Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The London parkrun venues

Greater London is made up of the 32 London boroughs plus the City of London which is a city and a county in its own right.

There is quite a bit of controversy over what constitutes a London parkrun. Some people say it should be venues that fall within one of the London boroughs while others prefer to use the boundary of the M25 as a guide.

For this page I refer to any venues within the Greater London area as true London venues, while any venues that lie outside Greater London but still within the M25 are labelled as London+.

Whether individual runners wish to define the state of being 'Lon-done' as being within Greater London or within the M25 is really a personal choice. If in doubt you could always use parkrun's list of Greater London venues.

Map: The green pins show the venues I have officially visited while the red pins are venues that I still need to visit.




Aldenham - Aldenham Country Park, Elstree, Hertfordshire (London+)
Course: Two laps (not identical) around Aldenham Reservoir
Underfoot: Dirt paths, grass and tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: Car park is expensive
Further reading: My Aldenham parkrun blog post


Ally Pally - Alexandra Park, North London.
Course: An out, two laps, and a back.
Underfoot: Tarmac, trail, dirt
Profile: Three terraced levels with steep up hill and downhills negotiated twice each
Notes: One of the harder London courses. Nice course with a trail-like section and a helipad.
Further reading: My Ally Pally blog post


Banstead - Banstead Woods, Surrey (London+)
Course: Almost two laps through the woods
Underfoot: Woodland trail
Profile: There's a hill but it is still a reasonably fast course if you are brave on the downhill
Notes: It's lovely here. They have a carpet of bluebells in the spring.
Further reading: It was my first and second ever parkrun venue. I also ran it on New Year's Day 2014.


Barking - Barking Park, Barking, East London.
Course: Two laps 
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: The course that it a lot nicer than the first impression suggests and the team are lovely.
Further reading: My Barking parkrun blog post


Beckenham Place - Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham, South East London
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Gravel, tarmac and grass
Profile: Flat
Notes: A super-fast course
Further reading: My Beckenham Place parkrun blog post


Beckton - Beckton District Park South, Beckton, East London.
Course: Two laps with an out-and-back in the middle of each lap
Underfoot: Tarmac and grass
Profile: Flat
Notes: If you're lucky you might see some planes taking off or landing at London City Airport
Further reading: My Beckton parkrun blog post


Bedfont Lakes - Bedfont Lakes Country Park, Hounslow, West London.
Course: Two slightly different laps, the second just a bit longer than the first
Underfoot: Dusty paths
Profile: Slightly undulating first half or the lap with the remainder being flat
Notes: A really nice venue. There is a dogs on leads at all times policy.
Further reading: My Bedfont Lakes blog post


Bexley - Danson Park, Bexley, South East London.
Course: Two laps of the park
Underfoot: Mostly tarmac, one section is woodland trail, also some grass
Profile: Undulating
Notes: A nice park and course but lots (I mean lots) of dog walkers
Further reading: My Bexley parkrun blog post or my Christmas Day 2014 blog post.


Brockwell - Brockwell Park, Herne Hill, South London.
Course: Two slightly different laps
Underfoot: Tarmac paths
Profile: Undulating
Notes: A really pleasant park with views into London
Further reading: My Brockwell parkrun blog post


Bromley - Norman Park, Bromley, South East London.
Course: Two-and-a-bit laps
Underfoot: Tarmac and grass
Profile: Flat
Notes: A quick course but slower when the grass is wet/muddy. Susceptible to flooding.
Further reading: My Bromley parkrun blog post


Burgess - Burgess Park, Camberwell, South East London.
Course: Out, two laps of the lake, and back
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat with the exception of a slight gradient change during the laps of the lake.
Notes: A quick course. Seem to have more than their fair share of problems with results processing.
Further reading: My Burgess parkrun blog post


Bushy - Bushy Park, Teddington, West London.
Course: One single 5k lap (or maybe it's point-point)
Underfoot: Grass, gravelly paths, tarmac, dirt
Profile: Flat
Notes: It is the original parkrun. It has almost 1,000 runners every week
Further reading: My Bushy parkrun blog post


Canons Park - Canons Park, Edgware, North London
Course: Three anti-clockwise laps (plus a little start/finish tail)
Underfoot: Tarmac / gravel / grass
Profile: very mild undulation
Notes: Nice, small park packed with tonnes of history
Further reading: My Canons Park parkrun blog post


Cassiobury - Cassiobury Park, Watford, Hertfordshire (London+)
Course: Two and a half laps
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: Flat, fast and a very pleasant course (has a couple of tight turns)
Further reading: My Cassiobury parkrun blog post


Crane - Crane Park, Twickenham, West London.
Course: One and a half laps
Underfoot: Dusty path and tarmac path
Profile: Flat apart from little hump
Notes: Really beautiful little park hidden away in west London
Further reading: My Crane parkrun blog post


Crystal Palace - Crystal Palace Park, South London.
Course: Two and a bit laps
Underfoot: Tarmac and other hard paths
Profile: First half of lap is uphill, second half downhill
Notes: If you are sensible on the up and prepared to let go on the down it is still quite a fast course
Further reading: My Crystal Palace parkrun blog post


Dartford - Central Park, Dartford, Kent (London+)
Course: 1 small lap followed by two large laps (new course as of July 2016)
Underfoot: Tarmac and grass / dirt
Profile: Mostly flat but with a slight incline during the dirt trail section
Elevation gain: 26m
GPS data: Dartford parkrun (new standard course)
Notes: I am a member of the core volunteer team
Further reading: My 'I wish there was such a thing as Dartford parkrun' blog entry. As this is a venue that I am based at, there are likely to be a lot of blog posts as time goes on - My main course description (route now changed) post may be of interest to any tourists planning a visit. We also have a 'b' course - it is described in the entry for event 24 and there is a course map within the blog for event 31. Other than that, this link will take you to all my Dartford parkrun blog entries.
Video: Dartford parkrun (freedom run) (the original course - not the current course, but quite similar)


Dulwich - Dulwich Park, Dulwich, South London.
Course: Three laps
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: It's run on a mile long loop through the park
Further reading: I have visited twice Christmas Day 2012 and January 2017 (detailed blog)


Finsbury - Finsbury Park, Finsbury, North London.
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Undulating
Notes: A typical North London park. Pretty especially in the autumn.
Further reading: My Finsbury parkrun blog post


Fulham Palace - Bishops Park, Fulham, West London.
Course: Almost three laps
Underfoot: Tarmac, sometimes cracked
Profile: Flat
Notes: It is a very fast course and the park was used in the movie, Omen.
Further reading: My Fulham Palace parkrun blog post


Gladstone - Gladstone Park, Dollis Hill, North West London.
Course: Out, two laps and then back
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Undulating-hilly
Notes: Really nice looking park. You can see Wembley stadium from the top of the hill.
Further reading: My Gladstone parkrun blog post


Greenwich - Avery Hill Park, Eltham, South East London.
Course: Three laps
Underfoot: A mix of grass and tarmac
Profile: Fairly flat but with one incline to negotiate towards the end of each lap
Notes: Ran with the buggy and my daughter loved the downhill bit


Grovelands - Grovelands Park, Enfield, North London.
Course: Three laps around the park
Underfoot: Tarmac paths
Profile: Flat with one incline that you might describe as a hill that gets progressively harder each time around.
Notes:
Further reading: My Grovelands parkrun blog post


Gunnersbury - Gunnersbury Park, South Ealing, West London.
Course: Mostly tarmac, but grass at start, middle and end
Underfoot: Mostly tarmac paths, not smooth
Profile: Gentle undulations
Notes: Shame about the badly maintained paths. Nice course though.
Further reading: My Gunnersbury parkrun blog post


Gunpowder - Gunpowder Park, Waltham Abbey, Essex. (London+)
Course: Two laps around the park
Underfoot: Gravelly paths
Profile: Gentle undulations
Notes: Former military explosives testing ground, now a country park.
Further reading: My Gunpowder parkrun blog post


Hackney Marshes - Hackney Marshes, Homerton, Hackney, East London.
Course: Out-and-back mostly along the canal/river
Underfoot: Tarmac paths
Profile: Flat
Notes: It's a fast course. Very friendly.
Further reading: My Hackney Marshes parkrun blog post


Hampstead Heath - Hampstead Heath, Hampstead, Camden, North London.
Course: Two laps around the park
Underfoot: Tarmac paths
Profile: Hilly
Notes: The start point varies depending on other events in the park. It is beautiful with great views across London.
Further reading: My Hampstead Heath parkrun blog post


Harrow - Harrow Recreation Ground, Pinner Road, Harrow, North West London
Course: 3 laps (first lap with additional small loop)
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Gentle rise on each lap
Notes: Nice and friendly with a heated pavilion to use as a base
Further reading: My Harrow parkrun blog post


Harrow Lodge - Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch, East London.
Course: One 5k lap
Underfoot: Mostly grass but some tarmac
Profile: Flat with some ever-so-gentle undulations which feel much harder in bad conditions
Notes: A good course, a bit of a cross-country feel in places.
Further reading: My Harrow Lodge parkrun blog post


Highbury Fields - Highbury Fields, Islington, North London.
Course: Five and a bit laps
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Gentle undulation on each lap
Notes: Five laps sounds like it could be dull, but somehow it isn't. Just don't lose count.
Further reading: My Highbury Fields parkrun blog post


Hilly Fields - Hilly Fields, Ladywell, Lewisham, South East London.
Course: Three laps
Underfoot: grass and tarmac
Profile: Hilly (like a rollercoaster)
Notes: Really fun and challenging course with good views
Further reading: My Hilly Fields parkrun blog post and my Christmas Day 2012 visit


Hoblingwell - Hoblingwell Wood Recreation Ground, St. Paul's Cray (nr. Sidcup), South East London
Course: 2 laps
Underfoot: Grass, trail and paths
Profile: tbc
Notes:
Further reading: Not yet visited (venue live from 15 July 2017)


Kingston - Thames Path, Adj. to The Hawker Centre, Kingston-on-Thames, South West London.
Course: Out and back along the Thames
Underfoot: Riverside paths and tarmac with dirt path loop at far end
Profile: Flat
Notes: It's a really pretty part of the Thames and a nice place to run
Further reading: My Kingston parkrun blog post


Lloyd - Lloyd Park, Croydon, South London.
Course: Two laps around the park
Underfoot: Grass and dirt
Profile: Hilly
Notes: I think this might be the toughest London course. It's also one of my favourites. Cross-country course.
Further reading: My Lloyd parkrun blog post and my New Year's Day 2014 blog post


Mile End - Mile End Park, East London.
Course: Two out and back laps with a loop at the end and a section along the canal
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat with some man-made undulations
Notes: Good views of Docklands. Fun course.
Further reading: My Mile End parkrun blog post


Nonsuch - Nonsuch Park, Cheam, South West London / Surrey. (London+)
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Grass and paths
Profile: Flat
Notes: A quick course when it's dry. The park straddles the London/Surrey border and is managed by the London borough of Sutton. However the entire parkrun actually takes place within Surrey.
Further reading: My Nonsuch parkrun blog post

Northala Fields - Northala Fields Park, Ealing, West London.
Course: pretty much one big 5k loop (or maybe a lollipop)
Underfoot: mostly tarmac, but some of the paths are a little stony
Profile: flat with the gentlest of inclines just after the 4km point
Notes: The four mounds contain a huge part of England's footballing history
Further reading: My Northala Fields parkrun blog entry


Oak Hill - Oak Hill Park, East Barnet, North London.
Course: Almost two laps
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Mostly flat with a slight rise and fall each lap
Notes: I ran on the first warm morning of the year and it felt harder than it probably is
Further reading: My Oak Hill parkrun blog post


Old Deer Park - Old Deer Park, Richmond, South West London.
Course: Three laps around the park
Underfoot: almost exclusively on grass
Profile: Flat
Notes: I ran here when the course was covered in snow
Further reading: My Old Deer parkrun blog post


Orpington - Goddington Park, Orpington, South East London.
Course: Almost three laps
Underfoot: Grass and tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: This is an offshoot of Bromley parkrun and it feels very similar
Further reading: My Orpington parkrun blog post


Osterley - Osterley Park, Isleworth, West London.
Course: Three laps through the grounds of Osterley park (National Trust)
Underfoot: Tarmac, tarmac with potholes (which may have now been filled), trail, grass
Profile: Flat
Notes: A really nice venue. The trail section is very short but brilliant.
Further reading: My Osterley parkrun blog post


Peckham Rye - Peckham Rye, Southwark, South East London.
Course: 3 laps and a tail
Underfoot: tarmac
Profile: flat
Notes: Put all of your preconceptions about peckham to one side and enjoy this wonderful park.
Further Reading: My Peckham Rye parkrun blog post.


Pymmes - Pymmes Park, Edmonton, North London.
Course: Three laps
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat with one bump
Notes: Watch out for the ducks!
Further reading: My Pymmes parkrun blog post


Raphael - Raphael Park, Beauly Way, Rise Park, Romford, East London.
Course: Two large laps and one small lap
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Mostly flat - a couple of small gradient changes
Notes: It is pronounced 'Rayfel'. Don't fall into the lake!
Further reading: My Raphael parkrun blog post


Richmond - Richmond Park, Richmond, South West London.
Course: One 5k lap
Underfoot: Compact gravelly paths
Profile: Starts with a downhill, then undulates its way back up
Notes: A very nice run in an amazing park.
Further reading: My Richmond parkrun blog post


Rickmansworth - Rickmansworth Aquadrome, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire (London+)
Course: 2 laps plus a start-finish tail
Underfoot: Tarmac and a slightly stony footpath
Profile: Flat
Notes: Watch out for vehicles near the start-finish / watch out for loose dogs
Further reading: My Rickmansworth parkrun blog post


Riddlesdown - Riddlesdown Countryside Area, Riddlesdown, South London / Surrey. (London+)
Course: 1.6 laps
Underfoot: Grass, stony trail, path
Profile: Flat with one short sharp incline
Notes: A bit cross country. Gets muddy and wet in the winter but very unlikely to be cancelled. My former parkrun home. Also the only parkrun to start inside London but finish outside London (Surrey).


Roding Valley - Roding Valley Recreation Ground, Loughton, Essex (also appears in London+)
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Fairly even split between grass and tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: Fast and flat - Lovely, friendly team. Park popular with dog walkers.
Further reading: My Roding Valley parkrun blog post.


Roundshaw Downs - Roundshaw Downs, Croydon, South London.
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Grass
Profile: A long gentle incline and a fast downhill on each lap
Notes: Good views from the highest point of the course
Further reading: My New Year's Day 2012 and New Year's Day 2013 blog posts.


South Norwood - South Norwood Country Park, South Norwood, South East London.
Course: Just over two laps
Underfoot: Gravelly, stony paths (90%) and some grass/dirt/mud (10%)
Profile: generally flat with a short incline
Notes: A fairly hidden country park
Further reading: My South Norwood parkrun blog post


South Oxhey - South Oxhey Playing Fields, Green Lane, Watford (London+)
Course: Three laps
Underfoot: Grass (you can run about 150 metres each lap on tarmac if you choose)
Profile: Long steady incline / decline on each lap
Notes: You can chill out in a hammock post-run
Further reading: My South Oxhey parkrun blog post


Southwark - Southwark Park, Bermondsey, South East London.
Course: Three laps
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat with one swooping down-then-up dip in the path towards the end of each lap
Notes: It's a fast one.
Further reading: My full Southwark parkrun blog post and my test run blog post.


Tooting Common parkrun - Tooting Common, Tooting, South London
Course: Three laps plus a start-finish tail
Underfoot: Mostly tarmac but also some compact earth
Profile: Flat as a pancake
Notes: Paths not suitable for 'large' buggies (double buggies)
Further reading: My Tooting Common parkrun blog post.


Valentines - Valentines Park, Ilford, East London.
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: Typical London park
Further reading: My Valentines parkrun blog post


Walthamstow - Peter May Sports Ground, Walthamstow, East London.
Course: Three laps
Underfoot: Grass
Profile: Flat with an ever-so-gentle rise
Notes: No dogs allowed within the venue as it is a private sports ground.
Further reading: My Walthamstow parkrun blog post


Wanstead Flats - Wanstead Flats Playing Fields, Wanstead, East London.
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Grass, trail, tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: The start feels very 'inner city' but soon feels like trail running in the countryside
Further reading: My Wanstead Flats blog post


Wimbledon Common - Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon, South West London.
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Dirt paths
Profile: Flat
Notes: Brilliant course. Due to the sheer number of people, the paths get congested so lining up sensibly is crucial.
Further reading: My Wimbledon Common parkrun blog post


Wormwood Scrubs - Wormwood Scrubs, Shepherds Bush, West London.
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Grass
Profile: Flat
Notes: Run in the shadow of Wormwood Scrubs prison.
Further reading: My Wormwood Scrubs blog post



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