Best route through London South to North

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humankeith
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Best route through London South to North

Postby humankeith » 28 Sep 2020, 5:01pm

I'm planning a cycle tour from my home in Exeter to Northampton next month. I'm going to follow NCN2 to Brighton, then do 'Brighton to London', and London to Northampton.

My route is all set, but I would appreciate some advice on the nicest route through London, from south to north, between the M25. I'd like to cycle through the centre-ish of London for the experience but not sure what route to take.

I'll be linking to NCN6 around St Albans to take me north. I haven't decided on my Brighton-London route yet.

Thank you,
Keith

landsurfer
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby landsurfer » 28 Sep 2020, 5:29pm

Cycle, cycle, cycle ...Leatherhead ...... train, train, train .... Hitchin ....... Cycle , cycle cycle .......
Be More Mike.
The Road Goes On Forever

Norman H
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby Norman H » 28 Sep 2020, 6:47pm

Chris Smith's route, from his travel Log Lewis site, will get you to Tower Bridge or St Pancras on cycle friendly roads. The obvious choice from St Pancras northwards would be the train to Radlett or St Albans, to pick up route 6. The Lee Valley cycle route, route1, is another option which is mostly traffic free but takes you further east.

Slowroad
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby Slowroad » 28 Sep 2020, 8:35pm

Wandle Trail, Thames, Lee Valley. Will post a route if you're interested. :-)
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mjr
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby mjr » 28 Sep 2020, 11:09pm

Slowroad wrote:Wandle Trail, Thames, Lee Valley. Will post a route if you're interested. :-)

I think the Lee Valley is too rough and congested south of Enfield Island (I'd use CS 1 instead) and a bit far east.

I'd say Wandle Trail, Thames path West to Hammersmith bridge, over that and immediately left and follow either the river or the Great West Road Cycleways to join the Grand Union Canal in Brentford and follow that west and then north.

But it a depends what you consider "best".
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nirakaro
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby nirakaro » 28 Sep 2020, 11:19pm

mjr wrote:But it a depends what you consider "best".

Exactly. What do you want from riding across London? Personally I'd pick a route through Westminster and Trafalgar Square; horrendous traffic though, and not to everyone's taste!

drossall
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby drossall » 28 Sep 2020, 11:21pm

Given that your route is set, I think you need to tell us which bits to the south are non-negotiable. To the north it's presumably just St Albans. If we assume that you're doing Brighton to London as far as the usual start of that ride at Clapham Common, I'd use CycleStreets to get across the city, for example to Borehamwood. I'm not completely surprised that it offers the A5 as an alternative as far as Edgware; I haven't used it for a bit but, the last time I did, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected (and since then there may be more meaningful cycle lanes - I haven't checked).

I'm not a fan of the B roads around London Colney; they have a surprising amount of heavy traffic. The minor road bridge at TL220007, just west of South Mimms, is nice, and the minor roads to the south have always been quiet when I've used them, as has the old Great North Road running from there just east of the present A1(M), with minor roads to approach St Albans from Colney Heath. There's also a rather bizarre crossing just east of South Mimms at Dancer's Hill; it basically runs through a culvert before popping up at the services on the same old Great North Road, now a minor road. My favourite crossing round there is probably at Bricket Wood, where NCN6 seems almost rural, remarkably considering where it is. However, it does force you a bit west around Watford, which you might want to avoid.

To state the obvious, all these will be much busier in rush hour, so avoid that!

jgurney
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby jgurney » 29 Sep 2020, 7:54am

mjr wrote: to Hammersmith bridge, over that and immediately left

Sadly Hammersmith Bridge is currently closed to all users as it needs urgent repairs.
It is part of my usual route to work, I am currently using Chiswick Bridge instead.

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mjr
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby mjr » 29 Sep 2020, 9:47am

jgurney wrote:
mjr wrote: to Hammersmith bridge, over that and immediately left

Sadly Hammersmith Bridge is currently closed to all users as it needs urgent repairs.
It is part of my usual route to work, I am currently using Chiswick Bridge instead.

I thought there was a temporary cycling bridge but I see the covid crisis, funding and DfT involvement seems to have stopped that.

Putney and Kew bridges also seem good crossings for this route.
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humankeith
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby humankeith » 29 Sep 2020, 10:35am

drossall wrote:Given that your route is set, I think you need to tell us which bits to the south are non-negotiable. To the north it's presumably just St Albans. If we assume that you're doing Brighton to London as far as the usual start of that ride at Clapham Common, I'd use CycleStreets to get across the city, for example to Borehamwood. I'm not completely surprised that it offers the A5 as an alternative as far as Edgware; I haven't used it for a bit but, the last time I did, it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected (and since then there may be more meaningful cycle lanes - I haven't checked).

I'm not a fan of the B roads around London Colney; they have a surprising amount of heavy traffic. The minor road bridge at TL220007, just west of South Mimms, is nice, and the minor roads to the south have always been quiet when I've used them, as has the old Great North Road running from there just east of the present A1(M), with minor roads to approach St Albans from Colney Heath. There's also a rather bizarre crossing just east of South Mimms at Dancer's Hill; it basically runs through a culvert before popping up at the services on the same old Great North Road, now a minor road. My favourite crossing round there is probably at Bricket Wood, where NCN6 seems almost rural, remarkably considering where it is. However, it does force you a bit west around Watford, which you might want to avoid.

To state the obvious, all these will be much busier in rush hour, so avoid that!



That’s a fair point - I’m following the BHF Brighton to London route (in reverse) and just need to get to St Albans. I’d like to visit at least one landmark, but otherwise just happy to go through quiet neighbourhoods or cycle routes.

Does that help?

mercalia
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby mercalia » 29 Sep 2020, 12:13pm

A bit of the journey covering a few landmarks. Once you are at Clapham Common cycle across and take the A3216 to Chelsea Bridge. You could detour a bit thru battersea Park. walk across the bridge and view the river and the old battersea ps now converting to flats. The once across follow the A3216 Sloane Sq & hyde park or alternatively detour right past Victoria Railway Stn ( get off and walk a short distance straight on, where other wise you turn away from the station, to meet again where it turns back to go past Buck Palace where the Queen Victoria monument is then up past Green Park cross over to the island where the Wellington Arch is, cross over to Hyde Park and avoid Park Lane along the side of the park to speakers corner/Marble Arch. Then Edgeware Rd/Watling st?

drossall
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby drossall » 29 Sep 2020, 1:23pm

humankeith wrote:That’s a fair point - I’m following the BHF Brighton to London route (in reverse) and just need to get to St Albans. I’d like to visit at least one landmark, but otherwise just happy to go through quiet neighbourhoods or cycle routes.

Does that help?

Yes thanks, but I'll let others comment south of the river, as I'm more from the northern side. I still say that CycleStreets is good. It finds back-street routes and cut-throughs and so on.

iandriver
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby iandriver » 29 Sep 2020, 1:30pm

If you want to see some landmarks, then perhaps head to Greenwich and take a look over London from the observatory. From the foot tunnel, it's pretty easy to head to the Olympic park, then straight up the river lea to outside the M25, all on the canal toe path.
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The utility cyclist
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby The utility cyclist » 29 Sep 2020, 3:20pm

Cycling into the centre of London is fine if you have time on your hands and don't mind your journey being very stop start and a bit stressy with Peds and usual big city high density traffic.


rarely go South of the river but this is my route from Camden to exit Northward.

Kentish town road/Highgate Rd/Highgate W.Hill/B159(North Hill)/Gt.North Road/High Road which is the A1000 (over North circular) through Finchley and carry on along it (High Rd/still A1000) all the way to Chipping Barnet. As you go through the high street keep St.John the Baptists church on your left and keep on the A1081 SP. M25/A1/Potters Bar.
Follow A1081 for 1.5 miles out of Barnet at the lights then 3rd exit at the rbt onto Dancers Hill rd, next left into Dancers Lane (under the M25), exit into Wash Lane (back of S.Mimms services.
You can then take the St.Albans road B556 via London Colney to St.Albans, or and the route I've done, is to follow the A1 up Swanland Road, then turn left into Dixon Hill rd into Tollgate rd (as you cross over A1) and into Colney heath which is significantly less trafficky to get to St.Albans IME.

I can send you a GPX or TCX file if you'd like.

toontra
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Re: Best route through London South to North

Postby toontra » 29 Sep 2020, 3:26pm

The utility cyclist wrote:Kentish town road/Highgate Rd/Highgate W.Hill/B159(North Hill)/Gt.North Road/High Road which is the A1000 (over North circular) through Finchley and carry on along it (High Rd/still A1000) all the way to Chipping Barnet. As you go through the high street keep St.John the Baptists church on your left and keep on the A1081 SP. M25/A1/Potters Bar.


Hundreds of cyclists every weekend can't be wrong! :lol:

That's my route directly north, my other being Lea Valley Road to Epping if going NE to Essex (also very popular).