Traffic-free Cycling Routes In Greater London

Quite besides the newer protected cycle routes London’s recently built, there are more traffic-free cycle routes than you may realise. Some of these, like the Paddington Branch of the Grand Union Canal, have a surprisingly rural feel to it in places.

Almost all of these routes are on, or near train stations, meaning you can easily combine a bike ride with a train journey. When you have weary legs after a day’s riding, taking the train back can be bliss. Just be sure to read my Bikes On Trains guide first.

The routes listed below are jam-packed with information about each route. You can, at a glance, see what the route surface is like, whether or not there are barriers along the route, plus so much more.

Routes are graded with a star rating, which instantly tells you how safe it is for especially younger children, or nervous cyclists. Each route guide includes an up-to-date weather forecast, and an interactive route map! 

The routes

  • River Wey Navigation traffic-free cycle route
    River Wey Navigation cycle route overall rating: ⭐⭐ The River Way Navigation links the Thames Path with Guildford, on a mainly traffic-free route. Most of the route is on the towpath, and towpath cycling can be tricky in places. Especially after rain, and in mid-winter, most towpath routes can be very challenging. However, while a … Read more
  • Thames Path traffic-free cycle route
    Thames Path Cycle Route Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ The Thames Towpath runs through South West London for 23 miles, mostly traffic-free. Given its location, it is surprisingly secluded, well wooded and quite rural in places. Please Note: At the time of writing flood alleviation works are underway at Barnes and Putney resulting in towpath closures and … Read more
  • Escape The City
    Overall Route Rating: ⭐⭐ Escape The City is a route that runs from the Thames, up the Lee valley, all the way to the Hertford East train station. It is a 31 miles route that can be rough in places. Some of the route is on shared pavements along fast A-roads. In various places, the … Read more
  • Grand Union Canal – Paddington Branch
    GUC Paddington Branch Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ Originally built to link Paddington with the Grand Union Canal, the Paddington Branch is 13.5 miles long, and offers surprisingly serene cycling in the heart of London. It can get very busy at times, and further along can get rather narrow. Of course, when the Paddington Branch meets the … Read more