London’s Best Running Spots
London is a runner’s city, we’ve got one of the best marathons on the circuit and also some of the most varied spaces to pass through. Also, it’s probably one of the friendliest communities in the capital city. With many ‘Good mornings’ exchanged on that Saturday morning 10k. Running is a big part of getting away from the stresses of being surrounded by all that London is.
There’s nothing better than staying fit in nice surroundings so we’ve spoke with a few people and put together a list of our three favourite running routes in the city.
All roads lead to Primrose Hill
We start on the Thames by Westminster Bridge with a nice seven kilometre run moving up into Regents Park and back down Regents Street, ending in front of Big Ben. The second half of the run takes places on probably one of the business roads in the world so this run required an early alarm to be set. The route takes you up into Regents Park, following the near east perimeter of the park then up onto Primrose Hill where you can stop to enjoy the view for 30 seconds. You’ll then pass back through Regent’s park, this time on the west perimeter before exiting by regents park station for the run back down to the river.
It’s always worth remembering London Zoo is in Regents Park so and animal noises you hear as you start your ascent of Primrose Hill could well mean the monkeys are cheering you on to hit that personal best up the hill.
South Bank & Back
For the next route, we spoke with Dan Gennoe, author of All Neon Like Love and a big runner of London. He generally stays around where he lives in south London but said a route he loves taking with the Nike Covent Garden team is along the south bank. The run starts at Westminster Bridge and weaves through the South Bank until reaching Tower Bridge in the east. At this point, it’s worth noting that due to the meander in the Thames, you can no longer see where you started off from. Now, cross the bridge and start running west, along the river and the strand before heading up into Covent Garden.
This one in particular is best to take on in the early evening, as the sun is getting lower in the sky. Getting to Tower Bridge is a treat and before that you see the city open up as you move around the south bank further into the east.
Don’t Miss The Deer
No running guide for London would be complete without a suggestion to run the city’s biggest park. Richmond park is home to over 600 deer and can house thousands of runners but hopefully you’ll never see it quite that busy. A run in the park can be as peaceful as you wish to make it but it’s best to stick to the paths as it can be quite easy to lose yourself in all the greenery.
Depending where you’re approaching the park from, it’s always nice to get a full circuit in, especially on a Saturday morning. Any route around the main paths and roads will take you on a nice circuit of about 80% of the park, the average run on this route is around seven miles, so a nice distance to start the weekend. The best routes end on the gate of Richmond Hill, you’ll walk out the park with a lovely view of the greenery on your left, before heading into Richmond for a well deserved Flat White.