London Trail Running

Hampstead, Richmond etc?

13 messages
23/08/2007 at 15:03


I'm moving to London at the beginning of next week and I wanted to find out where the best places were to get some trail running in. People have told me that Hampstead Heath or Richmond Park were good places and I was wondering if anyone on here had some favourite routes?

I'm looking for somewhere, near a tube station or bus route, that has wooded areas and preferably some muddy hills etc! Basically somewhere that feels like you're in the country but is close to home (which will be Balham/Clapham)!

I want to get some specific training in for the Hellrunner, if it's at all possible to train specifically for the Hellrunner!


24/08/2007 at 00:47

Catch a bus to Streatham and run up and down the Common a few times. Should get your hill training done if nothing else. Don't bother with Hampstead Heath it's too small. You'll be close to Clapham Common where  there are zillions of runners. Then there's Tooting Bec Common just down the road, Wandsworth Common is close too. Richmond Park is the best. You can run on paths or off-road, enjoying the scenery and wildlife. And once you're down that way then there's Bushey Park too, and the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.

Or, catch  a train from Balham out into the sticks for some hilly running on the South Downs (or somewhere like that). Catch a train from Clapham Junction and you could end up anywhere.....

24/08/2007 at 13:36

My advice wld be to join a club which holds events all over London. Serpentine running club wld be my choice, they have an excellent web site

Good luck


24/08/2007 at 13:36

My advice wld be to join a club which holds events all over London. Serpentine running club wld be my choice, they have an excellent web site

Good luck


24/08/2007 at 14:15
Get the Piccadilly line to Oakwood. Come out the station, cross the road and run down Snakes Lane which leads directly into Trent Country Park.  A beautiful place to run, lovely and quiet on most occasions too.
24/08/2007 at 15:22

Thanks everyone!

Womble - I'll be heading to Richmond, Bushy park and Hampton court first chance I get then, I was also definitely looking forward to getting the train down to Winchester and further along the South Downs Way, I hear it's beautiful down there.

Robert - I have seen the Serpentine club advertised, they look incredibly well organised! I'll be checking them out soon too.

Sezz - That is one excellent tip! I've never hear of Trent Country Park, but the name sounds like it might be exactly what I was looking for!

My Oyster card is going to be getting a loooot of use I feel!

Thanks, and keep them coming!!

24/08/2007 at 17:07
Epping Forest is another wood to have a look at.  This club organise an event called the Orion 15 in the winter & I'm sure they train in the area quite a lot.
25/08/2007 at 09:36
I wouldn't dismiss Hampstead outright.  Not that small and there's lots of natural paths up and down through the woods.  Bushy Park is very flat and mostly hard gravelled paths.  Only been to Wimbledon once for the 5k time trial.  Think they've changed the route, but the day I was there there were paths full of water-filled holes and mud churned up by the horses.  Flat but definitely mud potential!
25/08/2007 at 13:58

I've been Googling Epping Forest and Trent Country Park and they both look like perfect spots for getting really muddy! Being rather far north from me in Balham, however, I think these ones will be good Sunday long runs as it will be a good hour or more to travel there. So Sezz and Gavo, thanks for the info, you've sorted out my weekends for me!

 I'll also be checking out Hampstead because, as Rowan says, it doesn't look like it's that small from Google satellite photos! I also want to check out the bathing and swimming pools/lido there too!

Richmond is going to be closer to me, only about 20 mins by overland train and bus from me in Balham. So there's another weekend day that's sorted. Tooting Bec common, wandsworth common and Brockwell Park I think are going to be my main evening runs.

Anyone know what Battersea park is like? It looks quite sculpted and well looked after in photos? I've been running in Liverpool for a while now and I absolutely love running down the River so I think that park has to be on the list too!

 Thanks again everyone!

25/08/2007 at 22:40

Yep, Wimbledon Common is a great place for hills and mud. It may be worth contacting Wimbledon Millers Running Club as they organise Sunday morning runs there.

26/08/2007 at 15:24

So many running clubs to choose from in London!

Thanks for the advice Dom. 

12/12/2012 at 14:36

We do some good hill training in Greenwich which would be good training for Hell Runner

12/12/2012 at 21:47

@Gavo, Orion's my club. We train in our lovely Epping Forest lots.  The 15 is in the spring.  We're a very friendly bunch and we run out most days, including longer runs on weekend mornings.  It is a bit of a trek across the river and East though from where you are Pantalaimon.  You must be fairly near the Thames?  It's quite mellow running down the tow paths round there.

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