The sun is back. Spring has almost sprung. It’s time to throw away all your winter clothing immediately – it’s T-shirts and shorts season and that’s never going to change.
That goes for your exercise too. Treadmills and turbos might have been the order of the day in the bleak months of winter, but now we’ve come out the other side, it’s time to head outside for the fresh(ish) air of London for your runs and rides.
Lunch-hour runs are an excellent way to fit exercise into your day without taking up valuable free time in the evening, as well as helping you take a mental break from the grind of your job. If you’re one of the thousands of workers in central London, the city’s array of parks and riverside routes means you can escape the urban hubbub easily during a half-hour excursion.
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To provide some inspiration, The Color Run UK has picked out the six finest lunch runs in London. Here are the details.
1. Regent’s Park And Primrose Hill
If you work anywhere near Regent’s Park and don’t spend as many lunchtimes as possible in it then frankly, you’re a damn fool. There are a load of different routes to enjoy, but really your run isn’t complete if you don’t head north out of the park for a quick loop taking in the top of Primrose Hill and the fantastic view of London it provides. Other highlights include the vast amount of waterfowl in the south of the park and the brief sightings of more exotic critters when you pass London Zoo.
2. Tower Bridge To London Bridge
An excellent option for those who work in the City. Head down to the banks of the Thames for a run that provides glorious views of attractions like the Tower and the Shard. The only downside to this route is its sheer popularity, so best to opt for smaller groups or solo runs, rather than descending en masse.
3. Euston To King’s Cross Canal Run
If you’re based just north of the centre of the capital, opt for this canalside jaunt between Angel and Camden. The path can be a little narrow at times and the ceilings a little low when going through the tunnels, but it’s a great way to avoid the hustle and bustle (and pollution) of London’s busier roads on your run.
4. Royal Parks Double Header
You can get two Royal Parks for the price of one 5km run by taking this route around Green Park and St James’s Park. Savvy runners hoping for a big finish will work out a route that ends on the Mall, so you can sprint for home imagining the crowds of the London Marathon cheering you on.
5. Battersea Park
Another fine green space for those keen to escape city life during their lunchtime, Battersea Park has the added benefit of being slightly less crowded than the likes of Green, Hyde and Regent’s. There are plenty of different routes to try, but this loop that takes in the lakes clocks in at around 5km.
6. Greenwich Park
Those who work around Greenwich Park have an altogether tougher proposition for their lunch runs than those near the generally flat central parks, as the incline to the Observatory is a fierce one. The rewards match the effort, however, as the views of the city are superb.
The Color Run UK is an untimed 5km taking place in London, Manchester and Brighton over the summer. For more information and to book a spot visit thecolorrun.co.uk
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.