Sunday, August 16, 2015

Wandering the Wandle

I cringe when people say that running in London is boring. I really cannot fathom why anyone would say it. Sure it doesn't have the stunning views of peaks, but honestly not many places in Southern England do. I love its varied terrain and surprise hills (well love on the latter is a string term). I also become indignant when people moan about the lack of green space in our fair city.

According to the Independent, "47% of London is green space" (source: Sure this was in 2014... but it cannot of changes that much! I will admit while working in the City its very hard to believe that number, but you just need a map and a tiny sense of adventure. And Oyster card helps too :)

This weekend I did 'Wandle Trail' which is an 11.68 mile trail going from Croydon to Wandsworth Town. I took the train from London Bridge and in about 30 minutes (and one change) I was in Waddon trying to find the start of the run. I am not going to lie, I was stopping a lot and checking my GPX route I found a link to from this Guardian article. I felt like I was following the Wandle Trail signs, but then checking my GPS it was saying I went off track.

It was only after going in a loop (literally) that I stopped and had a think. I whipped out my paper map I printed out (yes folks, I had a backup because YOU NEVER KNOW) and noticed that my GPX was for bicycles, hence not exactly following the Wandle Trail footpath. Once I decided which one to follow (cycle path 20) all my issues suddenly disappeared and I was off.

There was so much green on this run it was great, and had I chosen the actual footpath there would have been very little road running. The few sections I did have on road all had pavements so it was safe. Plenty of other people out as well, so never got the 'creepy isolation vibe'. Morden Hall Park was amazing and would be great for a run in its own right. I also found out Mr. Moose's dad used to do cross country running there when he was secondary school-- which made the run even more awesome because it was a bit of family history that I didn't know about.

Things obviously got a bit back to reality again in Wandsworth Town, but I was lucky as there was a coffee shop and biltong stand (two separate stalls-- would be weird combo) right outside the station! So I got my protein and caffeine all in one easy go.

I am a huge fan of varying your running routes to keep things interesting. I encourage people to find a path near you and give it a go. If unsure, Google is your friend as are running stores near you. Heck they probably have their own group runs in case you are nervous venturing out on your own!

Here is my route in case interested... my loop added about another mile to my run, which was fine by me as it allowed me to see some pretty parks and lakes.

No comments:

Post a Comment