3 of the most circular cycle routes in London

One of the ways to train for a big cycling event is to find some good circular rides that you can repeat. This allows for a constant speed, there is no need to keep checking the route and you can easily keep track of progress.

Richmond Park

Richmond Park is easily one of the most popular cycle spots in London. A round trip on the Richmond Park London Cycle Routemain route is 7 miles long. Assuming an average speed of 15 miles per hour, it would take you 28 minutes to do the full circle. Some of the sections are tougher than others with a few short but challenging hills.

If you wanted to simulate London to Brighton you would have to do 7 and a half laps! However in the great surroundings of Richmond Park that doesn’t sound that bad!

Regent’s Park

Regents park cycle route

The outer circle of Regent’s Park is relatively light on traffic.If you combine this with a lack of traffic lights then you have a great circular route. The surroundings are not quite as green but there is the interesting architecture of the houses that line the park and also the mosque in the north-west corner. You are welcome to visit the mosque just make sure you step in with the right foot and out with the left. Unless I’m mistaken this symbolises bringing in the good and taking out the bad.

Anyway, back to cycling! This circular ride is only 2.8 miles long so it will take someone around 11 minutes to do a full circle. If you wanted to simulate London to Brighton then that would be nearly 19 laps! Better bring some good music with you to keep you entertained! Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, the ride is largely flat.

For a mini-version of the outer circle why not cycle the inner-circle! At just 0.6 miles long you will have to do repeat the ride 88 times! The inner circle is a popular place for cabbies to have a rest and is pretty much traffic free.


herne-hill-velodrome-cycle-routesOf course it would be impossible to end an article on circular routes in London without a mention of the Velodrome! The only current working one is at Herne Hill. There is also the Olympic one being built in Stratford. Local teams train here and I’m guessing if you are good enough you can join them.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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11 Responses to 3 of the most circular cycle routes in London

  1. Filippo Negroni 11/03/2010 at 12:50 pm #

    This has given me an idea for posting about a Wokingham TT route I usually do for training, again a loop of around 5 miles which means you can keep a fairly close eye on your performance without having to watch out for traffic… at least on a quiet Sunday (early) morning.

    BTW, I’ve never cycled at Richmond Park and would love to take my son there. What’s the cycling traffic like there? any specific time to avoid?

  2. mike 11/03/2010 at 11:20 pm #

    Anyone can have a go at Herne Hill velodrome – they run beginner sessions every Saturday (when it’s dry). It’s cheap at less than a tenner for a couple of hours including bike hire. I’ve been a couple of times and it’s fun… you even get to do a couple of races at the end, against fellow novices. It’s a good way to get to grips with a fixie too if you’re a bit nervous about trying one out on the city streets, and Herne Hill has some good pubs/cafes to sort out your hunger afterward.

  3. Tom 12/03/2010 at 12:25 pm #

    A few of us did 100 miles round Regents Park inner circle last year for the FatCyclist hundred miles of nowhere. Very quiet, very boring. More details on Fatty’s blog: http://www.fatcyclist.com/2009/05/23/100-miles-of-nowhere-inner-circle-regents-park-london/

  4. Pete 12/03/2010 at 12:32 pm #

    That picture of Richmond hill makes that hill look a lot flatter than it really is 🙂

    Box Hill is another good place for loop, bit harder to get to but has some varied scenery and terrain, http://www.bikemap.net/route/409341

    @Filippo The park can get quite busy on the weekend, especially when the weather is good. Depending on how confident you and your son are there is also shared walking/cycle track that runs around the park if roads are not your thing. If your lucky you will see some deer

  5. Jon 14/03/2010 at 11:25 am #


    Nice post, I think you should have a bit more information about Herne Hill Velodrome though 😉

    I went their yesterday for a Novice induction session followed by the Novice track training session. It was the best £10 (including bike hire) I have spent in the last 10 years.

    I absolutely loved it.

    Novice induction sessions for anyone who wants to get involved run from 12.00 – 12.45 and then the track session runs from 12.45 – 2.00pm.

    More info can be found here – http://www.hernehillvelodrome.co.uk


  6. Andreas 20/03/2010 at 9:36 pm #

    Thanks for the information everyone posted on the Herne Hill VeloDrome. I have to admit I was a bit clueless about what goes on there!

    @Pete, thanks for info on the Box Hill loop.

  7. annie prior 03/05/2010 at 10:39 am #

    I am keen to get an informal bike club going in NW London with Regents Park as one of the rides, is anyone interested? annie.prior@mac.com

  8. Michael 15/10/2013 at 12:12 pm #

    In common with many other cyclists I set my alarm clock early and take advantage of Regent’s Park being closed to traffic between midnight and 7 am.

    In theory.

    Unfortunately the Royal Parks Commission lets the cars in at 6:30. I’ve taken it up with them and they’ve replied with a verbal shrug of the shoulders saying they only have one bloke to open the gates and tough.

  9. Mike D 27/10/2016 at 11:03 am #

    The 7 mile circular route at Richmond park isnt really suitable for road bikes since its not tarmacked (the photo in this article is not of the circular route, but the roads that run across the park).

    Also the path is shared with pedestrians. These 2 points should have been mentioned

    • Flapper 27/10/2016 at 11:21 am #

      The route shown really is 7 miles of tarmac. You’re thinking of the slightly longer gravel route, which exists and is very popular but isn’t the one shown on the map above

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