Cycling is a favourite pastime across the UK and there are so many different paths and ranges across all 4 countries in the UK that it can be hard to locate the best routes that will best suit you and your cycling style. The southeast has a wide variety of cycle paths that vary from forest paths to urban routes. This means that they are widely accessible to riders of all experience levels and most of the routes provide a good family day out with picnic options or just good views and wildlife to see.
The capital of England, in particular, is populated with an abundance of cycling routes to try out and enjoy some of the local scenery, whether that’s on your own bike or one supplied by the city. If you’re looking for something to enjoy with your loved ones or just want a new cycling experience, we hope this list of the best cycling routes in London and the southeast will help you. If you’re looking for other locations, check out our master sheet to the best cycling routes across the UK.
Quirky London (London)
Route Distance : 5 KM
The Quirky London Trail is a cycle path starting in the Hop exchange and finishing up at Neal’s Yard, located near Covent Garden. The route is designed to showcase some of the iconic sights of London while also allowing you to take in some less known-about treasures as well as some more murky reminders of London’s past. This includes creepy museums and haunting burial grounds. If you are looking for something a bit different than the regular tourist spots, this cycle path fits that bill nicely. Capable of being done in an afternoon with stops allowed for, this is a tourist route with a twist.
Rainham Marshes (London)
Route distance : 6 KM
Rainham Marshes, an old military firing range, has been transformed into a charming cycling route that is filled with wildlife and scenic nature views. Finishing up in Purfleet, this route makes the ideal location for a picnic lunch in the summer. The route is short and traffic-free so is accessible to all and would make an ideal trip for a family day out.
Tamsin Trail (Richmond Park)
Route Distance : 12 KM
Richmond Park is a popular tourist destination for families as it is home to lots of wildlife and pleasant views. The circular route is ideal for families but does include some hills so decent fitness is recommended. For a weekend cycle, this is an ideal route to take in some nature and get out of the hustle and bustle of London life. Traffic-free and mostly flat, it provides a relatively calm contrast to the big city and with a estimated completion time of around 2-4 hours, this is perfect for a family trip out.
Jubilee River (Windsor)
Route Distance : 20 KM
This route follows the Jubilee River which is home to a large variety of birds. The route is easily accessible to most cyclists with a well-surfaced and wide trail available throughout most of the route which also travels to Windsor Castle and the River Thames. The area is great to explore and has plenty to discover, making it an ideal destination for a day out of London.
Ingrebourne Valley (London)
Route Distance : 5 KM
Ingrebourne Hill is a brilliant location for cyclists with different routes and trails designed for cyclists of all ages and experience levels. The valley trail discussed here goes from the Hill to Upminster Park and is mostly flat land, following the river. This allows for a casual, comfortable ride taking in the sights. Mostly paved and traffic-free, this route is an easy trail but one that includes a good mix of sights and sounds that offers a unique experience.
London Docklands and Lea Valley (London)
Route Distance : 34 KM
This straight route through London covers a lot of key and iconic sights associated with the capital. The path goes through the main city and then continues on alongside the River Lea before ending up near Cheshunt. With the trip through the city, this isn’t a completely traffic-free route but it should be for the most part and it should be mostly paved trails so as long as you have decent fitness levels, this should be a manageable route with plenty of time for breathers along the way.
Cuckoo Trail (Sussex)
Route Distance : 18 KM
One of the most popular family routes in the UK, this straightforward route is home to incredible views and a lot of wildlife, including a wide variety of birds. Flowers and plants also are plentiful on this route, which is mostly flat and almost entirely traffic-free. The trail goes through woodland and pasture and gives a nice riding experience without being too taxing on the legs and the trip through the local villages allows a chance for refreshments and a break if needed. A diverse route that provides a relaxing and comfortable experience.
Phoenix Trail (South-East England)
Route Distance : 12 KM
This route is situated between Thame and Princes Risborough and also features a unique art trail during the path. This art trail is the big selling point of the fairly basic route. 30 artworks over a span of 5 miles provide a series of unique views inspired by the local railway system and the local landscape. The route itself is a simple popular route that is accessible to all with a good mix of asphalt and limestone-paved trails.
Forest Way (East Sussex)
Route Distance : 16 KM
Another family route, the Forest Way is a popular flat route in East Sussex. The route goes through Hartfield, the village known for being the setting of popular children’s book Winnie The Pooh. The route is surrounded by trees and wildlife, making it the ideal spot for a picnic during the summer. Part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this area allows for a pleasurable and comfortable ride that is accessible to riders of all ages and levels of experience.
Cycle routes make such a great exercise and activity and we hope this list helped to showcase the diversity and depth of the cycle paths in London and the South East, one of the most popular cycling areas in the UK. Take the challenge and create new memories this weekend! Then, try out some of the other routes across the UK using our detailed master list of key locations.
At Luchos, we are always cautious of the impact cycling and hiking has on our environment and the beautiful trails and paths we all take for granted. Most notably, this is the form of the waste and trash left behind by riders with energy bar wrappers polluting the landscape. This is why our Luchos are wrapped in a compostable leaf to provide a convenient and environmentally friendly option that also keeps you energised. To learn more about the fight against packaging, click here or to try our product yourself, click here.