See London by Bike
Thanks to transport for London cycle hire, there is an additional way of seeing the city that is easy, healthy and fun. There are more than 750 dockings stations throughout the capital, with more than 11,500 bikes, making it simple to collect or leave a hired bike wherever you are. Whether you want to see the sights, visit a museum or take in the atmosphere, you could combine it with a cycle ride along the river and a picnic in a park.
Here are five leisure route that begins in east London and takes in some of the capital’s striking architecture from the comfort of a bike saddle.
CITY HALL TO THE GHERKIN
Pick up a bike from the Tooley Street docking station and head towards Tower Bridge and Tower Bridge Road. Cross the bridge and look for the signs for the Ring Road and The City and carry on towards Shoreditch and Aldgate. You’ll spot the Tower of London on your left.
A left turn on to Aldgate High Street and a short trip up Leaden hall Street will bring you to the Lloyd’s Building – a leading example of the ‘bowellism’ style of architecture – with its lifts and ducts located on the outside. Just before the building there’s a turn to the right on to St. Mary Axe, past the famous Gherkin.
THE GHERKIN TO THE DIRTY HOUSE
Turn left at the end of St. Mary Axe and on to Camomile Street, then swing right on to Bishopsgate. Carry straight on then turn right on Bethnal Green Road after Shoreditch High Street station. Take the second left on to chance Street and you’ll come across the Dirty House. This stark, black-painted art studio and apartment with a brightly illuminated roof was designed by British architect David Adjaye in 2002.
THE DIRTY HOUSE TO ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
Continue straight ahead and at the roundabout take the second exit on to Calvert Avenue. When you reach Shoreditch High Street, head right and then immediately left down Old Street.
At the junction, cross over Great Eastern Street to join the cycle path on the opposite side of the road, then ride on the left side of The Yard Restaurant down Paul Street.
Keep straight ahead on Paul Street and turn right on South Place, then turn left on to Moorgate. Go straight ahead on Moorgate and turn right on Gresham Street.
At the end of the road you’ll be near one of the most recognisable buildings in London – St. Paul’s Cathedral. Until the early 1960s Wren’s masterpiece dominated the city’s skyline with its huge dome and spires.
ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL TO THE BUILDING CENTRE
Head down Ludgate Hill and continue straight all the way to Trafalgar Square along Fleet Street and Strand. At Trafalgar Square take the fourth exit and continue straight ahead on to Cockspur Street and then Pall Mall, before turning right up Waterloo Place. From there continue straight and on to Regent Street. Follow Regent Street pass Oxford Circus and then turn right on Mortimer Street and all the way along to Tottenham Court Road.
Take a left, followed by a quick right on to Chenies Street and another sharp right on to Alfred Place, where you’ll see a docking station and The Building centre. Here you’ll find a range of different galleries, with the main one housing a 39-foot model of the entire city its future design plans.
The trip covers 7.6 miles and takes about an hour, depending on the amount of time you spend taking photos, of course.
CANARY WARF TO GREENWICH
This route is part of the Queen's Jubilee Walk, you will see these white and green marks (in the ground) in and around London. They were setup as part of the Queen Jubilee's celebrations as a guide around the city. Instead of walking this route you and hire and bike to cut the walking time down. You can pick up a bike at the edge of the river "Canary Wharf Pier" and take the lift down and head south along the river.
The is clearly mark with sign posts, but a bit tricky in some areas (with dead ends). This is a great ride because you are on the bank of the river; feeling cook breeze of the water on your right and a mixture of old and new architectural design on your left. A causal ride with no stops should take about 30 minutes.
The final docking station is at Saunders Ness Road, Cubitt Town next to Island Gardens. From here you can see Greenwich on the other side of the river. Take the underground foot path to the other side, where you can see the Cutty Sark, hang out at the National Maritime Museum, stroll up to Greenwich Park and enjoy what Greenwich has to offer.
You can get more information here: www.tfl.gov.uk/cycling.