AS I now need to travel to London fairly regularly for work, I need to find a way of keeping up with my regular runs, even when I’m away. So last week I included my running gear in my packing and decided that I’d get up early on my first morning and head out for a run. I’d not planned a route apart from thinking I’d run along the Thames but a quick google the night before and I found a route which took in many of London’s landmarks. As my hotel isn’t far away from the Thames I thought this would be my best option.
I’m really glad I made the effort! I was a little bit worried that I’d feel uncomfortable / nervous / not safe running when it was still dark in the morning. I’m not used to they city! But it was fine, lots of other runners about – particularly when I got onto the southbank.
I did stop to take pictures, this is such a new environment for me and I could still feel the weekends Cross Country race in my legs so it was never going to be a quick run.
I got to the Thames not too far from Temple Station and headed west. I found it difficult to settle into the run because of not knowing the route and not being used to running when it’s so busy, but tried to find some kind of rhythm.
I had a peak into Whitehall Gardens and a quick stop for a photo before carrying on to Westminster Bridge. I was going to take a pic of Big Ben but as it is currently covered in scaffolding I didn’t think I’d bother. I did take time to stop on the bridge to remember the awful events that happened there and to think of those involved.
Left turn down the stairs as I came off the bridge to take me in front of the London Aquarium and onto the path along the Thames. I was now very much into territory where I’d never been before and didn’t know what to expect. There were LOTS of other runners about, including a large group who I looked up afterwards as they had t shirts on ‘runWestin’. I might see if I can join them at some point in the future.
I ran past the London Eye (still can’t imagine going on that and being trapped in one of those capsules with no control!), the National Theatre, the OXO tower and Shakespeare’s Globe. The route then took me under the railway and into some very narrow streets which made me feel like I was back in Victorian London. Lots of twists and turns and suddenly I’m in front of The Golden Hinde (The first English ship to circumnavigate the globe between 1577 – 1580, captained by Sir Francis Drake).
I followed another runner to find my way back to the Thames path and before I knew it I could see Tower Bridge. I’ve never been over Tower Bridge before. (and here is the point that I forgot to restart my watch after stopping to take photos…)
As I came over the bridge I went down the stairs and turned left to pick up the Thames path on the north bank. I have to say that this side wasn’t as nice to run as the south bank. Not helped by me not knowing where I was going so when I needed to come off the side of the river because of building etc. I had to try and keep my bearings.
I was running short of time by this point to just had to head back to my hotel as quick as I could not necessarily taking the nicest route. I’m really glad that I went out to run and explore. I’m going to be spending a bit of time in the city now and want to get to know it better so that I feel more comfortable. Do you run in strange cities? If anyone has any good central routes, please let me know!
Here is the route I roughly followed..