Sunday 16 September 2012

Cycle ride from Battersea Park to Hammersmith, central London

This approximately 12-mile round trip along the Thames is almost entirely traffic-free, flat and fun for families.  Although you are supposed to ride along the road, rather than the riverside, in Battersea Park,  you still can see the Thames in the distance and the park itself has been beautifully-landscaped. From here, you can ride west along the smartly-paved Thames Path, past an endless series of futuristic glass and steel apartment blocks, lining the river. Although the route occasionally takes you on to a road, these stretches are short and usually quiet. You skirt past London heliport and the heaving Ship Inn before reaching picturesque Wandsworth Park with its avenue of mature trees overlooking the Thames. After navigating through the traffic on Putney Bridge, you ride for a mile or so along the riverside road, lined with pubs and then boathouses, before reaching a more rural section of the Thames Path. You can admire Craven Cottage, Fulham FC's ground, on the other side of the water. The route then skirts past the London Wetland Centre and the handsome and historic Harrods Repository. If you cross Hammersmith Bridge, there are some pleasant pubs on the north bank where you can enjoy a drink with a river view. Although the Thames Path can get busy on a Sunday, this is a rewarding ride. 8/10