Tower Bridge to Rainham Marshes cycling banner

London Summer Series: Ride 8 - Rainham Marshes

Tower Bridge to Rainham Marshes cycling route map

This summer, the Beeline team has taken on the challenge of completing all of the rides in Phoebe Trimingham's You had me at velo! article for Time Out London (June 20-26 edition). Each Friday we'll be giving you the lowdown on one of the eight great cycle routes she's suggested. 

This week we are wrapping up our series with ride eight - from Tower Bridge eastwards to the Rainham Marshes RSPB nature reserve. The ride itself isn't overly exciting (it goes through docklands and past sewage works) but the reward is some wonderfully peaceful marshland within the M25 that you are welcome to ride your bike through. Pay £5 to the RSPB at the entrance and the paths and boardwalks are yours to roam! 


Leg I: Tower Bridge to Canary Wharf

Cycle paths and street art

Tower Bridge to Canary Wharf graffiti wall

Start the ride at Tower Bridge and head eastwards towards the docklands. Enjoy the calm of the back-streets as you leave the bustle of Tower Hill behind. Keep and eye out for a couple of cool stops - notably the Cable Street Mural and Sir Ian McKellen's The Grapes pub. Pop in for a pint and sneak a peek at Gandalf's staff.

Tower Bridge to Canary Wharf marc selfie

Get on to the river to have the path to yourself. 

Tower Bridge to Canary Wharf canal view

Leg II: Canary Wharf to Rainham Marshes

A roads and more A roads

Once you get past Canary Wharf this route joins the dual carriageway (National Cycle Route 13) and takes you the rest of the way. In Marc's own words, 'there is literally nothing to see in between Canary Wharf and Rainham Marshes'. But Rainham Marshes is very nice, so stick at it! 

Canary Wharf to Rainham Marshes cycling lane

Once you're at Rainham Marshes you can cycle round the outer loop for free, or find the entrance (a little tricky to find) and enter the marshes for miles of paths and boardwalk. There are plenty of cool birds to spot too so check out their website before you go to know what to look out for. 

Canary Wharf to Rainham Marshes view of the marshes

Overall, Marc would not really recommend this ride! Instead...he has a different idea for you. He lives down in Bournemouth and regularly rides from there to Swanage, and then onwards via Corfe Castle to Wareham - a beautiful coastal route and only a couple of hours by train from Waterloo. The perfect weekend adventure! Tune in next week to find out more about this ride.

bournemouth seaside


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