Bored of tube journeys and busy buses? If you’re not a regular cyclist in the city, it might be time to give it a go! And in our opinion, hiring a Boris Bike is one of the best ways to do it. Launched in 2010, London’s well-known bike hire scheme allows both locals and visitors alike to rent bicycles and explore the capital. The bikes are widely known as Boris bikes after Boris Johnson who introduced them, with pick-up and drop-off docking stations in more than 700 (!) locations. Here’s our recommended routes to explore!
Image: Southbank London
London’s South Bank is home to many of the capital’s greatest attractions and sights. From the London Eye to the Tate Modern, and Shakespeare’s Globe to the Southbank Centre itself, there’s more than enough culture, art and theatre to soak up as you cycle along the bank of the Thames. This route offers a more pedestrian-friendly cycle, meaning you won’t be stuck on any busy city roads! There’s plenty of places to re-fuel along the way too, with the South Bank’s variety of restaurants, cafes and bars.
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
For a bit of beauty right in the heart of central London, why not cycle around the stunning Royal Parks of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens? With the beautiful waters of the Serpentine, the spectacle of Horse Guards Parade and the iconic Buckingham Palace all lining the park route, this is a must-do on a bike! Take in some traditional British culture and experience central London as you never have before. If you’ve got family or friends visiting, we’d recommend a cycle here.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Image: Newham Recorder
For a quieter and very family-friendly route, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the place for you – with seven docking stations right at the heart of various locations across the park. So make like Olympian superstar Jessica Ennis-Hill and get on your bike in E20! Grab your little ones and head for a ride around the many paths that are perfect for cycling on, weaving your way in between the wonders of Olympic Park from the stadium to the ArcelorMittal Orbit to the velodrome.
East London, from Mile End to London Fields
For something a little more off the beaten track, cycling your way through east London is a great option. You can travel down a lesser-used area of Regent’s Canal starting in Mile End Park, heading through the beautiful Victoria Park and ending in Hackney’s London Fields. Make it a Saturday cycle and you’ll wind up at Broadway Market just next to London Fields; a delightful place to refuel after your ride!
Image: The Cycling Dutchman
Our final suggestion would be to head out to the south west of the city and explore the more nature-filled area that is Richmond Park. This one is a cyclist’s paradise, with a huge circuit around the paths of the park as well as beautiful scenery everywhere you look. This would be a great one for the kids too, with lots of entertainment throughout – especially from the park’s gang of deer!
Where do you cycle in London? Share your favourite spots to visit with a Boris Bike in the comments below!