Ruislip Woods and Canal Ride - 15 Miles

Beginner/intermediate ride: Completed by Tom on 6/12/2016. 


Off road ride suitable for both beginner and intermediate level riders, incorporating singletrack through woods as well as a stretch of canal, which keeps the ride varied and interesting. When ridden at a slower pace the ride can take you through some picturesque areas of Ruislip woods as well as the canal. However when ridden faster with more intensity can make it more of an intermediate ride with some twisty singletrack and fast downhills if the rider so wishes.

Location: The ride will take you through several different areas around the borough of hillingdon, mostly off road, exploring areas that you may not have known existed. The ride starts out in Ruislip woods and takes you out towards Northwood, Maple cross to join the canal, harefield and then back into Ickenham.

Distance: Roughly 15 miles.
Elevation:  624ft  This is a relatively flat ride with only a few uphill climbs and a few fun fast downhill sections.  

What To Expect: The ride consists of  light singletrack through Ruislip woods, but mainly follows bridlepaths most of the way round (in the winter months the bridlepaths can become very muddy due to horses sharing the path). There is a section on the road going towards the Harefield Academy school and a fast downhill road section down springwell lane. The final stretch of the canal is gravely and flat providing a place to stop  in Harefield,called the Coy Carp, a picturesque canal side pub with plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy a drink and a bite to eat on warm summer day/evenings.




Starting from Bikewise head down Swakeleys road towards Copthall Road East until you reach a small park which will be directly ahead. Ride into the park and before crossing the bridge take a right.


You will be following the Celandine Route through the fields.  


On the route you will find that the path splits towards Ruislip golf course or straight on, you will want to take the left towards the golf course. You will pass underneath a railway bridge before you come to another split in the path where you will need to take a left (away from the golf course) and cross over Breakspear Road South, you will need to take particular care as this can be a busy section of road.


Once you have safely crossed the road there will be a building on the left, but just to the right of it is the bridal path you will need to follow to get to Ruislip woods.This is a slight climb with a short descent on the other side, when you reach the bottom of this you need to take a right on Newyearsgreen lane and continue on.


Approximately 20 metres down the lane there is a gap in the wooden fence which you need to go through on the left. Once you have gone through this you need to keep going straight and follow the bridal path round, whilst riding down keep an eye out for a gap in the wire fence to the left of you as this is the best path to take, (the gap can be found opposite the small lake). When you have gone through the gap continue straight down the single track until you come to a stile.


Carefully lift your bike over and take a right up the hill, keeping straight and following the bridal path around past the carpark. At the end of the bridal path you will come out onto Breakspear Road North.


Directly in front of you across the road is the beginning the bridal path which you need to follow until you reach Ducks Hill Road. This bridal path is shared with horses and can become very rutted in the winter months, try sticking as close to the sides of the path as possible to help deal with this.  


At the end of the bridal path you will come out onto Ducks Hill Road, directly in front of you across the road is a wooden fence that you need to go under/over and take a left following another bridal path.  


The bridal path will take a sharp right onto a sandy section, you want to follow the path all the way down and at stage 10 take the second left.


When you have arrived at the second left off the sandy path it will take you up a slight incline, running at the back of people's houses (this is a good way to check you are on the right path) and you will need to follow this path until you rejoin Ducks Hill Road again in Northwood.


Take a right when on Ducks Hill Road and ride around 400m until you see Jackets Lane on the left, this is the road you need to go down.


Ride straight down Jackets Lane and you will come to another bridal path roughly 200m in, you want to head down the path taking care as it can be a fast descent which is shared with horse riders. Keep on following this path staying straight, this will then bring you out at the top of a slight incline onto Jackets Lane.


You will want to head directly straight from Jackets lane onto Northwood Road and follow it all of the way down until you arrive outside of the Harefield Academy school. When outside the school you will need to take a right down Northwood way which will take you past the main entrance of the school, stay straight onto Newdigate Road  


You need to keep following Newdigate Road which will take you past Newdigate Green, keep following until you eventually come to Rickmansworth Road where you need to take  right then an immediate left onto Hill End Road taking you past Harefield Hospital.


From Hill End Road you want to keep heading straight until you get to Springwell Lane, this is a steep narrow decent so you will need to keep keep alert and always use your best judgement.


At the bottom of Springwell lane keep following it until you find yourself on a bridge over the canal. From this bridge you want to head left down the canal and keep on heading straight, as a cyclist on the canal you need to be considerate to pedestrians.  


The Coy Carp can be found along this stretch of canal, it is found at the point of Copper Mill Lane intersecting over the canal. If you do stop at the Coy Carp you need to take a right to continue going the way you were before you stopped.


Eventually you will come to a white footbridge over the canal, you will want to cross over this to the other side and head through the metal width restrictors, keep going straight down the path until you come out at the bottom of uxbridge golf course. There is a slight incline until you reach the top which will take you to the drive.


At the drive you will be back in ickenham, you can either head down the drive, down warren road, through swakeleys park and back to Bikewise, or go a way that suits you getting home easier.