Getting away from it all in the city

Recently I have been seeking out ways to run off-road. Good for the legs and great for the soul! So I have discovered a few routes around my home in London where there is mud, grass and trails beneath ones feet and trees and meadows in front of ones eyes. These urban trails are perfect for easy or steady runs (although the recent heavy rain has made the going difficult and turned my shoes a rather unattractive brown colour) and really enhance the feeling of getting away from all the pressures of modern life for an hour or two.

One of my favourite runs is along the Parklands walk in north London: a disused railway line that really feels like a countryside trail in the centre of the city…

Parklands Walk: a trail oasis in the middle of the city.

So I was wondering if you could help me find more urban trail routes? Whether you are in London or Lisbon, York or New York, I would love to know where you go to get off the road when you run. I’ll then start to compile a little list and share it back with you. It would be great if you can give me a little bit of geographical location information and a short description and you can either put that in a comment to this post or email me at

As for my trail run today…? That will be a regular route that my running club uses around Hampstead Heath and the Heath Extension. Bring on the mud!


  1. Muddy running in Manchester – there is a great route in South Manchester along the Mersey river where you can run from Stockport through Didsbury & Chorlton all the way through to Sale water park. I used it lots when training for a marathon as you can easily do double digits in miles if you go for a good explore. It makes a pleasant change from pounding the pavement.

  2. I used to run up the Hampstead Heath extension when I lived in West Hampstead – always loved that route. The other side of the Heath, around Queen’s Wood is worth a trip too. Nowadays I’m in Hertfordshire, so can run a different countryside route every time if I like. 🙂

    Do you use MapMyRun or Garmin to record your routes?

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