Best cycle routes in central London | St James's London


Best cycle routes in central London

Pedal your way through central London and see the sights with these top bike routes.

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Take your plans up a gear with our favourite cycle routes

Hit the saddle and seek out scenic trails taking in key landmarks, quiet parks and hidden gems with these handy cycling routes through St James’s.

Cycle route 1: Royal London landmarks

Discover centuries of history by spotting royal palaces and landmarks on this royal route through central London.

Kensington Palace

Pick up a bike at the Vicarage Gate, Kensington or Kensington Church Street docking stations to explore Kensington Palace, the childhood home of Queen Victoria, a few streets away.

Apsley House and Wellington Arch

From here, make your way through Kensington Gardens along Cycleway C, to Hyde Park and on to Apsley House, the Georgian home of the first Duke of Wellington, and imposing Wellington Arch which celebrates the Duke’s victory at Waterloo.

Buckingham Palace

Follow the signs for Cycleway C3 along Constitution Hill – which has been the setting for many royal parades – and you’ll soon arrive at the gates of Buckingham Palace, the official London home of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

St James’s Palace

From there, head along The Mall (Cycle Superhighway CS) and turn left at Marlborough Road to take a short detour to St James’s Palace, which was built by Henry VIII.

By now, you’ll have worked up a thirst, so dock at nearby St James’s Square and refuel at one of the neighbourhood’s many cafes.

St James’s Park

Once you’ve soaked up some history (or had a revitalising cuppa), cut back down Marlborough Road to The Malland venture east using the Cycle Superhighway (CS) to loop around pretty St James’s Park. If you’re keen to stop off, the nearest docking point is Storey’s Gate, Westminster.

Horse Guards Parade

Circle northwards on Cycle Superhighway (CS) to Horse Guards Parade, home to the monarch’s Trooping the Colour birthday display, before continuing south and picking up the Cycleway C3 to Parliament Square.

Palace of Westminster

You’ll now visit your last palace of the day, The Palace of Westminster (more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament) iDock at Abingdon Green to take a closer look at the world-famous landmark.

Cycle route 2: Almost traffic-free cycle route

Take a leisurely ride by following designated cycleways, leafy parks and quieter side roads.

Hyde Park

Pick up your bike at the Bayswater Road docking station (next to Lancaster Gate Tube station) and head straight into Hyde Park, which has various designated routes and cycle lanes. Head along West Carriage Drive, take a left along Serpentine Road and follow along the lake shore to Apsley Gate. From here, peddle north along the east side of Hyde Park (using the designated Quietway (Q) ) and cross Park Lane at Brook Gate, where you can spot the Animals at War Memorial.

Quiet streets in Mayfair on to Piccadilly

Once on to Upper Brook Street, it’s time to explore some of Mayfair’s quietest backstreets, which are full of elegant buildings and luxury hotels. Skirt the north and east sides of Grosvenor Square, along Carlos Place and Mount Street to historic Berkeley Square, before heading south to Piccadilly – home to the likes of Fortnum & Mason and Europe’s largest bookshop Waterstone’s Piccadilly.

Either dock at Green Park Station, or continue a few blocks east along Piccadilly, before turning right onto St James’s Street, left at Pall Mall, and on to St James’s Square. This leaves you free to explore historic St James’s. Discover artisan wares at its many shops, feast at eclectic restaurants, enjoy a drink or two at traditional pubs, or see a show... there are endless ways to reward yourself.

Cycle route 3: Get your culture fix

Take in some culture with stop-offs on this cycle route combining some of London’s most famous art galleries, theatres and eclectic neighbourhoods.

Somerset House

Before choosing a bike, venture into Somerset House’s eye-catching courtyard and marvel at world-famous works by Van Gogh, Manet and more at The Courtauld Art Gallery.

Covent Garden

Cross The Strand to Covent Garden – home to The Royal Opera House and a Piazza where opera singers and street performers put on free shows.

Follow Floral Street west, take a right onto Garrick Street and continue along Cranbourne Street. From here, cross Charing Cross Road to Little Newport Street.

Chinatown and Soho

You’re now in Chinatown, a hub of Asian restaurants, supermarkets and bakeries. Film fans may want to head to Leicester Square, which hosts premieres at its numerous cinemas.

Venture north through Chinatown, cross Shaftesbury Avenue, and you’ll find yourself in Soho. One of London’s most vibrant areas, it’s also a focal point of the city’s LGBTQ+ community.

St James’s art galleries

Ride towards Piccadilly Circus, before a left down Great Windmill Street and Haymarket, and then right onto Charles II Street. Dock you bike here to explore St James’s Market which is full of upscale modern restaurants.

It’s then just a short walk to the many small galleries hidden within St James’s – these are great places for exhibitions and collections from lesser-known and emerging talents.

Cross Piccadilly to the Royal Academy of Arts for some of the biggest names in art.


Due to the many theatres clustered around London’s West End, the area has been termed “Theatreland” – pop in to His Majesty’s Theatre, which hosts matinee and evening performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much-loved musical Phantom of the Opera, or Theatre Royal Haymarket for a changing line-up of shows.

Where to find Santander Cycle docking points in St James’s

If you don’t have your own bike, there are plenty of places to pick up or drop off a Santander Cycle in and around St James’s – which also makes it easy to explore the neighbourhood if you wish to stop off.

Waterloo Place, St James’s Square and Charles II Street docking stations will place you at the heart of St James’s; while other nearby options include Pall Mall East, Panton Street, St Martin’s Street and Green Park Station. Find more docking stations in the area.

Discover more top tips for cycling in central London or check out these serene spaces in the neighbourhood. If you’d rather swap two wheels for two feet, check out these walking trails through the St James's.