Local Guides

Best London running routes to discover the city differently

Aside from being a bustling city known for its fascinating history and iconic landmarks, London offers plenty of fantastic running routes, trails, and paths for runners of all levels. If you love green areas, you’re in luck because London is home to various lush parks.

Whether you’re an advanced runner or just starting, you’ll find a route adapted to your level, with many places to discover. From picturesque parks to scenic riversides, London provides diverse options to go for a run during your visit to Britain – something to experience the city differently!

Put on your favourite running gear and explore London’s best running routes.

At a glance:

  • Thames Sightseeing Run
  • Regent’s Park
  • Thames Path
  • Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens
  • Richmond Park
  • Victoria Park
  • Crystal Palace Park
  • Greenwich Park
  • Battersea Park
  • Highgate Wood
  • Alexandra Palace
  • Parkland Walk
  • Trent Park
  • Finsbury Park
  • Hampstead Heath
  • The Olympic Park
  • The South Bank
  • Hyde Park
  • The Greenway
  • Epping Forest
  • Wimbledon Common
  • Lee Valley Park
  • Dollis Valley Trail

See the full map here.

Thames Sightseeing Run

You’ll get a picturesque view of London’s iconic skyline along the River Thames on this running route. Enjoy sightseeing landmarks like the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the London Eye, and the Houses of Parliament.

  • Distance: 5 to 6 miles, depending on the route you take.
  • Landmarks: Tower of London, Tower Bridge, the London Eye, and the Houses of Parliament
  • Suggested route here

Regent’s Park Loop

Regent’s Park is located in the heart of London and offers a scenic running route within its vast greenery. Runners can enjoy looping around its beautiful gardens, sports fields, and the boating lake. The park provides a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets and is known for its stunning rose gardens and the famous Regent’s Canal running alongside.

  • Distance: 2,5 miles
  • Landmarks: Regent’s Park, London Zoo
  • Map:

Thames Path

Following the River Thames, the Thames Path offers an extensive running route stretching for miles along the river. Runners can experience the charm of London’s riverside, passing through various bridges, cultural landmarks, and parks. The diverse scenery ranges from modern developments to historic sites, making it an enjoyable choice for those seeking a longer, scenic run.

  • Distance: 184 miles, but you can choose a specific section!
  • More here

Hyde Park Serpentine Route

Set within the vast Hyde Park, this loop goes around the Serpentine Lake. The park itself is a green oasis with tree-lined paths, open fields, and lush flower gardens. Running around the Serpentine Lake also allows you to spot wildlife and admire the park’s iconic landmarks, such as the Serpentine Gallery and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

  • Distance: 4.3 miles
  • Landmarks: Hyde Park, Harrod’s, Serpentine Gallery, Diana Princess of Wales Memorial
  • Map:

Richmond Park

Located in southwest London, Richmond Park is a picturesque royal park with a varied running terrain. You’ll be surrounded by woodlands and grassy meadows while enjoying a scenic experience, encountering herds of deer, beautiful gardens, and scenic vistas from elevated points such as King Henry’s Mound.

  • Distance: 7.2 miles
  • Landmark: Kew Gardens
  • Map:

Victoria Park

Located in Hackney in East London, Victoria Park is a popular choice for runners seeking a well-maintained route. It features a mix of paved paths, open green spaces, and a large lake. The park offers a lively atmosphere with various amenities, including cafes, sports facilities, and even a designated jogging track.

  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Map:

Crystal Palace Park

Located in southeast London, Crystal Palace Park is known for its hilly paths, woodlands, and expansive gardens. Here you can explore the ruins of the historic Crystal Palace, spot the dinosaur sculptures, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the park’s high points.

  • Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Landmark: Crystal Palace
  • Map:

Greenwich Park

Located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the park has plenty of paved paths for runners, grassy slopes, and ancient trees, with stunning views of the Thames and iconic landmarks like the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House. You can also run on the Greenwich Meridian Line across both the eastern and western hemispheres.

  • Distance: 2.8 miles
  • Landmarks: The Royal Observatory, The Queen’s House
  • Map:

Battersea Park

Battersea Park’s peaceful atmosphere and beautiful scenery make it a great choice for a relaxing run! The park counts many picturesque flower gardens where you can admire and run alongside the river, see the iconic Peace Pagoda, and even spot wildlife, including herons and ducks.

  • Distance: 1.6 miles
  • Map:

Highgate Wood

Nestled between the residential areas of Highgate and Muswell Hill, Highgate Wood offers a serene and secluded running experience. The woodland is an enchanting escape from the city, with its peaceful trails, ancient trees, and abundant wildlife. If you continue towards Muswell Hill (and feel like exercising), you can run all the way up to Alexandra Palace to admire splendid panoramic views of London.

  • Distance: 1.1 miles
  • Map:

Alexandra Palace

Located near Muswell Hill in North London, Alexandra Palace can be quite challenging with both hilly sections and flat paths. Besides stunning views of the city, you’ll run through parkland and wooded areas, the perfect mix if you want both natural scenery and an efficient workout.

  • Distance: 2 to 3 miles
  • Landmark: Alexandra Palace
  • Map:

Parkland Walk

Following what used to be an old railway line, the Parkland Walk is a peaceful and flat path stretching from Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace. Surrounded by nature and lined with trees, this route offers a tranquil experience and is perfect for a leisurely jog or a more relaxed workout.

  • Distance: 4.5 miles
  • Map:

Trent Park

Situated in Enfield, Trent Park boasts picturesque landscapes and vast open spaces, providing a refreshing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Offering various running trails, including ones passing by lakes and through woodlands, this location is perfect for those seeking a scenic and diverse running experience.

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Map:

Finsbury Park

Finsbury Park attracts many runners with easy access, a variety of well-maintained paths and the connection to Parkland Walk. It is a popular choice amongst local runners and a pleasant setting for a workout!

  • Distance: 1.5 miles
  • Map:

Hampstead Heath

Known for its natural beauty and expansive views of London, Hampstead Heath offers a wide range of running paths and trails suitable for all fitness levels. Whether you prefer gentle slopes, challenging hills, or serene lakes, this location is sure to provide a rewarding and refreshing running experience.

  • Distance: 4 to 5 miles
  • Map:

The Olympic Park

Home to the 2012 Olympic Games, the Olympic Park in East London provides pathways and opportunities to see the impressive Olympic Stadium. Well-adapted to running and training, this motivating route is perfect for a more fast-paced or competitive run.

  • Distance: 1 to 5 miles
  • Landmark: Olympic Park
  • Map:

The South Bank

Running along the River Thames, the South Bank is also a lively running route with superb views of London’s skyline. With diverse attractions such as the London Eye, Tate Modern, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, this route is perfect for combining exercise with cultural exploration.

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Landmarks: The London Eye, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • Map:

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

These adjacent green spaces provide great running routes, combining the tranquillity of Kensington Gardens with the open landscapes of Hyde Park. Tree-lined paths, lakes, and even the popular Serpentine running route, runners will love this picturesque location.

  • Distance: 4.3 miles
  • Landmarks: Kensington Palace, Hyde Park
  • Map:

The Greenway

Located in East London, the Greenway is a scenic route along the waterways and canal paths, passing through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and connecting various neighbourhoods. This off-road running path is an excellent choice for those wanting a break from the big city life.

  • Distance: 7.5 miles
  • Map:

Epping Forest

Occupying a vast area in the northeast of London, Epping Forest is home to lush woodland trails, giving you a true escape into nature. Along your run, you’ll see ancient trees and natural wildlife habitats, the perfect immersion to rejuvenate yourself and feel good after your run.

  • Distance: 10+ miles
  • Map:

Wimbledon Common

Home to the world-famous tennis tournament, Wimbledon Common is also a sprawling green space located in southwest London. The common provides options for runners of all abilities with stunning landscapes and historical landmarks like Wimbledon Windmill, Cannizaro Park, and Wimbledon Windmill Museum.

  • Distance: 4 miles
  • Map:

Lee Valley Park

Stretching across northeast London, Lee Valley Park will please the most advanced runners with its distance, impressive river, lakes, and wetland habitats. The park has many trail routes, allowing you to customise your run to suit your preferences.

  • Distance: 26 miles
  • Suggested routes here

Dollis Valley Trail

Another delightful route is The Dollis Valley Trail, a green and serene route located across North London’s Barnet and Brent Cross area. It traces the path of the peaceful Dollis Brook, winding through parks, woodlands, and meadows. The trail is suitable for runners who appreciate a mix of terrains.

  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Map:

London running routes offer an incredible experience for fitness enthusiasts and visitors. From iconic London attractions to the peaceful trails of Richmond Park and Hampstead Heath, the city is for all types of runners.

Now that you have run off the beaten path to discover London, you may want to take a rest and visit key places in the capital and beyond – take a look at our day tours from London.