London - The seventh step - London to Edinburgh via Land's End and John o'Groats - CycleBlaze

May 16, 2019

London

Our flights from Johannesburg to Dohar and Dohar to Heathrow were both not particularly full so we managed to have a few hours of sleep.  We were in the passport control queue at Heathrow's Terminal 4 soon after seven o'clock this morning but it took until about eight o'clock before the boxed bicycles were available.  We found a quiet corner where we put the bicycles back together again and were on the road at about nine thirty.

Bicycles assembled
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Getting out of Heathrow was surprisingly easy.  We were quickly onto the A30 and then onto the A4 all the way into Chiswick.  There was a cycle path alongside the road or a shared sidewalk for almost the entire way up until this point.  At Hammersmith things got a little fuzzy but we soon found the Q15, or quiet route 15, that lead us to central London.  Here we made our way through various tourist hotspots - Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.   Then it was down to the Embankment and on to St Paul's followed by the Tower of London and Tower Bridge before heading for Canary Warf.

Setting off up the A30 from Terminal 4.
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The Serpentine at Hyde Park
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Buck Pal.
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Buck Pal.
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Back Pal.
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The Houses of Parliament - under repair.
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St Paul's
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The Tower
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Tower Bridge
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The Brittania International Hotel on Canary Warf is a large and rather tired hotel that looks as if it was a bit posher in the past than it is now.  We chose it because it is reasonably close to public transport and on the right side of town for when we cycle out on Sunday.

All in all, the cycle into London from Heathrow was stress-free and safe but, apart from the visits to the tourist sites, pretty uninteresting.  Still, it beats catching a bus.  The cycling network in London is pretty good in general and excellent for much of the route we rode today.  However, the lack of respect for the rules of the road and for other road users by many of the cyclists with whom we shared the road  was disturbing.  I can easily understand why cyclists in London get less respect than they think they deserve.

One of the great things about today was that the weather was pretty kind although not particularly warm and we had a fresh north-easterly wind blowing into faces the whole way.  The next two days don't look that good but we won't be cycling so it looks like we struck it lucky.

Today's ride: 42 km (26 miles)
Total: 42 km (26 miles)

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