nicole pugson essex on two wheels

Essex on Two Wheels + Cake!

Because of my job and it’s odd hours, I’m able to take advantage of getting out on some solo rides around Essex. We live north of the river, so it’s probably the easiest place to get to, although don’t get me wrong, I do like the Kent hills every once and awhile.

Essex is very flat, getting out of the London and into Epping is a long and deceptive incline so when you power out with a group it’s fine but it can be a bit of a slog on your own. A few hilly bits around Toot Hill and Chigwell but once you are out in the country the routes are almost pancake flat and beautiful!

I’ve put together a few distances, all going past some super cafes for a quick coffee and a snack – we all need a little extra fuel ;). Of course, you don’t have to hit up those haunts, whenever you pull into a small town or village, most of the time you’ll find a cosy little cafe to warm up in in the winter or soak up some sun in the summer.

The routes below all start at Shadwell station in London / Canary Wharf and end at Chingford. This is purely because I prefer to spend more of my rides out in the scenic countryside, rather than battling traffic in and out of London. You can get the overground from Chingford station into London Liverpool Street in about 20-30mins (going past Hackney Downs and Bethnal Green), easy peasy.

My routes are on Strava, where you can download the GPX files and/or copy the routes with your own start/finish but hopefully they are helpful for newbie riders, and perhaps the cafe recommendations will be useful for those more experienced riders!

135km – High Easter & Bishop Stortford, Essex
Coffee & Cake: The Snug Cafe (approx. 70km in) or Roding Hall Tea Room (approx. 78km in, pulling off at High Roding) – great scones and sausage rolls. – really really cute place, lovely cakes.

110km – Up to Bishop Stortford, Essex
Coffee & Cake: Hopleys Cafe (approx. 76km in)

100km – Welwyn, Hertfordshire
Coffee & Cake: The Country Bumpkin (approx. 50km in)

80km – Blackmore & Abridge, Essex
Coffee & Cake: Blackmore Tea Rooms (approx 47km in) or Blue Boar Deli (approx. 75km in) – amazing cakes, massive portions! – so good for breakfast at the end of the ride.

With the poor weather we’ve been having recently make sure you’ve got your stolen goat Orkaan gear // Ride any weather! – see here!

Feel free to follow me on Instagram and see what I get up to on my daily adventures – @ni_cole_92