The Best Bike Rides for Kids in London

April 12, 2022
AUTHOR:
Tom Cornwell

Cycling in London’s not just for the lycra lover, or high-vis clad commuter. If you - like many of us at fettle - have young apes you’re needing to entertain over the Easter holidays, or drag away from their full blown screen addiction, then look no further!

And whilst we’re always keen to chirp the merits of cycling, pedalling with kids requires a little more prep.

With little legs and a propensity for wobbly steering, children need quieter roads and places they can easily stop for a rest. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of our favourite family bike rides in London, so you can pedal to the metal en famille, without stressing about speeding cars and dodgy drivers.

River Lea.

Stretching from Poplar all the way out to Hertfordshire, if you’re after the tranquility(!) of a London canal, the River Lea is a great alternative whilst avoiding hoards of pedestrians. Further south it can be bustling on a weekend, but if you join the river around Lower or Upper Clapton, it starts to quieten down, taking you through Tottenham marshes and - if you’re feeling like a longer ride - towards Cheshunt.

Olympic Park.

And if you don’t want to spend the entire ride pedalling along the River Lea, why not tag on a ride around Olympic Park. Right next to the river, with ice cream vans and inbuilt sun loungers just waiting for you to take a rest, Olympic Park’s the perfect place to pedal on a warm day. And who knows, it might inspire the next Bradley Wiggins or Laura Kenny.

Epping Forest.

We’re still in the east, this time in Epping Forest. One of London’s best kept secrets, if you’re craving fresh air and greenery and to feel - quite frankly - like you’re not in London, then head out to Epping. In London we’re all about paying extortionate rent, whilst doing anything to escape the concrete we pay extortionate rent for.

And don’t be put off by the large A-road running through the middle. There are in fact plenty of quiet lanes and byways for a gentle cycle.

For a quieter route, head north on Fairmead Road by Epping Forest office, cycling up to the Mill & Carter restaurant before heading down the A121 to take a right on Epping Forest Road (don’t worry - the A121 section has a pavement you can cycle on). As you start to come back to the start point, hug the edge of the forest via Nursery Road to avoid busier routes.

Richmond Park.

Richmond Park is one of the most child-friendly parks in London with several family bike ride options. It’s less manicured than the Central London parks, like Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, with some good climbs and descents, options to go on and off-road, plus plenty of wildlife and opportunities for dad jokes  - oh deer! (see what we did there.)

If you’re not bringing your own bike, you can rent one from Roehampton Gate where they also have plenty of options for children including, seats, trailers and tag-a-longs. Check the official visitor map to make sure you stay on the designated cycle paths and remember that pedestrians have priority.

North bank from Tower Hill to Westminster.

The scenic sights! Take in the Tower of London, the Shard and Westminster by pedalling along the cycle super highway that takes you from Tower Hill all the way out to Chelsea if you’re feeling adventurous! With a segregated cycle lane the whole way along, and traffic lights stopping you at various points,  this is the perfect place to teach the sprogs about staying alert and following road rules, whilst ambling along with tourists on Boris bikes.

Limehouse to Victoria Park via the Regents Canal.

The final route takes you along the quieter portion of the Regents Canal to Victoria Park. Picking up the canal in Limehouse basin, the route takes you up past Mile End park to near the Chinese pagoda in Victoria Park. On a weekend, the area around Victoria Park can be bustling, so it’s best to tackle the ride on a weekday, or weekday evening.

Battersea Park Circular Route.

Although only 1.2 miles in total there's plenty of family adventures to be had at the ever so popular Battersea Park. From Go Ape and play areas to the Children’s Zoo and a Boating Lake, you’ll find plenty of kids activities to fill the day.

Due to it's popularity, the park can get rather busy at the weekend, so make sure you stay on the designated routes and plan ahead. Also keep an eye out for wandering bicycle wizards - they've been known to frequent from time to time.

Don't leave the kids deflated.

Spring-shed-shambles?

All too often after a winter of hibernation, the family of bikes in the shed may be - well, rather deflated. And that's no good to anyone.

That’s why we’re here to sort it out, and get all your bikes ready for family adventures this spring with free kid's bike services.

Yes, you read that right. Our expert mechanics are doing F-R-E-E kid's services.

We don't believe fun should have a cost. Nor safety be an expense; so you can watch them tear down towpaths with complete peace of mind.

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