London, England

The Best Places to Run in Central London. See Our Companion Guide to London's Suburbs

London is one of the world’s great cities. And with its grand parks, paths along the Thames, and historic sites, London is also a great city for runners. This guide is for running in central London and some of the signature spots in nearby suburbs (see our runs by neighborhood post). For more great runs in London’s outer suburbs (within the M25 corridor), click here. If you’d like to have an in-person guided running experience in London, we highly recommend our friends at Go! Running Tours.

The best places to run in London are around the famous and historical Royal Parks: Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park, St. James Park, and Regents Park are all relatively close together and are interconnected. Other running highlights include the paths along both sides the Thames River, and the ‘lanes and mews’ of some of the quieter residential streets. For those in London for business, there are great places to run in the Docklands and Canary Wharf. We’ve also mapped great running routes in some popular spots just outside central London: Hampstead, Wimbeldon, East London/Olympic Park area, Bushy Park and options near Heathrow Airport, and some more pastoral options south of the city.

One great aspect about running in London is the excellent transportation system allows you to run one way and “tube” it back. The expansion of bicycle accommodation in recent years has also opened up some new running options and connectors. A few particular points of advice for running in London: remember to LOOK LEFT when crossing the street; pack for chilly, wet weather running; bring reflective gear for those shorter winter days.

A wonderful additional resource for in-depth running info for London is this book, A Runners Guide to London. Our thanks to Hayden Shearman for his help with some of our London routes.

Companion Guide: London Suburbs

Our partner for guided runs!

See Also Our London Suburbs Running Guide

Sections for North, South, East, & West of Central London

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  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

Everyone knows about the London weather. There can be long stretches of damp and overcast. In summer it can be warm, but it is rarely hot. It is humid, however.  Winters are dark and chilly but there’s rarely snow — sort of like Seattle or Vancouver. Note that winter days are short, averaging only 8 daylight hours. Conversely, there are lovely, long summer days when the sun sets past 10pm.


London is huge and there’s a vast selection of hotels. The central part of London is bound by the A320 to the west (Chelsea, Kensington), the A100/Tower Bridge to the east, the A501 to the north, and the Thames to the south. My recommendation is to stay close to one of the four major parks, perhaps using Hyde Park as an anchor. The poshest hotels are in Mayfair, just east of Hyde Park. South of Hyde Park (Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Kensington) is a little more residential, with good access to the Thames. There are good and slightly more affordable options north of Hyde Park in the Bayswater & Paddington areas, and even more so just north of there, in Camden & Hampstead (grear running in Hampstead Heath). Business travelers might end up at an office/hotel/conference in the Docklands/Canary Wharf area in the southeast part of the city, has been developed over the past 20 years. There are some good waterside running options there but it’s a light rail ride away from central London.




There is a good number of running stores in central London, as well as Canary Wharf/Docklands, and up north in Camden/Hampstead. Runners Need is the largest chain, with 10+ locations in the area.

MAP of locations for all the major running stores. The Green icons are the Runners Need locations. Click on the icons for address, & directions.

Group Runs. The starred icons on the map are stores with group runs. Click on the icon for more info. The Runners Need stores in the Docklands and Canary Wharf have lunchtime group runs!

Runners Guide to London has a great list of the major races. CALENDAR

London Marathon. Late April. One of the ‘biggies’ alongside Boston, New York, Chicago, and Berlin. Hard to get into. 38k runners.

Royal Parks Half Marathon. October. Gorgeous city run through the major parks.

Bath Half. One of England’s most popular halfs.

The British 10k. July. Central London. 20,000 runners.

Parkrun. Apparently there’s a worldwide movement to do 5k park runs on Saturday morning. Great way to start a weekend — there are 35 each Saturday in London! so there’s bound to be one near you!