Family Friendly

These routes, or sections thereof, are almost entirely off-road and well surfaced. If  longer than ten miles overall (e.g. Arc 1) they are split by a mid-point station access or natural break-point. Canal towpaths can be narrow in brief sections, but canal-side rides which require more advanced cycling balance skills, such as Spoke 8-10 link, are omitted.

A note about cycling for the disabled: Wheels for Wellbeing have been campaigning to Remove Barriers to Cycling since 2007. It would be great if all these routes passed their access criteria, but I know for example that the wonderful Jubilee River cycle path (Spoke 8S) is protected from motor-cycle joyriding with barriers impermeable to three-wheelers. After consultation (and feedback) Cycle Orbital will be scanned for fully accessible routes.

Top Ten earn asterisks:

  1. Arc 1: Hertford to Broxbourne; Broxbourne to Enfield Lock (Lee Navigation)
  2. Arc 2: Enfield Lock to Olympic Park (Lee Navigation)
  3. Arc 2b: Olympic Park to Greenwich: Greenwich to Woolwich (O2 and Thames Barrier)
  4. *Arc 3: Woolwich to Erith (Thames Path)
  5. Arc 8b: West Byfleet to Woking (Basingstoke Canal)
  6. *Arc 9: Blacknest Gate to Dorney Lake (Windsor Great Park)
  7. Arc 11 outer: Hemel Hempstead to Harpenden (Nickey Line)
  8. Arc 12 outer: Harpenden to Wheathampstead: Wheathampstead to Welwyn (Ayot Greenway)
  9. *Arc 12 inner: Verulamium to Old Hatfield (Alban Way)
  10. *Arc 12 merged: Welwyn to Hertford (Cole Green Way)
  11. *Spoke 3: Woldingham to Winders Hill 
  12. Spoke 5 link: Chessington N to Tattenham Corner (Horton Country Park; Epsom Racecourse)
  13. *Spoke 6: Hampton Court to Weybridge (Thames Path)
  14. *Spoke 6-7: Hampton Wick to Hampton (Bushey Park); Shepperton to Staines (Thames Path)
  15. *Spoke 7 a & b: within Windsor Great Park, combined with Arc 9
  16. *Spoke 8S: Langley to Dorney Lake (Jubilee River)
  17. Spoke 8 link: Slough to Burnham Beeches
  18. Spoke 8N: Langley and Black Parks
  19. Spoke 10C: Watford to Apsley (Grand Union Canal)
  20. Spin-off 1: Broxbourne to Harlow (Stort Navigation)
  21. *Spin-off 1-2-3: Upminster to Rainham (Ingrebourne Valley)
  22. Spin-off 3: Rainham to Purfleet (Rainham Marshes)
  23. Spin-off 5: Knowle Deer Park; Leigh to Hever (Penshurst and Chiddingstone)