Cold, dark and feeling positive: surviving my first London winter

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No one can say I wasn’t warned.

What seemed like mere moments after the official end of ‘summer’, the sage warnings about how miserable and lonely London becomes post Christmas and New Year’s started flooding in. It’s dark, cold and wet, they said, with no more Christmas parties and no one will want to do anything fun because they will be broke (or should i say ‘skint’) and doing dry January. The list seemed a little bit endless and, quite frankly, a little over dramatic. And don’t get me started on Blue Monday.

But what can I say: they weren’t entirely wrong.

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Hyde Park on a Boris Bike

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Even after only a few days in London,  you start to notice that you can find these red cycles practically everywhere. And for only £2, they’re not only easy and accessible, but also dirt cheap to borrow for a short while. Personally, I’m not crazy brave enough to attempt to cycle on the streets of London, so exploring a large park area seemed like a good alternative.

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I picked up my cycle from Hyde Park Corner and then, somewhat awkwardly, was on my way. Not really having an idea where I was going and still yet to really have my London bearings, perhaps the most distracting part of the ride was trying to ignore the voices in my head screaming “You should be wearing a helmet!” – a compulsory component of bike riding in Melbourne.

Hyde Park is perhaps one of the most picturesque parks I’ve ever explored. Having previously only visited during the winter months, I was pleasantly welcomed by green as far as the eye could see. The paths for cycling are fairly flat and, thankfully, wide enough to give even the most rookie cycler plenty space to avoid the meandering pedestrians.
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At the end of this little excursion, I still may not know why it’s called a Boris Bike, but I what I do know is that it’s a lovely way to take advantage of a beautiful Spring day in London.

For information on how, when and where to find a Boris Bike near you, our friends at TFL have all the answers.