The 2020 programme is now past. We will be launching the 2021 programme mid August 2021
Highgate, Hampstead and Swiss Cottage - 8 km
Ride 1: Highgate Village to Alexandra Road - 8km.
Start outside the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution, 11 South Grove, Highgate, London N6 6BS. This is one of the best preserved of London’s neighbourhood societies for ‘improving the mind’ which sprang up all over Britain in the 19th Century; and it continues to flourish today. The fine stuccoed building has been home to the Institution since 1840. It was formed from a 1790 coach house, with final additions c.1880. R. Parkingson remodelled the building in 1840. (Not open this year - exterior view only.)
From Pond Square ride west along Hampstead Lane/B519 for 2km. Turn left through grand entrance gates to Kenwood House. (Walk your bicycle.)
Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane NW3 7JR. An outstanding neoclassical villa, with world-class paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Reynolds, Turner and Gainsborough, set in beautiful grounds on Hampstead Heath. The exceptionally beautiful library is one of Adam’s masterpieces. Architects: Robert and James Adam, George Saunders 1764. (Open 11-3. Timed tickets for entry available if booked in advance at https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/kenwood/prices-and-opening-times/)
From Kenwood, continue along Hampstead Lane 1.7km to The Spaniards Inn, London NW3 7JJ
The Spaniards Inn was built in 1585 and sits on the boundary between the boroughs of Barnet and Camden. A toll house of 1710 opposite the Inn recalls the 18th Century turnpike roads and stories of highwaymen. The building remains a popular Inn and is open to visitors with pre-booking - see https://www.thespaniardshampstead.co.uk/
Continue along Spaniards Rd/B519 1km, then left at roundabout onto N End Way/A502. Hampstead Quaker Meeting House is on your left.
Hampstead Quaker Meeting 120 Heath Street, Hampstead, NW3 1DR is a listed Arts and Crafts freestyle building with plain interior and many charming original features, sympathetically modernised in 1991. Entrance via listed gateway. Original design Frederick Rowntree, 1907. Open Sunday 20th 1-5pm. NOTE Please wear facemasks.
Continue down Heath St 500 m, fork left on Fitzjohn’s Ave 400m , then right on Church Row.
Hampstead Parish Church (St John-at-Hampstead), Church Row, NW3 6UU. The parish church is a focal point at the end of a row of attractive Georgian terraced houses. The chapel-like exterior is deceiving and the beautiful interior with its high domed ceilings and beautiful stained glass windows is a surprise. Architects Original design John Sanderson, 1747, and F P Cockerell, 1878. Open Saturday 19th 10am-5pm.
Return to Hampstead High St/A502 and continue south (Hampstead High St, Rosslyn Hill, Haverstock Hill) 1km. Turn left on Aspern Grove 250m then left through Belsize Wood (walk your bicycle) to Lawn Rd. The Isokon Building is on your right.
The Isokon Building is a Grade I listed modernist block of 36 flats designed by Canadian engineer Wells Coates. It opened in 1934 and was sympathetically restored in 2003. Notable as the home of such figures as Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy and Agatha Christie. (Not open this year - exterior view only.)
Return to Haverstock Hill and turn left onto Belsize Ave, Buckland Crescent and College Crescent 1km. Left on Edgware Rd/A41, right on Adelaide Rd and straight to Hillgrove Rd/B509. Follow Hillgrove Rd for 300m to roundabout. First exit Loudon Rd; 100m on right is Rowley Way path (walk your bike). Follow Rowley Way to the estate.
Alexandra Road Estate. Designed by Neave Brown for LB Camden and completed in 1978. World famous Grade II* listed estate comprising 520 apartments, a school, community centre, youth club, heating complex, and parkland. (Not open this year - exterior view only.)
Swiss Cottage to Grays Inn - 11 km
Ride 2 Swiss Cottage to Lincoln’s Inn Fields 11km
Start at Swiss Cottage Library, 88 Avenue Rd NW3 3HA. Grade II listed building of 1963 by renowned modernist Basil Spence. Subsequently refurbished and remodelled whilst protecting the building’s landmark status. (Not open this year - exterior view only.)
East along Adelaide Rd/B509 to Chalk Farm underground station 1.1km then right on Chalk Farm Rd. The Round House is on your right.
The Round House, a notable example of mid-19th century railway architecture, was built in 1847 as a railway turntable. It was re-purposed in 1964 as a performing arts venue and, since refurbishment in 2004, it has become one of London’s most interesting performance spaces, hosting a range of shows from the Royal Shakespeare Company to Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. The conical slate roof is supported by 24 cast-iron Doric columns (arranged around the original locomotive spaces) and a framework of curved ribs. (Not open this year - exterior view only.)
Continue along Chalk Farm Road, with Camden Lock Market on your right. Left into Castlehaven Rd/Hawley Rd/Camden St then right into Camden Road and follow the one-way system (Bayham St, Pratt St, Delancy St) to Regent’s Park. Turn left into the Outer Circle.
The Outer Circle is lined with Grade I listed terraces of grand houses designed by John Nash and Decimus Burton in the 1820s. Cumberland Terrace with its monumental pediment contained 31 separate houses. Chester Terrace contained 42 houses and has the longest unbroken facade in Regent's Park, of about 280 metres (920 ft). (Not open to the public.)
Continuing on the Outer Circle, reach the Royal College of Physicians on the left. This is one of London’s most important post-war Grade I listed buildings, designed by Sir Denys Lasdun completed 1964. Dramatic interior spaces, white mosaic exterior elevated on piloti and distinct modernist lines. (Not open this year - exterior view only.)
Continue on Outer Circle, cross Euston Rd, Park Crescent, Portland Place and left on Weymouth St. Then right onto Great Portland St and left on Clipstone St to BT Tower.
BT Tower 43 Maple St W1T 4BG, Grade II listed, has been an enduring, distinctive feature of the London skyline for the last 56 years. It was built and continues to be used as a hub for telecommunications and broadcasting networks. 158m above street level is the famous revolving floor, originally operated as a restaurant. Designed by GR Yeats and Eric Bradford for the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works 1963. (Not open this year - exterior view only.)
Along Maple St, across Tottenham Court Rd, along University St. Right into Gower St and left into Keppel St. The Senate House is in Malet St at the end of Keppel St.
The Senate House was London’s tallest secular building when it opened as the HQ of the University of London in 1937. It was home to the Ministry of Information during WWII. This Grade II* listed landmark, designed by Charles Holden in 1933, features classicism and Art Deco elements. (Not open this year - exterior view only.)
From Malet St turn left onto Montagu Place, then round Russell Square to Southampton Row/A4200 and south past Holborn underground station to Kingsway. Turn left on Remnant St and enter Lincoln’s Inn Fields. On the north side of the Fields is Sir John Soane’s Museum.
Sir John Soane’s Museum, No 14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields WC2A 3BP. Built by Sir John Soane in 1824 and let out in his lifetime as a private house. Now a museum of his work and his collection of a huge range of objects and works of art. A rare and beautiful example of the architect’s late work. (Not open this year - exterior view only.)
Gray’s Inn to Highgate 9 km
Kings Cross/St Pancras
Ride 3 Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Highgate 9km
From the NE corner of Lincoln’s Inn Fields use the pedestrian passage (walk your bike) to Holborn/A40. Turn left on Holborn and immediately right on Red Lion St, across Theobalds Rd and along Lamb’s Conduit St. Turn left on Guilford St, right on Lansdowne Terrace and right on Brunswick Square. Park your bike and walk into the Brunswick Centre.
The Brunswick Centre was designed by Patrick Hodgkinson in the mid-1960s, based on studies by Leslie Martin. It was initially planned as a private mixed development but was leased by LB Camden for social housing. Building started in 1967 and was completed in 1972. Listed Grade II in 2000 it was restored, repaired and improved to create a new inner city destination, with retail, leisure and commercial facilities for visitors as well as residents. It reopened in 2006.
From Brunswick Square head north up Hunter St and Judd St and turn right on Cromer St.
Holy Cross Church, Cromer Street, WC1H 8JU. A Grade ll listed Oxford Movement Anglican church Designed by Joseph Peacock, built 1887-88. Historic England describe the exterior as ‘quirky and aggressive’ but the interior is ‘very spare and elegant, the proportions subtly adjusted’. Elevated choir and sanctuary. Open 11am-4pm Saturday 19th and 1-4pm Sunday 20th (Max visitors 15).
From Cromer St turn left onto Whidborne St and left again onto Argyle St. The Standard hotel is on your left.
The Standard 10 Argyle St, WC1H 8EG. This ambitious transformation of the former Camden Town Hall Annexe, a 1974 Brutalist structure, into a landmark hotel was achieved through the restoration of the original concrete façade and the addition of three striking storeys. Open Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th 10am-5pm. Tours (max 5 people) every 90 mins showcasing the Library Lounge, terrace, Double Standard and Isla.
At the end of Argyle St, across Euston Rd, is St Pancras Chambers and Clock Tower.
St Pancras Chambers and Clock Tower Euston Rd NW1 2AR. This is the former Midland Grand Hotel, now St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and Chambers apartments. The original hotel was designed by George Gilbert Scott and opened in 1876. Used as offices from 1935 to the 1980s it was saved from demolition and listed Grade I in 1967. It was redeveloped as a hotel and apartments in 2011. (Not open this year - exterior view only.)
Alongside St Pancras Chambers is Kings Cross Station. The train sheds were built by Lewis Cubitt in 1852: a new semi-circular departures concourse by John McAslan was added in March 2011.
The surrounding ex-railway land has been under development since 2007: notable buildings include Coal Drops Yard (Heatherwick Studio); Gasholder Park (Bell Phillips Architects); One Pancras Square (David Chipperfield Associates); Four Pancras Square (Eric Parry Architects); the Google Building (Thomas Heatherwick Studio and Bjarke Ingels Group); the Granary Building (Lewis Cubitt 1852 redeveloped by Stanton Williams 2011): and the Aga Khan Centre (Fumihiko Maki). (Not open this year - exterior views only.)
From Coal Drops Yard/Gasholder Park you can cycle over the Somers Town Bridge (Moxon Architects) to Camley St. Turn right on Camley St, under the Midland railway, over the canal, under the North London railway, and up the bicycle path to your left to Agar Grove (650m). Across Agar Grove is Murray St, then left onto Stratford Villas and right into Rochester Square.
Rochester Square, NW1 9SD is a half-acre, private square in the heart of Camden. Records show land and buildings at Rochester Square being used as a nursery for more than a century, from the 1840s. The square was abandoned for more than a decade until 2016: it is now being re-purposed as a community space and resource. Open Saturday 1-7pm (max visitors 30). Book in advance for tours and events.
From the north side of Rochester Square, cross Camden Road to Rochester Road; then 400m to Kentish Town Rd/A400. Turn right: after Kentish Town underground station (700m) fork right into Fortess Rd: 600m to Tufnell Park underground. Then left into Dartmouth Park Hill and Acland Burghley School is on your left.
Acland Burghley School, 93 Burghley Road, NW5 1UJ. An important example of 1960s comprehensive school design in the Brutalist style. Acland Burghley has recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and a Grade II listing. Original design by Howell, Killick,Partridge & Amis Architects,1966. Open Saturday 19th 10am-5pm.
Continue up Dartmouth Park Hill (steep hill!)1.4 km; turn left up Highgate Hill. Lauderdale House is immediately on your left.
Lauderdale House Highgate Hill N6 5HG. Grade II* listed building in Waterlow Park dating to 1582 and recently refurbished. Original Tudor wooden framework adapted by successive owners over the centuries, Today the house runs primarily as an arts, heritage and education centre. Haines Phillips Architects 2016.