Length 6.3 km (3.9 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
For more running routes, see Route List.
I have to say, in all my years of visiting London, I never traveled or ran much further east than the neighborhoods just past the City. I had run around Whitechapel and Wapping, but that was it. So, after hearing nice things from our readers about Victoria Park and the eastern section of Regents Canal, I decided that it was time to discover a bit of the East End for myself. And I was definitely not disappointed. I was surprised at how nice this part of town was, although few tourists go there, really. But the 2012 Olympics added a lot of useful development to the East End.
This route combines both of those great running trails mentioned above: Victoria Park and Regents Canal, doing some of each. We'll start at Mile End, where three tube lines all meet (Central, District and Hammersmith & City), so it's easy to get to. From Mile End, the route heads north along the canal until reaching Victoria Park, where it then loops clockwise along the perimeter of the park and heads back along the canal again.
So, if you're ready to give it a try, here we go!
|View from the start, looking north along Regents Canal|
Once you've joined the canal tow-path, it's a straight run to the park. There are quite a few bicyclists on this narrow path, so you have to watch out a bit.
|Houseboats along Regents Canal: life is cluttered when you don't have storage space!|
After 0.75 km, the tow-path rises up over a little side-canal coming in from the right (Hertford Union Canal), and then you'll come another boat lock. Just past the boat lock, at the next row of house-boats, you'll see Victoria Park off to the right. Exit through the gate in the metal fence and run to the street that parallels the canal here, and keep running north.
|Boat lock at Victoria Park, turn right at next gate|
Turn onto the Night Walk park road and run the short way until you see the gate in the iron fence on the right side, leading into the main part of the park. (This part is a narrow thumb of the park at the southwest corner.) Turn right onto Northern Drive, the asphalt road into the park.
|Follow them onto Northern Drive! This was between downpours|
|Northern Drive, heading north|
In the middle of the park, along the right side, you'll pass the Burdett Coutts Fountain and then a lake, the playground, tennis courts, and cricket fields.
|Fitness group at the fountain|
NOTE: If you continued northeastwards, out of the park, you'd soon come to the new Olympic Park, just a few blocks away.
|View towards the City|
Now you just keep running south, crossing Grove Road again and then coming to West Lake at the last part of the park. West Lake has rental row-boats, a café, a pagoda and a fountain, making it popular in nice weather.
|West Lake, with fountain and pagoda|
Run back to the canal tow-path, turn left and run the 1.2-km back to Mile End.