Author Topic: Kings Cross to Portsmouth  (Read 2467 times)

Socks

  • FFCT rally, France 2012
Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« on: February 28, 2018, 10:28:23 am »
I'm doing the CTC 'Manche to Med' holiday in May, and need to get to the meet up point at Portsmouth for the ferry.  Current plan is train to Kings Cross and cycle down to Portsmouth the day before.

As I've never cycled in London before, can anyone recommend a relatively stress free route to get out of the urban grot and avoid the busiest roads down to Portsmouth?

Thanks in advance.

Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2018, 10:37:54 am »
The Regents/Grand Union canal is a traffic free route to west London. If you come off it where it crosses the A40 near Northolt there is a cycle route/path alongside the A40 out as far as Uxbridge.

Wascally Weasel

  • Slayer of Dragons and killer of threads.
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2018, 10:55:43 am »
Another option would be to take a Thameslink train from St Pancras (just next to King's Cross) to Redhill south of London, avoiding all of the urban grot and putting you near some nicer roads.  If that's too far east you could change at Redhill for somewhere like Dorking Deepdene or Gomshall.

If you're taking your bike on a train you'll need to travel outside peak times.

benborp

  • benbravoorpapa
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2018, 12:04:04 pm »
My knowledge isn't up to date and is also coloured by the fact that I spent many years escaping south west London to ride in circles round the Surrey Hills and North Downs: the London end of the route holds fewer fears for me. I would say that the greater difficulties lie in finding pleasant, direct routes towards the south west. The topography makes it strangely difficult to maintain that heading and off of the main routes you are frequently pushed south or westwards. Meandering routes aren't too bad but I always found these roads to be particularly hard going, the constant changes of gradient and especially the road surfaces didn't help. I always found this to be the shortest and toughest day of three when riding down to the Charente-Maritime.
Portsmouth is impressively well protected from invasion by cyclists. You have to have precise knowledge of exactly how you are going to get in to the city and then to a lesser extent how you are going to get to the port. I would imagine signage has improved since I last cycled through but back then it was like threading a needle and then finding that actually you needed a crochet hook.

I'm making this sound like it isn't worth it, but my experience was always a stressful dash away from work and then looking to make swift progress to the ferry. There are loads of very pleasant cycling roads through the area, I think it is best to make a commitment to a less direct, dog-leg route to get the roads that you would prefer. There are lots of options but it's difficult to make any recommendations without knowing your preferences for navigation, climbing and what to you constitutes the 'busiest' roads (for example, there are some significant A roads without cycling provision that seem to me to be far more civilized than the B alternative). As I said my knowledge of cycling through London is now out of date but I shall look back over my rides and see what highlights I can find between the outskirts and Portsmouth.
A world of bedlam trapped inside a small cyclist.

cygnet

  • I'm part of the association
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2018, 12:39:51 pm »
This is the 'Avenue Verte' route out of London to Redhill.

https://avenuevertelondonparis.co.uk/troncons/the-greater-london

Disclaimer: Never ridden it.
I Said, I've Got A Big Stick

benborp

  • benbravoorpapa
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2018, 01:24:48 pm »
If you end up taking a route via Redhill then I can recommend heading cross country towards Newdigate and then onwards so that you include Weare Street. It is 3 miles of calm.

I've ridden some of the Wandle Trail that is used by the Avenue Verte. It is very pleasant in parts, verging on squalid in others as it runs between industrial units. It is necessary to negotiate various obstacle course gates which still don't manage to keep the mopeds out and sensible pace can be barely quicker than walking in places. It's better than I thought it would be, but then I really can't recommend any road routes through the area (Wandsworth/Merton).
A world of bedlam trapped inside a small cyclist.

Socks

  • FFCT rally, France 2012
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2018, 02:07:21 pm »
Thanks for the information chaps.  I'll check it out.  I've just booked my train (although of course I couldn't book the bike on, but Sunderland is the start and it is early morning so hopefully I'll be OK).  Due to arrive Kings Cross 10.30 ish, which should give me a reasonable length of time to get down to Portsmouth even if it isn't a direct route.

And if the weather is bad the Thameslink train sounds like another option.

Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2018, 08:43:24 pm »
If you've got a fully loaded bike I'd take the same route the commuters do.

1. South from KX to join up with the EW cycle superhighway.
 - number of possible routes depending on how confident you are with traffic
 - from king's cross square I'd take belgrove st, cut through on the cycle only links to Sidmouth Street, cross to Ampton Street (bikes only), Cubit Street, then join the A201 (only dodgy junction of the route) and stay on the A201 until the NS superhighway starts. Join the EW cycle superhighway at Blackfriars
 - the more direct route takes you down Kingsway and joins the EW superhighway at the North end of Waterloo bridge but I'd only recommend that if you are comfortable cycling through a closing canyon of London buses, Indiana Jones style

2. Leave the EW highway at parliament square

3. Keep going east along Millbank and Chelsea embankment. There's a good mix of bus lanes and wide roads so it feels pretty safe, but keep a careful eye out for left turning traffic at the bridges

4. Cut through lots road and Chelsea harbour, take Imperial road to the a308

5. Cross Putney bridge, take lower Richmond road, b306, priory lane to Richmond park.

6. Go through the middle of the park (pen ponds) to avoid dark hill.

7. Exit at the SW corner and pick up the cycle route through Kingston.

Then you can either go south on the A307 via Escher and the Surrey hills (more direct but hilly) or stick to the Thames valley for as long as possible via bushy park and Walton on Thames.

I've ridden all these roads at literally every hour of the day and they are fine and very efficient. In rush hour you have safety in numbers.

Socks

  • FFCT rally, France 2012
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2018, 12:14:23 pm »
thanks inappropriate - a useful step by step guide, and I will have a loaded touring bike.  (Although it's a Moulton TSR so I have on occasion also been called inappropriate).

Clare

  • Is home
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2018, 01:03:58 pm »
The last mile to the ferry.

Get yourself onto Northern Parade (A3) heading south (this becomes Twyford Ave and then Stamshaw Road), when you reach the Rudmore roundabout you can either:

a) Get in the middle lane to access the roundabout and hammer across to the ferry port entrance.

b) Use the left lane onto the roundabout then take the second exit off the roundabout (Mile End Road sliproad) about 100 metres down there is a ped crossing under the flyover, this takes you straight to the queueing point for cross channel ferries.

c) If you are not too laden you can use the subway system under the Rudmore roundabout, it is accessed from a dropped kerb on the left just before the roundabout. This route has barriers to stop larger vehicles entering the subways and you may find panniers will be a bugger to negotiate around them.


Personally I would go for option b, I'm not brave enough for a and c leads to the area that Heinz Stucke had his bike nicked from while he slept.

Clare

  • Is home
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2018, 01:06:00 pm »
Actually should have asked where you are meeting up for the ferry, you mention a meet up point, is it the ferry port?

If you want a guide through the badlands of Pompey let me know.

Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2018, 08:58:22 pm »
I'm less familiar with the London end but know Portsmout well.
My suggestion; exit London via Chelsea to get to Richmond Park, through Kingston, then Cobham, Guildford, Petersfield, Rowlands Castle, Havant and then into Portsmouth.
I can send you a couple of GPX tracks to look at if you like.
From Havant into Portsmouth is easy if you know your way, complicated if you don't.
What time do you need to get to the ferryport & are you getting straight onto the ferry?
You could easily enjoy a leisurly 6hr ride down from London, then find the last 5 miles takes over an hour as you try to navigate your way to the ferry port.
Taking up Clares offer of route guidance would be sensible.
Another option might be to get a train from Havant to Portsmouth and Southsea, a cheap 10 minutes journey, with frequent trains so easy to get your bike on. You'll then have an easy 10 minute ride to the ferry port. Note you need to get off at Portsmout and Southsea and not Portsmouth Harbour.

Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2018, 11:46:00 pm »
GPX of the Exit-Via-Richmond Park/Kingston route here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26965989

Takes you past some pretty good landmarks!

Looks like it should be possible to miss the A201 entirely. But I haven't ridden all of the detour (Pakenam St, Phoenix Place, Warner St, Saffron Hill) so haven't put it in. Might give it a go next time I'm riding to King's Cross and report back.

There's also a very quiet route to Richmond Park via CS3. But navigation is much less straightforward, and it is hilly and slow.

Socks

  • FFCT rally, France 2012
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2018, 11:47:47 am »
Actually should have asked where you are meeting up for the ferry, you mention a meet up point, is it the ferry port?

If you want a guide through the badlands of Pompey let me know.

Clare - I'm stopping at the Premier Inn at Havant the night before.  This gives me a bit of a contingency plan in case of problems with train, weather etc.  Then meeting up at the Old Customs House pub at 6.30pm the next day.  So I'll have a bit of time on the 4th (assuming the weather is halfway decent) to do a little sightseeing ride.  Any recommendations for that and the route in to the pub very welcome.

Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2018, 12:43:46 am »
If that's the pub I think it is then your last new metres will be a bit Paris Roubaix.

Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2018, 01:35:38 am »
Is the train you're getting from Sunderland the Grand Central or the Virgin? Grand Central are great with bikes, Virgin not so much...

Socks

  • FFCT rally, France 2012
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2018, 12:43:08 pm »
Is the train you're getting from Sunderland the Grand Central or the Virgin? Grand Central are great with bikes, Virgin not so much...

Grand Central - I couldn't reserve a space but they said that getting the bike on shouldn't be a problem. 

Clare

  • Is home
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2018, 11:34:25 pm »
Sightseeing, it depends how far you want to ride, if the weather is good a ride up Portsdown Hill is worth it for the views, there is a lay-by opposite the Churchillian pub which is home to the famous Mick's Burger van (home of the Monster Burger and good for any variety of fried thing in a bap and tea).

If you want to go a bit further afield head up to Broad Halfpenny Down (opposite the Bat and Ball, sort of in Hambledon) and see the former home of English cricket, then on to Butser Hill (the second highest hill in Hampshire) followed by a pleasant ride back through the lanes via Old Winchester Hill (22nd) before testing your brakes on Portsdown Hill (a measly 26th).

If the weather is against you then I recommend a day at the dockyard mooching around the old boats but do mind your head.

The Old Customs House is in Gunwharf Quays and you may be pursued by a security guard onna Segway if you ride your bike in the wrong manner etc etc and, as Johnny Faro says, there are a few granite sets to negotiate, not to mention the middle aged, moneyed types shambling around the area.

To get to the pub you need to go into Gunwharf through the pedestrian only archway just to the left of the road access to the carpark, walk/ride through the arch, dodge the Segways and drunks and head in a straight line towards the harbour, The Old Customs House is on your right about halfway down.

Socks

  • FFCT rally, France 2012
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2018, 09:11:51 am »
Sightseeing, it depends how far you want to ride, if the weather is good a ride up Portsdown Hill is worth it for the views, there is a lay-by opposite the Churchillian pub which is home to the famous Mick's Burger van (home of the Monster Burger and good for any variety of fried thing in a bap and tea).
 

thanks Clare - I like the sound of that burger van.  One of the most memorable 'meals' during my LeJog ride a few years ago was a fried egg and black pudding bap, from a burger van in a layby south of Carlisle. 

Clare

  • Is home
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2018, 11:46:04 pm »

Socks

  • FFCT rally, France 2012
Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2018, 02:27:03 pm »
Thanks everyone for suggestions and help with this.  The trip is getting close, I've been looking at cycle routes from King's Cross and other options.  I think Wascally's plan sounds best as it means I won't have to attempt navigation through the big City.  And if the next day's weather is OK a visit to the monster burger emporium seems like a good idea:

 
Another option would be to take a Thameslink train from St Pancras (just next to King's Cross) to Redhill south of London, avoiding all of the urban grot and putting you near some nicer roads.  If that's too far east you could change at Redhill for somewhere like Dorking Deepdene or Gomshall.

If you're taking your bike on a train you'll need to travel outside peak times.

Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2019, 02:18:52 pm »
Just in case anyone finds this thread when planning their route...

The North South Cycle Superhighway is now open all the way to King's Cross, so the NS highway to the EW highway, past Westminster, then out via Chelsea Embankment and Richmond Park, is definitely the best option.

The north end of the NS superhighway is quite hard to find.

When you exit King's Cross station look for the Taxi Rank between King's Cross and St Pancreas. It is next to a big oval shaped building on Pancras Road.

Take Pancras Road going south, crossing Euston Road. Cycles can go straight accross onto Belgrove Street.

Look at the map in advance and plot a route through the maze of twisty little roads to get to Ampton Street. Ignore all the signs! They'll point you in a random direction that has no correlation with the direction you'd like to go.

After that, the cycle superhighway signs work fine.

Re: Kings Cross to Portsmouth
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2019, 06:44:06 pm »
I like CycleStreets to find my way across London. Downloading a GPX from there certainly finds that tricky bit at KX for you, although it doesn't then head down the NS Superhighway. Here's the route it suggests to Richmond Park.