This post is a continuation of Running Routes Series (#RRS)
The first part you can read here -> RUNNING IN MILAN
*If you encounter any problems with displaying the endomondo logs and maps – please follow me there, my nickname is olinkaz93
Today I will share with you my experience as a runner from London.
We all know that London is a really BIG city! Its population is estimated of over 8000000 (8 milions!) people. Yes, that is a lot. Obviously, the city is huge and there are many areas for running. 🙂 Including the bank along The River Thames, well-known Hyde Park, modern Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and much, much more.
I have spent whole October this year in London so I had a bit time to get familiar with the city, check the list prepared for you below and choose the destination upon your next visit in London 🙂
- Hyde Park
I believe this is the place number one on the runner’s list in London. Hyde Park is popular and well-known among all tourist heading to UK. I am sure that once you think ‘London’, you picture in your mind The Buckingham Palace and The Queen, Big Ben and… Hyde Park. And it totally understandable, as Hyde Park has all what you need! Ponds, beautiful gardens, cute bridges, lovely alleys and great routes for cyclists and runners!
I have run a few times in Hyde Park and there are so many paths you can choose from that it is almost impossible to cover them all 🙂
This is a really great place to run around and explore. It is great for easy long runs as well as interval trainings since there are many flat and straight lanes. What makes Hyde Park awesome is the fact it is really calm and thanks to its size (it covers an area of 350 acres) once you are there you can really dive into it and forget about the surrounding crazy city 😉
Here is the log from one of my long runs I had in London (as you can Hyde Park was just a part of that training)
I attach below link to the map of Hyde Park from its official website.
- The River Thames and bridges
This is one of the most fun route in London that you can run through. Being a tourist and runner at the same time, who does not like it?:)
The River Thames, its banks and multiple bridges crossing over make it right! You really cannot get bored around there. In one single run you can see many landmarks, including: Big Ben, London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Borough Market and Tower of London across the side! And guess what? It is not over! Make it even more fun and not only pass but also cross all the bridges linking both sides of The Thames at any combination you want!
Let me list some of them, starting from the west side you can tick: Westminster Bridge (linking Westminster on the west side and Lambeth on the east side), Golden Jubilee Bridges (which are pedestrian footbridges) which flank Hungerford Bridge (linking Charring Cross from the north end and Waterloo Station at the south end), Waterloo Bridge (which views from are widely held to be one the finest in London at ground level – you can spot London Eye, Westminster, Canary Wharf and much much more!), the next is Blackfriars Bridge (located just a step away from Tate Modern gallery art), Millenium Bridge (which is a steel suspension bridge for pedestrians, beautifully lighted by night and also its northern end has great view for City of London School below St Paul’s Cathedral), Southwark Bridge (always busy with buses, cars, pedestrians, cyclist….), London Bridge, often mistaken with the following one – the last but not the least Tower Bridge (it is a suspension bridge that crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London)…
Whoops that is a lot like only for ONE run! Isn’t it ;)?
I really enjoyed this run but make sure to go for it either in the early morning or on the weekends, otherwise you will get stucked with all the traffic 😛
- Regent’s Park
Regent’s Park is one of the Royal Parks of London (as Hyde Park). It lies within north-west London. It surrounds Regent’s University London and the London Zoo. I was lucky to live quite close to that park so it became my ‘second’ home and partner (in crime) for many workouts.
The park is very well maintained and apart from numerous alleys has two distinguishing rings – the Outer Circle (4.45 km) and an inner ring road called the Inner Circle (1 km).
But the runners are may watch out all the bikes around there! The Outer Circle is used by road cyclists. Many of amateur cycling clubs meet there regularly to complete laps of the Outer Circle. So be careful when you are there 😉
Apart from the asphalt circle roads inside the park, you can jog around pond, beautiful alleys and finish the workout with fresh coffee at one of the cute cafeterias or visit Zoo? 🙂
Regent’s Park is definitely a great place for any kind of training – longrun, interval, tempo, fartlek it is just up to you what you feel like doing.
As you can see, this park has a big potential 🙂
The link below is a great map of running routes in Regent’s Park taken from the official website.
- Primrose Hill
This small park lays very close to the Regent’s Park, on its north side. As it name suggests, it is HILLY ;). Oh boy… I remember the day when I did hill workout there, it was… tough! The good part of this is the fact that you won’t be alone. There are many other dare-devils going up against those hills. But, in the end, if you are lucky with the whether, on the summit of you can find a solace in a panorama view of central London.
- Regent’s Canal to Little Venice
Are you looking for some scenic path along canal? Then you should try and go to Regent’s Canal. It is probably the only traffic-free way to move from east to the west (or from west to the east 😉 ) side of London. Regent’s Canal connects Lime House and Little Venice. It is possible to walk/cyclle/run along this route almost non-stop for 15 km! Totally free of traffic and in the heart of city! Sounds crazy? Maybe 😉 But you should go and check it. I have experienced a great run starting off at Regent’s Park, where I hop into the Canal (but you can start anywhere else) and run towards Little Venice (which is another lovely neighbourhood in London with narrowboats and scenic villas)
I would not recommend this route by night, it can be slippery and really dark. I have tried once to go there in the evening and I must have given up and returned after 1 km…
- Clapham Common Park
This is a large triangular urban park in Clapham, south London. It is a busy park with a big range of sporting facilities, including a running track, bowling green, cricket, football, rugby, a skateboard venue and much more. I have run there only once but it is definitely a good spot for training if you stay in South London.
- Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
The last, but not the least spot in London I need to include here is Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. I have not visited it this time but I have been there 2 years ago during my very first race debut at 10k. I need to mention about it as I have good memories from this place. (I remember I was very stressed on that race day and had no clue how to perfom it. Eventually I ended up being 3rd among women and that was a day when I felt so many emotiones during the run. From the complete hesitation, fear, thrill of anticipation at a start line and an overdose of endorphines and happiness :))) (yes, yes, maybe I am crazy but that is exactly how I felt that day 🙂
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, this Park is really impressive and has many sport facilites including the Aquatics Centre, Velopark.
It is worth to go there, explore and feel just a little bit as a champion and Olympian during your training 🙂
I hope you will find this guide as a handy one.
And remember that running means freedom so do not limit yourself and try your own routes to dicover the city. As seen below 🙂