North London can be hilly if you are not careful, so finding a good cut-though can be a little more onerous than in Central or East London. There are also no true cycle superhighways in North London – CS1 is now in place but is certainly more of a quietway than true superhighway as they are closer in.
North London has loads of cut-throughs to choose from and when I used to live up near Archway I was reliant on them for a pleasant journey into work. Here are 2 of my favourites and one from Andreas.
As always, these are ones based on experience and personal preference. These are cut-throughs that have really helped specific regular journeys, so if your favourite is not here, please add it at the end!
North Villas/Cliff Road/ Hungerford Road
This cut-through helps get you from Camden through to Tufnell Park, Archway or Finsbury park. I used to cycle along here a lot as I really don’t enjoy cycling up Camden Road and this runs parallel. It takes a little more time than the main road but is a lot more pleasant.
North Villas is two way, but it ends for cars at Camden Park Road (one way North) and Cliff Road is West bound only for cars, meaning vehicles have to turn left. However, there is a straight on cycle lane, allowing Cliff Road to be bidirectional for bicycles.
There is then a second set of lights at the end of Cliff Road to get you across York Way (its a very slow and frustrating set let me warn you!). You can then happily cycle down Hungerford way and into Tufnell Park, Archway or Finsbury Park.
Kelly St/Rochester Pl/Royal College Street
If you find yourself in Kentish Town there are a ton of great little cut throughs and links to Royal College Street which is one of the best segregated cycle paths in London. Shoutout to Arancini cafe here too – delicious! And Lunar Cycles – one of my favourite bike shops!
One of the best is if you are travelling up Kentish Town Rd and heading left on Prince of Wales Rd, you can take the early left turn on Kelly St. Not only is this street beautiful, lined with colourful homes, there’s also a link at the end of it open only to cyclists.
If travelling South on Kentish Town Rd, you can use the cycle link to join up to Royal College Street.
Purchese Street/Goldington Crescent/Royal College Street
This one is kind of a continuation of the cut-though across Euston Road which we mentioned in the Central London piece last week. It is a series of cut-throughs which provide a great route out of Central London into Camden and Islington.
The first, Ossulston Street to Purchese Street, is a dedicated lane joining the two quiet roads. The lane goes in both directions so you can use this cut-through into and out of town. There is also a handy cycle lane along the side of Purchese street into its continuation, Goldington Crescent. This is particularly good as the road itself is basically cobbles.
The next cut-though is between Goldington Crescent and Royal Collage Street. It is a bicycle specific set of traffic lights which make it easy to get across Pancras Road and up onto the cycle lane that flanks Royal Collage Street (one of the first protected cycle lanes in London). It is so much nicer to take this route than to try to get up past Mornington Crescent and along Camden High Street. It still points you almost due North in the end so is good for a variety of end locations in Camden and Islington.
What are your favourite cut-throughs in North London? Share the knowledge below!
Join 10,221 fellow cyclists who are subscribed to the London Cyclist newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter to get...
- Advice on the best cycling gear
- A Friday roundup of all the latest London cycling news
- Exclusive content not available on the blog
Subscribe today, and get exclusive access forever! (It's free)
*No spam, ever!
As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.