Top 6 parkruns in London


As January draws to a close the BLOCKEHAD team, like many of you, has been hard at work keeping to our New Year’s fitness resolution. We even created a playlist to help keep everyone’s motivational levels up.  A great motivator during a cold and dark January is Parkrun, the free 5km runs held every Saturday morning around the country (and world) - for anyone who may have been sleeping under a rock!

Started back in 2004 with just 13 runners, this movement has grown into hundreds of thousands of runners and volunteers taking part every week. For loads of runners (and some non-runners), there’s nothing better than starting the weekend lining up at the start of your local parkrun. As it happens our Energy gum is the perfect boost to help get your run, and your weekend, off to a flier.

We decided to list some of our favourites around our hometown of London:

Bushy Park

The OG, the Grandaddy – definite BDE.

This is where the first-ever parkrun was held, and since then thousands of pilgrims have travelled to this running mecca to take part. As such, it’s a busy run, regularly getting over 1000 runners, the start is relatively wide, so not much of a bottleneck before the field thins out a bit. The run is very flat so good for those going for a PB, it’s one lap, which is unusual for most of the capital cities’ Parkruns. It’s got the added bonus of being in a magnificent setting – keep an eye out for the deer.

Getting there:

The nearest postcode is KT8 9DD, which is Hampton Court Gate, the nearest gate to the start line. There is limited parking available at the Diana Fountain car park, so get there early as past 8.30 you’ll likely be late and the other car parks are currently closed to parkrunners. The nearest railways stations are Hampton Court, Teddington or Hampton Wick – a bit of a walk from each so leave some time.

Post run:

The Pheasantry café is the place to be to grab a coffee afterwards and has a great selection of snacks – if you stay a bit later you can order beers from 10.30. Sounds like a great start to your Saturday to us.


Peckham Rye


The Trotter’s local.

This is one of the prettiest Parkruns you’ll ever do - Peckham Rye Park is very easy on the eye. Picturesque streams, ornamental gardens and a fully tarmacked route make this one of our favourite courses. This is one is on the smaller side, with around 200-250 regularly turning up for this 3-lap run with very little elevation.

Getting there:

Best reached by foot, the closest overground station is Honor Oak Park & Train stations are Nunhead & Queens Road Peckham. Head to the Colyton Road entrance to the park and you should see the start from there.

Post run:

Post-run coffee can be found at the Parkside Cafe we also like the Old Spike – which is on a mission to reduce homelessness through their Roasteries.


Ally Pally


Makes the list, (almost) entirely for the scenic views.

Situated in the park grounds around Alexandra Palace, which is more famous as an events and music venue and can be a real pain to get home from at midnight. Parkrun, however, is a different story completely. This is a 2-lap route which is hilly, with quite a few ups and downs, on the positive side - at least half of them are downs.  Alexandra Park is very picturesque with great views over London, it’s a challenging course, with a mix of trail and tarmac – not one for a PB, but a pleasant run nonetheless.

Getting There:

The London Underground will get you as far as Wood Green, which is about 30 minute walk to the start and the mainline trains take you to Alexandra Palace station which is 10 minute walk away.

For drivers the postcode is N22 7AY - this will bring you to the East car park by the palace itself, for which there is a small charge, and is about 10 minutes from the start.

Post Run:

Coffee and breakfast can be found in Alexandra Palace Garden Centre 


Clapham Common


Because it’s in Clapham.

We couldn’t skip out on putting Clapham Common on our list, a favourite of many because, well – it’s Clapham. Very convenient to meet up with your friends and loads of post-run coffee and brunch options. Generally, this leads on to lunch and a few drinks in our experience. This is a 2-lap course that attracts around 600 runners a week and is a mix of trail, footpaths, and grass – note that it’s not suitable for buggies.

Getting There:

Clapham South is the closest tube station, Clapham common a close second. Don’t bother trying to drive as parking is almost non-existent.

Post Run:

The official parkrun coffee place is The Pear Tree Cafe, however, you are a short walk away from both Clapham high street and Northcote Road.


Hackney Marshes

This one is very flat, and very fast.

It’s on a mostly paved route which is good for PB hunters. It’s an out-and-back course which is treelined and next to the river on one side and on the other you’ll see a LOT of football pitches. With views towards Olympic park to get you pumped up and release your inner Mo Farah, this is a great run and has a relatively small field of around 200 a week. Perfect for any locals getting in some training for the Hackney Half Marathon.

Getting There:

The start is near the Hackney Marshes Centre, the closest postcode is E9 5PF, Hackney Wick is the closest tube, followed by Homerton. Stratford Rail is also close by. For those driving there is plenty of free parking at the Hackney Marshes Centre

Post Run:

The Hackney Marshes Centre is the obvious choice for your post-run drinks and snacks.


Brockwell Park


Awesome park = awesome run.

Brockwell Park parkrun in Herne Hill is a great way to start the weekend, it’s an undulating course with a friendly atmosphere.  Essentially running around the hill that in the middle of the park. Most of the route is tarmac, with a bit of grass at the end. There are nice views across London, and the park is a superb setting.

Getting there:

The postcode is SE24 0PA and the start is near the back of the Lido. The closest rail station is Herne Hill which is about a 5-minute walk, while the closest tube station is Brixton which is about a 15 minute walk away. For those driving, there is free street parking at the start of the park, but arrive early to ensure you get a space that’s close

Post Run:

You can’t beat Brockwell Park Café for convenience, we also like Steve’s Café near Herne Hill station. If you plan ahead, in summer it’s always good to visit the Lido for an outdoor swim (book ahead).


Image creds: Parkrun and the BLOCKHEAD team