We don’t know about you, but our routes through Central London have been slightly scuppered by the Jubilee celebrations for the past month and now it looks like they’ll be a no go for the entire summer. To be honest, cruising along the Mall, and up Constitution Hill to Hydes Park Corner was one of the best parts of our journey. Now that they are closed until after the Olympics, we’re going to have to search out some new routes.
We had been travelling along Piccadilly and the down Duke Street to get back to Trafalgar Square, but that is pretty congested and slow going now. Once or twice we walked our bikes through Green Park to get around the closed roads, but let’s face it, it just seems wrong to have to walk so far with your bike!
So, what are the alternatives? We’ve tried out three…
North through Bloomsbury
If you need to go to the north of Central London this is a great route. Once you’re through Kensington Gardens hang a left and then travel up West Carriage Drive. Turn into North Carriage Drive and about half way along you can cross Bayswater Road at a toucan crossing. Basically from here you just keep travelling east until you hit Tottenham Court Road and then you can join the segregated cycle lanes along Byng Place. From there you can pull off to any Central London location, or follow it through past Exmouth Market and along Skinner Street to the City of London. Lots of nice segregated routes, but it does take a bit longer.
Dodging the Pedestrians through Soho
This route is a bit more hard going simply because of the number of people walking about. You need to position yourself well into the centre of the carriageway and be prepared to use your bell. Carry along from Kensington Gardens into Hyde Park but at Hyde Park Corner travel north along the path adjacent to Park Lane. Almost at the top you can cross Park Lane at a toucan crossing, into Upper Brooke Street. Follow this route to Hanover Square. From here you can either join Regent’s Street and travel south down to Piccadilly Square, or make your way through Soho to our preferred route along Long Acre and into Lincolns Inn Fields. This route is pretty busy, but lot’s of nice distractions along the way if you fancy stopping.
Take it South to the Embankment
This could well be the most direct route but it does mean negotiating Parliament Square. You will need to make your way down through Chelsea, either from Hyde Park and onto William Street or whatever your favourite route through Kensington and into Chelsea is. We’d suggest trying to make your way to Royal Hospital Road and joining Cycle Superhighway 8. Travel along the Embankment, through Parliament Square, past Big Ben and hang a left before the bridge to get back onto the Embankment. We’d recommend leaving the Embankment before the tunnel to head up to the Blackfriars junction. Another tricky junction, although there is a route off to the North that isn’t too bad. Remember, if things get a bit hairy, you can always get off and walk around a junction.
So folks, what about you, do you have a better route to get through Central London?