London needs no introduction. The capital of the United Kingdom, the heart of England, and one of the world's most important financial, cultural, and political centers speaks for itself. Whether the purpose of your London visit is business, tourism, study, or urban adventure, you'll love the energy from the intense vibe of this city's activity. And no matter whether you find yourself in the boardroom of a major corporation, in the main rooms of the royal museums, or the dance floor of a fashionable nightclub, you'll become infused with that energy too. Fortunately, if you've got that extra energy to burn off, London has an incredibly active running culture and several spots in the city where runners rule the roads (that is, paths). Whether you're looking for a quick morning run along the Thames River or a longer escape into the greenland of the Royal Parks, there is a location and terrain to suit your needs.
London is best when it's run, in fact, so here are a few tips to help you get started. First, this city is a huge place. One of the easiest things to do here is get lost. Most of the BTG routes are located in the city center, and are easily accessed via main roads or central tube stops. If you want to run a particular run but are not staying in the city center, it might be easiest to take the tube (or a taxi) to your desired starting location. You might be able to run from your start location too, but just be sure to get specific directions - there are uncountable small twisty streets in this city (most of which are not pictured on our maps), so unless you're paying attention you might take a wrong turn. Second, this city is an incredibly busy place. The number of people in town seems to make the small streets that much smaller, and it will be almost impossible to run those streets during the day. For that reason, except for the Thames River route (Run #2), we recommend reigning in your London jaunts to the city's great parks. Third, we cannot stress this enough: look right, then left, when crossing the street. Traffic is coming at you from the opposite direction that it does in the United States and Western Europe.
Oh, and by the way - it rains here.
Now lace up your trainers and hit the town. Happy running!
- Public Transportation: Between overground rail, underground trains, double-decker buses and black cabs, London's public transportation is comprehensive, but complicated. Sometimes on weekends certain tube lines are closed, and some places on the outer reaches of town have to be reached by DLR overland trains. In some cases it's faster to run places than rely on the system.
- Look right, then left: This is very important when crossing the street. Traffic drives on the left side of the road, and will be coming at you from ways you may not be expecting.
- "Mind The:" It means "Watch Out For."
In the mood to rent a bike? Check out one of the following establishments:
Go Pedal - http://www.gopedal.co.uk
London Bicycle Tour Company: http://www.londonbicycle.com
On Your Bike: http://www.onyourbike.net