11 Running Routes for Londoners

Training for a half marathon? Stretching lockdown legs? Try one of these SUITCASE-approved running routes. Spanning from 2km to 20km, they take in some of London’s best green spaces and historic sights (and make social distancing a breeze).

you’re gearing up for a half marathon or merely
stretching lockdown legs, these SUITCASE-approved routes are ideal
for criss-crossing the city without bumping into a fleet of running
aficionados. We’ve pooled intel from our friends all over the city
to find the paths that are cosseted from urban sprawl and can be
adapted as per your ability. Strap yourself up, plug yourself
and just do it.

Capital running routes

Parkland Walk


This disused railway is a surprisingly peaceful tree-lined
tunnel which starts at Finsbury Park and ends in Highgate, slicing
through Crouch End along the way. It’s roughly a-two-and-a-half
kilometre stretch each way, but can be extended by looping around
Finsbury Park or the pleasantly shaded Highbury Wood at either

Clapton to Victoria Park


From Clapton Overground Station, run east along Southwold Road
until you hit the River Lea. Southwold Road is steep but fairly
quiet and makes for great hill sprints (time and inclination
permitting). Turn right and run along the riverbank, crossing
bridges as necessary. A clearing will emerge in the thicket to your
left – take it if you want to run onwards to the Olympic Park, or
continue along the river bank through
Hackney Wick
until you reach Victoria Park. Lap it (or jog as
far as your legs will take you) then head to the river and back the
way you came.

Regent’s Canal


Start somewhere near Coal Drops Yard at King’s Cross. Head down
to the canal and make tracks past the hulking great gas station,
through the St Pancras Basin. Following the canal will lead you up,
, to the grassy fringes of Regent’s Park and onwards to
the charming Maida Vale – aka Little Venice. Catch your breath amid
the elegant townhouses and dusky-coloured houseboats, then retrace
your steps in the opposite direction.

Acton to Putney


From wherever you’re placed in Acton, make a beeline for
Chiswick House & Gardens – there are 65 acres of well-clipped
English gardens to run through if you’re feeling zesty – then down
to the Thames. Turn left when you hit the riverbank and follow the
water to Hammersmith. Eventually, you’ll hit Hammersmith Bridge:
cross it and continue along the river’s grassy verge. In a
post-coronavirus world, we’d recommend taking a turn about the WWT
Wetland Centre, but it’s currently closed. Boo. Instead, keep on
running until you reach Putney Bridge. Cross the bridge and turn
left so that you’re heading back the way you came, taking in Fulham
Palace as you go.

Bow via the Limehouse Basin


Start anywhere along Bow Road and start running in the direction
of Mile End tube station. Go slightly past the station and segue
onto the greenery of Mile End Park. Once in the park, you’ll spot
the canal in no time. Stick tight to it all the way to Limehouse
Basin – a marina which, on a sunny day, gives St Katharine Docks a
run for its money. Once you’ve skirted its perimeter, run along the
banks of the Limehouse Cut, up through Poplar, onto the Bow Locks
and along the River Lea. You’ll eventually hit the incredibly
unappetising Bow roundabout. Don’t hang about. Bear left and you’ll
find yourself back on Bow Road.

Lea Valley Walk

Anywhere between 5km and 24km

The Lea Valley Walk runs from the East India DLR Station up to
Waltham Cross on the Hertfordshire border, taking in some of
London’s most exquisite natural enclaves and heritage sites en
route. It’s 24km in total – just slightly longer than a half
marathon – but it’s helpfully divided into six more manageable
sections. Refer to TFL‘s website for
a full breakdown.

Battersea to St James’s Park


We’ve chosen Battersea as a starting point, but this route might
also appeal to those in North Clapham. Take any entrance to
Battersea Park and start running. A loop of the park will tack on
an extra two kilometres – worth remembering on your way back. Take
the exit near the power station and you’ll find yourself by Chelsea
Bridge. Once you’ve crossed it, carry on straight towards the Royal
Hospital Chelsea, at which point turn left onto Ebury Bridge Road.
Carry on straight, onto Buckingham Palace Road and past Victoria
station. Eventually, you’ll hit Buckingham Palace. Sweep through St
James’s Park before heading back from whence you came.

Thames Path from Putney Bridge to Kew Gardens


This historic route follows part of the Thames Path trail, which
follows the eponymous river for 296km from its source in the
Cotswold hills right through to the heart of London. Start the
route on the south side of Putney Bridge and run west. Wind through
Barnes, dodging the rowing boats slung outside Barn Elms Boathouse
on your way, past Barnes Bridge until you reach Kew. From here,
either follow the river until you reach the Cambridge Cottage
entrance to Kew Gardens or shortcut through village-like Kew to the
gardens’ Victoria Gate entrance.

South-east London’s parks


Kick things off at Herne Hill railway station and head west into
leafy Brockwell Park. Then loop the park anti-clockwise, taking in
Brockwell Lido and Brixton’s high-octane BMX track on your way.
Once you’ve completed the circuit, pick up Turney Road as it heads
east towards Dulwich Park, where you’ll trace Carriage Drive until
you reach the pond (bring bread for the ducks). From here, either
continue to loop around the park or carry on south through the
Sydenham to Crystal Palace Park.

Diana Memorial Walk


The Diana Memorial Walk is a figure-of-eight course that takes
in some of London’s biggest-hitting green spaces – Kensington
Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park. Run like
royalty as you flit between Buckingham Palace and Kensington
Palace. You can’t really go wrong; there are 90 plaques set in the
ground en route – look for their shiny aluminium roses and follow
the arrows.

Hampstead Heath

Anywhere from 2km to 20km

An oldie, but a goodie. The Heath offers a limitless array of
routes – through woods, around ornamental gardens, along vast open
plains – as well as plenty of pretty stop-offs to alleviate mid-run

A view across Regent's Canal

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