Spoke 7: Knockholt to Tower

Oyster Spoke 7 of 8, Routes into London for hybrid bikes using Oyster stations.

  • Total Distance: 52.3km
  • Total Ascent: 336m
  • Highest Point: 165m
  • Lowest Point: 0m

South-eastern Greenspaces

South-east London has no National Cycle Network routes between the Waterlink Way and the Thames estuary, but it also possesses a impressive collection of green spaces, such as Petts Wood, Oxleas Wood, Blackheath Common and Greenwich Park. This route links these together with an initial start along the Darent Valley past Lullingstone Country Park and Farningham Woods.

Spoke 7 Poster Map

Heads from Knockholt down into the Darent Valley past Lullingstone before reclimbing the Downs to Swanley. Picks up the London Cycle Network via Petts Wood and Oxleas Wood to Blackheath and Greenwich, where Route 4 heads to Tower.

On leaving Knockholt station, the route heads across the M25 junction roundabout (care needed) before following a series of narrow lanes first to the hamlet of Well Hill, and then downhill to the Darent Valley, soon reaching Lullingstone Country Park Visitor Centre with its toilets and cafe.

There is no right of way for cyclists for the next 600m. Signs clearly state no cycling on the track next to the river inside the woods – cycles should be wheeled if using this, however there is a field path running parallel to it that appears to be habitually used by cyclists which could be cycled with respect for other users. Either way, cycling can be resumed when Lullingstone Castle is reached.

Farningham

Minor roads now continue past Eynsford to Farningham with its pretty riverside houses and pub. A short climb out of the village, crossing the A20 and and more pretty lanes led to a short section of the A225, before turning right up another lane to Farningham Woods. The bridleway through the woods was pretty but loose and gravelly in places, again requiring care.

More lanes then lead on, through Swanley Village, but bypassing the town. More lanes led under the A20 to Hockenden before a traffic free route through Hockenden Wood, and onward to St Mary Cray, where the London Cycle Network is joined and which leads on to Petts Wood, owned by the National Trust.

A series of woodland permissive bridleways lead through the woods, emerging on the busy St. Paul’s Cray road. Whilst this is part of the London Cycle Network Route 66, it is busy and not easy to avoid. After 1km, LCN66 heads off right and is followed down Green Lane until the junction with the A20 Sidcup road, which can be crossed using pedestrian crossings.

Continuing on LCN66 the route reaches Avery Hill Park, part of the University of Greenwich campus. A pleasant section of cycleways lead through the park before rejoining LCN66 to head on quiet roads to Oxleas Wood. Here LCN2 is picked up to head downhill, largely on a segregated lane, crossing over the A2 twice on bridges before joining the Quietway across Blackheath Common to Greenwich Park.

After a short detour to the viewpoint, the route heads down the hill to Greenwich town centre. A short detour avoids the worst of the One way system before picking up NCN4 which will will be followed all the way to Tower Bridge.

This heads initially alongside the Thames past the Cutty Sark, before briefly heading inland on quiet roads, before again rejoining the embankment. A short-cut across the Rotherhithe peninsular follows minor roads and parks, before a more traditional section past old pubs, cobbled streets and residential roads comes out at the southern end of Tower Bridge.

Spoke 7 Viewranger Route

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