Rides & Events


Christmas Day Ride

Those of you who remember Queen Victoria turning up unrecognised at Blackadder's house on Christmas Day, will know that Christmas Day and Southwark are inextricably linked. We want to celebrate this fact by cycling through Southwark on Christmas Day.

This is the 14th Christmas Day Ride, following a tradition started in 2001 by the late Barry Mason (the oldest Christmas Day ride report that we can find is here: http://www.greenwich-cyclists.org.uk/old/reports/xmas.html ). In more recent years the ride was led by Francis Sedgemoor, but this year we have someone new leading it.

Meet at 10am at the Cutty Sark Gardens (by the entrance to the Greenwich foot tunnel), London SE10 9HT or at 11 am at the Southwark Needle SE1 2SY.

We plan to cycle about 16 miles to get to Edgware Road, which will take about 2 hours. However, it should be quicker coming back as we will take a more direct route. Many people who come on this ride drop out along the way, but we expect that a 'hard core' will want to make it to Edgware Road.

We may decide to stop at a pub en route, as there will be some places that are open on Christmas Day.

We start off by following LCN Route 4 which takes us from Greenwich to Southwark. Unfortunately the new Deptford Creek Footbridge will not be finished until mid to late January, but we can still take a look at this new bridge.

When we get to Southwark will take a look at some small parks and streets that are associated with Charles Dickens.

In previous years, this ride went on to Putney, but this year we will cross the river at Southwark Bridge and travel north of the River. We will cycle past St Paul's Cathedral on our way to Clerkenwell, where we can find St Peter's Church, which used to be the main Catholic Church in England until Westminster Cathedral was consecrated in 1910. We will then cycle past the Dickens Museum, Doughty Street and then make use of the Tavistock Place segregated cycle track to get to the British Museum.

We then reach Westminster, where we can see Covent Garden, Neal Street, the Seven Dials and Leicester Square. This takes us on to the widest, longest and fastest cycle path in the whole of England - the Mall. We then cycle through Green Park, The Wellington Arch and Hyde Park, finishing for a meal at one of the Lebanese restaurants in Edgeware Road (like the Sannin) which open as normal on Christmas Day.

After the meal we can visit Regent's Park before cycling back to Greenwich.

Previous years have seen upwards of 100 cyclists of all ages, genders, ethnicities and body-mass indices take part, and we usually get a few skiving Santas thrown in.

Those wishing to come on the ride are asked to bring warm clothing, water, snacks, lights, basic tools and a spare inner tube in case you have a puncture (particularly important for this ride as there will no public transport on Christmas Day). Active parents are most welcome on the ride, provided that they are accompanied by at least one responsible child, and behave themselves. All should have at least basic road cycling experience.

Paste this link into your browser to see the GPS trace of the route: http://goo.gl/BzSPNo

To give you some idea of what to expect, this link shows a time lapse video for a 2011 Christmas Day cycle ride: http://youtu.be/1TC_Tu9ttUc

I’m expecting that most people will bring their own bikes, but if people haven’t got one, Boris Bikes can be hired even on Christmas Day on presentation of a credit card:



There is a Boris Bike docking station at Duke Street Hill, which is only a few yards from the Southwark Needle (SE1 2SY, http://www.london-se1.co.uk/places/southwark-needle) where we will hopefully be meeting lots of cyclists at 11am on Christmas Day.

If people want to eat at one of the many Lebanese restaurants at Edgware Road that are open as normal on Christmas Day, it will be best for them to drop off the bike before they eat and hire another one when they have finished the meal.

  • Social rides
10:00am 25 December 2014
4:00pm 25 December 2014
Not repeating
All boroughs
Skill level

This event has been posted by an individual LCC member, and is not an official LCC event. Although we encourage LCC members to publicise their unofficial cycling events on the LCC website, the publication of such events does not constitute an endorsement of them by LCC. LCC takes no responsibility for this event, and whilst we hope those attending it enjoy doing so, attendance is at their own risk.

Posted by nigelbee at 8:55am 23 August 2014




hi we are coming from out of town and will park the car at one end. can anyone advise the best way back from one to the end of the ride please.



The quickest way back would be Oxford St, Holborn, Blackfriars Bridge, Southwark St and Tooley Street.



Hi All, Looking forward to enjoy London's empty streets.:) Just to specify the meeting point. So we're meeting at Cutty Sark Gardens. But where exactly? In its carpark? Or...?!?! Thanks and see you tomorrow. Enjoy Christmas Eve:) Xxx



Merry Christmas lovely people! I've just got home from the Christmas Day Ride. What an awesome day we had pedalling round the back streets of London! I was looking for any excuse to bail when the alarm clock went off at 6 am this morning, but I could not have imagined how much fun today would be. A HUGE thank you to the leaders - you took us on a great route with awesome views of London, and you laid on a stunning sunny day to boot :) And another HUGE thank you to all the lovely people who made the ride so much fun! I really regret that I couldn't stay for lunch, that was definitely a missed opportunity to get to know you guys better. Perhaps you'll make it along to Critical Mass sometime? I'll definitely be joining the Southwark Cyclists rides whenever I can. Merry Christmas, and Happy new Year to you all. Nice one lovely people :)



Merry Christmas! Such a great day – the 13th Christmas Day Ride. Thanks to organizers for the amazing Dickens route, thanks to the cyclists for the great company, thanks to Beirut cafe | Lebanese Cuisine for the delicious food! If you want some pictures from the ride, drop me an e@mail skalla@mac.com ––> I will send you link to the DropBox folder… Cheers, Egils – Biking Viking



My wife and I left Cambridgeshire in brilliant sun, passed Stansted, through the Blackwall tunnel and then to Greenwich, plenty of time but then nowhere to park without risk of a ticket or swingeing payment. After burning much of the spare time we found free parking on Vanbrugh Park Road West and a bit of grass on which we assembled the tandem, donned cycling gear and ripped down Maze Hill just in comfortable time to join the party at Cutty Sark. A casual Google hunt a week ago, for an alternative Christmas, was now realised with London ahead of us bathed in dazzling light, and a crowd of lovely people on bicycles. The tide was very low as we manoeuvred our long machine across lock gates. Stopping to take a picture of Tower Bridge, we fell off the back of the peleton. With help we regained the group at the Southwark Needle. The famous buildings were familiar but the real joy of the trip came from the previously unseen nooks and crannies of the city, the tiny parks, the back yards, the vernacular habitation and the radiant blue sky. By Covent Garden my bladder was telling me very forceably that I had left home at 8 am. Can anyone, who knows Boris a bit better than we do, have a word about public lavatories being locked on a public holiday? It is absolutely iniquitous and illogical that they should be closed on a day when the city is teeming with visitors. For lunch we shared a big pot of minted tea and a huge mixed mezza at the Shishawy restaurant in Edgware Road with Tony, who exploited her knowledge of Arabic to gain greater insight into the menu, Robert who had cycled in from Watford, and Claudine who rippled with laughter. We had unwittingly become a splinter group away from the main party who were in another restaurant. Thank you Nigel for organising the ride, Timothy for your patience in helping us regain the ride at Southwark, Tony for going ahead to rattle the doors of all the public lavatories in Covent Garden, Robert for your company and bright green wig, and Claudine for piloting us at lightning speed back to Greenwich at high tide about 4 pm. Home by 6pm, the best Christmas we have had in a long time, thank you everyone for your company. David and Elizabeth Livingstone

Post a comment

Sign in or register  to post a comment