Have you vowed to do more exercise as one of your New Year’s resolutions? So has the majority of the country, it seems! The month of January sees more gym membership sign-ups than ever as people try to burn off all the mince pies and turkey they ate over the Christmas period.
One of the easiest ways of incorporating exercise into your routine is by running. London is a great city to run in as it is made up of a number of scenic routes and lovely parks that can help give you that extra bit of motivation to get you off the sofa and start exercising. Not to mention that it is completely free! So no need to commit to a pricey monthly membership. In this article we outline some of the best running routes in London – hopefully inspiring you to get out there and fulfil your resolution.
Battersea Park to Westminster Loop
Starting at Battersea Park, this 10K route takes you along the Thames towards Big Ben, across Westminster bridge and back towards your start point. Along the way you will pass Lambeth Palace and MI6. And you will have the lovely Thames to glance at as you jog your way through the city. To make the run slightly shorter, simply make your loop through Lambeth Bridge, or even Vauxhall Bridge if you are really looking for a quick route.
Alternatively, you can just run around Battersea Park. The perimeter of the park is around 3K and the ground is nice and flat, making it the perfect route for those who are only just getting started with their exercise routine. Not only do you get to run alongside the Thames, but on the other side of the park there is a boating lake that looks beautiful when the sun comes out. Battersea Park is a great place to start running, and as you get better you may decide to venture towards Westminster to further challenge yourself and improve your stamina.
The beauty of the Thames Run is that you can make of it whatever you like. You have the freedom to make the run as short or as long as you want to. Depending on where you live, make your way to the closest point of the Thames as your start point. No need to worry about complex directions – simply follow the river in your desired direction. You can complete a loop by crossing one of the Thames’ many bridges, or run to a station of your choice before hopping on a tube the rest of the way home.
You could even aim to run slightly further along the Thames each week. The ground along the Thames is completely flat, so you can forget any stitch inducing hills – just a beautiful river and plenty of scenic views. The Thames walkway gets very busy with pedestrians and tourists, so it is best to get an early start if you are planning on running this route.
The Diana Memorial Run
The Diana Memorial trail takes you through the four main parks of central London – Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’ Park. As you run, you will be treated to a variety of different landmarks, multiple palaces as well as Princess Diana’s Memorial Fountain. The perfect run for those who like to take a few pictures along the way!
The trail is outlined by a number of rose brass plates in the pavement, so keep your eyes peeled for these to make sure you stay on the track. The entire route is 11.3 km, so if you are an inexperienced runner you may want to get comfortable with a few 5K runs before trying this particular route.
Richmond Park is the largest of London’s Royal Parks, making it a prime location for a run. One of the most popular running/walking tracks in the park is the Tamsin Trail, which takes you around the park’s perimeter. This trail is 11.6 km and so, depending on your ability, should take between 1hr-1hr 30 to complete.
If you’re looking to ease yourself into running with something slightly shorter, then you can redraft your route to a length more suited for your ability. You could even get involved in the Richmond Park Parkrun – an organised 5K run that takes place every Saturday at 9am. Totally free and once you join Park Run, you can take your membership barcode to any of their locations throughout London and many other UK cities.
Whatever route you decide to do, make sure to make a detour through Sawyer’s Hill to get a stunning view of London’s skyline from the hilltop. Also, keep an eye out for the deer! Richmond Park was originally opened as a deer-hunting park, and still has 300 red deer and 350 fallow deer today. Clearly, Richmond Park is a great place to run – no matter your level of ability.
Home to the Wombles, Wimbledon Common neighbours Richmond Park and is a great running spot – especially for those living locally in the Putney area. Most people start the 5K trail at the park’s famous windmill, and the route forms a loop around the park. Along the way you will see the lovely Queensmere lake, the bubbling Beverly Brook and you can also treat yourself to a tea or coffee at the Windmill Tearooms once you have finished.
If you are the kind of person who needs a goal or commitment to get those trainers on and out of the door, you could sign up to one of the many races open to amateur runners throughout the city of London.
If you’re a runner and on a house hunt, it may be a high priority for you to live somewhere close to a good running trail. Our properties in East Sheen, Barnes and Putney are in close proximity to the majority of the great running routes we have mentioned. Take a look at some of our properties for sale and to rent in South West London today.