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Five of London's best running routes

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There's more to London than smog, smoke and the relentless grind of industry - wherever you are in the capital, there's a picturesque space nearby where you can get your run on in (relative) peace.

Here are five of the city's prettiest and most pollution free running routes; north, south, east west and central.

North London - Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath

Approx. 4 miles (6.4 km) around

Head to the beautiful Heath for superb open space, punctuated with ponds and picnicers. There's a spectacular view of the city form Parliament Hill but be prepared for some hilly terrain and a good chance of getting mud on your trainers.

East London - Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf

Approx. 3.45 miles (5.55 km)

If the prospect of gamboling around in the countryside is a bit too daunting, Canary Wharf's is the perfect place to let off some steam. Admire the money-making concrete jungle as you benefit from the smooth, flat and largely mud-free terrain. An ideal lunchtime run for City workers.

South London - Wimbledon Common

Wimbledon Common

Wimbledon Common

Approx. 5 miles (8 km)

Pound the ground in the home of the Wombles. Described by the Good Run Guide as "scenic and sometimes challenging", start at the windmill (yes, the park is so quaint it has its own windmill) and head for the 'Alps', the boggy Rifle Butts, then amble alongside the Beverly Brook before climbing the tricky 'Toast Rack'. It's described as "much tougher than your average 5K". Or else head where the mood takes you and enjoy the best views leafy south-west London has to offer.

West London - Wormwood Scrubs Scamper

Wormwood Scrubs Scamper

Wormwood Scrubs Scamper

Approx. 3.01 miles (4.84 km)

It's a smooth route 'up West' on the picturesque run from Wormwood Scrubs along the Grand Union Canal. Enjoy the river views as well as the imposing 19th century prison building. The terrain is a mixture of grass and woodland.

Central London - Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Approx. 3 miles (4.8 km) around

There's nothing like pounding the paves of a Royal Park to make you feel on top of the world. Groomed gardens, a £3,000 drinking fountain, beautiful views of the Serpentine and plentiful public facilities. The terrain is flat and concrete, so may not be ideal for more adventurous runners.

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