As countries everywhere open their borders (good news for our bike ride) and the day dubbed the UK’s ‘Freedom Day’ approaches, I thought it is the perfect time to talk about the perfect way to take in the London sights: the bicycle. After years of living in London, I have the perfect cycling sightseeing route to share with you.
When touring the sights on a bicycle, you can stop wherever you like and whenever you like. It is up to you how long or how little time you spend on it. It is also by far the cheapest way, other than on foot, to tour the sights from Tower Hill and St Paul’s in the east to Kensington Palace and the Albert Memorial in the West.
My favourite option for a hire bike is a Santander bike. You can get them for just £2 for 24 hours. Just remember to dock it every 1/2 hour, otherwise you end up paying extra. Other options, if you prefer an electrically assisted bike, include Jump and Lime, but I’ve never used them so can’t say much about them.
If you arrive in London by train, Santander docking stations are near all major train stations. If you are staying in a hotel in Central London, you’ll find the docking stations dotted all around.
From Waterloo to Tower Bridge
London Eye is a great starting point for seeing the sights on a bike. The nearest station is Waterloo, which is served by Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City lines on the underground. It is also the final London destination for many trains arriving from South-East and South-West.
From the London Eye, follow the National Cycle Route 4 to Tower Bridge. It is marked in blue on the map. There is an alternative in grey, but it’s not nearly as nice nor will you see as many sights on route.
Points of interest on this stretch include:
- London Eye and the Southbank with many bars and restaurants, the Royal Festival Hall and the National Theatre
- Tate Modern
- Shakespeare’s Globe
- Borough Market at London Bridge
- The Shard
- Tower Bridge
If you are hungry, I definitely recommend stopping at Borough Market. The food stalls there are fantastic. Or you might like to stop at the Tower Bridge Arms next to Tower Bridge for a sneaky beer. Not that I recommend drinking and riding. 🍺❌🚴♀️
From Tower Bridge to Big Ben via St Paul’s Cathedral