Wondering if it’s a good idea to bring scooters on your next visit to London? Going by scooter is such a great way to stay active with kids and to extend your reach while exploring more of the city. We’ve previously written about our favourite places for roller skating and skateboarding in the city, and in this post, we’ll take a look at safe family favourites where your kids can scoot as much as they want far away from dangerous traffic.
Safe scooting routes in London
You’ll find family-friendly places to scoot all around London. Shielded from traffic, our favourite types of places include:
- Parks with broad paths and flat terrains such as Hyde Park and Battersea Park
- Canal paths well shielded from traffic, such as Regent’s canal between Little Venice and Paddington
- Riversides (Thames Path)
The Thames Path is not the most efficient way of getting from A to B in London following the twists and turns of the river, but it’s mostly traffic-free which is great when you have energetic kids eagerly scooting at full speed. The riverside path is our “highway” whether cycling, walking or scooting in Central London.
While the Southbank from the area around London Eye and Sea Life towards London Bridge is full of exciting attractions, it’s usually very busy. If you go past London Bridge eastwards on the other hand it’s usually a lot quieter with more space for the kids when they go scooting.
The 4 miles stretch to Surrey Docks Farm is a nice route for families, with the option to continue further to Greenwich where you’ll find attractions such as the Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark. The route from London Bridge to the farm will take around 1-2 hours with kids depending on your scooting speed. The Ship and Whale close to the farm has some delicious lunch options.
A favourite route of ours is the canalside public path from Little Venice to Camden Lock which is well shielded from London’s traffic. If you’re not local to the area, this is a great way to explore a new side of London and to enjoy the relaxing scene of narrowboats floating slowly down the canal.
There’s no fence along the canal edge, so be careful not to get a wet encounter with the muddy canal! So not the best place to start out for a toddler testing out the scooter! On your way, you’ll pass London Zoo where you might see monkeys jumping around in the treetops before arriving at Camden Lock where you’ll have all the colourful markets to explore.
You’re allowed to go scooting in all of the Royal Parks but usually restricted to cycle paths. Hyde Park has excellent wide cycle paths but it can get busy during weekends and school holidays. Here is an easy and safe circular scooting suggestion around The Serpentine Lake:
With wide and flat paths, Battersea is a great option when it comes to finding safe places to scoot in London. The 5 km circular route is the perfect length for our 3-year-old before he gets tired. Also if it’s not too busy, remember to check out popular Battersea Playground with its many slides and climbing frames.
The highlight of scooting in Richmond Park is all the beautiful deer that you’ll be able to spot several places along the route. This 9 km long circular track is quite long for the youngest kids, so you should plan for a nice long picnic taking a break.
FAQ Scooting in London
Can I use my scooter on pavements in London?
Technically you are not allowed to. However, if you are courteous to your surroundings and respect that pedestrians have right of way, your child using a non-electric scooter on the pavement is likely to be tolerated.
Can I use my scooter on cycle paths in London?
Unless specifically stated, non-electric or electric scooters are not allowed on cycle paths. In certain areas like in the Royal Parks, scooters are allowed on permitted cycle tracks in accordance with the park regulations.
Can I scoot on the Thames Path?
You can cycle on the Thames Path if it’s marked as a shared footpath (see image) or as a designated cycle path. Note that it is not allowed to cycle on the Southbank between London Eye and London bridge.
Is it safe to scoot with kids in London?
We wouldn’t recommend scooting through London’s busy streets with kids. But if you carefully plan in advance and make use of London’s green spaces, river- and canal sides you’ll find plenty of traffic-free scooting routes safe for kids.
Can I scoot in London’s parks?
In the Royal Parks, non-electric scooters are allowed on permitted cycle tracks in accordance with park regulations. Note that scooting on footpaths is not allowed, although people will generally tolerate kids on non-electric scooters as long as they are respectful to their surroundings.
Can kids scoot safely in Central London?
We only allow our kids to use their scooters in traffic-free areas like the Royal Parks, on the Thames Path or along very quiet streets. We would never try to scoot on busy streets in Central London like Oxford Street, Regent Street etc.
From what age can kids scoot?
There’s no definite rule for that. Some children start scooting as young as toddlers while others discover scooting when they get older. It’s important to introduce scooting on the child’s terms in line with what they are comfortable with.
Where can I NOT scoot in London’s parks?
In general, you’re not allowed to scoot on any footpaths in the parks. The Royal Parks (Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens etc.) allow non-electric scooters on most cycle tracks around the parks.
Can I use a scooter in Kew Gardens?
No, scooters are not allowed in Kew Gardens.
What’s good about scooting with kids?
1) You and your kids get exercise 2) You extend your reach going further compared to walking 3) It’s less dangerous than cycling