Find London cycle routes

Sign pointing out a cycle routes

Here is a highly useful collection of websites you can use to plan your cycling route around London. Some, such as the Sustrans website, help you locate where the cycle network routes are and others are good for discovering other peoples recommended routes. These are useful to consult if your simply looking for a leisurely weekend cycle and don’t know where to go or want to get from one side of the city to the other avoiding traffic as much as possible.

Get 35 London Cycle Routes

Note: I have also released an eBook with 35 London cycle routes that includes GPS coordinates.

Sustrans – National Cycle Network

sustrans national cycle route network

Lists all the UK national cycle routes and whether they are on the road or traffic free. Unfortunately you cannot export the routes. www.sustrans.org.uk

CycleStreets

Cycle streets good London journey planner

CycleStreets attempts to map out the best route for you based on its data as to which roads are friendly to cyclists. It then lists the route with easy turn by turn directions and tells you which roads are nightmarish and which are good. It does so through use of OpenStreetMap and OpenCycleMap which cyclists can add to. It is a bit rough around the edges but a fantastic site none the less. www.cyclestreets.net

Bikemap.net

Bikemap.net  list of bike routes in london

Place to download others London cycle routes or add your own. It has a good widescreen layout and is advert free. Loving the export functionality to Google Earth or as a GPX file. What makes this site stand out is that it is really good for printing the route (Highly useful for me as I always end up getting lost) www.bikemap.net

Camden Cycling Campaign London Cycle Map

london cycle routes screenshot

Camden Cyclists come to the rescue with this very useful map which shows you where all the cycle paths are so you can plan your journey around them. http://maps.camdencyclists.org.uk/allroutes/

EveryTrail

EveryTrail screenshot

This is one of my favourites. It is where I posted my Birmingham to London cycle route and it is a really great site with lots of features. I especially like the ability to add photos of routes you add. It also offers good integration with the iPhone. You can export to Google Earth or GPX. Probably the best site for sharing your route with others. www.everytrail.com

Transport for London Journey Planner

Transport for London

The journey planner on the TfL website now has an option to choose to go by bike. Results can vary but none the less you may find this useful for planning your routes. http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk

Bikely

Cycle routes on Bikely

Big list of bike routes submitted by other users. The site can however be a little temperamental, one day it works and one day it doesn’t. A little like the tube really! Exports to GPX and Google Earth. www.bikely.com

London canal route maps

canal route maps on waterscape website

There are plenty of canals you can cycle down in London and the waterscape website helps list some of them. http://www.waterscape.com/things-to-do/cycling

MapMyRide

MapMyRide route website

Very in-your-face advertising which can ruin the experience. None the less there is a good number of London cycle routes to have a look through. It can export to GPX or Google Earth. Also there is an iPhone app to go with it. www.mapmyride.com

TfL cycle guides

tfl cycle routes guides

The TfL website has a number of free maps you can order off them so you can plan your London cycle routes in the traditional tree killing form. www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/

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Image by ankehuber

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14 Responses to Find London cycle routes

  1. Kai Hendry 08/10/2009 at 10:59 am #

    What about http://www.opencyclemap.org/ ?

  2. Andreas 08/10/2009 at 11:20 am #

    I did consider adding but for London purposes all the maps on there were featured on the Camden Cyclists Map. None the less – good suggestion, I use that site occasionally.

  3. Kai Hendry 08/10/2009 at 11:26 am #

    I must say I really hate bike maps atm. I need one place to go and I need it to work on my Android G1.

    I guess I sadly expect Google to do it right.

    I don’t like the idea of manually submitting my bike logs to bikely or mapmyride. I wish they were smart enough to grab my KML logs from my Website. :)

    e.g.
    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=http:%2F%2Fstatic.natalian.org%2F2009-10-04%2Ftracklog.kml

  4. AntS 08/10/2009 at 11:50 am #

    I asked Sustrans about exporting routes – they said they couldn’t because of ‘restrictions placed on us by Ordnance Survey to do with derived data and residual copyright’. Given that Sustrans is charitably/publicly funded, and they provide the routes, this is just wrong. People might like to write to Sustrans about this.

  5. Andreas 08/10/2009 at 12:01 pm #

    I posted up quite a few good bike apps for the iphone but I don’t really know what is available on Android.
    Quite a decent commute you did there!

    @AntS – I have heard Ordnance Survey are quite restrictive tho people have found ways to get around them. Guessing the problem doesn’t lie with Sustrans but with Ordnance Survey.

  6. Richard Fairhurst 08/10/2009 at 12:20 pm #

    Yes, don’t blame Sustrans, blame Ordnance Survey.

    With that in mind, though I see your point about OCM vs Camden Cyclists in terms of on-the-surface functionality, it’s worth mentioning OpenCycleMap/OpenStreetMap anyway.

    The point about OCM/OSM is that users create the data, which can then be freely shared with other cyclists without any of these nasty Ordnance Survey restrictions (or Google restrictions – they’re at least as bad).

    You can then do anything you like with the data. Have a look over at YACF to see how many people have taken it and put it on little handlebar-mounted Garmin GPSs, for example!

  7. Kai Hendry 08/10/2009 at 12:37 pm #

    I don’t need a native app. I just the information really, nicely marked up in KML I guess.

    Cooking up a Web application with Geolocation isn’t that hard and it should work on Android & Iphone now.

    e.g.
    http://geo.webvm.net/

  8. AntS 08/10/2009 at 1:11 pm #

    Re OS data and exporting routes – I’m not sure who is responsible. Is is really the case that Sustrans can’t find a way of making their routes exportable without infringing OS copyright? It’s easy but not always correct to blame OS – they don’t seem to be over-zealous in pursuing prosecutions (see http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/aboutus/foi/questions/2009/0059.html), though of course this doesn’t tell us about the cases that don’t get that far.

  9. Richard Fairhurst 08/10/2009 at 1:15 pm #

    AntS – they are very zealous in pursuing action and I’m not surprised that most people give up before it gets to court. A couple of years ago I did some maps for a heritage organisation who were contacted, out of the blue, by the Ordnance Survey saying “We see you have maps. These are probably traced from our maps. Pay up”. I was delighted to be able to tell them that, yes, they were traced from OS maps – out-of-copyright 1940s ones, that is.

    The Sustrans vector data is clearly OS-derived. OS will not let that be exported without a hefty payment. Believe me, I spend a lot of time on geodata copyright!

    Fortunately OpenCycleMap’s coverage of the Sustrans network is coming on very quickly which will provide a flexibly-licensed alternative.

  10. Helen 16/12/2009 at 12:37 pm #

    http://bikeroutetoaster.com/

  11. George 09/02/2010 at 1:18 pm #

    What I would /really/ like would be to be able to find a route in google maps, and then see its height profile. I know I could take my GPS and find out, but I am WAAAAAY too lazy for that.

  12. Dan 21/03/2010 at 8:36 pm #

    George, try http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/ for seeing the height profile of a route using the Google maps interface.

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