As some of you will be aware, because of the numbers involved in the ride we will need to do parts of the journey as slightly smaller groups. As such we have asked for volunteers to lead groups. We will be putting all the route details into a single document with important contact details etc before the off, but it might be good to start familiarising yourself with the route. Whilst this part below only covers until just after lunch on the first day, it is by far the most complex part of the journey - and even that is nearly all on cycle route 4...
(Google maps route is here: http://goo.gl/maps/NwAWJ )
Section 1: Lambeth Palace to Putney Bridge
- From the start point at Lambeth Palace, turn left on to Lambeth Palace Road and then immediately right at the roundabout over Lambeth Bridge. Once over Lambeth Bridge, turn immediately left.
- This bit is easy. Keep following the road along the river, with the Thames on your left. Don’t cross any bridges! Straight on, straight on…
- After approximately two miles the Thames road begins to turn inland. Almost immediately, turn left by Martin & Co estate agents. There is also a blue sign for Cycle Route 4, signposted Putney Bridge and Richmond Park. As this suggests, Cycle Route 4 will take us all the way to Putney Bridge.
- B2B HOTSPOT! Although we are purely following Cycle Route 4 at this point, it’s a pretty wiggly route through the back streets towards Putney Bridge and at times feels counter intuitive. So take your time here, this route keeps us out of the heavy traffic. Look out for blue Cycle Route 4 signs and follow them. There are a couple of small roundabouts (left towards Chelsea harbour at the first, then right under the bridge through the barrier), but it should be quite obvious where to go – other roads lead off into supermarkets, car parks etc. At one point, at some traffic lights with The Hurlingham pub in front of you, don’t be tempted to turn left. Keep straight on.
- Arrive at Putney Bridge (T-Junction).
Section 2: Putney Bridge to Roehampton Gate, Richmond Park
- At Putney Bridge, turn left and cross the bridge.
- Continue straight along Putney High Street. This is really our one encounter with riding in heavy London traffic, so take care, stick to the left, take your time!
- Cross the A205. Keep straight on for roughly half a mile. Then turn right down Putney Heath. A member of the B2B support team will be present here to point you in the right direction!
- Continue past the Green Man pub on your right. You’ll quickly reach a mini-roundabout. Bear right/straight on down Putney Heath. At one point, you have to bear left on a one-way system at a little village green. Follow it all the way down to a T-Junction with a main road (the A306).
- B2B HOTSPOT! The A306 is very busy. If it’s safer, don’t be afraid to get off your bikes at this point, cross the road, turn right, and then immediately left down Danebury Avenue.
- Follow Danebury Avenue until it comes to a T-Junction (near the end of Danebury Avenue, there is a lane with No Entry signs, but go straight through). Turn left at T-Junction and enter Richmond Park through the Roehampton Gate.
From this point, we are going to be following Cycle Route 4 all the way to Hampton Court Palace. Sounds easy – and most of the time it is, but there are moments when it’s also very easy to go wrong. So keep your eyes out for blue Cycle Route 4 signs all the time – and keep these directions in mind!
Section 3: Roehampton Gate to Kingston
- Enter Richmond Park through Roehampton Gate. Go straight over the roundabout and up the right hand path. Keep cycling for roughly a third of a mile, then take the first turn left up the hill. It may be marked Restricted Access – but this is for cars.
- Follow the track up a small hill. Pass the White Lodge on your left. You’ll shortly come to a car park and café on your right. Immediately afterwards, turn right down a smaller track, again marked with Cycle Route 4 signs.
- Reach a crossroads. Go straight over, following signs to Ham Gate.
- Ham Gate. There are public toilets here. So take five!
- Leave Richmond Park via Ham Gate. Carry straight on along Ham Gate Avenue. Reach crossroads with traffic lights. Straight Over.
- B2B HOTSPOT! At this point, Cycle Route 4 drops into a residential area. It doesn’t take long to get through, but you have to be very alert to signs. At one point, it takes you through two lanes (alleyways) in quick succession. Your end point for this part is Teddington Lock. So look out for signs!
- Reach the river at Teddington Lock. In front of you is a footbridge. Don’t cross it! Instead, take the path to the left of the bridge.
- Follow Cycle Route 4 to Kingston. The most important thing to remember for this stretch is to never leave the river. It should always be immediately on your right hand side as you cycle.
- Eventually, Cycle Route 4 will bring you out of a small riverside park on to a road. In front of you is a bridge. Don’t go under it! Instead, turn left and follow the cycle path into Kingston town centre, almost immediately crossing a set of traffic lights. Bear left through a pedestrianised zone to Kingston Bridge.
Section 4: Kingston to Walton-on-Thames
- Follow Cycle Route 4 over Kingston Bridge, and then turn immediately left. The Thames is now on your left. Keep it that way until you reach Hampton Court Palace on your right.
- At Hampton Court Palace, the cycle path meets a T-Junction with Hampton Court Bridge. Dismount. Cross the road. Then cross the bridge via the cycle path. Once over the bridge, turn immediately right on to the A3050.
- Follow the A3050 to Walton-on-Thames.
- Lunch! Meeting point in Walton
Section 5: Walton-on-Thames to Old Woking
- B2B HOTSPOT! After Hampton Court Palace, we’re leaving the leafy riverside route behind and hitting A and B-roads almost all the way to Mellow Farm. They can get pretty busy – and there will be a good amount of drivers sticking their foot down. So take extra care, stick to the left, and look out for one another!
- After lunch, follow the A3050 through Walton-on-Thames, going straight over a set of traffic lights in the town centre. Follow signs to Weybridge, always staying on the A3050.
- Eventually, you’ll reach a TOTAL garage on your left and a T-Junction. Turn left. Immediately, you’ll hit a strange kind-of mini-roundabout. Take the second “exit”, signposted Byfleet (B373). A member of the B2B support team will be present here to point you in the right direction!
- Follow the B373 until you hit a T-Junction with Weybridge Station across the road in front of you. Turn left on to the B374. Follow the B374, at one point going straight over a roundabout, until you hit a T-Junction with the A245. Turn right.
- From this point, you effectively need to keep straight on to Old Woking.