There's no better way to take in London's landmarks than on a bike, and when it comes to the question of where to start we are a little biased, but wholly justified...
Making the most of good weather is something of a national sport in England, and when the sun shines in London, you'll find those in the know in the parks and on the riverbanks, where world-famous landmarks provide the backdrop to picnics, outdoor drinks and bike rides. Corinthia London just happens to be perfectly located for an open-air tour, and with Brompton Bikes available to borrow from the concierge desk, there's nothing stopping you packing a picnic, mapping a wishlist of landmarks and getting outdoors.
The Royal Route
Starting at Corinthia London, this route takes you to Trafalgar Square, up The Mall, past Buckingham Palace and to Hyde Park.
Though the traffic can seem daunting around Trafalgar Square, seeing the famous lions and Nelson’s Column up close will make the very short trip worth it, before you can speed up along The Mall. Riding under Admiralty Arch, you’ll want to glance to your left in case the changing of the guards is happening – 11am Monday – Saturday and 10am on Sundays. And if you have some extra time, a short detour here will take you to Churchill’s War Rooms.
Continue up The Mall, however, and you’ll recognise the most famous building in London coming into view. To your right will be Clarence House, the official home of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cambridge, but as you approach Buckingham Palace see if you can spot the flag atop the roof, if it’s the Union Flag then unfortunately the Queen isn’t in residence, but if the Royal Standard is flying (that’s the one with the harp and lions, representing the kingdoms both domestic and overseas) then the Queen herself is staying.
Continue to the right of the palace and enter Hyde Park, here is where we’ll leave it up to you as to whether a quick rest (and an ice cream) is in order, but if you have the energy we recommend continuing to the Serpentine lake, where you can hire a pedal boat, or simply watch the world go by.
Take in the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, Somerset House and plenty of riverside views on this 16-minute route.
Corinthia London is just steps from the River Thames, and both north and south banks are just made for cycling. This route is quick but absolutely packed with landmarks, which is immediately obvious from our starting point where you can see Waterloo Bridge, the London Eye and Festival Hall. But we’re not going there just yet… cycle East from Corinthia along the river and you’ll soon hit Somerset House, which is worth stopping into for the seasonal exhibitions and pop-up restaurants and bars. If you’re braving this route in winter, you’ll find ice skating too.
Continue on to Southwark Bridge and this is where we recommend you cross, as you’ll see London Bridge, HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge from your vantage point. Once across the river, walk your bike round the Golden Hind and down Clink Street (site of the historic prison and origin of the term “in the clink”) before continuing back towards Corinthia London past Shakespeare’s Globe. If you’re taking a play in the round this is where we recommend you stay, but you can continue on to the Tate Modern if the Rothko Rooms are more your thing.
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