North or South London?

Give us ya brain thoughts!

1 to 20 of 31 messages
01/03/2013 at 12:54

Afternoon!

Simple question I think as I'm moving from Bristol (where I've been spoiled when it comes to running as we have the Bristol to Bath cycle path to train on).  I need to move to an area in London where long uninterupted runs, not having to dodge people every six metres, and also build in some speed work when the training schedule says so, is possible.  Hills would also be nice!  We're not short of them here in the west country.

Your thoughts would be very much appreciated as I'm a bit stuck on where to live.  It would be good to know where you live in London and what's good/not so good from a running point of view.

I doubt it matters, but my PBs are 36:42 for a 10k and 1:17:31 for a half, so that's the kind of level I'm at and I would like to think that there is somewhere in London where I can improve.

Thanks guys.

01/03/2013 at 13:06

South London - Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common, Wandsworth Common etc.

01/03/2013 at 13:10
David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

North London is a no brainer with Hampstead Heath and other areas ....... apart from the fact South London is a dump and your own personal safety, I doubt that the parks match up to those in the North.

 

Crikey - finally something we agree on....

01/03/2013 at 13:15

 

David Falconer 3 wrote (see)
Janinemarie wrote (see)

South London - Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common, Wandsworth Common etc.

Are we talking, south or south west ...... at least you wont get shot in the South West as well.

 

 

They're south west - But a woman (Rachel Nickell) was, famously, murdered on Wimbledon Common some years ago. And you risk getting run over by David Weir in Richmond Park 

Edited: 01/03/2013 at 13:15
Tommygun2    pirate
01/03/2013 at 13:19

The question I would ask is why live in London Nick, its expensive and overcrowded.

If you need to work in London commute from the nicer countryside outside London, cheaper houses more than compensate for the travel costs. Then you can run people and traffice free

01/03/2013 at 13:26
Tommygun2 wrote (see)

The question I would ask is why live in London Nick, its expensive and overcrowded.

If you need to work in London commute from the nicer countryside outside London, cheaper houses more than compensate for the travel costs. Then you can run people and traffice free

Good point.  This is the thing.  Being a Bristol lad I'm inclined to make that assumption, but my brain is telling me that I need to experience real London for myself for a while, not just the living in hotels London that I've been doing for the last eight months for work.

01/03/2013 at 13:41

Yeah, I did notice that when i googled 'best place to live in London', the third result on the interbobble was 'top 20 places to escape London'.

01/03/2013 at 13:42
Tommygun2 wrote (see)

cheaper houses more than compensate for the travel costs. 

They used to Tommygun, they don't anymore.

I only live in Zone 5 and I pay nearly 2 grand a year for my travel. The further you move out the more wasted money you are looking at.

 

01/03/2013 at 13:52
Tommygun2 wrote (see)

The question I would ask is why live in London Nick, its expensive and overcrowded.

If you need to work in London commute from the nicer countryside outside London, cheaper houses more than compensate for the travel costs. Then you can run people and traffice free

 

I'd be inclined to agree with this, except there is a delicate balance to be struck: too close to the big smoke and the house prices are exorbitant, too far out and the astronomical train fares outweighs any saving on the house. Until recently, the most cost-efficient place for me to live, taking these factors into account, ended up being so far away from work that it rendered any kind of hobby or social life impossible. So I finally moved to London, where my commute is down from a 5-hour round trip to less than an hour. I pay a net total of £50 a month more but it's worth it to have my life back!

Back on topic, I'm another fan of Hampstead Heath (and also of not getting shot), so obviously a Northern dweller.

01/03/2013 at 13:56
David Falconer 3 wrote (see)
Screamapillar wrote (see)
Tommygun2 wrote (see)

cheaper houses more than compensate for the travel costs. 

They used to Tommygun, they don't anymore.

I only live in Zone 5 and I pay nearly 2 grand a year for my travel. The further you move out the more wasted money you are looking at.

 

But that depends, for all we know Nicks job could be in a zone 3, and if he can be on the 'right' side  in terms of living, then the transport costs wouldnt be so expensive.

I think if I put how much money I spend on my monthly travelcard into London you would all have heart attacks. I can promise you there isnt a single person on here who would have higher costs, and no im not travelling first class.

Nick do you have a job already in London, do you know where it is?

Thanks y'all.  My job is in Westminster, so hopefully that means good links with the outside world via Victoria, Kings Cross or Paddington.

01/03/2013 at 14:04

Heh. I always think of the London divide as being East/West rather than North/South (West is best ) I've lived in London all my life so I'm used to the crowds and pace of life. The countryside is alright for a couple of weeks but I couldn't live there full time ... zzzzz

Tommygun2    pirate
01/03/2013 at 14:07
Screamapillar wrote (see)
Tommygun2 wrote (see)

cheaper houses more than compensate for the travel costs. 

They used to Tommygun, they don't anymore.

I only live in Zone 5 and I pay nearly 2 grand a year for my travel. The further you move out the more wasted money you are looking at.

 

I live well outside London and It costs me over £4000 a year but its still beter than living in London...

01/03/2013 at 14:16

I've done both central London and Surrey... and am from Bristol originally!

I lived in Pimlico for nearly 4 years and as a runner I loved it. Walking or running to work (Westminster is quiet in the mornings and Pim is quiet all of the time), Battersea, Hyde and Green parks on your doorstep, Regents Canal, Hamstead and a shed load of other places like wimbledon a bus ride away. Awesome but pricey.

Now I live in Surrey and its much quieter but the pavements are shocking and routes are less run friendly in general, more running along roads than huge parks to take in. I do like having various canals, london loop, The Thames, Richmond, Bushy and Windsor parks on my doorstep though too.

Wherever you choose you will be surprised about how much is close by if you look for it, check out capital ring and London Loop for some ideas about the variety of terrain you can find in London. Dont forget to join a local club too... if you end up SW way you'll be spoilt for choice!

01/03/2013 at 14:25

Battersea Park is my favourite place in London for running. Flat, has a tarmac loop just shy of two miles and a track if you that's your thing. If you live around there it's easy to get into Westminster for work and there are lots of other green spaces (Clapham, Wandsworth, Tooting and Streatham Commons, Hyde Park, Green Park etc) plus the river.

01/03/2013 at 14:51

South West London (if you can afford it) is easily the best running part of London - and documented as such in magazines in the past.

Wimbledon Common, Richmond Park, Thames Towpath, Bushey Park, list is endless. Easy to get out there to run from the cheaper areas like Tooting, Streatham etc.

Friendlier than transient and faddy north London  (although I love Hampstead Heath too....)

XX1
01/03/2013 at 15:13
I think you'd become a much faster runner if you moved to south London
XX1
01/03/2013 at 15:24

Having lived in South London all my life I'm well aware it's got its shit bits, but they've tended to get less shit over the years, and they're interspersed with some nice bits, and a surprising amount of greenery.  I'm spoilt for running round my way, Blackheath Common/Greenwich Park, Oxleas Woods for off-road choices, then the river in both directions, connecting up to the East London canal network if you travel far enough.  Dulwich/Sydenham/Crystal Palace is pretty green, and better connected than it used to be.

01/03/2013 at 15:58

Yikes!  I live just off of a road that the Mirror once called 'the most dangerous road in Britain', so hopefully I'm fairly prepared for a few South London shenanigans, but I'm not taking anything for granted of course.

What I'll do is next week, when I'm back in the big smoke I'll go to both Wimbledon Common and Hampstead Heath and then have a Dancing on Ice Stars style judging session based on hills, surface, space and scenery, then decide on where I'll live from there.  

I may not know where I'll end up, but at least I have a plan now.  Cheers for all the help guys.

01/03/2013 at 16:25
Curly45 wrote (see)

I've done both central London and Surrey... and am from Bristol originally!

I lived in Pimlico for nearly 4 years and as a runner I loved it. Walking or running to work (Westminster is quiet in the mornings and Pim is quiet all of the time), Battersea, Hyde and Green parks on your doorstep, Regents Canal, Hamstead and a shed load of other places like wimbledon a bus ride away. Awesome but pricey.

Now I live in Surrey and its much quieter but the pavements are shocking and routes are less run friendly in general, more running along roads than huge parks to take in. I do like having various canals, london loop, The Thames, Richmond, Bushy and Windsor parks on my doorstep though too.

Wherever you choose you will be surprised about how much is close by if you look for it, check out capital ring and London Loop for some ideas about the variety of terrain you can find in London. Dont forget to join a local club too... if you end up SW way you'll be spoilt for choice!

That's very useful.  I've been in Belgrave Road's hotels for eight months and have only found the loop of over Vauxhall Bridge, down through Battersea Park and then back over, plus the three parks as a longer route.  Regents Canal is new to me so I'll check it out.  Cheers.

01/03/2013 at 16:53

Also you can get the 24 bus from outside S'burys to Hampsted Heath (it terminates outside).

To get to Regents I used to run over Eccleston Bridge, up through Hyde Park and hit the canal behind Paddington station.

You can also do a loop:

hit the river at Vauxhall Bridge but turn right go all the way along to Battersea Bridge then turn left once over the Bridge, follow the path into the park, along the front then back over Chelsea Bridge, up through past the hospital then take the first right and that will bring you back to the bus station.

Or I used to tube out Lee Valley and do that sometimes too and the same to do the Regents canal, limehouse cut, wapping route back to Pim - its about 22 miles in total but you can do sections with no problems as its all so well connected

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