Perfect for a weekend-escape from London, why not explore South East London by heading from Greenwich to Gravesend? Follow National Cycle Route 1 on this peaceful bike ride. The path isn't overly popular with other cyclists or walkers either, meaning it’s ideal for beginners and experienced adventurers alike. You could even keep going towards the coast if you feel it calling you!
Leg I: Greenwich to Woolwich
A journey through time (quite literally)
This route starts in glorious Greenwich - a beautiful, leafy area in South-East London that marks the place where the western and eastern hemispheres meet. If you have never explored Greenwich, be sure to arrive there for the beginning of your ride with some time for a look around. Park your bike near Greenwich Park and head up the hill - you will be rewarded with some wonderful views as you look back across London towards the Royal Maritime Museum and Canary Wharf. If you fancy yourself as a time-traveler head in to the Royal Observatory to straddle the world's hemispheres...or avoid the ticket price and take a good enough peek and photo from over the fence.
Sightseeing complete, set off on your ride from the Cutty Sark and follow the river! That's basically all there is to it. If you are a nature lover, stop by at the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park. No bikes are allowed but you can walk around the outer boardwalk for free.
Leg II: Woolwich to Erith
Escape the city
As you head towards the suburbs, this ride starts to feel quite industrial. You might have to hold your nose because you will pass a sewage works or two! But for all of the industrial activity, there is also a lot of beauty. Take a tub (again) to fill with blackberries, or gorge yourself on your breaks.
Enjoy the views, stop at the Anchor & Hope for a pint in their beer garden, and watch the sailboats. This section is so calm that it is possible to forget that you are on the doorstep of a huge metropolis.
Leg III: Erith to Gravesend
You've (almost) made it!
Last time the Beeline time did this ride, they stopped at Erith and called it a day. Blame all the hard work we do... If you've got more perseverance than us, however, you can continue onto Gravesend from Erith. It will take you on the same riverside path for a while before you join the A2026 and A296 for the last leg into Gravesend.
If the sea calls you, head over the river on the Gravesend-Tilbury ferry and continue eastwards towards the beaches of Canvey Island and Southend-on-Sea. Treat yourself to an ice cream, or two…
If you take on this cycle, let us know, we'd love to hear about your experience. Get in touch at email@example.com or on social media with @ridebeeline #ridebeeline.
Thanks to Jordan Brierley on Unsplash for the epic Cutty Sark photo!