Between the LinesCycling the Central London boroughs
Illustration of London borough boundaries

Curated cycle routes following the boundaries of the Central London boroughs. Ride these ancient borders and enjoy an offbeat tour of London's historic back-streets, parks, architecture, infrastructure, and most importantly, pubs, written by an enthusiastic amateur who likes all of these things. Maybe you’ll like them too. Routes being added throughout 2021.

About

This project came about in the winter of 2020/21, during the third COVID–19 lockdown in London, as I searched with increasing desperation for a bit of interest to add to my necessarily local riding. I started by tracing a route along the borders of my home borough, Islington, and enjoyed riding it so much that I thought I’d try some of the others. A friend suggested that writing some informal route guides could be a fun project, and that became the website you’re reading now.

Following in the footsteps of greats such as Jack Thurston (of Lost Lanes), each route is described via points of interest, sights to see, and notable feeding/thirst-quenching stops along the way. Yours and my definition of points of interest will probably differ, but London being London, there’s almost certainly something for everyone along these roads. The routes are loops so can be joined at any point – the start and end points I've chosen are simply where made most sense for me to meet the boundaries as I travelled from home.

As I write this, the COVID–19 lockdown continues, though there is light at the end of the tunnel. Many of the pubs and cafes I mention may still be closed by the time you come to ride these routes, and some may be gone for good, but I hope that if you see one open, you’ll pop in and enjoy what they have to offer.

Each route is accompanied by a GPX file which you can load onto a suitably sophisticated bike computer, or import into apps such as Strava or RunKeeper for navigation on your smartphone. You can also import the files into an online tool such as the amazing GPS Visualizer, which will produce a range of output formats and maps on demand.

The routes should be suitable for any reasonably confident city cyclist, and where tricky spots are involved they are noted accordingly. Do please exercise caution though, go prepared, and ride safely. While I’m pleased to be able to write and share these guides and routes, you follow them at your own risk. Road configuration and conditions are ever-changing in London, and accordingly you’ll find a note next to each GPX file showing when it was last updated. If you spot any howlers along the way, do let me know, and I’ll endeavour to make any necessary updates or amendments.

If you’d like to support this project, you can buy something on Freewheel.co.uk via my affiliate links, which will earn me a small commission; you can leave a tip via BuyMeACoffee; or make a donation to World Bicycle Relief, with my thanks. You can find links to all three of these in the sidebar to the right, or below each route guide. Sharing on social media or by word-of-mouth is always appreciated, too.

Happy riding,

James Tiplady
February 2021

The author at the Barbican
The author at the Barbican. Photo: Kat Halliday. March 2021. CC BY-NC-SA

© 2022 James Tiplady

Text content and GPX files: CC BY-NC-ND.

Images: CC BY-NC-SA

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