Top 5 family bike routes in south west London and Surrey
The Tour de France has finished for another year, but if you’re keen to fill the cycling void in your life, (other than catching Prudential RideLondon) why not try one of these family friendly bike routes around London and Surrey
The playground for many a keen cyclist, Richmond Park is a 17th century hunting ground offering plenty of sweeping bike routes. Head into the grounds at Kingston Gate and follow the Queen’s Road all the way in, taking a turning off at the Isabella Plantation for a picturesque picnic spot. Finish off by taking an exit out of the park at the top of Sawyer’s Hill and following the road along Richmond Hill. Make your way to Roebuck – a lovely pub with arguably the ultimate beer garden vista, stretching out over Terrace Field, the Thames and beyond, with views all the way out to Surrey.
Towpath to Kew
Start off a family bike ride at Richmond’s White Cross Pub on the Old Deer Park side and follow the towpath along the Thames. You’ll pass a scenic glimpse into old Isleworth on the other side of the river, with the famous London Apprentice pub and the historic 14th century church at Isleworth, a spot where the Royal Barge which took Queen Katherine Howard on her fateful journey to the Tower of London rested overnight. Pass aits along the way and nose into Kew Gardens which you will pass on your left. Cross at Kew Bridge and discover some of the city’s best riverside pubs – The City Barge a particular favourite among pedalling punters.
Don’t be put off by the prospect of taking little ones out on their bikes into London, the capital offers some great green spaces prime for a bike ride. The riverside Battersea Park is one such destination. Heading in at Albert Bridge and following the perimeters of the park – completing all four sides of the park will total your mileage to a very respectable 2.75 miles. Venture deeper into the park around the boating lake and take a moment to hire a boat for a break on the water. Finish off by Chelsea Bridge, and take your bikes along the river, stopping off at Battersea Power Station for a well-earned dinner at one of the restaurants under the arches, either pizzeria, Mother, or the tasty Indian, Cinnamon Kitchen.
The Wandle Trail
The historic Wandle Trail is a 14-mile route that follows the River Wandle from Croydon to Wandsworth where it joins the Thames. There is plenty of fascinating industrial heritage and parks to take in along the way, and if you don’t think you’re family are up for a 20km-route, you can always pick a shorter stretch of the trail. The trail passes through the likes of Morden Hall Park, Collier’s Wood and King George’s Park in Southfields, excellent spots for a break from the pedalling and time for a picnic.
Towpath from Kingston to Shepperton
From Kingston upon Thames, join the towpath and ride all the way along the Thames to Shepperton. Once you cross Kingston Bridge to the north side, the whole route is along a towpath, meaning its family friendly. Along the way there are plenty of charming pubs and family-friendly cafes to explore, and the route is a pleasant escape from the bustle of the capital, feeling like a countryside getaway.