Bike Rental London | A Santander Cycles Guide for First-Timers + Santander Cycle Alternatives

London is one of the best cities for cycling with its well-planned and traffic-free cycling routes.

Ride through London’s routes packed with sightseeing opportunities for an incredible cycling experience.

Whether you are a local or a tourist avoiding long walks or just looking for a casual bike ride around the city, bike rental in London is the way to go.

Santander Bike 1

The quickest and most convenient way to rent a bike in London is through Santander Cycles, a bike scheme London is best known for.

It is a public bicycle-sharing system that started operations in July 2010 with an annual ridership of about 10.9 million.

Santander Cycles is contracted by Transport for London (TfL) and is under the sponsorship of a British Bank known as Santander UK.

Today, there are over 12,000 cycles for rent across approximately 800 docking stations. If you need a speedy cycle for hire, read this bike rental London guide to help you know the steps.

Some other public transportation options you must know when travelling in London.

In this guide, you will learn about:

  • How Do Santander Bikes Work
  • Santander Cycles App
  • Santander Bikes Cost
  • Santander Cycles Membership and Discounts
  • Santander Bike Locations
  • Santander Cycle Routes
  • Santander Cycle Alternatives
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Bike Your Way Through London’s Greatest Views

How Do Santander Bikes Work

Hiring a Santander bike is similar to renting a car – make a reservation, pay, use, and return. To hire a bike, download the Santander Cycles app or proceed directly to the nearest docking station.

In order to ride the bike, you need to use a “release code” given through the app or at the docking station.

The release code is like a passcode that should only be seen and used by you for safety purposes. Before cycling, check the bike’s overall condition such as the quality of the brakes and tires, and read on safety reminders. Afterward, you are ready to cycle through London’s cycle routes.

Once you are done cycling, return the bike to a vacant docking point. It is that simple! The bike scheme in London is easy-to-follow, but if you need additional assistance there are staff readily available through Contact Centre.

10 Steps on How to Hire a Santander Bike

Ride and return a Santander bike in 10 easy steps. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to hire a Santander bike.

  1. Hire a bike by downloading Santander Cycles app or going to the nearest docking station.
  2. Register your bank card in the app or use it as a Contactless Card at the docking station machine.
  3. Click “Hire a Cycle” and follow the instructions shown on the app or docking station machine screen.
  4. Afterward, a “release code” is displayed on the app screen or printed out at the docking station machine. The code is only valid at the docking station you chose and must be entered within 10 minutes.
  5. Choose a bike you like and check the bike’s overall condition.
  6. Enter the release code on the keypad of the docking slot.
  7. Wait for a green light before taking the bike out of the slot.
  8. Adjust the saddle height according to your liking and ride the bike through London’s cycling routes.
  9. Once you complete your journey, return the bike to any docking station closest to you with a vacant docking point or slot.
  10. Insert the bike into a docking slot and wait for a green light indicating that it is securely parked.

In case the docking point is full, you get an additional 15 minutes when you select “No docking point free” at the docking station machine.

In this way, you get extra time to find a nearby vacant docking point, which can be found when you select “Status of nearest docking station” through the app or at the docking station machine.

Santander Cycles App

If you want to skip the long lines at the docking station machine, download the Santander Cycles app from the AppStore or Google Play and get your release code as soon as possible.

Santander Cycles App iPhone Screenshots

Not only can you get your release code fast, but you can also have updated information on docking stations, live vacancy statues, and your recent cycling activities. Moreover, the app even shows the distance you covered and calories burned during your cycling journey.

With the help of the app, preparing for your cycling journey is effortless since you can search for cycling routes and docking stations. If you frequently use the same docking station, you can automatically save them as your favorites.

In this way, you do not have to keep searching for the same docking station every time you hire a bike.

Up for a challenge? Join a challenge with London Riders through the app. Joiners can have the chance to win free drinks from Caffe Nero with its weekly prize draw.

Santander Bikes Cost

Santander Bike 2

The Pay as you ride minimum cost of hiring a Santander bike is £1.65 per 30 minutes. You can use the bike for up to 24 hours and pay for the accumulated 30-minute rate.

If you are planning to hire a Santander bike for the long term, you can opt for a Monthly membership for £20 a month or an Annual membership for £120 a year.

Get up to one hour of unlimited rides for one month with a Monthly membership or one hour of unlimited rides for one year with an Annual membership.

If you ride for more than an hour, you will then pay a membership rate of £1.65 per additional hour for both Monthly and Annual memberships. The bike should be returned in good condition and not longer than 24 hours.

Otherwise, you might have to pay a fee of up to £300. The Pay as you ride and membership cost is payable through the Santander Cycles app, membership key, and at the docking terminal stations.

Cash payment and Contactless Devices are not accepted, so you need to prepare your bank card or Contactless Card for payment.

Refer to the Santander Bikes Cost Table below for quick reference:

Santander Bikes Cost Table

Cost Membership Fee
Pay as you ride  £1.65 per 30 minutes Not Applicable
Monthly membership Free one hour unlimited rides for one month +  £1.65 for each additional hour £20 per month
Annual membership Free one hour unlimited rides for one year +  £1.65 for each additional hour £120 per year

Santander Cycles Membership and Discounts

Become a Santander Cycles Member

To become a Santander Cycles Member, you need to sign up and create an account online or apply through the Santander Cycles app.

Members get the benefit of having quicker bike hires since you do not need to use the docking station machines. You can track your monthly or yearly membership activity with the help of the app.

Moreover, members are the only ones who can hire an e-bike instead of a regular bike. However, e-bikes are temporarily unavailable for hire at the moment.

If you buy a membership key, you can automatically use it to hire a bike instead of using the app.

How to Get a Santander Cycles Discount

Aside from free unlimited rides as a benefit, you can get more discounts as a member if you need cycles to commute to work, are an NHS employee, or are a student over 18 years old. If you are any of the users mentioned, then you are eligible for a discounted membership.

Refer to the Santander Cycles Discount Table below for more information on discount percentage and how to avail.

Santander Cycles Discount Table

Qualified Discount How to Avail
Cycle to and from Work 33-43% discount on annual membership fee Apply through Cyclescheme and your employer is responsible for signing you up for a tax-free annual membership
NHS Employee 50% discount on annual membership fee Contact via your NHS email account to receive a promo code
Student (18 years old and above) 25% discount on annual membership fee Sign up with Student Beans to get a code for the annual membership discount

Santander Bike Locations

A line of Santander Hire Bikes in Battersea Power Station

Find a station using TfL’s Cycle Hire London Map. The map shows red, green, and yellow-orange circles indicating the status of each station.

Green indicates an abundance of bikes still available, whereas yellow orange means there are only a few bikes left, around one to three. If the indicator shows the color red, no bikes are available for hire.

To get more details, zoom in on the map and click on the icon of the docking station. You will see the address of the docking station, the number of bikes left, and the number of vacant docking slots for parking or returning. Moreover, it shows the time it was last updated.

The list below shows the docking stations across London. However, some stations may not be available due to various reasons such as business requirements, developments, or demolitions.

Check the updated list of Suspended and Removed Docking Stations provided by TfL to know which stations to avoid.

List of Santander Bike Stations

Area Docking Station
Aldgate Central House
Jewry Street
Braham Street
Leman Street
St. Mary Axe
Angel Torrens Street
Cloudesley Road
Claremont Square
Liverpool Road (N1 Centre)
Chadwell Street
Graham Street
Risinghill Street
City Road
Islington Green
Charlotte Terrace
Avondale Walmer Road
Evesham Street
Clarendon Road
Sirdar Road
Freston Road
Grenfell Road
Rifle Place
Bank Queen Street 1
Bank of England Museum
Queen Street 2
Bankside New Globe Walk
Park Street
Bankside Mix
Poured Lines
Lavington Street
Southwark Street
Tate Modern
Barbican Golden Lane
Aldersgate Street
Museum of London
Barbican Centre
Battersea Surrey Lane
Holden Street
Sheepcote Lane
Silverthorne Road
Fawcett Close
Ashley Crescent
Hibbert Street
Heath Road
Orbel Street
Westbridge Road
Stanley Grove
Battersea Church Road
Vicarage Crescent
Culvert Road
Battersea Park Queen’s Circus
Ethelburga Estate
Austin Road
Albert Bridge Road
Alfreda Street
Prince of Wales Drive
Sopwith Way
Battersea Power Station
Gas Holders
Bayswater Hereford Road
Westbourne Grove
Cleveland Gardens
Orsett Terrace
Gloucester Terrace
Princes Square
Devonshire Terrace
Lancaster Gate
Bishop’s Bridge Road West
Ilchester Gardens
Bishop’s Bridge Road East
Belgravia Eaton Square
Belgrave Square
Grosvenor Crescent
Eaton Square (South)
Bourne Street
Bermondsey Tanner Street
Tooley Street
Long Lane
Tyers Gate
Bermondsey Street
George Row
Tower Wharf
Bermondsey Station
Bethnal Green Bethnal Green Garden
Cheshire Street
York Hall
Pott Street
Old Ford Road
Cephas Street
Clarkson Street
Pritchard’s Road
Bancroft Road
Wellington Row
Globe Town Market
Hollybush Gardens
Durant Street
Finnis Street
Blackwall Lancaster Drive
Naval Row
East India DLR
Bloomsbury Brunswick Square
Malet Street
Great Russell Street
Cartwright Gardens
Taviton Street
British Museum
Guilford Street
Russell Square Station
Bayley Street
Tavistock Place
Bedford Way
Store Street
Cromer Street
Coram Street
Borough Bricklayers Arms
Dickens Square
Bow Southern Grove
Cantrell Road
Mostyn Grove
Malmesbury Road
Bromley High Street
Bow Church Station
Devons Road
Merchant Street
Bow Road Station
Furze Green
Ackroyd Drive
Brixton St John’s Crescent
Saltoun Road
Ferndale Road
Brook Green Brook Green South
Little Brook Green
Camden Town Harrington Square 1
Eversholt Street
Royal College Street
Castlehaven Road
Bonny Street
Gloucester Avenue
Arlington Road
Greenland Road
St Martins Close
Hawley Crescent
Canary Wharf Fisherman’s Walk West
South Quay East
Jubilee Plaza
Heron Quays DLR
Upper Bank Street
Westferry Circus
Import Dock
Chelsea St. Luke’s Church
Royal Avenue 1
Royal Avenue 2
Flood Street
South Parade
Manresa Road
Phene Street
Ormonde Gate
The Vale
Cadogan Gardens
Chelsea Green (Closed)
Clapham Sugden Road
Gauden Road
Clapham Common Clapham Common Station
Clapham Common North Side
Victoria Rise
Clapham Junction Falcon Road
Simpson Street
Usk Road
Dorothy Road
Spanish Road
Plough Terrace
Grant Road East
Ingrave Street
St. John’s Road
Abyssinia Close
Limburg Road
Clerkenwell River Street
Ampton Street
Farringdon Lane
Clerkenwell Green
Hardwick Street
Margery Street
Great Percy Street
Berry Street
Tysoe Street
Covent Garden Drury Lane
Earnshaw Street
Tavistock Street
High Holborn
Newton Street
Cubitt Town Jubilee Crescent
East Ferry Road
Stebondale Street
Saunders Ness Road
St. John’s Park
Preston’s Road
Mudchute DLR
De Beauvoir Town Hertford Road
Earl’s Court Penywern Road
West Cromwell Road
Trebovir Road
Collingham Gardens
Bramham Gardens
Knaresborough Place
Nevern Place
East Putney Mexfield Road
Putney Bridge Road
Elephant & Castle Borough Road
LSBU (Borough Road)
Geraldine Street
Ontario Street
Westminster Bridge Road
Gaywood Street
Euston Drummond Street
Euston Road
Hampstead Road
Endsleigh Gardens
Warren Street Station
Euston Square Gardens
Gower Place
Farringdon West Smithfield Rotunda
Snow Hill
Finsbury Finsbury Library
Sadlers Sports Centre
St. John Street
Goswell Road (City Uni)
Percival Street
Fitzrovia Scala Street
Bolsover Street
Great Titchfield Street
Rathbone Street
Wells Street
Howland Street
Charlotte Street
Foley Street
Fulham Fulham Park Road
Putney Bridge Station
Finlay Street
Aintree Street
Elysium Place
Crabtree Lane
Bishop’s Avenue
Everington Street
Chesilton Road
St. Peter’s Terrace
Humbolt Road
Ranelagh Gardens
Guildhall The Guildhall
Wood Street
Fore Street
Fore Street Avenue
Hackney Central London Fields
Ada Street
Victoria Park Road
Lansdowne Drive
Hackney Wick Monier Road
Haggerston Thurtle Road
Whiston Road
Goldsmith’s Row
Queensbridge Road
Regent’s Row
Shoreditch Court
Belford House
Dunston Road
Haggerston Road
Hammersmith Hammersmith Road
Southerton Road
Manbre Road
Colet Gardens
Greyhound Road
Rainville Road
Ravenscourt Park Station
Crisp Road
Beryl Road
Charing Cross Hospital
Bridge Avenue
Holborn Hatton Wall
Northington Street
Red Lion Square
Holborn Circus
Hatton Garden
Theobald’s Road
Chancery Lane
Breams Buildings
Stonecutter Street
Southampton Place
Carey Street
Sardinia Street
Wren Street
Red Lion Street
New Fetter Lane
Bury Place
St. Bride Street
Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Farringdon Street
Portugal Street
Holland Park Hansard Mews
Abbotsbury Road
Addison Road
Princedale Road
Hoxton Windsor Terrace
Fanshaw Street
Wenlock Road
East Road
Murray Grove
Falkirk Street
Shoreditch Park
New North Road 1
New North Road 2
Pitfield Street North
Hoxton Station
Pitfield Street Central
Eagle Wharf Road
Hoxton Street
Hyde Park Park Lane
Bayswater Road
Hyde Park Corner
Wellington Arch
Triangle Car Park
Serpentine Car Park
Albert Gate
Isley Court Wandsworth Rd
Kennington Cotton Garden Estate
Kennington Cross
Cleaver Street
Kennington Station
Doddington Grove
Phillimore Gardens
De Vere Gardens
Abingdon Villas
Gloucester Road (North)
Vicarage Gate
Derry Street
Ilchester Place
Lexham Gardens
Wright’s Lane
Argyll Road
Queen’s Gate (North)
Kensington Church Street
Kensington Town Hall
Marloes Road
Holland Park
Kensington Gardens Queensway
Black Lion Gate
Queen’s Gate
Palace Gate
King’s Cross St. Chad’s Street
Belgrove Street
Pancras Road
Calshot Street
Crinan Street
Killick Street
Northdown Street
Carnegie Street
Birkenhead Street
Good’s Way
Handyside Street
York Way
Knightsbridge Pont Street
Holy Trinity Brompton
Sloane Avenue
Seville Street
Cadogan Place
Kensington Gore
Montpelier Street
Harriet Street
Imperial College
Exhibition Road
Prince Consort Road
Denyer Street
Ladbroke Grove Lansdowne Walk
Ladbroke Grove Central
Lansdowne Road
Blenheim Crescent
Limehouse Flamborough Street
Westferry DLR
Salmon Lane
Lingham Street Clapham Road
Liverpool Street Christopher Street
Finsbury Circus
Norton Folgate
Wormwood Street
Brushfield Street
Sun Street
Bell Lane
Pindar Street
Devonshire Square
London Bridge Snowsfields
Duke Street Hill
Maida Vale Maida Vale
Warwick Avenue Station
Clifton Road
Marylebone Broadcasting House
Crawford Street
Boston Place
Paddington Street
Old Quebec Street
Baker Street
Chapel Place
Bell Street
Portland Place
Nutford Place
Dorset Square
Mallory Street
Hinde Street
Beaumont Street
Westminster University
Marylebone Lane
Harrowby Street
Shouldham Street
George Street
Penfold Street
George Place Mews
Edgware Road Station
Portman Square
New Cavendish Street
Broadley Terrace
Seymour Place
Mayfair Bruton Street
Curzon Street
Grafton Street
Woodstock Street
Green Street
North Audley Street
South Audley Street
Grosvenor Square
St. George Street
Millennium Hotel
Stanhope Gate
Farm Street
Upper Grosvenor Street
Clarges Street
Green Park Station
Park Lane
Sackville Street
Clifford Street (Closed)
Mile End Burdett Road
Queen Mary’s
Maplin Street
Antill Road
Clinton Road
Twig Folly Bridge
Harford Street
Mile End Stadium
Mile End Park Leisure Centre
Millwall Napier Avenue
Lightermans Road
Spindrift Avenue
Alpha Grove
Monument Great Tower Street
Lower Thames Street
Monument Street
Moorgate Finsbury Square
Bunhill Row
Nine Elms Riverlight North
Battersea Park Road
Riverlight South
North Kensington St. Mark’s Road
Bevington Road West
Notting Hill Chepstow Villas
Campden Hill Road
Notting Hill Gate Station
Palace Gardens Terrace
Pembridge Villas
Turquoise Island
Old Ford Gunmakers Lane
Hewison Street
Ford Road
Driffield Road
Wendon Street
Olympia Warwick Road
Kensington Olympia Station
Russell Gardens
Blythe Road
Oval Kennington Road Post Office
Kennington Oval
Ashmole Estate
Paddington Porchester Place
South Wharf Road
Frampton Street
Southwick Street
North Wharf Road
St Mary’s Hospital
Eastbourne Mews
Paddington Green
London Street
Parson’s Green Parson’s Green
Irene Road
Broomhouse Lane
Parsons Green Station
Hurlingham Park
Pimlico Vauxhall Bridge
Warwick Square
Alderney Street
Rampayne Street
Gloucester Street
Grosvenor Road
Claverton Street
St. George’s Square
Millbank Tower
Chelsea Bridge
Ebury Bridge
Vincent Street
Poplar Lindfield Street
Canton Street
Chrisp Street Market
Teviot Street
Langdon Park
Newby Place
Aberfeldy Street
Stainsby Road
Portobello All Saints’ Road
All Saints Church
Westbourne Park Road
The Metropolitan
Putney Esmond Street
Felsham Road
Putney Rail Station
Disraeli Road
Montserrat Road
Oxford Road
Upper Richmond Road
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park East Village
Aquatic Centre
Lee Valley VeloPark
Timber Lodge
Copper Box Arena
Here East North
Here East South
Rotherhithe Rotherhithe Roundabout
Canada Water Station
Sands End William Morris Way
South Park
Peterborough Road
Stephendale Road
Imperial Road
Imperial Wharf Station
Shad Thames Curlew Street
Shadwell Shadwell Station
Garnet Street
Sutton Street
Watney Street
Shepherd’s Bush Westfield Southern Terrace
Woodstock Grove
Richmond Way
Blythe Road West
Shepherd’s Bush Road North
Queensdale Road
Shoreditch Leonard Circus
Shoreditch High Street
Commercial Street
New Inn Yard
Bethnal Green Road
Worship Street
Palissy Street
Clifton Street
Buxton Street 1
Brick Lane Market
Columbia Road
Granby Street
Sloane Square Sedding Street
Soho Soho Square
Golden Square
Wardour Street
Broadwick Street
Frith Street
Moor Street
Somers Town Doric Way
Ossulston Street
South Bank Waterloo Road
Milroy Walk
Stamford Street
Jubilee Gardens
Belvedere Road 1
Concert Hall Approach 1
Concert Hall Approach 2
Waterloo Bridge
Belvedere Road 2
Sea Containers
South Kensington Gloucester Road (Central)
Emperor’s Gate
Sumner Place
Queen’s Gate (South)
Old Brompton Road
Queen’s Gate (Central)
South Kensington Station
Natural History Museum
Gloucester Road Station
Exhibition Road Museums 1
Exhibition Road Museums 2
Victoria & Albert Museum
Southwark Webber Street
Colombo Street
Southwark Station 1
Southwark Station 2
Blackfriars Road
St Lukes Macclesfield Rd
St Pauls King Edward Street
St. James’s Waterloo Place
St. James’s Square
St. John’s Wood Charlbert Street
Lisson Grove
Wellington Road
St. John’s Wood Road
Grove End Road
Aberdeen Place
Lord’s (Closed)
Greenberry Street
St. Luke’s Roscoe Street
Old Street Station
Finsbury Leisure Centre
Bath Street
Baldwin Street
Godliman Street
Newgate Street
Queen Victoria Street
Blackfriars Station
Stepney Jubilee Street
Aston Street
St. Mary & St. Michael Church
Stepney Green Station
Albert Gardens
Ansell House
Cleveland Way
Watney Market
Rectory Square
Aylward Street
Stockwell Caldwell Street
Clarence Walk
Teversham Lane
Hartington Road
Binfield Road
Albert Square
Cranmer Road
Normandy Road
Wynne Road
Sidney Road
Strand William IV Street
Whitehall Place
Houghton Street
Embankment (Savoy)
Wellington Street
Craven Street
Northumberland Avenue
Southampton Street
Somerset House
Kingsway Southbound
Stratford Stratford Station
Temple Bouverie Street
Tallis Street
Arundel Street (Closed)
Temple Gardens (Closed)
The Borough Great Dover Street
Borough High Street
New Kent Road
Hop Exchange
Union Street
Harper Road
Empire Square
Swan Street
Great Suffolk Street
The Regent’s Park Longford Street
Park Road (Baker Street)
St. John’s Wood Church
London Zoo
The Tennis Courts
Prince Albert Road
London Zoo Car Park
Albany Street
Tower Crosswall
Tower Gardens
St. Katharine’s Way
Vauxhall Vauxhall Cross
Sancroft Street
Walnut Tree Walk
Albert Embankment
Lollard Street
Lambeth Road
Kennington Road
Kennington Lane Rail Bridge
Black Prince Road
Vauxhall Street
Fire Brigade Pier
Vauxhall Walk
Sail Street
South Lambeth Road
New Spring Gardens Walk
Victoria Tachbrook Street
Guildhouse Street
Eccleston Place
Ashley Place
Belgrave Road
Elizabeth Bridge
Queen Mother Sports Centre
Allington Street
Victoria Park Gascoyne Road
Cadogan Close
Bonner Gate
Walham Green Eel Brook Common
Erin Close
Michael Road
Fulham Broadway
Sandilands Road
Walworth Hampton Street
Rodney Road
Walworth Square
Victory Place
Burgess Park Albany Road
Brandon Street
Wandsworth Putney Pier
Wandsworth Town Station
Nantes Close
Morie Street
Smugglers Way
Neville Gill Close
Osiers Road
Alma Road
Ram Street
Santos Road
Wandsworth Common Spencer Park
Wandsworth Road Union Grove
Courland Grove
Stewart’s Road
Wapping Nesham Street
Wapping High Street
Hermitage Court
Wapping Lane
Reardon Street
Pennington Street
Dock Street
Waterloo Waterloo Station 3
Baylis Road
Lambeth North Station
Lower Marsh
Waterloo Station 2
King Edward Walk
Waterloo Station 1
Archbishop’s Park
Lambeth Palace Road
West Brompton Hortensia Road
Harcourt Terrace
West Chelsea Limerston Street
Drayton Gardens
Danvers Street
World’s End Place
Thorndike Close
Upcerne Road
Lots Road
West End Panton Street
Little Argyll Street
Charles II Street
Pall Mall East
St. Martin’s Street
West Kensington Normand Park
Vereker Road
Coomer Place
West Kensington Station
Barons Court Station
Star Road
Gwendwr Road
Halford Road
Westminster Abbey Orchard Street
Rochester Row
Horseferry Road
Regency Street
Smith Square
Vincent Square
Greycoat Street
Butler Place
Howick Place
Page Street
Abingdon Green
Buckingham Gate
Storey’s Gate
Westminster Pier
Kings Gate House
Warwick Row
White City Westfield Ariel Way
BBC White City
Whitechapel LMU Commercial Road
New Road 1
Fashion Street
Royal London Hospital
Philpot Street
Fournier Street
Old Montague Street
Selby Street

Santander Cycle Routes


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Before heading to the road, it is important to know about the allowable routes you can pass through.

Take a look at the Cycle Routes Map to know where you can cycle and the docking stations available on each route. The cycle routes shown on the map start with the letters C and Q.

When you click on a cycle route, the map shows the name of the route and the pathway it covers.

Santander Cycles

The cycle routes on the map are color-coded with green, purple, or blue lines to be able to distinguish each route.

The table below lists the cycle routes from the Cycle Routes Map, as well as their coverage and borough.

Santander Cycle Routes Table

Borough Cycle Route Coverage
Enfield, Haringey, Hackney, Islington C1 (Cycleway 1) Tottenham, South Tottenham,

Newington Green, Broadwater Road, Church Ln, Philip Ln, A10, Holmdale Terrace, W Bank, Fairholt Road, Mayville Estate

Tower Hamlets, Newham C2 (Cycleway 2)  Whitechapel, Mile End, Bow, Stratford
Westminster, City of London, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Barking and Dagenham CS3 (Cycle Superhighway 3) Barking, Blackwall, Blackfriars, Beckton, Canary Wharf, City of London, Hyde Park, East India, Limehouse, Lancaster Gate, Embankment, Tower Gateway, Shadwell, Westferry, Poplar, Canning Town, Prince Regent Lane, Westminster
Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich C4 (Cycleway 4) London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Greenwich, Bermondsey, Rotherhithe roundabout, Surrey Quays
Lambeth, Wandsworth C5 (Cycleway 5) Little Portugal, Waterloo, Vauxhall, Stockwell, Clapham Common
Camden, Islington, Southwark C6 (Cycleway 6) Kentish Town, King’s Cross, Farringdon, Ludgate Circus, Blackfriars Bridge, Southwark, St. George’s Circus, Elephant & Castle
City of London, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth CS7 (Cycle Superhighway 7) City of London, Clapham Common, Clapham South, Clapham North, Clapham High Street, Elephant & Castle, Kennington, Oval, Stockwell, Balham, Tooting Bec, Tooting Broadway, Southwark Bridge
Wandsworth, Westminster CS8 (Cycle Superhighway 8)

C8 (Cycleway 8)

Wandsworth High Street, Wandsworth Town, Battersea High Street, Battersea Park, Chelsea Bridge, Vauxhall Bridge, Lambeth Bridge
Hounslow, Hammersmith and Fulham C9 (Cycleway 9) Brentford, Chiswick, Kew Bridge, Hammersmith, Turnham Green Terrace
Southwark C10 (Cycleway 10) Greenwich, Waterloo, Borough, Bermondsey Spa, South Bermondsey, Deptford
Southwark C14 (Cycleway 14)  Deptford, London Bridge, Rotherhithe, Canada Water, Waterloo
Redbridge C16 (Cycleway 16) Aldersbrook, Aldborough Hatch, Wanstead Park, Manor Park, Valentines Park, Barkingside
Southwark C17 (Cycleway 17) Burgess Park,  Walworth
Enfield C20 (Cycleway 20) Enfield Town, Winchmore Hill, Palmers Green
Enfield C21 (Cycleway 21) Bush Hill, Edmonton Green, Meridian Water
Hackney, Waltham Forest C23 (Cycleway 23) Lea Bridge, Bakers Arms, Whipps Cross, North Millfields Recreation Ground
Enfield C26 (Cycleway 26) Angel Gardens
Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, Camden C27 (Cycleway 27) East Acton, Wormwood Scrubs, North Kensington, Notting Hill, Paddington, Marylebone, Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury
Kingston upon Thames C28 (Cycleway 28) Kingston High Street, Palmerston Road
Kingston upon Thames C29 (Cycleway 29) Kingston station, Surbiton, Tolworth
Kingston upon Thames C30 (Cycleway 30) Kingston Town Centre, Kingston Hospital, Kingston Vale
Kingston upon Thames, Merton C31 (Cycleway 31) New Malden, Raynes Park
Kingston upon Thames C32 (Cycleway 32) Kingston Town Centre, New Malden
Greenwich, Lewisham C33 (Cycleway 33) Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich Town Centre
Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham C34 (Cycleway 34) North Acton, East Acton, White City
Southwark C35 (Cycleway 35) Bermondsey Spa, Peckham
Islington C38 (Cycleway 38) Finsbury Park, Liverpool Road
Kensington & Chelsea C39 (Cycleway 39) Russell Road, Kensington High Street
Hounslow C40 (Cycleway 40) Brentford, Syon Park, Twickenham
Southwark C41 (Cycleway 41) Holborn, Charles Dickens Museum, Novelty Automation, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children
Barking and Dagenham C42 (Cycleway 42) Barking Town Centre, Barking Riverside
Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster C44 (Cycleway 44) Queen’s Park, Grand Union Canal, North Kensington, Notting Hill
Southwark C47 (Cycleway 47) Covent Garden, University of London, Fitzrovia
Westminster C55 (Cycleway 55) Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch, Hyde Park
Lambeth C56 (Cycleway )56 Westminster Bridge
Camden, City of London, Lambeth, Kensington & Chelsea, Greenwich,

Kingston upon Thames

 C (Cycleway) Areas of Central London, Greenwich, Charlton, Surbiton
Camden, City of Westminster Q1 (Quietway 1) Bloomsbury, Holborn, Covent Garden
Islington, Hackney, Waltham Forest Q2 (Quietway 2) Clerkenwell, Angel, Canonbury, De Beauvoir Town, London Fields, Clapton, Lea Bridge, Walthamstow Wetlands, Walthamstow Central
Brent Q3 (Quietway 3) Gladstone Park, Kilburn Grange Park, Brondesbury
Lambeth, Wandsworth, Merton Q4 (Quietway 4) Clapham Common to Wimbledon
Southwark Q7 (Quietway 7) Dulwich Village
Islington, Hackney, City of London Q11 (Quietway 11) Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, Shepherdess Walk Park, Angel, Old Street, City of London
Islington, Tower Hamlets, Hackney Q13 (Quietway 13) Hackney City Farm Yard, Old Street, Shoreditch, Mildmay Mission Hospital, London Fields, Broadway Market
Southwark, Greenwich Q14 (Quietway 14) River Thames, Greenwich, Crossness, Nature Reserve, Charlton Riverside, Woolwich, Thamesmead
Kensington & Chelsea Q15 (Quietway 15) Brompton Cemetery, Earl’s Court, South Kensington, Chelsea
Canal & River Trust Q16 (Quietway 16) West Drayton, Stockley Park, North Circular Road, Old Oak Lane, Regent’s Canal
Kensington & Chelsea Q19 (Quietway 19) Belgravia, Lowndes Square Gardens, Embassy of France
Newham Q22 (Quietway 22) Memorial Recreation Ground, Newham University Hospital, Stratford High Street, West Ham, Plaistow, Fish Island, East Ham, North Beckton
Lambeth, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, City of London, Islington, Hackney  Q (Quietway) Areas of Central London

If you want to see the sights London has to offer, you can cycle the sights with Santander Cycles.

As you ride through the route, you will be able to explore several must-see attractions such as Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, Science Museum, and Royal Albert Hall, to name a few. Explore cycle routes using TfL’s quick guide.

Moreover, you can also check out Santander Cycles sightseeing and the Northern line cycle routes guide provided by TfL. Here are some attractions to visit on popular cycle routes.

List of Cycle Route Attractions

Cycling in London

Cycle Route Attractions
C1 Bruce Castle Museum, Tottenham Green, Abney Park, Dalston Easton Curve
C2 Mile End Park, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
CS3 Museum of London Docklands, River Thames
C4 Crossbones Graveyard, Borough Market, Brunel Museum, Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory, Severndroog Castle
C5 Kennington Park, Vauxhall Park
C6 British Library, Camden Market, Regents Canal Footpath
CS7 Kennington Park, Vauxhall Park, Elephant Park, The Clink Prison Museum


King George’s Park, River Thames, Battersea Park, Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
C9  Gunnersbury Park Museum, Chiswick House and Gardens, Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve
C10 The British Museum, Sir John Soane’s Museum
C17 Elephant Park, East Street market, Burgess Park BMX track
C20 Enfield Town Centre, Enfield Town Park
C23 Epping Forest, WaterWorks Centre Nature Reserve & Middlesex Filter Beds
C47 The British Museum, Sir John Soane’s Museum
C55 Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens

Santander Cycle Alternatives

Aside from Santander Cycle, there are other options that offer the same bike-sharing scheme in London.

In case Santander Cycle is not available or you simply want to try other service providers, here are some alternatives to check out.

To help you compare, I created a table showing its features that you may love or not like, area coverage, and price comparison.

To learn more about its fees and packages, you need to download the apps from Google Play or AppStore. The app shows the specific coverage on where you can find a bike for hire.

Bike Coverage What You’ll Love What You May Not Like Price
Lime Most London areas User-friendly app

Easy payment option

Easy to follow unlock and lock system

Can be more expensive than riding a bus for longer journeys

May not always be available

£1 to unlock

First 10 minutes are free

£0.15 per minute to use

HumanForest The City of London, Camden, Islington, and Kensington and Chelsea All bikes are electric to reduce CO2

Bikes are lightweight

Earn loyalty points per mile cycled that can be used for free rides

Parking inside a Green Bay is free

Has a phone charging port on the bike

Parking outside of a Green Bay is £1.50

Limited London coverage

First 10 minutes are free

£0.17 per minute to use

Dott London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Bright colored bikes for safety

Battery life can last a 60km journey

Uses 26-inch wheels for better hold

Pay a relocation fee if parked in areas other than its designated parking spot

Limited London coverage

£1 to unlock
£0.17 per minute to use
Freebike Central and East London, Westminster, Whitechapel, and Southwark areas More savings since the rental time can be paused in case you need to stop cycling due to a toilet break or meeting, for example.

Returning the bike can be from the app by pressing the Return Bike option or pressing the brake three times

Free parking at Virtual Stations is only in Central and East London

Cannot ride the bike beyond the Freebike operating areas since the bike will be blocked

Limited London coverage

£1 per 10 minutes

First 30 minutes are free

Plus an additional fee of £1 in permitted zones and £2 in the City of London

Swapfiets Most London areas Get your own bike via subscription membership

Bike repair and maintenance are included

Bike swap is possible for unserviceable bikes

Subscription can be canceled anytime

Free bike delivery or store pickup

Variety of bikes to choose from

Most suitable for those needing long-term bikes

Bikes are a bit heavy

Some find the back tire flap is too wobbly

No damage or theft insurance coverage

The price depends on bike type:

Original £16.90 per month

Deluxe 7

£19.90 per month

Power 1

£59.90 per month

Power 7

£109.90 per month

TIER Islington, Hammersmith and Fulham Easy registration

Emission-free bikes

Easily find designated parking areas from the map

Limited London coverage

Reported parking procedure issues

Bikes are too heavy

Rides ended in a No Parking Zone will still continue to be charged per-minute fees

£1 to unlock

£0.15 per minute

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Get a Santander Bike for Free?

The only way you can hire a Santander bike is when you pay the minimum Pay as you go ride of £1.65 per 30 minutes or £1.65 per hour for members. However, you can get free unlimited rides for one hour if you are a Monthly or Annual member.

Moreover, if you wait for promos such as Car Free Day, Santander bikes are free for hire when you use a promo code given on the Santander Cycles app.

Is There a Santander Cycle Hire Overcharge?

If you do not return the bike after 24 hours or properly secure it upon returning, there is a possibility of an overcharge. Once you pull out the bike from its docking slot, the charge starts counting.

So before taking out the bike from its port, make sure you have double-checked the bike’s condition.

How to Report a Faulty or Damaged Cycle?

In case it is faulty or damaged, report its condition by returning the bike and securing it at the docking slot. Afterward, press the Fault button within 10 seconds to report it.

Alternatively, you can contact the Contact Centre on 0343 222 6666 or use the app to report the faulty or damaged cycle.

Bike Your Way Through London’s Greatest Views

With London’s cycle routes and easy access to Santander bikes, traveling by bike is an exhilarating experience. Feel the breeze pass through while you feed your eyes with the amazing sights of London.

On top of that, you get to skip the traffic and simply cycle your way from point A to B smoothly.

Did you find this Santander cycle guide helpful for your journey? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share this guide for anyone who wants to hire a Santander cycle as well!

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