One of our favourite ways to get around Windsor is by bike. With routes along the River Thames and through the Great Park you can easily avoid busy roads and take in some stunning scenery.
Cycling in Windsor is good fun but the main thoroughfares are best avoided. Peascod Street is a pedestrian precinct only and cycling is not allowed. Bicycles may not be ridden across the bridge to Eton, mainly so as to avoid crashes between cyclists and pedestrians.
Windsor, Weybridge & Bracknell (OS Explorer Map) from Amazon is the best all round cycling and walking map for the area.
Also, please note that although it looks tempting, the Long Walk (leading from the Castle to the Deer Park) is strictly bicycle free.
However the majority of roads in the Great Park are open to cyclists and because of the limited number of cars within the park area it is nice and safe to ride there. In fact, many families use it as an ideal location for teaching children how to ride.
Cycle Routes around Berkshire
If you are interested in more long distance cycling then the Round Berkshire Cycle Route offers a route running east from Windsor through Dorney, Maidenhead, Cookham, Wargrave Twyford and Reading where we leave the river Thames and head up to the Lambourne Downs.
Then from Hungerford the cycle path returns west through Newbury, Thatcham, Mortimer Crowthorne, Bracknell and Windsor Great Park. This long path has so many noteable places to see on route that we think it is best if you get yourself a free copy of the Round Berkshire Cycle Route map
Sustrans also have maps of cycle routes around Windsor and the Thames Valley, with a focus on using the riverside paths wherever possible.
A great fun path is on the north bank of the Thames (the Brocas) leading upstream all the way to Maidenhead along the Jubilee River track. From here you can then cycle on to Cookham if you wanted a longer journey. If you are too tired to cycle back, there is a train to Slough. From there you can cycle to Windsor in 15 minutes or get a second train to Windsor and Eton Central station.
Instead of going all the way to Maidenhead you can cross a wooden footbridge at Bray and head for the magnificent Hind’s Head pub for refreshments. If you take this route you can cycle along the the main road back to Windsor (the A308/Maidenhead Road) which passes the old Bray Studios and the Oakley Court Hotel which is famed for appearing in the ‘Rocky Horror Show’ movie.
The path downstream towards Runnymede from Windsor is equally enjoyable and has some nice challenging bits. A good place to stop for a some refreshment is ‘Bells of Ousley’ pub, just before Runnymede, although they have recently put up big ‘Harvester’ signs, so perhaps you might want to carry on for a few hundred metres to the National Trust Cafe at Runnymede. You can park your bike and follow the path to the place where bad old King John was forced to agree to the Magna Carta on 15 June 1215.
London to Windsor Palace to Palace
The Prince’s Trust Palace to Palace event has become a regular event in the Windsor calender, and is a great way of taking in lots of sites on the 45 mile route between Buckingham Palace and the final destination of Windsor Castle.
You start (early in the morning) from Saint James’s Park (right next to Buckingham Palace) and set off down the Mall before heading through London towards the River Thames. As you set off so early the route through London is quiet so you get the chance to relax and enjoy some stunning views – as well as do a spot of window shopping.
Your route then takes you through Fulham, across Putney Bridge and through Richmond Park (keep an eye out for Fenton). You then cycle towards Kingston-upon-Thames, cross the river into Bushy Park then through Virginia Water and Egham before the end of your journey in Windsor.
The route is well marked with volunteers stationed along the way to direct you through more tricky areas and make sure you and your bike survive the journey. Every 10 miles there are water stations and toilet facilities.
We completed the Palace to Palace in 2010 and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and can highly recommend it to anyone looking for a sporting challenge. It takes place in September/October each year and has places for 3000 participants. The cost for entry is £35 and each participant is asked to raise a minimum of £45.
More details about the London Palace to Palace
Bicycle shops in Windsor
We now have some good bicycle shops in Windsor.
The Bike Company at 59 St Leonard’s Road opposite the college, hidden away in a yard off the main road.
Swim, Bike Run at 17a Goswell Hil are close to the main station.
Archway Bicycles are under the railway arches (Arch 58) at the end of Alma Road.
Cycle hire in Windsor
Stows Cycles and Windsor Cycle Hire, both offer cycle hire facilities. In addition, the Roller Rink in Alexandra Gardens can hire cycles during the summer.