The Tour of Britain arrives in London this Sunday, as top cyclists from around the world compete for the first spot in the UK’s largest professional cycle race.
If you fancy catching a glimpse of the cyclists whizzing through the capital on the final stretch of the eight-day race, we’ve rounded up the best spots for spectators – and the areas to avoid if you just want to make it through London’s traffic as painlessly as possible.
Where to watch
Cyclists will be racing in a loop starting and finishing at Regent Street St James, with warm-ups from 3pm. The 14 loops of the circuit then go on from 3.30 to 5.30pm.
The route takes in plenty of London landmarks along the way, with cyclists flying by Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall.
If you prefer a more active approach, Trafalgar Square is a good bet: the square will be full of cycling-themed activities which spectators can try out. Just watch out for crowds.
Not into cycling? Perhaps you’re more concerned about how best to avoid traffic chaos around the race, in which case your best bet is to avoid Whitehall or Westminster as much as possible.
Road closures and bus diversions
Several roads will be closed along the event route: Aldwych, Fleet Street, Haymarket, Waterloo Bridge, The Mall, Pall Mall, Northumberland Avenue, The Strand, Trafalgar Square and parts of Whitehall will all be closed between 8am and 8pm on the Sunday, while parts of Regent’s Street will be closed all day.
In addition, Transport for London (TfL) has warned Londoners that roads near the route are likely to be particularly busy. TfL has also made a map of where to leave additional time for your journey (the short answer: all of central London):
All bus routes going through the area will be diverted or terminate earlier, so if you can: opt for the Tube instead.