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London to Cambridge

Swap the Piccadilly line for a for punt with this 60 mile ride from the capital to one of the world's oldest seats of learning. The largely gentle undulation of this route makes it great for most bikes - even a single speed will get you there alright. A great trip for a Saturday or Sunday. 

Leg I: Lee Valley

Set off from Stratford and get in to the swing of things with a meander along the Lee River to Ware. Warm up your legs with 19 miles of flat path. Get started early before the path fills up with pedestrians, and keep your eyes peeled for some beautiful birds as you pass through RSPB's Rye Meads site. 

 

Leg II: Essex and Hertfordshire villages

Once you've made it beyond the M25, follow the country lanes through the villages. If you're a Jamie Oliver fan, plan to stop for lunch in Clavering - a tiny Essex village which happens to be home to Jamie Oliver's parents' pub. The Cricketers serves delicious food (of course) and makes for a great pitstop. 

If you're looking for a lighter lunch,  Bicicletta Coffee con Velo also makes a super stopping point. The medieval market town of Saffron Walden is home to this cycling cafe, and their coffee is roasted in nearby Cambridge. They also cook up a storm at breakfast, lunch, and snack times. Pay them a visit!

 

Leg III: Arrival in Cambridge

Aim to arrive in Cambridge by the middle of the afternoon if you want to do some exploring - punting and exploring the colleges are both good options but generally close at dusk. 

If you're after another bite to eat, try The Old Bicycle Shop. Howes Cycles operated on this site for 173 years until 2013. Rumour has it that it was both the oldest bike shop in the country and also where Charles Darwin bought a bicycle way back when. Nowadays they serve up fantastic food in a quirky bike-themed restaurant. 

If your legs are so tired that you would rather throw your bike into the Cam than look at bicycle art, head to The Cambridge Brew House for a mouth-watering burger and a pint of micro-brewed bliss. 

Head to Cambridge stations for regular hour-long trains back into London's King's Cross. 

 

 

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