London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

Regent's Park, London

London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

This 19km (12 mile) circular cycle route will take you from St Paul’s Cathedral through hip and happening Hoxton, along the peaceful Regent’s Canal past Camden and Primrose Hill, through the beautiful Regent’s Park, past Covent Garden and along the Thames, and all along mostly quiet cycle paths and roads. There are plenty of delightful places to stop, rest, eat, drink and shop along the way!

Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House

Our London bike routes have been designed so you can use the Santander Bike Hire scheme – click here for more details. Our routes are all within the Bike Dock areas and we suggest sections of route which will take you only 20 minutes or so to complete, so you can dock your bike comfortably within the 30 minutes (usually). Then spend time seeing the area around that bike dock station, before taking another bike out for another 20 minute ride along our Walk Run Cycle route. All routes are circular so you can start/stop where you wish, but we make suggestions on route sections based on our route start/stop points. Our static maps below show bike dock station locations as red stars.

We start this cycle route at the bike dock station at the corner of Knightrider Street and Godliman Street just South of St Paul’s Cathedral (Map Point 1).

Click here to populate part 1 of the route on Google Maps
Click here to populate part 2 of the route in Google Maps
Part 1 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park starting South of St Paul's Cathedral

Part 1 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

St Paul’s Cathedral – For more than 1,400 years, a Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood at the highest point in the City. The present Cathedral, the masterpiece of Britain’s most famous architect Sir Christopher Wren, is at least the fourth to have stood on the site. It was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London, and services began in 1697. This was the first Cathedral to be built after the English Reformation in the sixteenth-century, when Henry VIII removed the Church of England from the jurisdiction of the Pope and the Crown took control of the life of the church. It is well worth a visit.

St Paul's Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral

Cycle up Godliman Street towards St Paul’s Cathedral and turn right onto the main road St Paul’s Churchyard / Cannon Street. Turn right onto this road (if busy there is a pedestrian crossing you can use along to your right). Turn left at the first traffic lights at the back of St Paul’s into New Change then first right into the pedestrian / cycle lane of Watling Street. Continue ahead onto the road traffic section of Watling Street, cross straight ahead over Bread Street and again over Bow Lane until you reach the main road then turn immediate left into Queen Street, part of Cycle Quiet Route 11. Cycle up Queen Street and at the traffic lights with the main road Cheapside go straight ahead into King Street (also Quiet Route 11). Continue up King Street with the view of the impressive Guildhall building ahead of you. ​



Guildhall (never “the” Guildhall!) is Grade 1 listed, used as a townhall for centuries and still the ceremonial centre for the City of London. In Roman times, the largest amphitheatre in Britannia stood on the same site (you can see the outline marked in black in the paving in the courtyard where you are now standing). The first documented mention of London Guildhall dates back to 1128, though the current building was started in 1411. If you are lucky enough to know a member of Guildhall, then accompany them to a drink in the members bar – as drinks are heavily subsidised through a fund originally setup in the 15th Century!

At the end of King Street turn left into Gresham Street then second right into Wood Street (following signs for Quiet Route 11). Follow Wood Street all the way until it bends round to the right into Fore Street just in front of one of the Barbican concrete buildings (Map Point 2).​

The Barbican Redevelopment Scheme was a project of staggering scale and complexity. It took nearly three decades to design and build; involved the design of over 2,000 flats, two schools and an arts centre; it required the realignment of an Underground line and the excavation of 190,000 m³ of soil and at its peak employed a thousand workers. The Barbican Estate was designed by Chamberlin, Powell & Bon, now considered one of the most important modernist architectural firms in post-war England. The Barbican’s distinctive tooled-concrete finish is the result of an extremely labour-intensive technique. After the concrete had dried for at least 21 days, workers used handheld pick-hammers or wider bush-hammers to tool the surface and expose the coarse granite aggregate. It required great precision: pick-hammering involved pitting the surface to an average depth of 1.25 cm and bush-hammering to no more than 0.6 cm deep. The residential blocks alone necessitated over 200,000 m² of concrete to be tooled. At the time of their completion, the Barbican towers were the tallest residential towers in Europe.

London bus

London bus

Follow Wood Street round to the right onto Fore Street then left onto Moor Lane (still Quiet Route 11). Go up Moor Lane, straight ahead over the first mini-roundabout. At the second mini-roundabout turn right onto Ropemaker Street (Quiet Route 11 continues straight ahead here). At the traffic lights with the main road A501 Moorgate, continue straight ahead into South Place. Take the first left into Dominion Street then at the end turn right into Lackington Street. At the end turn left onto Wilson Street. At the first traffic lights we will continue straight ahead into Wilson Street which is Cycle Superhighway 1 (CS1) but if you wish to see Shoreditch turn right into Sun Street and follow the directions in our Shoreditch Cycle.

Part 2 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park up Cycle Superhighway 1

Part 2 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

Continue up Wilson Street CS1 and at the crossroads with Worship Street cross straight ahead to continue into Paul Street (still CS1). As you enter a more open area where you cross over Leonard Street, you may with to drop your bike off at the bike dock station just to the left along Leonard Street, wait 5 minutes, then re-hire for the next section.

Carry on straight ahead for some distance up Paul Street until the corner where the road bends sharply round to the left to turn into Tabernacle Street just before Old Street A5201 and by an old monument/column statue (Map Point 3).

Don’t go left here but follow CS1 to the right across the pedestrianised section and at the traffic lights with Great Eastern Street A1202 cross straight over and again follow the cycle route straight over the next traffic lights over Old Street A5201. Follow the cycle route straight ahead over the pavement, then curving slightly right then left to head into the quieter Pitfield Street.

Turn right into the cobbled Coronet Street by The Hop Pole. Follow this to the right in front of the building at the end, then first left into Hoxton Square. Turn left to cycle closckwise around Hoxton Square to the opposite corner to cycle down Mundy Street.

Sweet treats

Sweet treats

Hoxton – By the end of the 20th century, the southern half of Hoxton had become a vibrant arts and entertainment district boasting a large number of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and art galleries. In this period, the new Hoxton residents could be identified by their obscurely fashionable (or “ironically” unfashionable) clothes and their hair (the so-called “Hoxton Fin”, as exemplified by Fran Healy of Travis). This fashionable area centres around Hoxton Square, a small park bordered mainly by former industrial buildings, as well as the elegant 19th century parish church of St John’s. Hoxton Street Market, which has been operating since 1687, is the focal point at the Northern end of the district. The market sells a wide range of household goods during the week and specialises in independent fashion, art and design products on Saturdays.

At the end of Mundy Street turn left onto Hoxton Street. Take care cycling up here – it is 2 ways for cycles but only 1 way for cars coming towards you in certain sections! At the corner with Fanshaw Street continue straight ahead to stay on Hoxton Street. ​

Part 3 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park up Hoxton Street to Regent's Canal Towpath

Part 3 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

On market days you may find it easier to get off your bike and walk with it through the market, or return it to a nearby bike dock station to walk around the market.

You will eventually pass under the Hoxton Street Market sign. Keep following Hoxton Street straight ahead – it will start to bend left and you will come out to an area with green space on your left (Shoreditch Park). You will see blue signs at the side of road for cycle route directions – follow the route to the right to turn into Whitmore Road (CS1) just after the pedestrian zebra crossing. Continue for a short distance along here until the brick bridge over Regent’s Canal. Turn right just after the bridge into De Beauvoir Crescent then look for the ramp down on your right onto the canal towpath and take this onto the canal (Map Point 4).

Turn right onto the canal towpath. You may wish to drop your bike off at the bike dock station further along De Beauvoir Crescent, wait 5 minutes, then re-hire before you head back to the ramp down onto the canal.

Regents Canal London

Regents Canal London

Regent’s Canal – is 13.8 kilometres (8.6 miles) long and was built during the early 19th century. However, by the early twentieth century, with trade lost to the railways and roads, the canal had fallen into decline. Today it is used for pleasure cruising and the canal’s towpath has become a busy cycle route for commuters. National Cycle Route 1 includes the stretch along the canal towpath from Limehouse Basin to Mile End.

Part 4 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park onto Colebrooke Row

Part 4 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

Follow the towpath heading approx West. You will pass Wenlock canal basin and City Road canal basin on your left and eventually the canal towpath runs out as the canal continues ahead into a tunnel underneath Duncan Street. Follow the ramp up off the canal and turn immediately right onto Colebrooke Row (Map Point 5). ​

Buildings in Hoxton, Regents Park, London

Buildings in Hoxton

Cycle along here a short distance and just after Duncan Terrace turn left into Charlton Place. Follow this road (part of London Cycle Network Route 16) up to the main road A1 Upper Street, and at the traffic lights follow the cycle route to go straight ahead towards the Business Design Centre, following Berners Road to the left of this building into Aztec Row and then again into Berners Road, then round the corner to the left into Parkfield Street then first right into Bromfield Street. Cross over Liverpool Road B515 when safe to carry straight ahead into Ritchie Street. At the end turn right into Cloudesley Road and at the junction turn left towards the pedestrian zebra crossing to cycle down Copenhagen Street, following the signs for Regent’s Canal By-pass West. At the first traffic lights cross straight over Barnsbury Road to continue along Copenhagen Street. ​

Part 5 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park onto Regents Canal Towpath towards Camden

Part 5 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

Just past the shops on your left turn left into Charlotte Terrace. You may wish to swap your hire bike at the bike dock station here to explore this next section on foot before continuing your journey by bike to Camden.

At the end turn right into Carnegie Street then first left into Muriel Street. On your right hand side, look for the pathway through the metal gate that takes you back down onto Regent’s Canal Towpath (Map Point 6).

Follow this all the way to Camden, passing first of all the newly developed area at the back of St Pancras and Kings Cross railway station including Coal Drops Yard.

St Pancras Train Station and Hotel – The hotel was completed in spring of 1876 to a design by George Gilbert Scott. The hotel was expensive, with costly fixtures including a grand staircase, rooms with gold leaf walls and a fireplace in every room. It had many innovative features such as hydraulic lifts, concrete floors, revolving doors and fireproof floor constructions, though none of the rooms had bathrooms, as was the convention of the time. The hotel was taken over by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1922 before closing in 1935, by which time its utilities were outdated and too costly to maintain, such as the armies of servants needed to carry chamber pots, tubs, bowls and spittoons! Planning permission was granted in 2004 for the building to be redeveloped into a new hotel. The main public rooms of the old Midland Grand Hotel were restored, along with some of the bedrooms. The former driveway for taxis entering St. Pancras station, passing under the main tower of the building, was converted into the hotel’s lobby.

King’s Cross – The area now known as King’s Cross lay approximately 2 km north-west of the Roman settlement of Londinium. Roman remains suggest it may have been the site of a crossing of the Fleet River. It is also believed to be the location of the legendary battle between Queen Boudicca and Roman invaders. The story goes that the final resting place of Boudicca, the warrior queen of the Iceni, is under Platform nine at King’s Cross Station. She ended up there following her last battle with the Romans in AD 61. The battle took place at Broad Ford, in the valley between King’s Cross and St Pancras. Broad Ford was the place to cross the Fleet and according to tradition it became known as Battle Bridge, following Boudicca’s defeat. A mission of Roman monks arrived in Essex in AD 597 with the relics of the martyr saint St Pancras. Their aim was to convert Britain to Christianity. The monks built a church in the place where St Pancras Old Church is today, making the site one of the oldest places of Christian worship in Europe. With the completion of the Regent’s Canal in 1820, King’s Cross was linked to major industrial cities in the north of England. During this period a number of “polluting” businesses such as paint manufacture and refuse sorting were established in the area. In a move to raise the rather tarnished image of the area, a statue of King George IV was erected at the Battle Bridge crossroads in 1830. The statue attracted ridicule and was demolished in 1842, but the new name for the area – ‘King’s Cross’ – stuck. Work started on refurbishing Kings Cross Train Station in 2007, with the stunning new Western Concourse opening in 2012, and the original Victorian entrance restored and opened in 2013.

Architecture inside King's Cross Station, London

Architecture inside King’s Cross Station

Coal Drops Buildings – These unusual buildings played an important role in Victorian times. They were built in the 1850s and 60s to transfer coal from rail wagons to road carts. The brick and cast iron structure originally carried four high-level railway tracks, from which wagons dropped coal into storage hoppers. From here the coal was loaded onto horse-drawn carts at ground level. The coal drops were used to store goods for most of the 20th century. By the 1990s however, they were being used as workshops, studios and night clubs. The Coal Drops have now been restored into a unique new retail quarter – Coal Drops Yard. The Victorian brick arches house quirky boutiques, restaurants, galleries, music venues and more, while the cobbled streets play host to markets and street festivals.

Coal Drops Yard, London

Coal Drops Yard

Part 6 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park towards Camden Lock

Part 6 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

Continue along the canal towpath to Camden Lock. You may wish to drop your bike off at one of the bike dock stations around Camden to explore the markets on foot (easier than with a bike). The two nearest stations are on Hawley Crescent just south of the canal and Castlehaven Road just north of the canal, both roads located to the east side of Camden High Street and Chalk Farm Road respectively.

Camden Market, London

Camden Market

Camden Lock & Markets – The Camden markets are a number of adjoining large retail markets in Camden Town near the Hampstead Road Lock of the Regent’s Canal (popularly referred to as Camden Lock). Among products sold on the stalls are crafts, clothing, bric-a-brac, and fast food. It is one of the most popular visitor attractions in London, as you will tell if you visit on a weekend in the summer! With stalls selling books, new and second-hand clothing, and jewellery, the Camden Lock Market retains its focus as the principal Camden market for crafts. The Stables Market is located in the historic former Pickfords stables and Grade II listed horse hospital which served the horses pulling Pickford’s distribution vans and barges along the canal. Many of the stalls and shops are set in large arches in railway viaducts. Chain stores are not permitted and trade is provided by a mixture of small enclosed and outdoor shops and stalls, of which some are permanent, and others hired by the day. In common with most of the other Camden markets the Stables Market has many clothes stalls. It is also the main focus for furniture in the markets. Household goods, decorative, ethnically-influenced items, and second-hand items or 20th-century antiques, many of them hand-crafted, are among the wares. There are also clothing and art pieces for alternative sub-cultures, such as goths and cybergoths.

Camden Markets London

Camden Markets

To see a little more of Camden, take a look at the relevant part of our Primrose Hill and Camden walk.

Once you have seen Camden, pick up another bike at one of the bike dock station and return back onto the canal towpath.

Part 7 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park towards Regent's Park

Part 7 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

Keep following the canal towpath past Camden and you will eventually pass under a brick bridge signed Regents Park Road 15. The canal turns sharply to the left just past here, and just before the next bridge over the canal you will find a ramped exit off the canal up onto A5205 Prince Albert Road. Take this ramp up and turn left along the pavement at the top – get off your bike here and push it for a short section – then push it over the bridge on your left towards Regent’s Park (Map Point 7).

A little further along the A5205 Prince Albert Road you will find Primrose Hill. To see more of Primrose Hill and the delightful Chalcot Square area, take a look at the relevant parts of our Primrose Hill & Camden walk.

Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill

Once over the bridge, cross over Outer Circle road, then you can hop back on your bike to continue straight ahead into Regent’s Park and cycle down The Broadwalk (just to your right along Outer Circle Road is the entrance to London Zoo).

The Zoological Society of London’s London Zoo was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1826 and over the years has been home to many famous animals, including Guy the gorilla, Goldie the golden eagle and Winnie, who became one of the most famous bears in the world. When ZSL London Zoo opened in 1828, Decimus Burton was called on to design the grounds and animal enclosures. Many other leading architects have since contributed to the layout of the Zoo, creating a collection of buildings that includes two Grade I and eight Grade II listed structures.

The Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill – is named after Prince Regent, sometimes known as the playboy prince, who later became King George IV (1762-1830). The Regent’s Park combines large open spaces with tree-lined pathways, formal gardens, and four children’s playgrounds. Walk through the elegant flowerbeds in the Avenue Gardens, see more than 12,000 roses in Queen Mary’s Gardens, or hire a rowing boat and join the ducks on the boating lake. Visit the Open Air Theatre and London Zoo, then take a stroll up Primrose Hill for excellent views of the London skyline. The park also provides a warm welcome for wildlife. It has a large wetland area and is home to around 100 species of wild bird and a breeding population of hedgehogs.​

Drop your bike off at one of the nearby bike dock stations to explore the beautiful Regent’s Park as many pathways are for walkers only.

Part 8 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park down the Broad Walk through Regent's Park and Park Square Gardens

Part 8 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

As you cycle down The Broad Walk through Regent’s Park, you will eventually pass the Cow & Coffee Bean coffee shop on your right before emerging onto Chester Road. Turn right to cycle along Chester Road. At the end, where you will see some beautiful ornate metal gates ahead of you, turn left and follow the Inner Circle road clockwise. Turn first left into York Bridge then at the traffic lights turn left again onto Outer Circle. Follow this to the end of the Park, and at the junction turn right onto Park Square East. At the traffic lights by the metal gates, go straight ahead over the Marylebone Road / Euston Road A501 into Park Crescent. At the centre of the Crescent turn left into Portland Place (Map Point 8). ​

Building in Marylebone

Building in Marylebone

At the first traffic lights, continue straight ahead. At the next traffic lights turn left into Weymouth Street. You may wish to drop your bike off at one of the bike dock stations around here – you can explore more of this area on foot by following our Marylebone walking route.

Part 9 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park from Weymouth Street to Maple Street towards The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)

Part 9 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

At the end of Weymouth Street, turn right into Great Portland Street then first left into Clipstone Street. Cycle along here with the tall BT Tower straight ahead of you. At the end turn left into Cleveland Street then follow the road to the right into Maple Street.

London Cycle Lanes

London Cycle Lanes

You will find a segregated cycle lane running along the right hand side of this road. At the main junction with Tottenham Court Road, follow the cycle route straight ahead signposted towards Euston and Somers Town, into University Street. Turn first right into Huntley Street. At the junction with Torrington Place, turn left onto the segregated cycle lane. At the traffic lights, go straight ahead over the A400 Gower Street to continue along Torrington Place. Turn first right into Malet Street. Cycle down here, passing the famous acting school RADA on your right.

RADA London

RADA London

RADA – The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) offers vocational training for actors, stage managers, designers and technical stagecraft specialists. RADA was established in 1904 by renowned actor-manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree in rooms above His Majesty’s Theatre in the West End: an academy founded by the industry for the industry. Notable alumni include Richard Attenborough, Kenneth Branagh, Joan Collins, Taron Egerton, Ralph Fiennes, John Gielgud, David Harewood, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Glenda Jackson, John Hurt, Allison Janney, Vivien Leigh, Roger Moore, Joe Orton, Maxine Peake, Alan Rickman, Imelda Staunton, Ben Whishaw and many, many more!

Part 10 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park passing the British Museum down Cycle Route Q1

Part 10 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

At the very end of Malet Street, follow the cycle route Q1 left, signed Holborn, onto B506 Montague Place. At the end, with Russell Square Gardens ahead of you, turn right into Russell Square to follow Cycle Route Q1 (Map Point 9).

At the traffic lights continue straight ahead into Montague Street. At the end turn right onto Great Russell Street – the British Museum is just up here on your right, but this cycle route takes the first left into Bury Place (still Cycle Route Q1). To visit the Museum, we suggest you return your bike to the docking station you passed at the end of Montague Street.

British Museum Founded in 1753, this museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection numbers some 8 million works and is among the largest and most comprehensive in the World, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It is the first national public museum in the world. Today the museum no longer houses collections of natural history (now at the Natural History Museum), and the books and manuscripts it once held now form part of the independent British Library. The museum nevertheless preserves its universality in its collections of artefacts representing the cultures of the world, ancient and modern. The original 1753 collection has grown to over thirteen million objects at the British Museum, 70 million at the Natural History Museum and 150 million at the British Library.

Interior of the British Museum

Interior of the British Museum

Exterior of the British Museum

Exterior of the British Museum

Rehire a bike if required and from Great Russell Street cycle down Bury Place. At the end, follow the cycle route signs towards Covent Garden straight ahead over the traffic lights then left at the end onto New Oxford Street. You will see a dedicated cycle lane continue straight ahead as the road bends round to the right. Continue straight ahead onto this cycle lane. The cycle lane comes to some traffic lights on the A40 High Holborn opposite Newton Street. Cross over here into Newton Street to follow Cycle Route Q1. At the end of Newton Street turn right onto B402 Great Queen Street. You will pass the United Grand Lodge of England, the home of Freemasonry, on your left.

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. Its roots lie in the traditions and ceremonies of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles. Some famous Freemason’s over the years include Cecil Rhodes, Robert Burns, William Cody aka “Buffalo Bill”, Sir Malcolm Cambell, Sir Walter Scott, Harry Houdini, Rudyard Kipling, Peter Sellers, Sir “Alf” Ramsey, Ernest Borgnine, Oliver Hardy, Sugar Ray Robinson and “Smokin” Joe Frazier.

Continue along Great Queen Street, crossing straight ahead over Drury Lane following Cycle Route Q1 into Long Acre. At the corner turn left into Bow Street. Cycle down here passing The Royal Opera House and then Covent Garden (at the end of Russell Street) on your right. If you wish to explore Covent Garden, the nearest bike dock station we suggest is the one on Tavistock Street.

Royal Opera House, London

Royal Opera House. Credit: Andy

Covent Garden – This area was briefly settled in the 7th century when it became the heart of the Anglo-Saxon trading town of Lundenwic, abandoned at the end of the 9th century. By 1200, part of it had been walled off by Westminster Abbey for use as arable land and orchards. Referred to as “the garden of the Abbey and Convent”, and later “the Covent Garden”, it was seized by Henry VIII and granted to the Earls of Bedford in 1552. The 4th Earl commissioned Inigo Jones to build some fine houses to attract wealthy tenants. Jones designed the Italianate arcaded square along with the church of St Paul’s. The design of the square was new to London and had a significant influence on modern town planning, acting as the prototype for new estates as London grew. By 1654 a small open-air fruit-and-vegetable market had developed on the south side of the fashionable square. Gradually, both the market and the surrounding area fell into disrepute, as taverns, theatres, coffee-houses and brothels opened up.

Inside Covent Garden, London

Inside Covent Garden

By the 18th century it had become a well-known red-light district. An Act of Parliament was drawn up to control the area, and Charles Fowler’s neo-classical building was erected in 1830 to cover and help organise the market. The market grew and further buildings were added: the Floral Hall, Charter Market, and in 1904 the Jubilee Market. By the end of the 1960s traffic congestion was causing problems, and in 1974 the actual trading market relocated to the New Covent Garden Market about three miles (5 km) south-west at Nine Elms. The central building re-opened as a shopping centre in 1980 and is now a tourist location containing cafes, pubs, small shops, and a craft market called the Apple Market, along with another market held in the Jubilee Hall.

London Fine-Dining

London Fine-Dining

Royal Opera House is the home of The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Originally called the Theatre Royal, it served primarily as a playhouse for the first hundred years of its history. In 1734, the first ballet was presented. A year later, Handel’s first season of operas began. Many of his operas and oratorios were specifically written for Covent Garden and had their premieres there. The current building is the third theatre on the site following disastrous fires in 1808 and 1856. The façade, foyer, and auditorium date from 1858, but almost every other element of the present complex dates from an extensive reconstruction in the 1990s. The main auditorium seats 2,256 people, making it the third largest in London, and consists of four tiers of boxes and balconies and the amphitheatre gallery. The main auditorium is a Grade I listed building.

Continue to cycle down Bow Street as it changes into Wellington Street. Follow Cycle Route Q1 straight ahead onto the pavement at the end of Wellington Street. Turn right at the traffic lights here onto the busy Strand for a very short distance, then first left into Savoy Street. Cycle to the bottom of Savoy Street then use the traffic lights to cross over the Victoria Embankment road to the far side where you will find the segregated East-West Cycle Superhighway (Map Point 10). ​

Cycling along the Thames Cycle Superhighway

Cycling along the Thames Cycle Superhighway

Turn left onto this to cycle alongside The Thames, passing Somerset House then Victoria Embankment Gardens and then Inner Temple Gardens on your left. ​

From its 18th-century origins, Somerset House has been a centre for debate and discussion including the first home of the Royal Academy of Arts and other learned societies – an intellectual powerhouse for the nation. For over 200 years the building housed various government departments including births, marriages and deaths and the Inland Revenue until Somerset House Trust was established in July 1997 to conserve and develop Somerset House as an arts centre.

Embankment London

Embankment London

Victoria Embankment Gardens – This vibrant public park is part of the chain of open spaces along Victoria Embankment, designed by Sir Joseph Bazelgette and opened in 1865. The historical Watergate is in one corner of the park, built in 1626 as an entrance to the Thames for the Duke of Buckingham. The gate is still in its original position, but since its creation the Thames water line has moved and the gate is some 100 metres from the water.

Part 11 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park passing the Victoria Embankment towards the Inns of Court

Part 11 of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

As you pass Inner Temple on your left (see our Fleet Street walk for a detailed self-guided tour of this area) this is a good point to talk about the Inns of Court. 

London Inns of Court

London Inns of Court

In the earliest centuries of their existence, beginning in the 14th century, the Inns were any of a large number of buildings where lawyers traditionally lodged, trained and carried on their profession. Over the centuries, the four Inns of Court became where barristers were trained, while the more numerous Inns of Chancery – which were affiliated to the Inns of Court – became where solicitors were trained. The four Inns of Court are:

The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn

There have been lawyers in the Temple since 1320. In 1337 the premises were divided into Inner Temple, where the lawyers resided, and Middle Temple, which was also occupied by lawyers by 1346. Lincoln’s Inn, the largest, is able to trace its official records to 1422. The records of Gray’s Inn begin in 1569, but teaching is thought to have begun there in the late fourteenth century. In 1620 it was decided at a meeting of senior judges that all four inns would be equal in order of precedence.

In the 16th century and earlier, students or apprentices learned their craft primarily by attending court and sharing both accommodations and education during the legal terms. Prior to the English Civil War in 1642, this training lasted at least seven years; subsequently, the Inns focused their residency requirements on dining together in the company of experienced barristers, to enable learning through contact and networking with experts. In the mid-18th century, the common law was first recognized as a subject for study in the universities, and by 1872, bar examinations became compulsory for entry into the profession of law.

As you cycle along the East-West Cycle Superhighway towards Blackfriar’s Bridge, follow the cycle lanes up to the bridge and turn left onto A201 to pick up the North-South Cycle Superhighway heading North. Follow the Cycle Superhighway alongside the A201 until you reach the major traffic light junction with Fleet Street to your left and Ludgate Hill and St Paul’s Cathedral to your right.

You will be turning right at this junction, but follow the cycle route signs to do it safely in two stages – first crossing over to the far side of Fleet Street, then crossing over A201 from Fleet Street into Ludgate Hill. Cycle up towards St Paul’s and shortly after you have passed the front entrance of the Cathedral, turn right into Godliman Street and a little further down here is the bike dock station where this route began.

Overview of Route:

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Route overview of the London Cycle Hoxton & Regents Park

Route overview

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