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5 of the best running routes in London

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 3/4/2021 Rosie Fitzmaurice

The weather is warming up, spring is firmly on the horizon, and who knows, there could even be some IRL races come the summer.

In need of some fresh running route inspo to spur you on? To celebrate the launch of the new Ultraboost 21 running trainers, which deliver a seriously explosive energy return with six per cent more Boost according to the brand, five Adidas Crew Runners have shared some of their favourite routes in London via the Adidas Running app, to help keep a spring in your own step.

North London

Hampstead Heath—King’s Cross (10K)

map: Adidas Running © Provided by Evening Standard Adidas Running

Sydney Sims (@sydney.runs): “North London has so many great running spots, but my favourites are Hampstead Heath for its trails, Primrose Hill for its views, Regent’s Park for its long, flat paths, and along Regent’s Canal for some peaceful kilometres. This 10k route takes me through all these places! It also has a good mix of hills and flat sections, which keeps the run interesting.

“The route starts at the Hampstead Heath station entrance, taking you past the ponds and along some paths up to Parliament Hill for the route’s first amazing view of London (weather-dependent, of course). After exploring the Heath, the route then takes you straight to Primrose Hill and up to the top, where you’re rewarded with a second amazing view of London. From Primrose Hill, the route takes you into Regent’s Park, past the zoo (where you can catch a glimpse of the camels) and down the Broad Walk where you exit the park. From there, you join Regent’s Canal and follow it past Camden Market and along to Granary Square at King’s Cross, a great place to finish for a hot drink and some food.”

North West London

Queens Park—Roundwood Park (5K) 

map: Adidas Running © Provided by Evening Standard Adidas Running

Vinesh Halai (@vinnyhalai): “One of my favourite routes is a 5K A to B route through some of the local parks close to my home. I usually start with a figure of eight loop in the inner segment of Queens park, where there are often some really nice sunrises and sunsets.

“I then head out the park towards King Edward park, entering through Doyle Gardens, I usually inject a bit of pace here by running the inner segment loop which is exactly 1km. This park is where I started running many years ago and where I always go back when my running form needs work. I have met and talked to Olympian’s and celebrities at Queens Park and King Edward park, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled.

“Coming out of King Edward park, I head down towards Roundwood park, entering the park through the main gate on Robson Road. I then head up the steep hill to the viewing point, where you can see an amazing backdrop of north-west London and the surroundings, including the iconic Wembley stadium, some amazing sunsets and sunrises can also be seen here. In the last few metres I head down the hill towards the bird sanctuary, the route stops just short of the main gate on Robson Road, where there’s usually an ice cream van waiting for a much needed cool down on a hot day.” 

East London

Columbia Road Flower Market—London Fields—Haggerston (5K)

graphical user interface, map: Adidas Running © Provided by Evening Standard Adidas Running

Bod Brewster (@bodbrewster): “I’ve lived in London my whole life, and exploring the city is still one of my favourite things to do. This run starts and ends close to where I live in the Jesus Green conservation area that includes Columbia Road Flower Market. This little area has a real village feel to it, despite being just up the road from the City, and makes for lovely quiet streets to run along.

“From here I cross Hackney Road, one of the only busy roads you’ll pass on this route, and make my way up Goldsmith’s Row towards Broadway Market and on to London Fields, where there’s always some people watching to be done. I do a lap of the fields before returning back down Broadway Market to turn west along the canal and along Kingsland Road.

“This is a brilliant bit of the canal to run along as there is a quiet road that runs alongside it, so if it’s ever too busy with people out for a stroll, you can always jump onto the road without having to change your route. I come up from the canal at Kingsland Road bridge, crossing over the canal to head south and then turn into Laburnum Street. This road runs along the canal route behind the waterfront apartments and studios to lead you down to Haggerston Park, another great green space.

“I run through the centre of the park from north to south, ending back to Hackney Road, where I cross again and make my way back to my starting point. So in just over 5k, I have run through two parks, along a market street and canal.”

South West London

Wimbledon—Queensmere Pond—Wimbledon (10K)

map: Adidas Running © Provided by Evening Standard Adidas Running

Jake Herbert (@jakebherbert): “This run is the perfect weekend escape after a busy week and is bursting with nature and landmarks. Start outside Wimbledon train station and head north-west up Wimbledon Hill Road. Starting with an 8 per cent incline wakes those legs up immediately! Head on into Wimbledon Village and along Parkside, a flat straight that lines the eastern side of common. At the 2.5km mark it’s time to turn left into the common along Windmill road where you’ll see a real-life windmill.

“Head down to Queensmere Pond, at the eastern tip take the trail on your right, for a short burst uphill where you will come to the golf fairways. After approximately 500m turn left at the trail cross-roads.  Before the 7km mark you will come to a gated driveway, after which turn right and run along the fenceline of the golf club, be sure to watch your step along this smaller trail.

“On the left hand side look for a narrow single-track between two-wire fences. Aptly named The Toast Rack. Head up here until you reach the road. Back on the pavement it’s time to loop round North View and West Place. This will lead you onto the quaint West Side Common. Finally turn left onto South Side Common leading you back into Wimbledon Village. 10K done and the many choices of snacks and coffee are your well-deserved finish line.”

South West London

Putney Towpath —Barnes (8K)

map: Adidas Running © Provided by Evening Standard Adidas Running

Olivia Ross Hurst (@livdmc): “We are spoilt for choice in west London. When I first moved to the city several years ago I chose west because of its proximity to some of the running jewels of London - Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common, and of course the river. I love all the routes that take me through these spots but during these pandemic mornings the river has been my saving grace - within minutes of rolling out of bed I can be on the Putney towpath, another few minutes and the boats and concrete make way for the softer, shaded trail of the westbound riverbank.

“If time is tight I follow it to the now defunct Hammersmith Bridge, or a little further round the bend to beautiful Barnes. I love watching  the grit and hard work of the rowers on the water. If you’re lucky, in the early mornings you might spot a heron on the quiet riverbank. After a couple of miles beneath the forest canopy the trail opens up, and Barnes comes into view. The wonderful thing about a river run is you can go as far as you like- if I’m feeling good I might continue towards Richmond, even Kingston and Hampton Court, but more often than not I’ll turn off here and head back through the village green and Barnes Common; savouring the tranquility of the grassy trails before hitting the Putney pavements again. 40 minutes later and I’m home, coffee on, ready to start the day.”

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