I am Dutch and living in London. This means I also have my own bicycle. People sometimes tell me that cycling in London can be dangerous, however there are so many cycle routes through London that aren’t dangerous at all. I hope I will discover some new routes during this summer. But till that time here a recommendation to cycle from Kings Cross to Epping Forest.
This cycle route starts at Kings Cross. And you will have immediately a nice area to see and that is Granary Square. A lovely area with some nice restaurants. Ideal place around evening times, when this square is beautifully lit. From here you will follow Regents Canal in the direction of Angel. There is a point that you have to move back on the route before you can enter the canal again. But after that it will be a direct way next to the canal towards Victoria Park.
Such a lovely park. Victoria Park is huge and has some nice areas. There is for example a nice pond with a Chinese Pagoda, Burdets-Couts drinking fountain and an old English Garden. You will cycle through the whole park and you will find so many nice stops along the way in the park. When you are ready you will exit the park in the far East. From there you will follow the canal.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
This park was constructed for the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. You are able to enter the park and see the different stadiums before you will continue the trail up north, next to the Canal in the direction of Lee Valley Regional Park.
If you are adventurous and are the lucky person with a ticket you can enter the Slide. The Slide at the Arcelormittal Orbit in the Olympic Park is world’s longest, fastest tunnel slide. To enter the slide and have access to some observational platforms you will have to pay £16,50 as an adult.
Lee Valley Regional Park
This part of the route is lovely. You will slowly exit the hectic of the city. The canal path isn’t that crowded with pedestrians anymore so you will have the space for yourself. This route continues almost all the way to Epping Forest and on your way you will see several other things that you can see and do.
Markfield Beam Engine and Museum
This museum contains a working old Victorian Steam Engine. You are able to see this one working every second Sunday of the month. Entrance is free. If you didn’t stop already at the cafe at Lee Rowing Club then this museum provides a nice cafe as well.
Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge
You finally arrived at Epping Forest. But before to enjoy your walk, or mountain bike trip around the forest I would highly recommend you to visit Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge. It is free admission and then you are able to learn a bit of royal history of this area. The lodge was built by Henry VIII in 1543 and later renovated by Elizabeth I, it’s a remarkable and rare survival of an intact timber-framed hunt standing still surrounded by its medieval royal hunting forest.
Next to the lodge is the View. This is an education center that will explain everything from you about Epping Forest. From flora till fauna, and also all the activities that are going on in the area.
The main goal of the trip was to reach Epping Forest. This is still very close to London but you will really have the feeling you escaped the density of the city. Epping Forest is an area of ancient woodland between London and Essex. Just walk around the forest and get lost. There are several nice areas, from ponds till lakes, from iron age camps till High Beach.
From Epping Forest you can or cycle the same way back. Or put your bike on Chingford Overground station. It is free to take your bike on the Overground.