Oyster Spoke 2 of 8, Routes into London for hybrid bikes using Oyster stations.
- Total Distance: 37.1km
- Total Ascent: 62m
- Highest Point: 29m
- Lowest Point: 0m
Palaces and Parks
The south-west of London has traditionally been the royal focal point of London, with a mixture of royal palaces and parks. This route starts at Hampton Court Palace, heads past Buckingham Palace and ends at the Tower of London, the oldest palace of all. En route, it passes by a number of royal parks – Richmond Park, Hyde Park, Green Park and St.James’ Park. It also goes through Brompton Cemetery which is managed as a royal park, although those buried there are less famous than Highgate, with Emmeline Pankhurst the most notable.
Uses Route 4 from Hampton Court to Chelsea via Richmond Park. Takes Quietway through Brompton Cemetery and past Museums to Hyde Park and then CS3 to get to Tower Bridge via Green Park, Westminster and the Embankment.
On exiting the station, Hampton Court Bridge is crossed before joining Route 4 to head down between the river and the Palace. The view back of the Palace and gardens should be enjoyed. Route 4 continues along the riverside track as far as Kingston Bridge, where it crosses on a dedicated cycleway and then heads through the town centre.
Care needs to be taken when crossing the main road, then it goes under the railway and rejoins the river path as far as Teddington Lock. Here Route 4 turns away from the river and cuts through the backstreets of Ham to reach Richmond Park. Once in the Park, a gravelly track climbs up to a flat tarmac traffic-free road as far as the Pen Ponds cafe, where it turns left and heads downhill before turning right to exit into Roehampton.
Roads, pavement cycleways and roadside tracks lead on back to the River at Putney, where the bridge is crossed. Being careful not to miss the right turn at the end of the bridge, back roads are then followed to Imperial Wharf station, after which Route 4 is left. A minor road leads up the Kings Road in Chelsea, which is crossed with the help of traffic lights and then left to a further minor road to Fulham Road, more difficult to cross.
At the entrance to Brompton Cemetery, take the cycle road through, emerging onto a Quietway which takes you through residential squares, eventually merging into a busier road just before South Kensington station. With a couple of left turns it then heads up Exhibition Road past the museums, before entering Hyde Park at the top of the hill.
Once in the the Park, ignore the CS3 to the right but instead take the cycle path down the south side of the Serpentine which is followed to reach Hyde Park Corner, and CS3 is rejoined to head down past Green Park to Buckingham Palace and onwards to Westminster. Here CS3 turns onto the Embankment, and follows a purpose-built cycleway to Tower Hill from where Tower Bridge is reached at the end of the route.
In addition, there are other descriptions of the route, namely a video guide to the route, a route-card with turn-by-turn routing and a information leaflet with maps and points of interest: