers to explore the off beaten paths and meet the people they wouldn’t normally meet on the generic tour. There are plenty of beautiful bike friendly destinations around the world, and a good place to start is in the city of London, reports the Telegraph.
Touring Central London on Two Wheels
Upon arrival at a busy airport like Heathrow, you’ll instantly appreciate not having to go through a congested terminal area with a load of luggage. If you’re a solo travelling cyclist, the fastest way to travel from the airport to the heart of the city is via the Heathrow Express, which only takes about 15 minutes. For a more affordable option, you can take the London Underground, where you’ll use the Piccadilly Line. Then again, the cheapest yet longest alternative (80 minutes of travel time) is to use the National Express Coaches.
Once you’ve settled down in central London, it’ll be just underlining a budget traveller’s dream itinerary, as cycling not just saves you money and time; it also gives you the freedom to savor the city in a more personal setting. First off, you can rent bikes from The London Bicycle Tour Company for a reasonable deposit. Bike rentals are often preferred over flying with your own bike since you won’t have to contend with valet airport parking services, a popular choice for those travelling with “lots of luggage or cumbersome items,” according to Parking4Less, as well as extra baggage fees.
A simple cycle route you can follow starts in Temple and ends in Russell Square. Begin at the Victoria Embankment docking station and follow the road west. Here, you’ll see architectural wonders like the Oxo Tower from the ‘20s all the way to the ‘90s. With Westminster looming on the horizon, Big Ben slowly greets you high above the trees. Make a right at its base into Bridge Street and ride along the one-way street around Parliament Square. Once you’ve reached Horse Guards Road, you’ll have the chance to witness the Trooping of Colour (if ever you’re there during the Queen’s birthday), if not, there’s always the ever-beautiful St. James Park.
Upon reaching the nearby Trafalgar Square, dismount the bike and go on foot toward Leicester Place. To the north is Chinatown, where you can have a delicious lunch. After feasting on Chinese cuisines, you can walk-off the meal inside the British Museum. Just make sure to park your rented bike on the docking station. When you’re all set for the second leg of the tour, you can head to Bloomsbury Street, where you’ll make a right, then left into Bloomsbury Way. Following three traffic lights, make a left toward John Street, which will bring you to Doughty Street. There, look for a No.49 house that’s the home of a former Victorian writer, according to the Independent. The residence, along with its furniture, is preserved in their original condition. You can now cap off your cycling tour at a classic British pub called Queen’s Larder.
If you think that London is a place solely fit for the rich and famous, then you better think again. Behind the majesty of Big Ben, the glamour of the Ritz Hotel, and the royalty of Buckingham Palace is the not-so hidden charm of a pastime that involves a pair of wheels, a frame, and a whole lot of passion. And after considering the city’s congested streets and its improved cycling network, you’ll have in your hands a unique way of experiencing London.