The Wandle Trail is one of London’s lesser known bike trails, wandering up a section of the titular waterway, a Thames tributary, from Wandsworth to Croydon. No traditional bike trail would be complete without a majority of your slightly-unfit yet Lycra-clad party voting to cut out for a snack and a swift half at every possible waypoint. Well, if you turn right down Wandsworth High Street just before the 1km mark (thirsty work), you’ll find your route’s namesake, The Wandle Trail. Quite the complex, The Wandle Trail houses an excellent gourmet British restaurant, the separate Sparkle bar and shisha lounge, and (for the professional bike trailers) an outdoor beer garden.
There’s a series of plaques along London’s Wandle Trail bike path that commemorate local life. Our favourite is the one about Tony, who apparently parked his barge at a Wandsworth stretch of the river, And watched river life / The boat sank / In 2001. This deadpan poem should bring a wry grin to many a Wandle Trail bicyclist’s face, because the implicit point of any good bike trail is to sit up at a good pub, watch the world go by, and, yes, sink a couple. And there’s no better place to begin such a mission than at the eponymous pub and restaurant, The Wandle Trail, down Wandsworth High Street.
The main attraction of The Wandle Trail is certainly the restaurant, a classic British affair helmed by local chef Mario. Bringing the best of British to table, Mario does a perfect Sunday roast, healthy options for the ambitious cyclists in your company, and delicious sliders to accompany a few brews in the beer garden. This Wandsworth High Street eatery and watering hole is also home to the Sparkle Bar & Lounge and The Sparkle Shisha Lounge, where you can get some air under your helmet and shoot some pool or, dare we say, enjoy a Middle Eastern smoke along with your real ale. London is a city that rewards exploration by bike, and we can only recommend The Wandle Trail as your first waypoint on a pleasant bike hike south of the river.
We had a great evening with our friends at The Wandle Trail. Gav, the owner of the pub greeted us with a food sampler of pan fried cod, resting on a bed of red cabbage & pumpkin puree, surrounded by leaves of cos lettuce and potato gnocchi with a delicious creamy sauce & tender peas - it was very yummy. The team looking after us were very friendly & attentive. Kelly, the chef checked up on us to see if we liked the food - you bet. Only downside the music as a bit loud for that tome of the evening but we still had a very enjoyable time. Thank you! We'll be back!!!