My Favourite Places to Run in London

Regent’s Canal: my favourite place to run in London

I’m feeling a little nostalgic today. Still nursing a knee injury, I find myself thinking about all the great runs I’ve done in London. I fantasize about when I might be able to repeat them. So you’ll have to forgive me for this somewhat indulgent post. I’ll be back in all these places soon but until then, I will tell you about the top 5 places I wish I was running right now.

Regent’s Canal

Regent’s Canal is my absolute favourite place to run. With miles of (nearly) uninterrupted path, this is the perfect place for a long run. While crowded at times, early mornings are idyllic with other runners and cyclists. I have run along the canal so many times that I literally have every kilometre memorised, up to the exact tree or bend in the pavement. In spring, daffodils bloom in abundance and families of geese and swans can be seen swimming along the water.

I love the canal so much. I ran hundreds of kilometres on it during my marathon training and it never got old. It’s like an old friend. Familiar and comforting. It also guarantees I can’t get lost.

I hate when people throw garbage in the canal. Please don’t do that people of London. It makes me sad.

Regent’s Canal is a good place to stretch too.

Emirates Stadium

Sometimes, I like to run to Emirates Stadium where Arsenal play and run laps around it. It’s quiet in the mornings and it’s a consistent quiet loop of about a mile. It’s perfect for speed training, or more mindless running. It’s like a track, only less boring. There’s also a great set of steps leading into the stadium and a long ramp, both of which make excellent spots for other sorts of workouts. It’s a nice change from pounding the pavement around Islington.

Victoria Park

This park is exactly 4km away from my flat, along the canal. I love it because it has everything I need: well-placed water fountains, reasonably clean toilets, and a tiny café in case the runger sets in. There’s always tons of other runners, cyclists and dog walkers, and the trees and flower beds are stunning in the springtime. I tend to stick to the shorter loop of the park that is about a mile, but there’s a larger loop that is closer to 2 miles.

This is the pond in the middle of Victoria Park. This pic was from a run in January, the only time I had ever seen the pond frozen over! Brrrr…

Richmond Park

While I have only run here a handful of times, it’s a great place to go to feel like you’ve left the city entirely. With wild deer roaming around, it really does feel quite rural. The outer loop of the park is almost exactly 10 miles which is a perfect distance for longer race training. I went here in the early part of the marathon training and enjoyed my run immensely. With a few good inclines and varied terrain, it’s a nice change from my usual running routes… it’s just a mission to get there!

Tower Bridge

You have to time this right, because on a Saturday afternoon in the summer, it is just too busy to run here. But, if you can find a quiet day, this is the perfect London run. There is literally nothing more iconic than running on or by Tower Bridge. There is a reason that so many people say Tower Bridge is their favourite part of the London Marathon.

A picture midway through my first run in London.

Do you have a favourite place to run? Any new places I should add to my list?

 

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