In London there are lots of great parks to get some exercise, some fresh air, or just a little break from the built environment. If you are a visitor to London, and you're exhausted from Oxford Street or the South Kensington Museums, then you are not far from one of the most largest, most beautiful, and most bike-friendly green space in the capital. If you are a resident, Hyde Park will help you see your city through new eyes.
Hyde Park is perfect for a gentle bike ride, with family or friends. Read on for a full guide to cycling in this stunning park.
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Cycling is definitely allowed in Hyde Park. The Royal Parks policy statement on cycling says 'Cycling is welcomed in designated areas in all the Royal Parks'. It is important to note that pedestrians have priority as they are the most numerous users. Cyclist are recommended to stay on the roads or cycle paths, and not exceed 12 mph (about 19 kph). I imagine that unless you are cycling for sport/racing purposes, these will not be particularly hard guidelines to keep.
Hyde Park can be very busy at the weekends and when it is sunny. It makes sense to be careful about other users of the park, especially children and dogs, who might be prone to running onto the roads unpredictably.
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You can get to Hyde Park in lots of ways. The TFL website is always a good place to start planning travel in London.
Image credit: London Recumbents
If you don't have your own bike (or even if you do, but live a distance away), there are some options for hiring bikes in Hyde Park.
Surprisingly there don't seem to be any private bike hire options near Hyde Park. The nearest appears to be London Recumbents, across the river in Battersea Park. London Recumbents hire bikes of all sorts; bikes for kids, bikes with boxes on the front to put your kids in, tandems (which is a bike for 2 people) and tricycles. They also hire recumbents, which are sitdown bikes, for both adults and kids.
The cost is £12 per hour for most bikes, except for the tandems and the box-bikes, which are £24 per hour.
Boris Bikes, so-called because they were introduced when Boris Johnson was Mayor of London, can be hired almost everywhere in London - there are quite a few docking stations actually in Hyde Park, and many more in the surrounding streets. Find the nearest using the Transport for London finder.
Boris Bikes cost £2 per 30 minutes. You can book them on a special Sandander Cycles app or you can pay with a credit/debit card when you go to the docking station (curiously you can pay with a contactless card, but not a contactless device like a phone or watch).
Boris Bikes are quite large and heavy - they are definitely not suitable for children.
There are now a slew of other bikes that you can hire online/with an app. Unlike the Boris Bikes, they don't have docking stations that you have to return them to. You use an app to find the nearest bike and to unlock it. When you are finished you can leave the bike where you want, within reason.
You can find details of these alternatives below:
The map above shows in red the paths that allow cycling in Hyde Park.
As you can see, you can cycle on all of the roads, and a few of the main paths. If you want to explore more, you'll have to park the bikes and continue on foot.
The paths should be pretty clearly marked, so follow the signs and you should be ok.
Colin Smith / Speaker's Corner
As well as being one of central London's biggest parks Hyde Park is full of interesting site and fun activities for adults and kids.
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Hyde Park is fully equipped for visitors, with toilets and plenty of outlets for snacks.
Place to eat include the Serpentine Bar and Kitchen and the Serpentine Lido both with great views over the water, the Will to Win Sports Centre Cafe and the Lodge Cafe. There are also a number of Refreshment Points all over the park serving hot drinks, icecream, snacks and sandwiches.
There are toilets at Hyde Park Corner and on the south side of the Serpentine. Many eateries will also have toilets for customers.