This won't be everybody's cup of tea... but if hiring a bike and weaving your way in and out of the busy London traffic sounds like your idea of fun, then how about riding a bike for a few hours?
London has a network of hire bikes spread all over the city which have affectionally become known as 'Boris Bikes', after the Mayor of London who introduced them (Boris Johnson, who was himself a well-known cyclist). Their official name is the much less interesting Barclays Cycle Hire. I suppose we should all be calling them 'Sadiq Bikes' now, or 'Sadiq Cycles', after the new Mayor, but that doesn't have the same ring to it somehow.
They are totally self-service and there's no need to book. All you have to do is walk up to one of the bike racks and insert your credit/debit card into the machine at the end (they don't accept cash).
The bike racks are spread all over London -- there are 700 racks and over 10,000 bikes, so you are never very far from one. Most of the big streets have one, plus most of the attractions and tube stations. The idea is that you pick up a bike, and then can cycle off to wherever you need to go, and then drop it off at the next one.
You can ask a question about the Boris Bikes on the forum. Or maybe you'd like to add your own review, and let other people know what it was like?
Note: You must be over-18 to hire a bike, and over-14 to ride them. You need to provide your own cycle helmet as well. You can keep the bike for a maximum of 24 hours, but that's it -- if you don't return it after 24 hours then the late return fees are extremely steep -- £150! If you damage the bike, or don't return it at all, then you will be charged even more -- £300. So don't leave it in the street for chrissakes, because they have your bank card, remember -- they will automatically deduce the fee off it.
We also have some information about a guided bike tour around London, if you'd rather try that instead (...safety in numbers!). And you can always settle for a simple sightseeing bus.
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