Article by Ruth Bloomfield
Whether you are a novice cyclist keen to cut your carbon footprint and travel costs or already a superstar cyclist, get into the Lycra and explore these stylish new homes developments , built in the perfect places to hone your skills – whether on city streets, easygoing riverside routes, or out in some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK:
ABBEY QUAY, BARKING
In an effort to make London more cycle friendly and encourage more people to travel to and from work by bike, Transport for London has been setting up cycleways across the capital.
These safe routes for bikes help link Barking, in east London, to the capital’s three main employment hubs: Canary Wharf, the City and the West End.
And Barking is in the throes of major regeneration, with new homes schemes such as Abbey Quay. This architecturally sensitive new waterside urban village brings just over 1,000 sustainable, low-energy modern apartments, with many luxury facilities included in the price. Being built on a six-acre site, it’s perfect for busy first-time buyers and also features shops, cafes, restaurants, gardens and paths alongside the River Roding.
Even if you prefer to let the train take the commuting strain, there are plenty of options for getting to work, with the District and Hammersmith & City lines, c2c and Overground services. And at weekends you could always take a spin around Barking Park, a mile up the road, or Wanstead Flats, three miles away. Prices at Abbey Quay start at £327,000.
SPRINGFIELD PARK, MAIDSTONE
At 326 square miles the Kent Downs is one of the biggest and most beautiful protected open spaces in Britain, stretching from the White Cliffs of Dover to the borders of London. With ancient bluebell woodlands, rugged chalk coastline, rare chalk grassland and Kentish Ragstone villages, there is year-round beauty for the keen cyclist to explore.
Maidstone is a great spot from which to enjoy the Downs, and trains to London take just over an hour. The town centre has historic charm, plenty of choice for shopping, eating and drinking, plus a cinema, a theatre, an art gallery and a leisure centre.
Springfield Park, by Weston Homes, is a well-located, low-energy, sustainable collection of luxurious apartments just north of the heart of town. There’s riverside shopping at St Peter’s Wharf, plus a wide range of supermarkets within easy reach – and these homes are handy for leisurely cycling and walking along the peaceful six-mile path beside the River Medway.
Prices for modern apartments at Springfield Park start from £199,000 for one-bedroom homes, and £257,000 for two-bedroom properties.
STATION SQUARE, CAMBRIDGE
Cambridge is the quintessential cycling city. Generations of students have taken to two wheels to get around its streets and the very active Cambridge Cycling Campaign has successfully lobbied for a cycle park with space for almost 3,000 bikes at the railway station. There are cycle paths running through some of the city’s most beautiful open spaces, including Midsummer Common, a riverside path all the way from Jesus Green to the village of Waterbeach, plus high-quality cycleways along main roads.
Cambridge is, in short, not only a beautiful, historic little city with a studenty buzz and lots to do, but heavenly for those who favour two wheels. A landmark boutique development of almost 90 sustainable, low-energy apartments, 3 & 4 Station Square, by Weston Homes, is a distinctive, curvy building within a few minutes’ walk of Cambridge train station, from where services to London King’s Cross take less than an hour. Prices for one-bedroom flats at 3 & 4 Station Square start at £387,500.