Commuting through a London summer can be grim. Tiny windowed buses are teeming. The tube air is so humid it’s practically solid. On sunny days, spending hours squeezed inside public transport is a uniquely dispiriting experience – even on those rare occasions when everyone obeys the ‘off before on’ rule. (Does nobody care about the ‘off before on’ rule any more?)
But you don’t need to put yourself through it. London is, without doubt, one of the greatest cities in the world to run or cycle.
Now, obviously, we’re not Google or Apple. We don’t know where you work. We don’t know where you live. These routes are a guide based on some of the most popular commutes. Join them at the point that works best for you and take in some of London’s finest scenery – at the same time as fulfilling your exercise quota.
Liverpool Street to Central
St Paul’s, Embankment and Soho
Distance: 3.7 miles
Starting at the transport fulcrum of the Square Mile, on this route you quickly flee the mass of bespoke-suited City boys, skirting the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral as you zigzag down to the river.
Then it’s a mile and a bit curving along the Thames before cutting into town at Embankment, edging Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery as you storm into Soho towards Oxford Circus. Get some bonus lateral skips in dodging the tourists through Carnaby Street.
East to West on the canal
Stratford to Paddington
Distance: 9.7 miles
Tricky to get lost on this one. Just under 10 miles along the canal, taking in Olympic, Victoria and Regent’s parks, and barely leaving the waterside for the entire stretch.
Want to challenge yourself? Add in a few sprints up Primrose Hill. Ideally post-work and close to dusk so you can disrupt the crowd of sunset-rheumy romantics.
South to Central
Brockwell Park, Clapham Common, Battersea Park, Hyde Park
Distance: 7.9 miles
Starting in Brixton this eight-miler winds through Battersea, Belgravia and Mayfair and eats up large chunks of Clapham Common, Battersea Park and Hyde Park.
Slow down on the roads and storm through the parks. The intervals between the two are perfect for a spot of commuter fartlek training.
Victoria to Central
St James Park and Green Park
Distance: 2.1 miles
This speedy route arcs through two parks, crossing The Mall (wave to the Queen in Buckingham Palace) into Green from St James’s. Greenery covered, it’s a quick sprint through Mayfair to Oxford Circus.
We recommend slowing down a little through New Bond Street to gawp at the extravagant shop facades. The eye-watering prices on show might give you a little rage-based energy boost, too.
Can you go the extra mile by signing up to the Red Bull Million Mile Commute club on Strava? Help smash the million mile target and you’ll be eligible for a Red Bull sample kit to set you on your way.