April 15, 2009


For Scandanavians and other Europeans ferry is the best way to enter England on a bicycle. Some like to travel light with minimal weight. Others fully laden with a tent are the ones who may have planned. Most are somewhere in between. For foreigners wanting to tour England by bicycle from The Far East, Near East, North and South America, India and China, London airports are the best entry ports. Carry your bicycle in a cycle bag in the aircraft hold. Remember no bicycles are allowed on London Underground. On commuter trains in the ‘rush hour’ morning and evening there are restrictions. Even then there are limited places for cycle carriage as at Waterloo railway station. Former British Rail is now a series of private companies with different rules about cycle carriage. South West Trains out of Waterloo and Great Western out of Paddington is OK. Southern Trains and Virgin are hostile to cycists. Use this challenge to cycle into London from Heathrow airport via the River Thames or Grand Union Canal using maps depending on time of day and hotel bookings. Be aware you will see and learn more this way. Wealthier travellers may want to buy a new bicycle in London. Remember space in London is the most expensive commodity and storage facilities are rare or ad hoc like the conference room or a cleaners cupboard. Gatwick has train links to Stanstead Airport, London Victoria and Brighton via Thameslink. Small hotels in Brighton have no room for cycles so lock to fence outside. In London be very careful with overtaking on the inside of lorries or other heavy goods vehicles: Do not do it! Hotels round Victoria are also often small. From Luton Airport alight for London at West Hampstead. Travel to the Midlands from Luton. From Stanstead travel to Cambridge, or London Liverpool. Because London railway stations were built in the Victorian era at the edge of the then London, transfer is overground by cycling on roads. (Apart from Thameslink line between King’s Lynn and Brighton.) There are many cycle shops in London especially Westminster, Camden and Covent Garden. Quick repairs are difficult so offer more money.


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