London East End loop, LCC lunchtime ride
The London Cycling Campaign reveals one of its favourite lunchtime rides, using routes alongside the capital’s canals to take in everything from historic industry to modern day hi-tech sport.
After the London Cycling Campaign moved to its new base at Wapping Wall it had to find some new lunchtime rides and this has quickly become a favourite. You can start from dozens of different places on this route — and it’s well served by mainline, DLR and Overground stations — but our map kicks off from ‘home’ at Wapping Wall.
Initially we follow the Thames Path, first through King Edward VII Memorial Park, then along Narrow Street to Limehouse Basin. From here we head in a north-east direction on the dramatic Limehouse Cut — one of the best off-road paths in the capital. There’s lots of industrial heritage to enjoy along the way, including Bow Locks, The House Mill and Three Mills Studios, plus several recent additions like the floating cycling/walking pontoons.
You leave the Cut just before the London Stadium to join the Greenway. Since the London 2012 Olympics, the main stadium has been converted into a football ground for premier league side, West Ham United. You leave the Greenway fairly quickly to cross the Loop Road and enter the park proper. From here you can easily find your own way anticlockwise around on the trails network to join with the River Lee Navigation.
Soon after this we head past the Aquatics Centre, another part of the 2012 Olympic legacy. Why not interrupt your ride to take a dip (£5 entry)? The unique main pool is contained by a cathedral-like transparent hall that gathers light from all sides.
Then it’s onto the velodrome, which cyclists visiting the park will undoubtedly gravitate towards. Visitors can see the Siberian pine track at any time for free, except when events are taking place. And it’s definitely worth getting tickets for events to enjoy the unique atmosphere. Park your bike outside or circumnavigate the Velodrome to see the road, off-road and BMX circuits, too. You can book to ride on the track yourself and cycle hire is available on site.
When you finally cross back over the River Lee Navigation, you’re soon into ‘Vicky Park’. Voted London’s most popular people’s park, it has two delightful lakes with the wonderful Pavilion Café on the banks of the western-most one.
Skirt (or cross) the park to its south-east corner, and then follow the lovely Regent’s Canal back all the way back to Limehouse.
Canals can be busy so please use a bell.
Rail stations: Limehouse and Westferry DLR, Wapping or Shadwell Overground, plus Stratford stations and Hackney Wick