If January has you on a mission to get fit, don’t just follow the hoards to the gym – get out in the open air and embrace the joy of running.
There are plenty of places to run near Wimbledon – and lots of reasons to make running your activity of choice in 2020. It’s free, needs very little preparation and, even in the depths of winter, it’s a chance to soak up all the good vibes that come from our amazing green spaces.
Head for Wimbledon Common for peace and tranquillity, plenty of air-cleansing trees and the chance to spot some native wildlife – or say hello to a dog walker or two. Read on for our pick of the running routes in south west London.
There are many routes to choose from on the common, including some great circular courses of 7K or more. For a scenic, but challenging run, start at the Windmill car park then head for the ‘Alps’, the boggy ‘Rifle Butts’, and Beverly Brook before climbing the ‘Toast Rack’.
Don’t worry if you get lost, you’ll easily find your way back on course – having added a few extra kilometres to your record. If you don’t fancy running alone, join the weekly Wimbledon Common Parkrun each Saturday at 9am – it’s a 5K course. Or local running club the Wimbledon Windmillers has easy social runs on Sunday mornings, which you might like to try. And when you’re finished, why not undo all your good work with tea and cakes at the friendly Windmill Café?
In total the Thames Path covers 128 kilometres on both sides of the river – from Hampton Court Palace, through the heart of London to East India Dock on the north bank and from Teddington to the Thames Barrier on the south. We don’t expect you to do it all; just choose a section of the path and observe the wonders of the working river as you pass – from trip boats and tugs to marinas and a wealth of wildlife. For a shorter run, the Thames towpath from Putney to Richmond, then on to Kingston, is a popular training course.
One of south west London’s most stunning natural spaces, Richmond Park is an amazing place to run – look out for the deer! Take the Tamsin Trail around the perimeter for an 11k route. Pembroke Lodge, with its great views, makes a nice spot for refreshments. Richmond Park is easily reached from Wimbledon Common if you want to combine your run with a cycle ride. It also has its own 5k Parkrun on a Saturday.
Clapham Common is also close enough for a run if you fancy a change of scene. Much smaller than Richmond Park, it is flatter too and popular with runners of all abilities. With a relaxed, cosmopolitan feel, there are lots of cafes and places to eat close-by after your run.
This Royal Park shouldn’t be missed, if you don’t mind heading a bit further afield. Follow the trails close to the perimeter fence for an almost-5K circular route. Or construct your own course, taking in Hyde Park’s formal gardens, fields and woody areas, not forgetting to add a loop around the Serpentine lake.
Alternatively, try a route that links up two or more parks. You can easily get from the common to Wimbledon Park, if you don’t mind taking in a hill or two, or Richmond Park and Bushy Park too.
If you’re new to running
If you’ve not run before, you need to take it slowly. It’s advisable to consult a doctor before starting a new form of exercise, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The NHS Couch to 5K is a great training programme to get you started.
If you don’t know Wimbledon and surrounding areas, you might be surprised by just how much green space there is – for runners, walkers or anyone else. If you’re thinking about buying property in Wimbledon, please do contact us to discuss your requirements and our stunning range of homes for sale.