Now more than ever, we all need to escape London now and again.
A one-day bike trip from London is the perfect way to reconnect with nature and enjoy what the countryside outside of London has to offer, without having to rely on public transport. You do not need to be a pro cyclist to get to exciting and beautiful places near London. Do not be put off by the seemingly high distances of some of the trips below, you have all day, enjoy the journey.
London is a big city, so depending on where you live the journey length for these one-day bike trips from London may differ slightly.
Perfect Sunday Bike ride out of London
Distance: 25 miles
Perfect for families or if you are looking for a traffic-free adventure on your bike.
This unique and captivating route takes you along the River Wandle, keeping you off the road and immersed in London’s wildlife. Although you do not technically make it outside of the M25, ending in Croydon, this route feels like you have escaped the city.
Starting at Wandsworth Town Station, follow the National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 20 signs and leave your satnav/smartphone switched off. Winding trails, riverside benches and spacious parks make this route perfect for a lazy Sunday adventure, without feeling guilty if you do not make it to the end of the route in Croydon.
Refuelling station: Pack a picnic and stop off at Morden Hall Park Rose Garden to enjoy the plethora of exotically coloured Rose’s. With the gentle sound of the flowing river in the background, it is a lovely place to unwind and take a moment to appreciate how lucky we are to live in London.
Venture out to the Surry Hills
Distance: 50 miles
Box Hill was best known for its appearance in the London Olympics (don’t worry you do not need to ride up it nine times like they had to). Now it is a favourite for many London based cyclists looking for a test. Taking a trip south to the surrey hills and challenging yourself up Box Hill, is a lovely day trip from London. Be prepared to cycle on roads on your way there as no NCN route or path gets you there from London. For this route, you will need a GPS or handlebar phone holder for navigation.
With undulating Surrey countryside to enjoy before the 1.6 miles climb up the perfect tarmac of Box Hill, this ride is not for the faint-hearted, but entirely achievable by anyone, just ride your own race and take your time. The breathtaking views of the south of England from the top make it all worthwhile.
Refuelling station: Reward yourself at the top of Box Hill with freshly made coffee and sweet snack from the welcoming little National Trust cafe. With a drinking water tap and public toilets open all year round, it is the perfect place to refuel and recover in preparation for your journey home.
Explore Hertfordshire without spending too much time on the road
Distance 55 miles
North East London
Find NCN Route 1 next to Victoria Park, Bethnal Green. Follow the blue arrows up beautiful canal paths past the M25 until you reach Hoddesdon. Turn left and pick up NCN Route 62 that leads you along further canals until you get to the raised track of Cole Green Way. Guiding you along the old train track that once connected Welwyn Garden City to Hertford. The gravel track is well maintained; however, this route is better suited to hybrid bikes or road bikes with thicker tires.
Although this is the longest one day trip from London on the list, due to the gently undulating Hertfordshire countryside and excellently signposted NCN routes it is not as tough on the legs as the trip to Box Hill. If you do not fancy the quicker route home on the roads down the NCN Route 12, you could turn around and experience the unique Cole Green Way all over again in reverse, making the total trip around 60 miles.
Refuelling station: When you get to the intersection of NCN Route 12, continue straight on route 12 down Starnborough Road until you get to Stanborough Park. A beautiful place to have lunch and enjoy the views of the boating lake.
We are lucky to have the National Cycle Network interwoven in and around London.
They offer a unique perspective of the surrounding area, without the need to follow a sat nav or spend too much time cycling on busier roads.
If you are looking to stay a little closer to home, but still want an adventure on your bike, then check our blog post best bike rides in London.