National Bike Week takes place in June every year and to celebrate, Lee Valley Regional Park have pulled together their ‘Top 5 cycling routes’ across the park.
The leisurely rides cross the vibrant green, open spaces found across the regional park which spans London, Essex and Hertfordshire. Specially designed for all ages and abilities, the routes range from five to 12 miles and offer families and cyclists the chance to discover the distinctive wildlife and award winning open spaces of the Lee Valley.
The Golden Circle
The circular ride aptly starts at one of the most iconic cycling venues in the World – Lee Valley VeloPark. From here you’ll travel north through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park before crossing onto the marshes of Hackney, Leyton and Walthamstow. Pedal alongside the beautiful River Lee and take in the scenery and sites along the way including the historically important series of filter beds that were used to purify London’s water in Victorian times and the Waterworks Centre nature reserve which is home to over 500 varieties of plants and one quarter of Britain’s butterfly species.
- Cycling Time: 30 Minutes
- Calories Burned: 200 Calories
- Distance: 5.5 Miles
- Key Landmarks: London 2012 venues, Dame Carol Ann Duffy’s poem “Eton Manor” and the memorial to the Eton Manor old boys who died fighting in both world wars and Walthamstow Marshes, Waterworks Centre and Middlesex Filter Beds.
The Artway Route
Families will enjoy this circular route which sets off from Fishers Green and follows the sculpture trail at River Lee Country Park. Not only are these sculptures great to look at they’re also there to be explored and played on by kids and adults alike. Take a seat on The Giant Chair or imagine you’re exploring the seas in The Viking Ship, all the sculptures are different and just waiting to be discovered!
- Cycling Time: 33 minutes
- Calories Burned: 200 calories
- Distance: 5.5 miles
- Key landmarks: a series of sculptures including Giant Chair and Musicality – a giant xylophone and Lee Valley White Water Centre.
Fishers Green Foray
Cycle around the outer edges of the beautiful 1,000 acre River Lee Country Park and discover the diverse areas that make Lee Valley Regional Park simply unique in the area. Perfect for wildlife lovers, the route passes Lee Valley Park Farms where you can meet the meerkats and dairy cows or why not stop off at Silvermeade on the hunt for the elusive Water Vole that call the area home. One of the longer rides in our collection, this route has lots of stopping points to take a break including the Terrace Bar & Café at Lee Valley White Water Centre where you can enjoy some tea and cake whilst watching dare devils take on the rapids.
- Cycling Time: 1 hour, 12 minutes
- Calories Burned: 430 calories
- Distance: 12 miles
- Key Landmarks: Lee Valley Park Farms, Old Mill and Meadows which is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 and Lee Valley White Water Centre, where Team GB won gold and silver in the canoe doubles (C2) in the London 2012 Canoe Slalom event.
Explosive Pedal Power
This route begins with a bang at Gunpowder Park, where munitions were once tested, before heading to up to the ultra-modern Lee Valley White Water Centre where you might catch Team GB training on the rapids. The return leg follows the River Lee Navigation using the tow path, then cutting through Enfield Island Village linking up with the picturesque nature reserves where you’ll find a whole host of different plant species including the beautiful Bee and Pyramidal Orchid which grow between May and June. This route boasts a true mixture of urban, open space and waterways all in one ride.
- Cycling Time: 30 Minutes
- Calories Burned: 180 Calories
- Distance: 5 Miles
- Key Landmarks: Gunpowder Park, where munitions were tested; Meridian Way with one of Britain’s rarest native tree, the Black Poplar; and Knights Pits, which is prime habitat for dragonfly and birds such as the Sparrowhawk and Nightingale.
The Tale of Two Rivers
The tale of two rivers follows the River Stort and the River Lee Navigations as it takes in RSPB and Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust nature reserves. Cyclists will pass through the picturesque riverside villages of Roydon and Stanstead Abbotts as well as Rye House Gatehouse – one of the first brick built buildings in the country which is rumoured to be haunted by a spirit from the 17th Century, known as the Night Watchman.
- Cycling Time: 54 Minutes
- Calories Burned: 325 Calories
- Distance: 9 Miles
- Key Landmarks: the scenic lakes of Glen Faba and Grade I listed Rye House Gatehouse, which was one of the first brick built buildings in the country.
Maps and mini guides can be downloaded as pdf files and GPX files suitable for navigation systems from visitleevalley.org.uk/bikeweek