Take on this classic London route to the renowned Box Hill, passing Richmond Park and Hampton Court Palace along the way. This ride makes a perfect weekend ride and it's definitely worth getting up early to make the most of quieter roads. Why not make a day of it? It’s easy to plan a few stops as there are plenty of places to stop for light bites and fun activities along the way!
Leg I: Wandsworth to Richmond Park
Escape the city
The official Time Out version of this ride starts at Westminster Bridge, but we started in Wandsworth. If you are starting the ride at Westminster Bridge, we would recommend hopping on the Cycle Superhighway down Millbank and the Chelsea Embankment, heading south of the river at Albert Bridge, into Wandsworth, and then working your way westwards across Wimbledon Common to Richmond Park. Keep an eye out for The Wombles...
Wandsworth marks a noticeable change from the hustle and bustle of the city and if you arrive early at Richmond Park, you might catch a quieter moment with the deer.
Leg II: Richmond Park to Hampton Court Palace
Kingston's Ancient Market and beyond
Cycle through the beautiful Richmond Park to Hampton Court Palace. You'll cycle through Kingston. Last time we did this route (pre, ahem, coronavirus) we popped by the Ancient Market. It had everything from Nature's Goodness' fresh juice to Swine & Dine's pulled pork baps and Mama Sephlyn's Caribbean cuisine. The perfect place to stop for a bit of mid-ride fuel. Yum!
In ‘normal times’, Hampton Court Palace harvest around 270kg of dessert grapes and sell them for the first three weeks of September. Sounds pretty cool...homemade London wine, anyone?
Although it’s currently closed as of August 2020, the Maze is a pretty impressive feature of Hampton Court Palace. It is believed to have been built by William III back around 1700 and apparently takes the average person 20 minutes to get to the middle.
Leg III: Hampton Court to Box Hill
Into the Surrey Hills
Continue onwards through Esher and Oxshott to the Surrey Hills.
If you're riding down the High Street in Esher, make a pit stop at Giro for some food or drinks, or a shop. This super bike friendly cafe and shop can get you sorted with anything from a breakfast burrito to sandwiches and a new pair of very snazzy Handlebar Mustache socks! Definitely a good excuse for a few minutes' break from the saddle. Make sure you arrive there before it closes at 3pm!
Get back on your bike for the last push through the beautiful Surrey Hills and dream of a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the National Trust café top of Box Hill. Take in the view (or have a quick kip) up there and then head back down to the Box Hill and Westhumble station and jump on a train back into town.
Have you decided to take on this ride? Please let us know how you got on by sending your photos and story to email@example.com or get in touch on social media with @ridebeeline #ridebeeline.
Thanks to Ralph Hutter on Unsplash for the gorgeous Hampton Court Palace feature image.