Lost Lanes: A beautiful cycling guidebook to South East England

Lost lanes book cover

Jack Thurston of The Bike Show, has created what must be the most beautiful guide to cycling in South East England. The Lost Lanes book has been sat in my inbox, awaiting review for far too long, but with sunnier days ahead of us, I thought it was time to bring it to everyone’s attention.

The book contains 36 rides, each one brought to life in passionate detail. From the history of the area, to the geography and the feeling of actually been out there on your bike – it’s all enough to get you reaching for your bike.

Inside each route you’ll find all the basics such as the distance, the terrain to expect and the difficulty. Following the rides is easy thanks to the GPS coordinates that you can download. These can then be downloaded on to your iPhone (in to an app such as Cyclemeter), Android or a Garmin GPS.

Whilst you won’t find turn by turn directions inside the book, you will find them through the links included in the book. This will also show you the view on a detailed OS Map and an Open Streets Map. The turn by turn directions can be printed out so that you can attach them to your handlebars, if that’s your preferred form of navigation.

This truly is the future of cycling guidebooks and it’s great to see the publisher embracing it.

London route from Lost Lanes

Let’s take a closer look at the three London routes included in the guidebook.

  • The Eastern Extension route is described as: “Twenty almost traffic-free miles around the rapidly changing, intensely urban east London, with some breathtaking views along the way”. The route takes you from Victoria Park, all the way along the canals as far as London City Airport and across the Ferry to Woolwich and back again, past Greenwich Park. In the guidebook you’ll hear the interesting story of how Jack put this route together, you’ll read about Victorian history and you’ll spot the filming location for Batman Begins.
  • The Garden City route is described as: “Joining the dots between central London’s amazing diversity of gardens, parks and green spaces”. This 14 mile route starts in Lambeth and takes you past St James Park, Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and then back down towards Soho. Along the route you’ll discover the interesting history of London’s parks.
  • The Wimbledon to Weybridge route is described as: “Parks and the Thames Path make for a scenic, mostly traffic-free escape route from south-west London into Surrey”. This a nice 19 mile route that starts in Wimbledon, takes you through Richmond Park and out in to Weybridge. You also get a brief introduction to the history of the area in the ride description.

All the rides in the book include the all important pub and cafe stops – which is why we really go on these long bike rides isn’t it?

Overall, I’m really impressed with the Lost Lanes guidebook and I’d thoroughly recommend it for cyclists looking for interesting bike rides and great days out.

You can take a look inside the book using the ISSUU preview. Alternatively, grab your copy from Amazon (£11.39) or your book shop of choice.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

11 Responses to Lost Lanes: A beautiful cycling guidebook to South East England

  1. Mik 16/07/2013 at 2:39 pm #

    We bought this on the strength of a review and it really is a very pretty, readable book. Which is a bit of a first compared to our other cycling guides.

    The online support for the routes is very useful and we’ve found ourselves checking them out a number of times while working out what to do for the weekend. Once we’ve gone techie and added a GPS /GPS app to our options it’ll be even more useful.

    We have ridden most of the Appledore route and it was pretty but we’re not sure our take on ‘hills’ is the same as the authors (I guess that goes for any book of suggested routes though). I have to say the route didn’t feel as laid back as the pictures inferred. A couple of the other routes have also acted as inspiration for us.

    The extra information about group organised rides was interesting, and off of the back of it we’ve booked on to the Foulness Island ride in September.

    All in all a very nice book, a genuine good read and handy to have around if you’re a leisure cyclist.

  2. Peter 17/07/2013 at 11:54 am #

    I have also bought this book and really like it. I think it is really well written and the pictures are lovely too. Makes you want to get out there! Also, the rides are designed to start/end at railway stations so you don’t have to worry about the practicalities of how you get to the start lane.

    One thing to note, it is is not designed to be taken with you on the rides, but rather to give you an idea of what the ride is like (and some very helpful tips on where to eat and drink!), then you can use the the online resources to plan your ride.

    If you would prefer not to use amazon you can buy it directly here:


  3. Andrew 19/07/2013 at 10:52 am #

    The preview of the book looks good, but the web links to the rides are broken, meaning you can’t download the GPS data to follow.

    • Jack Thurston 28/07/2013 at 1:00 pm #

      Hi Andrew
      The web links in the book do work – each one has been tested. It may be that you’re typing them in wrongly to your web browser. Here’s one from the preview:
      Which one are you having trouble with?

  4. Kevin 19/07/2013 at 11:13 am #

    Bought the book based on the preview and the kind of longer rides offered in interesting parts of the country. Particularly liked the focus on the rides in and around the London area and nearby counties for day trips. Beautifully presented, can’t wait to plan the rides for my August break. Using the Isle of Wight ride already for the 2 weeks we are there.
    Glad to be able to buy direct from author. Book arrived the next day first class service!

  5. Carlos 12/10/2013 at 4:07 pm #

    It’s a beautiful book with well thought routes, nice pictures and descriptions.

    Jack Thurston really understands how to make a guide book in the era of apps and the web. This is a big and too beautiful book for a guide, you certainly don’t want to carry it with you on your ride but the author knows that! You can download the turn by turn instructions and gpx files for whatever app/gadget you use when you’re out.

    All routes can be reached by public transport which is another well thought thing. Many cyclists don’t have cars so you don’t have to worry about that.

    This book is about telling you about these nice rides. It really makes you wish you want to be out on your bike riding.

  6. Denise 18/08/2014 at 2:00 pm #

    Please tell an idiot how to download the gps routes. I have put in thebikeshow.net/CW20 and no route comes up.

  7. Peter 18/08/2014 at 2:04 pm #

    Hi Denise

    I think you have a typo – in your address. Try:


  8. Liset 21/08/2014 at 8:42 am #

    We are 2 bikers from the Netherlands.
    Bought the book for a little summer bike ride.
    Liked the book a lot, it gave us a lot of pre-fun
    We had to use a paper print version. Sorry we have no gps in an other country.
    So before we started from our campground in Hoath (campground in the book was fully booked in august) to do a part of crab and winkle. We were a bit worried we could take the words Lost Lanes literally.

    The good news was we found the right road but lost it after 20 minutes.
    But here comes the good news. …………………. There are so much Lost Lanes there we even didn’t notice till we ended on a way too crowded road. By that time it was the right moment to turn around and look for a pub to have some lunch.

    Of course we have more difficulties as GB bikers cause we bike on a different roadside. We come from a place were cars are very familiar with bikes on the road. But had now idea how that was in GB.
    What tripped us up the most was understanding the scale of the paper version.
    Think next time we will do better.
    And yes we are going to try it again. Cause it was a lot of fun.

  9. Steve 22/03/2016 at 11:09 am #

    Lovely book; enticing routes, However, I cannot access any of the links to individual routes, Any polite suggestions?

  10. Hugh Abbott 18/06/2016 at 9:35 am #

    I looooved the east london route – beautiful day out !

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