Do: Regent’s Canal

Waterway Running Route


Wherever you are in London you’ll find plenty of places to pick up the pace, from the rolling hills of Hampstead Heath to the grassy expanse of Clapham Common. When it comes to waterways, however, you have two options: sidle up to the Thames or follow the twists and turns of Regent’s Canal. For me, living north, the canal wins every time.

This 8.5-mile-long stretch of water flows from Paddington in the northwest to Limehouse in the southeast and offers runners some respite from London’s busy streets. It takes you behind the scenes – alongside the backs of houses, shops and offices – and provides glimpses of residents and workers going about their daily lives. My favourite thing about it? The narrow boats. Each is painted a different colour, stamped with a curious name and often topped with plant pots and tonnes of flowers.

There are places to catch a breather – or a cup of coffee – along the way. Near Angel is Canal No 5, a small café offering freshly made pastries and cakes, and towards Haggerston is The Barge House, a design-savvy restaurant and bar serving lip-smacking breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

Something to note: cyclists don’t hold back around the bends. Keep your ears and eyes open unless you want your run to turn into a swim.

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