Best Surrey Bike Routes for Budding Cyclists
Best Surrey Bike Routes for Budding Cyclists
Imogen Willis gives her top tips for cyclists eager to stretch out their routes and bike further afield across south west London & Surrey
As a keen cyclist, each week I have been exploring further afield than my usual Richmond Park loop, stitching together some scenic routes that allow for building pace and endurance. If you are keen to stretch out your cycling, here are three great circuits I can recommend. Each route builds on the last, and offers a framework to use when building up distance. I usually start these routes from the Wimbledon Park area, so I have adapted each route to start from at a well known location. Following a recent rediscovery of some of our local green spaces, these are the best Surrey bike routes to tackle as the weather continues to brighten.
Richmond Park and Bushy Park
Starting off in Richmond Park at Roehampton gate, this route offers a chance to take in the luscious scenery of two royal parks, crossing the river at Kingston on the way out, and Teddington Lock on the way back. The cycle begins with the race up to Richmond Gate, down past Pembroke Lodge, and then out of the park through Ham Gate. The road continues down past Ham Common towards Kingston, passing over Kingston Bridge, and following along Church Grove into Bushy Park through a pedestrian gate. Enjoy cycling along the smooth tarmac of Cobbler’s Walk, turn left onto Chestnut Avenue, and enjoy riding down the middle of Bushy Park towards the 17th century Diana Fountain. Circle the fountain, then turn left and follow the tarmac loop round Bushy Park. I usually prefer to take a different route back, and if you’re also looking for variety I recommend leaving the park on the Teddington side, and cycling back to Richmond Park via the picturesque Teddington Lock. Head back into the park at Ham Gate and finish the loop of the Park back to Roehampton Gate. This does offer a few short sharp hills up from Ham Gate and up Kingston Hill at the end of the ride, so it’s a good idea to hold some energy in reserve. A trusty bit of chocolate in your back pocket will do just the trick. If you fancy trying out this ride, take a look here.
Chertsey Loop via Sunbury on Thames
Beginning by Putney Heath, this cycle runs through Richmond Park, Kingston and Bushy Park, exiting into Hampton. The route then follows the river with some beautiful views of the tumbling waters of Sunbury lock as you pass through Sunbury-on-Thames. This is a lovely place to stop and enjoy a bite to eat before you continue your route past Shepperton to Chertsey. In Chertsey the ride begins its return.
Crossing the Thames at Chertsey the cycle pedals along the south side of the river through Walton-on-Thames, Molesey and past the golden gates of Hampton Court Palace. Here the road takes you between Bushy Park and the Palace to Kingston Bridge, where it crosses over the Thames and takes you back to Richmond Park via Kingston Gate. Here you can rejoin the outward route back to the start. This cycle is definitely worth it for the views over the Thames, especially on a sunny day, but the roads do get busy, especially on the weekends, so is best enjoyed as an early morning ride. If you want to try out this route, take a look here.
Hampton Wick to Windsor Loop
This longer route starts in Hampton Wick, crossing through Bushy Park, Hampton and Sunbury-on-Thames to Chertsey, as with the last route. However instead of crossing the river at Chertsey, this route pedals onwards past Virginia Water and up one or two longer hills towards Ascot. The route then joins a mixture of larger roads towards Windsor, thereby bypassing some of the more painful climbs into Great Windsor Park (although this is a beautiful alternative if you are feeling strong). Once in Windsor this ride has a sweet treat up its sleeve in the form of the Cinnamon Cafe. A favourite amongst cyclists, it includes the crowning glory of a discount for any customer in lycra. I would definitely recommend the cinnamon buns and coffee, which offer delicious fuel for the return ride. The route back follows the river out of Windsor, crossing Victoria Bridge into Datchet, through Southlea, then crossing back over the river at Albert Bridge into Old Windsor. The cycle then weaves along the south side of the Thames, crossing the river again at Staines-upon-Thames, before passing through Laleham and joining back on to the original route in Sunbury-on-Thames. This is one for the more seasoned road cyclist, but don’t be put off by some of the larger roads on the way out. Some of the cycling in and around Windsor is gorgeous and well worth the ride. If you want to try out this route, you can take a look here.