Heathrow to St. Pancras

This route is a way of dodging the fare on the Heathrow Express from Paddington, the most expensive train journey in the world (it does take bikes). I’ve only done it in an Easterly direction, so I’ve written it that way. You may prefer to do it in that direction because (a) you will have just got off a plane, so you won’t be in a rush to catch one (b) the prevailing wind in this area, as in much of the UK, is from the West.

The Route

Leaving Heathrow terminals, follow signs for the A4. On reaching the airport exit, turn right (to the East), and mount the pavement on the South side of the road, facing the on-coming traffic. You are now on a high-quality cycle route which will take you to Chiswick. The first section is shared use, and there is a certain amount of dodging round bus stops to be done.

When the cycle route ends in Hounslow on the South side, where there are some convenient Asian supermarkets for stocking up on bhajis, samosas, Mango juice etc, cross the road and continue on the North side, using the green cycle track. Take care at junctions for traffic turning left from behind you.

You will eventually find yourself at a roundabout in Chiswick beneath the M4 flyover. Here your route options divide – if you are a fearless on-road cyclist, take the A315 through Hammersmith, and follow it through to the south side of Hyde Park, past the Royal Albert Hall/Albert Memorial to Hyde Park Corner, where a cycle route takes you along the side of the park – towards the north end, take the right turn signposted to West End. Crossing Park Lane, follow straight past Grosvenor Square (“not a chill to the winter but a nip to the air” – R Hunter ) continue to Regent St, take r. then 1st left towards Noel St , then left and first right on Oxford St (although Oxford St is closed to private traffic it is usually chokka with taxis and buses, so it’s not particularly recommended as a cycle route).

Continue across Tottenham Court Road to New Oxford St, hence to Holborn. Lamb’s Conduit St is on the left about 1/4 mile along – at the top, turn left and then almost immediately right on to Downe Terrace. You’ll find yourself on Judd St which will take you up to Euston Rd, St Pancras is directly in front. This is just one of many possible routes from Hyde Park to St. Pancras.

An alternative, less stressful route from Chiswick to St P. route an be found by following London Cycle Network routes along the Thames, then following the route to Kings Cross via Covent Garden & Bloomsbury.

Side Trips

From the A4 Spinal route, you can continue to Slough and Windsor. From Heathrow heading West, take Bath Rd to Longford and Colnbrook to avoid a particularly nasty bit of A40. Beyond M4 junction 5, continue on A4 which has a combination of Bus Lanes and off-road shared use paths to lower your stress levels. The link to Eton & Windsor roughly follows the railway line and is signposted from Slough. On visiting Windsor, you will probably agree with the legendary American tourist who said “it’s a pity they put it so close to the airport” (!)

A note of caution:- you may have heard of the London to Oxford cycle route which passes through Windsor. This was previously only signposted in a Westerly direction, and when I tried to follow it in an Easterly direction I got lost. However, NCN Route 4 is accessible at Eton, and will take you west towards Reading on quiet meandering routes.

Pedalling Time (Heathrow to St Pancras): About 2 Hours. Approx. Distance: 16 Miles