Much of the fun of living in London is being able to run to interesting places. Although they take a bit longer due to the return trip, destination runs are a great way to explore more parts of the city. Don’t forget your Oyster card!
Here are a few we like to do. We are always looking for more so please give us suggestions!
Big Ben (4 – 8 miles)
This is such a fun route! We run right through the heart of London and stop at the famous Big Ben for a 4 mile option. You can extend the run by looping back to Green Park Tube [5.5 mi] or all the way back to SJW [8 mi].
Head to Hyde Park via the usual route. Start heading west on Circus Road and turn left on Grove End and follow south as it becomes Lisson Grove. Cross over Marylebone Road and continue on Seymour Place until the end. Turn right and cross over Edgware Road and then left to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place. Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under the arch and down Constitution Hill. Run past the Victoria Memorial down the mall and enter St. James Park. Run over the pond and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben. Those running four miles will take the tube back to SJW from here and those running eight will turn around and follow the same route back.
Sights of London (4.6 miles)
This is a fun run. We will start out the usual way to Hyde Park, where will stop at Speaker’s Corner for a photo. We’ll then continue on along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, where we will cross towards and run through Wellington Arch then run down Constitution Hill to Buckingham Palace, where we will gather again for another photo. Then, we’ll run down The Mall and cross through St James Park to Birdcage Walk and on into Parliament Square, where we’ll take another photo in front of Big Ben. Finally, we’ll head down WhiteHall through Admiralty Arch into Trafalgar Square, where we’ll take one last photo and then hop on the tube – Bakerloo, then a transfer to Jubilee at Baker Street – and head to Richoux for the farewell coffee.
Borough Market via Hungerford Bridge (5 miles)
Head to Regents Park the usual way taking Circus Road to Charlbert. Cross Regents Park until you hit the Broad Walk, turning right and following the Broad Walk until you exit at Park Crescent. Follow Portland Place south – it turns into Langham Place and then Regent Street – until you get to Piccadilly Circus. At Piccadilly Circus, take Haymarket South to Cockspur Street into Trafalgar Square. At Trafalgar Square, continue south toward the Thames on Northumberland Avenue. At the river, cross on the Hungerford Bridge right in front of you. At the end of the bridge, turn left to follow The Queen’s Walk along the Thames until the path ends after the Southwark Bridge (a bit over a mile). Just past Southwark Bridge, head right to go into a short tunnel that puts you onto Clink Street. Make a right on Stoney Street to get to Monmouth Coffee and Borough Market which is under the railway bridge near the London Bridge station. The official address is 8 Southwark Street SE1 1TL.
Borough Market via Westminster Bridge (6 miles)
We head to Hyde Park via the usual route. Start heading west on Circus Road and turn left on Grove End and follow south as it becomes Lisson Grove. Cross over Marylebone Road and continue on Seymour Place until the end. Turn right and cross over Edgware Road and then left to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place. Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill. Run past the Victoria Memorial down the mall and enter St. James Park. Run over the pond and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben. Continue past Big Ben and cross Westminster Bridge. After the bridge turn left to run along the Thames until the river path ends after Southwark Bridge. Just past Southwark Bridge, head right to go into a short tunnel that puts you onto Clink Street. Make a right on Stoney Street to get to Monmouth Coffee and Borough Market which is under the railway bridge near the London Bridge station. The official address is 8 Southwark Street SE1 1TL.
Whole Foods Piccadilly (6.5 miles)
This is always a fun route. We start out heading east on the canal and run to the Wall. We’ll exit the canal there and turn right onto Rodney, which will turn into Penton Rise, then King’s Cross Road, and eventually Farringdon, which we will stay on until we reach the embankment. We then turn right and run along Victoria Embankment to Northumberland (just past Embankment Tube Station). Turn Right onto Northumberland and run through Trafalger Square onto Cockspur and then turn right onto Haymarket. Take Haymarket into Piccadilly Circus and turn left onto Coventry. Run through Piccadilly Circus, cross the street and onto Glasshouse Street, where you will see Whole Foods.
Whole Foods Kensington via Brompton Cemetery (6.6 miles)
Today we’ll earn our post-run treat by ending at Whole Foods on the Kensington High Street! Bring your shopping list if you want.
We start out the normal way to Hyde Park. Once you enter the park, turn left and run along the east side of the park. At Hyde Park Corner turn right and run along the south side exiting at the gate we normally use at William Street [next to the French Embassy]. Cross the street, take a right. Turn left at Brompton Road (just past the tube) and take Brompton all the way (admiring Harrods as you pass) until Fulham Road. Veer left on Fulham Road and continue to Brompton Cemetery. Turn right to enter the Cemetery. Run through the Cemetery then exit and turn right onto Old Brompton Road, then turn left onto Earls Court Road. Cross Cromwell Road, then turn right onto Cromwell Road and then turn left onto Marloes Road. Continue north on Marloes making your way through the streets to Kensington High Street. Whole Foods will be to your right.
Finsbury Park/Happening Bagel (6.8 miles)
For this run we start up Fitzjohn’s like we’re going to the Heath but pass the entrance and continue up Spaniards/Hampstead Lane to Highgate. At the very top of the hill bear right and run slightly downhill towards Highgate High Street. At the second circular intersection, cross the high street at the zebra crossing and go down Southwood Lane. At the bottom of the hill veer to the right onto Jackson’s Lane (which is a very narrow road). Continue down Jackson’s to Archway Road, cross the road and make a right, then a relatively quick left onto Holmesdale Road. Run a short distance on Holmesdale and the entrance to the Finsbury Greenbelt will be on your left. Turn right on the path and follow it until it ends, turn left, cross the bridge over the train tracks and enter Finsbury Park. Turn right and run along the western edge of the park until the entrance on Seven Sister’s Road. After we stretch we will head over the street to the Happening Bagel. Once we’ve bought our bagels we will cross back over the street to Costa for coffee and then take the tube home from the Finsbury Park Station.
Brick Lane via the Canal/Kingsland Rd Exit (6.25 miles)
This is a fun and funky destination run! We will head out in the same way as though we are running to The Wall. Take the Canal east to the Wall—go up ramp to Muriel Street, take a right and then an almost immediate left up a path that winds between the apartment buildings. Here’s the entrance to the path:
Keep going straight on the path and it will become Maygood Street. When you get to the intersection of a main road (Barnsbury Road) turn right. Run until you make the second left onto Chapel Market. (There is a metal archway saying Chapel Market and a zebra crossing at the intersection.) Follow Chapel Market until the end. Turn right at Liverpool Street to the major road Upper Street. Cross Upper Street and turn left, then make your first right at Duncan Street. Follow Duncan Street to the end and there will be an entrance to the canal directly in front of you. At the canal path continue running straight, the water will be on your right. Follow the canal until you reach the Kingsland Road Bridge, Number 45. See the photo right.
At the top of the stairs turn left and at the main road, Kingsland Road, turn left.
Run under the bridge and take the brick steps up on your left, see photo left.(You’ll be running back over the canal.) Follow Kingsland Road, you’ll see the Gherkin building in the distance in front of you. (Kingsland Road will become Shoreditch High Street.) Turn left at Bethnal Green Road. There will be a white metal railroad bridge in front of you and the BOXPARK market will be on your right once you turn. You’ll also pass the Shoreditch High Street Overground Station on your right. Follow Bethnal Green Road until you hit Brick Lane, less than a quarter of a mile. There is a Casa Blue cafe at the corner, turn right into Brick Lane and you’ll see Beigel Bake and Brick Lane Coffee on the right. They are FUNKY so bring your cool attitudes! For the journey home, you can take the Shoreditch High Street Overground to Canada Water and then take the Jubilee Line home. Or you can walk through Spitalfields Market to get to the Liverpool Street tube station.
Hampton Court (8 miles)
We will meet at the “Finchley Road and Frognal Overground Station” at 8:30 for the 8:41 train to Richmond. We will arrive in Richmond around 9:15 to start our run. You can take a bus up Finchley Road to the station or take the tube to Finchley Road, turn left and walk up to the Overground Station.
Leave the Richmond Overground Station, cross the road at the traffic lights and go straight through the narrow Old Station Passage. At the end, turn left on Little Green and follow straight past the Richmond Green until taking the left fork onto Friars Lane. Follow Friars Lane as it winds down to the river path.
Now we stick to the river path along the Thames for the rest of our run. We will pass the grand red brick Ham House on the left, and eventually join Lower Ham Road. Keep right at the fork at Canbury Gardens, staying with the river just to your right. As you approach the center of Kingston you’ll run under a metal railway bridge; continue along as close to the Thames as possible until the next bridge, called Horse Fair Bridge.
8-mile route: Go up the stairs on the near side of the Horse Fair Bridge and cross the bridge. Turn left at the end of the bridge onto a very pretty path called Barge Walk, which follows the river all the way to Hampton Court Palace. Once we arrive at the Palace, take a few snaps, and if you can stay for a coffee, we’ll meet at the Tiltyard Cafe, a restaurant on the Palace grounds with lovely outdoor space (and indoor too in case of inclement weather!). Cross the courtyard in front of the palace and then walk past the rose gardens to the cafe; no need to pay the Palace entrance fee.
Head back to London via Hampton Court train station. To get there, cross over the Thames on Hampton Court Bridge and the train station will be on your left. Be sure to check your travel sites to confirm the options for the trip home. There are usually local and express trains that go into London Waterloo.
Kew Gardens (11 miles)
You’ll be feeling exhilarated as we do our 11 mile run to the cute ‘village’ of Kew. We start out the normal way running to Hyde Park. Once in the Park, we’ll turn to the left and run down the main walkway as we regularly do, to Hyde Park Corner. At the end of the walk, turn right to follow the main cross route in the park—beware of the bike lane! When this ends at West Carriage Drive, cross the road at the crossing and continue on the pathway towards the bottom right corner of Hyde/Kensington Park. We’ll run out of the Park at the Broadwalk, turning right onto Kensington High Street and continue for about two miles until we reach the Hammersmith Tube gyratory. Run counter clockwise towards the left, ending up on Queen Caroline Street which gets you to St. Paul’s Church green. Run along the green to the right, heading to and crossing over Hammersmith Bridge. Exit Hammersmith Bridge Road to your left, go down the stairs and run under the bridge onto the Thames footpath. Now it’s time to enjoy the view as we run along the Thames for almost four miles—it’s beautiful! We will exit at the Kew Bridge, see photo below:
Run UNDER the bridge and then turn left, past a couple of tiny shops. Run through the small parking lot until you see the stone steps leading to the top of the bridge.
At the top of the steps turn right towards town (not back over the river) and run along this road [Kew Road] for about a third of a mile until you reach a 3-way intersection. Here there are two options. Option 1 is on the route map but option 2 may be easier to remember. The distance is the same.
Option 1 – At the 3-way intersection, veer left on Mortlake Road, then shortly thereafter turn right on Cumberland Road, which will merge into Kew Gardens Road. You’ll do a turn to the left onto Station Approach [follow the Kew Gardens Station signs]. There is a Starbucks around the small bend where we’ll all meet up to congratulate ourselves on such a great run!
Option 2 – At the 3-way intersection, veer right and follow Kew Road along the boundary wall to Kew Gardens until you reach the first main pedestrian entrance to Kew Gardens, the Victoria Gate. Across from Victoria Gate, is Lichfield Road (it is only sign posted on the left-hand corner). Follow Lichfield Road straight into Kew village. Starbucks is on the left where we’ll all meet up to congratulate ourselves on such a great run!