Cycling from central London to Heathrow?

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  • Cycling from central London to Heathrow?
  • Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    Is there a good route to cycle from central London (Liverpool St) to Heathrow?

    I’ll have about 3 hours to do it in (including cake stops). There’s a tantalizing hint that you can go along the Grand Union canal, but precious little information that I can find beyond that.

    Thanks.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    It’s less than 20 miles, can’t see you needing cake stops or 3 hours!

    No idea on route though!

    atlaz
    Member

    The canal will take you out to Hayes/West Drayton so it’s just a question of finding the right place to turn off. I’d get off the canal around Hayes then cut south. Flat ground for 20 or so miles, definitely no NEED for cake or 3 hours.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    you could get on the canal at brentford and keep on it till west drayton

    its not the most direct route (that’d be straight down the A4)

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    have a look at this if you have a smart phone (think there’s an android version too).

    http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/bike-hub-cycle-journey-planner/id391782662?mt=8

    london_lady
    Member

    You could ride along the Grand Union from Paddington to Hayes which is about 14 miles – I think that it is covered by the sustrans London route 6 . From Hayes you could pick up the cycle path that runs alongside the River Crane which takes you into Hatton Cross. From there you take any of the Heathrow cycle routes into the terminal that you want – the cycle route map for Heathrow is on the commute heathrow website.
    Or you could ride out towards kew and Richmond along the Thames and pick up the river crane cycle path there and ride into Heathrow that way.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    The canal really does seem to go a long way round.

    There is a cycle path down the A4 from M4 junction 1.

    I have no idea about central london but the A315 is cyclable but not great fun esp round the hammer smith flyover/round about.

    I just suggest ploughing straight over the pedestrian area there.

    Possibly you could do St James park past buckingham palace and along hyde park before that.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    yeah you could take the thames path does look a little more direct than the canal, esp if you take the cycle path south of the Barnes wetland centre and cut out that loop.

    Again I would suggest getting off at Brentford and just taking the cycle path along the A4 from there as its very direct.

    This is pretty much my old commute so here goes:

    Two one of two options to get to a point between Southall and Hayes..

    a) Take the Thames path to Kew Bridge, cross over to the North side of the River and take the road running alongside the river until you get into Brentford. Then onto the grand union and keep pedalling ’till you get to the junction with the Paddington Arm of the canal.

    b) Somewhere around little venice, Get on the Paddington arm of the grand union and head west ’till you join the main stretch of the canal.

    From here the most direct route for Terminals 1,2 & 3 is probably to take cycle path from the Hayes by pass to the Bath Road, then along the Bath road until you get the chance to get onto the perimeter road. For T4 get to the Bath Road as above but carry on along the Parkway until you reach Hatton Cross then follow the perimeter around to T4. T5 is probably easier to carry on the canal to west Drayton, couple of back roads will take you to ‘wise lane’ where you can pick up an off road route through some park/common land until you get to Longford where you can pick up the Bath Road heading East to the terminal building.

    [edit]

    The canal does appear to go a long way round but it is actually pretty quick when compared to the local cycle paths which have to cross a lot of junctions and are very stop/start. Of course if you’re just in a hurry then get on the A4.

    If it were me I’d go the Thames / Brentford route. Bit better surfaced and a little more interesting.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    Thanks, very useful.

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    Piccadilly line.

    hestonlad
    Member

    Canal will get you there – pretty but slow (depending on how many walkers/anglers are occupying the towpath).

    Alternatively you might like to consider the road route following the Roman road from London to Bath – say the reverse of

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Provisional-Sipson-to-Hyde-Park-WNBR-2010-route

    OK off-road cycle track most of the way along A4 ( 2 km to 12.5 km on map)

    useful chunks of bus lane between 15.5 km and 20 km.

    Hammersmith gyratory can be intimidating on road if you haven’t done it before (map is based on going east – to come west you would use the west-bound one way street in King Street rather than the diversion to the north,shown on the map,Glenthorne Road)

    can enter Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park at 21,5km

    Green Park, Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Trafalgar Square, The Strand,
    Fleet Street, St. Pauls, Bank give you the rest of the sightseeing bits to get you to Liverpool Street.

    rwc03
    Member

    The canal path is closed at the moment around Ealing hospital, so you’ll have to either cross over at a lock and skip through the fields or go on the road for a bit. The a4 is OK just boring and the cycle path on the into London side is a bit crap as it’s half on the pavement.

    GJP
    Member

    You could just cycle all down the river to Staines and then head to LHR, rather than leaving the river at Brentford. You could then have coffee and cake at Hampton Court Bridge, overlooking the Palace.

    You may have your work cut out to do it 3 hours though? I reckon it is 1 hour from Putney to Kingston and about an hour from Kingston to Staines. So you have the Liverpool St to Putney, and coffee and Staines to LHR to do in a hour.

    Premier Icon GDRS
    Subscriber

    Are you doing this with any luggage / panniers / trailer……

    If so the canal does have some annoying gates / barriers to stop motorbikes – which might be a bit irritating if you are laden.

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
    Subscriber

    So how many would this as a commute?

    I used to do the commute from uxbridge – paddington along the grand union / Thames most days during the summer, typically it would take about 90 minutes. During the winter I’d normally take a more direct road route.

    rootes1
    Member

    1hr from putney to Kingston!

    GJP
    Member

    rootes1 – Member
    1hr from putney to Kingston!

    Is this because you think it takes longer or less, and not skipping out the big loop around hammersmith??

    rootes1
    Member

    rootes1 – Member
    1hr from putney to Kingston!

    Is this because you think it takes longer or less, and not skipping out the big loop around hammersmith??

    Hi,

    Because the route makes a massive difference:

    Offroad via tow/river path:
    http://app.strava.com/rides/5316204#101363677 – 51mins

    Road cutting loops:
    http://app.strava.com/rides/3221095#101367332 – 24mins

    If you were pushed for time def not take the tow path!

    But the river route is nice – though can also be quite muddy in places and obviously less traffic..

    shame they don’t put a better surface down in places..

    also the non river route does take you though richmond park which is a nice place

    hs125
    Member

    Assuming you come out of London along the Grand Union Canal, and want to cut down to the Airport avoiding as much traffic as you can, I’d recommend leaving the tow path at Horton Bridge Road. Heading south on Kingston Lane and Sipson Road takes you through Sipson Village and straight(ish) down to the East Ramp and into the small bore tunnel to Terminals 1 & 3.
    The route is all a signposted cycle route either on or next to the road. A subway takes you under the M4. For some reason this route is not shown on the Heathrow website, (maybe because BAA want to bulldoze the whole area for runway 3 and don’t want to admit that it exists?) but I would rather ride this than the paths beside the very busy A312.
    You can take bikes on the Heathrow Express or Connect between terminals for free.
    One last point, in the last week some of the barriers on the tow path in West London have been removed. That is taken away completely, not just vandals ripping the gates off.

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