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Length: 6.82 km (4.2 miles), terrain flat
London Running Routes:
Best London Running Routes: Overview
Docklands-LimehouseRegent's Canal and Camden Town
3-Parks Route: Hyde Park, Green Park, St. James' Park
Heathrow Harmondsworth Moor
Wimbledon Common Trail Run
Royal Docks/ExCeL Route
Kew / Brentford Thames Run
See the other running routes here.
Thanks for the route idea, Claire, and thanks, Daggi, for the sunny pictures!
NOTE: This route stays on the east edge of Hyde Park. If you want to run the rest of the park, see the London Hyde Park Route article.
I know of no city with so many beautiful and varied parks as London. So what could be better than to combine a few of the nicest ones into one great run? This one will take us through the three parks located on the west side of central London: Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James'. The three are strung out like pearls through some of the most interesting neighborhoods in town.
We'll start the run at Marble Arch, at the northeast corner of Hyde Park. This is where the busy shopping area of Oxford Street runs into Edgeware Road, and is serviced by various tube lines and buses.
If you stand right at the arch, you will still need to cross the street at Cumberland Gate to get into the park.
NOTE: If you're a fan of Banksy, the anarchic graffiti sprayer, he has an original work located at the video camera, down the stairs, at the foot of the arch!
|Start of run: follow those guys on the right!|
At the cafè, keep going straight down the little valley to the left, and take the first path as it curves to the left, going east.
|Serpentine Café in the early morning light|
|Wellington's Arch on way to Green Park|
|In Green Park, gates at Buckingham Palace|
|At Buckingham Palace|
|The Whitehall fairy palace in the evening|
NOTE: If you want to take a little extra detour to see Parliament, the River Thames and Big Ben, just follow the street that borders the south side of the park, Birdcage Walk, straight east an extra 3 blocks. It only adds an extra half-kilometer to the run.
Rounding the east end of the pond and heading west again, you'll find yourself on the most beautiful side of the park. The flowers are amazing here, and this is the place where most people come to sit, feed the ducks and hang out.
When you get back to the bridge that spans the pond, turn right and head out of the park on the right side. This will take us through the royal neighborhood of St. James before we get back into Green Park. Cross the Mall (the boulevard connecting Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square) and run straight and you will pass St. James' Palace on your left. St. James' was built by Henry VIII, and is the oldest royal palace, but not terribly pretty. Nowadays the princes normally use it.
|St. James' Palace at night|
|Melwyn House: keep to the right to get into Green Park|
Once inside Hyde Park, head north, where you'll see the giant statue of Achilles. Keep to the left of the statue on the broad pathway lined with sycamores. This path keeps fairly close to loud Park Lane on the right, and beautiful Mayfair beyond it.
|Achilles in Hyde Park. Keep on the path to the left|