Spoke 3: Uxbridge to Tower

Oyster Spoke 3 of 8, Routes into London for hybrid bikes using Oyster stations.

  • Total Distance: 41.4k
  • Total Ascent: 16m
  • Highest Point: 58m
  • Lowest Point: 0m

Following the canal to Venice

The Grand Union canal was created by the merger of the Grand Junction canal from the Thames at Brentford in West London to Birmingham and the Regents Canal which circled around the north of London to reach the Thames at Limehouse in the East, the two meeting at the basin in Little Venice. The aim was to compete with lorries for freight, although it soon became apparent that its future was as a leisure resource. Today it provides a quiet scenic route into the heart of London from the west.

Spoke 3 Poster Map

The route uses the Grand Union Canal from Uxbridge initially on Sustrans 6, and then on to Paddington. It heads into Hyde Park and then uses CS3 to get to Tower Bridge via Green Park, Westminster and the Embankment.

The route initially heads northwest from the station in Uxbridge to pick up the Grand Union Canal, then retraces the route from Day 2 of the Loop heading south on the mainly gravel canal towpath. Ignoring the turnoff for Route 61, it continues on to West Drayton where the canal turns east into London. Four kilometres later, the canal splits with the main branch heading for the Thames at Brentford, whilst our route takes the Paddington branch which heads north east. The towpath here has been upgraded and is a mixture of gravel and hardcore.

Grand Union junction

The canal passes through a mixture of parkland and urban areas, eventually arriving at Little Venice basin where there is a junction with the Regents Canal which circles the north of the centre. The route ignores this and instead continues on the towpath, here full of cafes and restaurants to the side of Paddington station.

From there a couple on road-based cycleways lead to the edge of Hyde Park, where the Cycle Superhighway 3 (CS3) starts. This heads across the Park to the Serpentine where the road on its north side is taken past the lake and cafes to reach Hyde Park Corner. Here CS3 is rejoined to head down past Green Park to Buckingham Palace and onwards to Westminster. It then 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.

Spoke 3 route on Viewranger

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