London Running Routes:
Regent's Canal and Camden Town
3-Parks Route: Hyde Park, Green Park, St. James' Park
Heathrow Harmondsworth Moor
For more running routes, see Route List.
Pictures by Chris Hauser. Thanks!
If you've seen enough of central London, one great place to go is Greenwich. It has a very Victorian small-town feeling, with an imposing old Naval College campus, historic pubs, the Maritime Museum, and the rolling hills of Greenwich Park, with the famous observatory on the hilltop.
Getting to Greenwich takes a while, but is simple enough: go there with the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), or one of the commuter trains, or -- even better -- take the Thames Clipper ferry from one of the landings in central London: it's the most unique way to see the waterfront.
The Greenwich RouteWe'll start in the heart of the old village, at the Cutty Sark DLR station. The river is just a hundred meters away, opening up from the station onto a big square. The square used to be more interesting. Until just 2 years ago, the famous Cutty Sark clipper ship sat there in drydock. But a fire gutted the ship, and it's covered in plastic tarps now, a sad shadow of its former glory. And the Gypsy Moth yacht also used to sit there, the first boat to be single-handedly sailed around the world. But the view of the river and the Docklands across the way are worth the stop. There is also an entrance to the old foot tunnel to the Docklands right there. But tunnels aren't terribly scenic from the inside...
|Entrance to the pedestrian tunnel under the Thames|
From the Trafalgar, turn right to head up Park Row, with the college on your right. After crossing Romney Road, you will have the National Maritime Museum on your right. You can gaze at the few maritime artifacts in the yard if you want.
Otherwise, continue through the park gate, going straight uphill towards the Royal Observatory. The 0 Meridian is drawn on the ground there, and it even divides the building and a doorway down the middle. In the old days, ships waited in the river to watch for the red ball to be dropped down the pole so they could set their chronometers to exactly 12 o'clock. Your digital watch probably doesn't need the extra help.
|Meridian Line at the observatory|
|View from the park: Maritime Museum, then the college, with Docklands in background|
Before the path starts going downhill, you'll come to a small exit between some interesting old houses. As nice as the park is, here is a chance to see more of this nice Victorian town.
Go out through the park gate to the street, Croons Hill, turn right and run downhill for a few blocks till you get to King George Street.
Turn left here to run through the old Victorian row houses once used by Navy officers and cadets.
Turn right on Luton Place and then, turning right again at the Prince Albert pub, you just need to follow Royal Hill down to where it ends at High Road.
Now turn right to head back the last 250 meters to the starting point, passing the old Greenwich Market on the right side, just after the church.