Next in our series of scenic cycle rides is the lovely Wandle Trail in South West London.
We rode a 7 mile section of this route between Earlsfield and Hackbridge. There are train stations at each end so it’s easy to reach with your bike if you’re coming from somewhere else. The whole trail is 12 miles if you’re feeling energetic!
Crossing a number of green spaces, the Wandle Trail follows the twists and turns of the pretty river Wandle, taking in over ten parks, wetlands, and a nature reserve. Whether you want to practice on your bike in peaceful surroundings, or blow away the cobwebs, this is the perfect place to retreat from the city.
Look out for The Art Trail – it features numbered gateways, viewing platforms and numbered bridges – each individually designed – and unique way-markers. The hand-carved wooden benches on route make a perfect place to stop off and admire the view.
Merton Abbey Mills was once home to the famous Arthur Liberty printing works and has a working waterwheel. It now hosts restaurants, cafes, bars and shops, music events and a weekend market.
Just before the half way point is Deen City Farm. If you’re there at lunchtime you can help feed the pigs! And if you’re hungry, the friendly café serves delicious home-made food.
Morden Hall Park, a beautiful former deer park, is the last stop on the ride and is one of the few remaining estates that used to line the River Wandle during its industrial heyday.
At the end of the park, turn right onto the crossing and onto Cycle Route 20. Look out for this bridge:
Follow the sign to Hackbridge along the canal for ten minutes and at the end turn left onto Hackbridge road. This takes you straight to the step-free Hackbridge station and back to London.
Or if you’re returning back via Earlsfield, you could finish up at Bean and Hop, a bike-friendly café with plenty of bike racks.
About the Wandle Trail
The Wandle Trail passes through the boroughs of Croydon, Sutton and Merton, and joins the Thames at Wandsworth. The river Wandle lining the trail is famous for its brown trout and thrives with chub, roach and perch. It’s a brilliant place to spot newts, frogs and herons.
If you’re coming by train, you can start the ride at Earlsfield. National Rail’s planner lets you know where you can take your bike on the train. The route is flat and mainly traffic-free, covering quiet roads with a few crossings over main roads.
At Earlsfield take a left out of the station and look for the sign for Cycle Route 20 next to Barclays. From there it’s a short cycle through quiet back streets to the start.
More cycling routes