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Can I Ride My Bike in the Park?

30 December 2022

Cycling is a popular activity for both leisure and travel and families often wonder where they are allowed to use their bikes.

Under UK law, bicycles are designated as vehicles and as such aren’t allowed to be used on pavements, unless they are designated as cycle lanes. This can be enforced with the use of on the spot fines of £50 and the maximum penalty is £500, though this is rarely used and is mainly reserved for the most serious or dangerous repeat offenders. The law is not always enforced by the police but it is prudent to know that it is there and to avoid a fine if at all possible. 

Your local council will have bylaws for the parks in your area which should tell you whether cycling is permitted. Additionally, look up routes on the National Cycle Network, as some pass through parks on permitted cycle tracks.

Why Cycle?

Cycling can be a great family activity for bonding and spending quality time together, and providing excellent shared experiences that offer the chance to forge shared memories that can be discussed for days, weeks and even years to come. As cycling is quite a fast and quiet mode of transportation, it can be an excellent way to see wildlife before the birds or animals have noticed that you are close, and this can be a real highlight for kids when cycling through parkland. The chance to glimpse the natural world in the middle of the big city is a major advantage of cycling. 

Cycling in London Parks

Although there are some places where cycling is not encouraged, all of the Royal Parks in London allow and welcome cycling within their confines. They provide safe and scenic routes through the heart of the city, and cycling is permitted on all roads and some dedicated cycle paths throughout the parks. There is one exception to this and that is Primrose Hill. 

Most of the cycle routes through the Royal Parks in London connect to the wider London Cycle Network which means that you don’t have to stop your journey once you leave the parks and it is easy to plan an onward journey, whether that is a circuitous route back to where you parked the car or back to where you live. 

If you are looking for a very cycle-friendly park in London, Hyde Park has a reputation for exactly that. Widely considered one of the capital’s most beautiful parks, Hyde Park is a lovely cycle and is perfect for families, with a leisurely cycle down scenic tree-lined boulevards taking around an hour to do. 

Victoria Park is also exceptionally cyclist friendly and there are few rules for cyclists apart from that safety and consideration for other users of the park are paramount. Other than that, cyclists are free to explore the sprawling 212 acre park to their heart's content, enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

Kensington Gardens has more restrictions on where cyclists can go, with Broad Walk, Mount Walk and Palace Walk being the only areas where cycling is allowed. It is also a major commuter route in the mornings so is best avoided by families during the peak travelling times when thousands of cyclists traverse the park.  

Photo by Mark Stosberg on Unsplash

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