The Tweed Run, Central London (May)
The Tweed Run is London’s best dressed cycle ride. Take a leisurely and very stylish cycle past London’s most famous landmarks and enjoy tasting stops along the way.
Take Afternoon Tea on London’s Tweed Run Photos: Matt Shaw
If you’re out shopping in central London, you’ll hear the cyclists on The Tweed Run before you see them. Merrily ringing their bicycle bells and dressed in their finest Tweed, it’s a wonderful sight to behold. You can pay homage to this great British made material by taking part in the ride, enjoying the spectacle, attending the closing ceremony party, or helping out as a Tweed Run volunteer. Organisers encourage everyone to practice the art of al fresco dining and to take life at a leisurely pace. We strongly suggest you leave all DayGlo lycra at home.
- Cycle in flat cap style
- Brunch, picnic and take Afternoon Tea
- Watch the ride and attend the party
- Become a Tweed Run volunteer
Cycle in Style on London’s Quirky Cycle Ride
Hundreds of cyclists take part in this quirky, metropolitan cycle ride which first started in 2009. People travel from all corners of the globe to celebrate retro style by dressing up in jaunty flat caps, Harris tweed jackets, cravats, woollen plus fours, Fair Isle jumpers, cycling skirts and sporty cycling capes. Bourne & Hollingsworth, the event organisers, stress that the term overdressed does not exist in their vocabulary and award much coveted prizes for the Best Dressed Man and the Best Dressed Woman.
Enjoy Being a Tweed Spectator or Volunteer
The event is just as much fun to watch as a spectator and many line the route to cheer on the cyclists and watch the penny farthings, tandems and wonderful array of vintage bicycles ride by at a leisurely pace. The 12-mile route is announced the night before but starts in Clerkenwell and usually takes in several London landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the National History Museum. There are competition prizes for Best Vintage Bicycle and Best Decorated Bicycle so the participants go to great lengths to show off their best. There is one prize that’s world-famous – Best Moustache.
Picnic in The Park For Lunch
Cyclists are encouraged to pack a beautiful picnic basket and dine in style at the Picnic Break stop. You’ll see colourful picnic blankets, wicker hampers, flasks galore, champagne glasses and even the odd candelabra. Bourne & Hollingsworth also offer special picnic lunch hampers that are filled to the brim with a hearty selection of delicious British comestibles. Traditional treats such as pork pie with piccalilli, potted Cornish smoked mackerel with toasted bread followed by English cheeses, water biscuits and quince jelly, and seasonal berry and fruit salad.
Take Time For Tea
In true British tradition, there’s also a stop for one of our favourite past times – Afternoon Tea. In keeping with the retro style theme, it’s served in vintage teacups (for more inspiration on how to enjoy this important past time, take a look at our Afternoon Tea Experiences).
Attend The Closing Ceremony Party
At the end of the ride there’s a closing ceremony party in the park. Designed to be ‘a jolly good knees up’ it’s a ticketed bash that’s open to spectators. They encourage you to come and feast at the BBQ, imbibe Bourne & Hollingsworth cocktails and indulge in the general merriment.
- If you like the sound of the Tweed Run, check out Eroica Britannia, a vintage cycling festival in the Peak District with its own mini food festival and tasting stops
- Visit the Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings near London’s Exmouth Market. They feature a large bar serving the brand’s famous cocktails, a 70-cover brasserie and greenhouse, a relaxed café area and characterful private rooms
- They’ve also recently opened a new cookery school, the B&H Kitchen
Where to Stay in London
The Hotel Zetter
The Zetter Hotel is a quirky, award-winning boutique hotel located in fashionable Clerkenwell, London.
Rooms from £135 a night.
I’m going in my tweed coat. Just remember to keep me on my (tweed) lead.
How to Find the Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings
Bourne & Hollingsworth, (organisers of The Tweed Run) 42 Northampton Road, London, EC1R 0HU
The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.