101 reasons to love cycling in London #26: have fun with your kids!

Since we reached the quarter-way mark back in June, our list of 101 reasons to love cycling in London has been taking a little rest, but I figured it was high time we got back onto it.


This week's reason comes from Adam at the Welwyn Hatfield Cycle Forum, he writes: "For me, cycling at weekends is quality time with the kids.
Earlier this month we did a cheap adventure. Cycle bikes with tent from Hatfield to Hertford and camped the night at the camp site.
Only 9 miles in each direction along the Cole Green Way but the kids loved doing it all themselves and the sense of achievement.
Is this reason number 26?"


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As you can see, Adam, it absolutely is reason number 26.  And as you correctly point out, after the initial outlay on the bicycles themselves, a weekend away with the kids by bike can be a great, cheap, fun thing to do that the small ones will love (what right-minded 12 year old wouldn't relish the chance for a night's wild camping, and the independence of getting there and back under their own steam?)  Compare this to a family ticket to some of the hideous 'family attractions' in central London which are likely to set you back £50 (plus the ubiquitous visit to the gift shop, fast food restaurant and travel expenses) and you're looking at a very expensive day out by contrast.


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But you don't have to go so far afield as Welwyn Garden City to have fun with your kids.  Surprisingly, central London has a plethora of off-road cycling routes suitable for taking your kids out; have you been along the Regent's Canal to Victoria Park, or the Greenway up to the ViewTube to see the 2012 Olympics taking place?  How about a site-seeing tour through Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park Corner, Constitution Hill and the Mall to see the Queen and St James' park?  With a bit of forward planning there are plenty of places for children to cycle in our fai city.

Reason #26 to love cycling in London; have fun with your kids!

5 comments:

Adam said...

Places to take the kids by bike in London:

Princess of Wales playground, Hyde Park. It has security on the gate so only adults with children let in and has a huge pirate ship to climb on with other Peter Pan related things. Nearest tube is Queensway, if too far for bikes.

Camley Street Nature Reserve, by St Pancras station: Wildlife haven between canal and Eurostars. Cycle path along the road and accessible via the famous Agar Grove ramp.

Coram's Field, Camden: Another park with security. The cakes at the cafe are worth borrowing kids to get access too. They have an Austro-Hungarian flavour.

Adam

Trisha said...

Excellent post! Excellent suggestions!

And too right - the money you save and the fun the kids ACTUALLY have far outweighs the oh so many and over-priced London attractions.

I still have flashbacks to those times when I payed some extortionate amount for London visitor attractions only to look around and find my son yawning, or complaining about being bored and then finding out, all he really wanted to do was cycle through Hyde park!

I've recently started cycling with my 7 year old son, who has just learnt to ride the 'big bike' and we have the most fun! Especially when it's followed by a visit to a restaurant, or better still, Macdonalds! :-)

Gotta love kids!

Mark said...

Thanks Adam for the route tips for kids. I think I will have to borrow some random kids to get access to the cake at Coram's Fields - I love cake!

Thanks Trish for sharing the story of cycling with your litle ones in London - exactly the point I was trying to reach with this blog post. It's really fantastic to know that there are people out there getting their kids on 2 wheels in central London :o)

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sam said...

There are some great places to cycle in London - if you can get yourself up early in the morning, it is great to ride along the embankment, up through st james park and all the way up through to Kensington. Though you need to do it before the crowds start!