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Cyclists riding through a forest during Ford RideLondon 2023




10 Stunning Sights on the Ford RideLondon-Essex 100 Route

From iconic London landmarks to sweeping scenery and picture-perfect villages and towns, there’s plenty to feast your eyes on along the incredible route of the Ford RideLondon-Essex 100. Here's what’s in store and why this 100-mile ride is a must-do event in the UK cycling calendar.

The world’s greatest festival of cycling

In 2023 more than 20,000 riders took on the event, attracted by stunning city cycling, leafy Essex countryside and the chance to enjoy car-free roads for the day. 

There’s no doubt that Britain’s biggest sportive delivers when it comes to the route. The rolling terrain is perfect for experienced and beginner cyclists alike, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy along the way. 

Starting in central London, you’ll glide out from Victoria Embankment into the historic county of Essex via Epping Forest, through stunning rural towns and villages – including Epping, Ongar, Great Dunmow, Felsted and Writtle – before pedalling to a spectacular finish in central London.

1. Victoria Embankment (Start Line)

Cyclists on Embankment during Ford RideLondon 2023

The Ford RideLondon-Essex 100 begins on Victoria Embankment, which runs alongside the River Thames from Westminster Bridge in the west to Blackfriars Bridge in the City of London. Enjoy your first pedal strokes as you head away from the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben towards the City.

2. Tower of London (Mile 2)

Cyclists passing the Tower of London during Ford RideLondon 2024

Just a few miles into the ride, make sure you look right to marvel at the Tower of London. This iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the country’s most evocative, ancient monuments and home to the Crown Jewels, legendary Yeoman Warders and the famous guardian ravens.


3. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (Mile 12)

Cyclists going through the Olympic park during Ford RideLondon 2024


After you’ve made your way through the East End neighbourhoods of Poplar, West Ham and Bow, you’ll brush past the home of the London 2012 Olympic Games and jaw-dropping Olympic venues such as the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre and Velopark. You’ll also have the chance to ride along the A12 – usually closed to cyclists!

 4. Epping Forest (Mile 22) and Epping (Mile 25)

Cyclists going through Epping during Ford RideLondon 2023

After the bustle of central London, the route takes you into the beautiful Epping Forest, which is just the beginning of the best Essex has to offer. You’ll be greeted by lush, opens fields and beautiful Green Belt land, as well as the historic market town of Epping.

The forest itself covers almost 10 square miles and has been wooded since Neolithic times. Take a moment to appreciate the ancient woodland as you cycle through it.


5. Chipping Ongar (Mile 32) and Epping Ongar Heritage Railway (Mile 73)

Cyclists going through Chipping Ongar during Ford RideLondon 2024

Keep an eye out for a vintage steam train as you pedal along this section of the route. The Epping Ongar Heritage Railway winds through miles of rolling countryside, connecting Ongar to Epping, and is a great way to explore (when you’re not on two wheels!). The train departs from a Grade II listed Great Eastern Railway Station, in the pleasant town of Chipping Ongar where listed buildings line the high street.


6. Great Dunmow (Mile 45)

Cyclists going through Great Dunmow during Ford RideLondon 2024 

As you approach the halfway point of the ride, you’ll head through the small market town of Great Dunmow, which dates back to the Roman period. Expect to see mellow plaster cottages, a riverside church and a beautifully restored malt house. 


7. Felsted (Mile 53)

Cyclists going through Felsted during Ford RideLondon 2024

A few miles further on, you’ll be able to enjoy the atmosphere of Felsted, a picturesque village that’s perhaps most famous for its school, which has links to Oliver Cromwell, who sent his sons there. More recently, Felsted was one of the villages Stage Three of the Tour de France passed through in 2014 when the event came to the UK.

8. Chelmsford (Mile 63)

One of three cities in the county of Essex, Chelmsford offers outstanding attractions such as its cathedral and the fully restored Grade II listed Hylands House – which starred in The Crown TV series in 2018. It’s also famous as the birthplace of the radio, thanks to its connection with Guglielmo Marconi who opened the world’s first wireless factory here in 1899. By the time your ride through the city, you’re well on your way to conquering the 100 miles!

9. Writtle (Mile 65)

Soon after heading out of Chelmsford, you’ll encounter the traditional English village of Writtle, nestled in the countryside with a historic centre, lined with timbered houses around a triangular ‘Green’ complete with a duck pond and Norman church. It was once described as “one of the loveliest villages in England, with a ravishing variety of ancient cottages,” by the author A R Hope-Moncreiff. See if you agree with him as you cycle through…

10. Tower Bridge (Finish Line)

 Cyclists approaching the finish of Ford RideLondon 2023

After just over 100 miles of pedalling, you’ll get to finish your ride in style in central London. In 2023 the Finish Line of the Ford RideLondon-Essex 100 was at the stunning Tower Bridge.

This world-famous suspension bridge was started in 1886 and took almost a decade to complete – and it’s been drawing the crowds ever since, with around 500,000 tourists a year admiring its Neo Gothic architecture. Take a moment to savour having this iconic landmark to yourself as you complete your century ride!