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The 10 Best Running Routes in London

Picture of Georgina Wilson-Powell
Updated: 13 April 2017

Pound those pavements and parks. London, being relatively flat, is the perfect place to pick up your pace for everything from a lunch time jog to a weekend long run. We’ve tracked our favourite trails, which take in royal parks, woods, canals and railway lines.

The River Thames run

This is a good lunchtime jog as it covers around four miles in a circle around some of central London’s most iconic points. Start out at Waterloo and run along the South Bank until you get to the Tate Modern. Cross over Millennium Bridge and head back along the Thames to Westminster Bridge.

Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge | © Matt Brown / Flickr

Head out west

Head away from town for this long run that covers nearly 13 miles — about the distance of a half marathon. Start in Battersea Park and head west along the Thames; you’ll take in pretty river views, Kew Gardens and you’ll end up round the curve of the river in Richmond, where there are lots of pubs to have a well deserved lunch in.

Run around Richmond Park

Go off road in Richmond Park: the huge royal park offers plenty of trails through the woods and fields. Most people do the long perimeter run on the Tamsin Trail but you can run anywhere your legs will take you — you might even meet some deer.

Richmond Park

Richmond Park | © sczscz / Flickr

East London’s canals

Discover a different side of East London by heading out along the tow paths. Start off at Limehouse Cut, past the Olympic Stadium and Victoria Park until you run past Broadway Market. Keep on going and you’ll eventually end up in Angel where the tow path abuptly ends.

Victoria Park run

Victoria Park is the jewel in the park crown of East London and its sprawling parks and paths make for a nice loop that keeps you almost 100% off the streets. You can do a five mile loop that is perfectly serene and quiet early on.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park | © Ben Rimmer / Flickr

Regent’s Park

Regent’s Park has one of the most pleasant inner city runs, with running tracks covering around three miles of parkland. There are showers and toilets at the Hub or you can add on a loop of nearby Primrose Hill for more of an intense workout.

The Diana Memorial Run

Monarchists and Diana fans will love this figure of eight course that takes in the big inner city parks of Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St James Park. You’re basically running between Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace and back again — a royal triumph.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace | © shining.darkness / Flickr

Southwark circle

Take your legs out for a 10 miler than takes in most of Southwark. Start at Waterloo Bridge and head east along the Thames, cut down into Southwark Park and then inland through Burgess and Kennington Parks, through Vauxhall and up to the Imperial War Museum.

Wimbledon wander

Make like a womble and make Wimbledon Common your new playground. While the park’s options are endless there’s a quite well established five kilometre run that starts and finishes from the old windmill.

Wimbledon Common

Wimbledon Common | © Chris Guy/ Flickr

The railway run

Follow an old abandoned railway line from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace Park. You can run down tree-lined avenues, go via Highgate Woods and check out the natural sculptures that line the route. It’s around five miles (eight kilometres) so make sure you’re not there after dark when it can be a bit lonesome.