This week I tried a new 8 mile run between London Bridge and Hammersmith which passed through three of London’s Royal Parks; Green Park, Hyde Park, St James’s Park and Kengsington Gardens, as well as passing by some of the main tourist attractions. On a normal Summer morning this route would have been quite pleasant. As it was cold, dark and tipping it down with rain, it wasn’t the nicest of runs and I ended up arriving at work completely soaked.
London Bridge to Westminster Bridge
Starting out from London Bridge Station I headed out past Borough Market and North along Stoney Street towards the Thames Path. At the end of the street I took a left onto Clink Street and headed past the Prison Museum and under the underpass, it was here I realised that my backpack had unzipped leaving my workclothes flapping along behind me getting as soaked as I was. Great start – I wasn’t even a mile into the run.
After re-packing my clothes I continued along the riverside. Due to the bad weather it was quite quiet with only a few hardened runners and a few inebriated tramps along the route. I was actually heckled / cheered on by a couple of tramps hanging out under Southwark Bridge which spurred me on to run a little faster. The route took me past the Shakespere Globe Theatre, the Tate modern and the London Eye before reaching Westminster Bridge.
Westminster Bridge to Hyde Park Corner
Heading up the steps off the Thames Path I took a right and continued over Westminster Bridge. On a normal day it can get a bit busy around here and I would hate to try running over the bridge during the peak summer period. Thankfully, at 6.15 on a wet Autumn morning there was not a selfy stick in sight. Continuing on past Big Ben and Westminster Underground Station I headed up Great George Street (third exit off Parliment Square), continuing on to Birdcage Walk and St James’s Park, the first of the London parks along the route.
Looking back at the route I should have taken the longer path following the Southern side of the lake around to Buckingham Palace. As it was, I cut straight through the park, taking the bridge over the lake and ending up on The Mall which I followed down to the entrance to Green Park. From here I ran up the path closest to Constitution Hill, through Wellington Arch before ending up at Hyde Park Corner.Hyde Park can be quite busy around rush hour and there are a series of duel use crossings that you need to negotitate before you can run through Marble Arch into the safety of Hyde Park so take your time.
Hyde Park to Hammersmith
I was getting pretty fed up with the torrential rain by this point but I perserveered knowing that I was only a few miles away from being in the dry.
From the South East corner of Hyde Park there are numerous routes that will take you over to the South West exit on to Kengsington High Street. If I’m feeling like a shorter run I’ll take the dual-use path that follows the bridal way, crossing West Carrage Drive Road and continuing along The Flower Walk until I reach the gates on to Kingsington High Street.
Today I decided to take the longer route and run along the Eastern edge of the park up to Speakers Corner before following the park perimeter around to
Given my current level of fitness and the poor weather it was generally a good run and one I’ll probably run the route again as an alternative to my standard Victoria Station to Hammersmith route.