Workout in nature: The local guide to staying fit in London

Recommended by the local Cool Cousin community
Norwood Rd, London SE24 9BJ, UK
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The 'park' bit of Brockwell Park isn't exactly a destination in itself, but if you are nearby in Brixton Village or Herne Hill and fancy a bit of a stroll, it's a lovely place to go. Head up to the top of the hill for a stunning panorama of London (like Parliament Hill in North London, but the other way round!) and a visit to the walled garden - a beautiful place full of flowers and benches where you can sit a read a book - as well as the community greenhouses next door. If it's baking hot, head down to the Lido, although be warned that the water isn't heated so unless it's the hottest day of the year, it can be a bit of a chilly swim...
Laura, 33 Manager at Museum of London
Cool Cousin London
Brockwell Park
Erol Goksal
Regent's Park, London NW1, UK
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Regent’s Park is a diverse and wonderful park to be in. Parts of it are dedicated grass football and rugby pitches, where all ages can be found playing there, especially on a Saturday morning. Other parts include the London Zoo, flower gardens, a small outside theatre, and a lake where you can ride paddle boats. The most prominent entrances are from Primrose Hill, St John’s Wood, and Baker Street. If you’re in any of these areas, it’s worth walking through the park. If it’s the summer, stop by one of the mini cafes in the park and grab an ice-cream. During the winter, bundle up, grab a coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy the crisp London air.
Sydney, 24 Student
Cool Cousin London
Regent's Park
Fabrizio De Tomasi
Richmond Park, Richmond TW10 5HS, UK
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I genuinely believe London would not be the same without it. Richmond Park brings a mass of much needed greenery to South-West London along with some of the city’s best walks, wildlife and views of the surrounding area. Either pick one spot and relax or roam around as much of the almost 4 square mile park as possible on foot, in a car or cycling. Just keep your distance from the deer!
Will, 24 Actor, Writer & Director
Cool Cousin London
Richmond Park
Holland Park, Holland Park Ave, Kensington, London W11 4UA, UK
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Holland Park is an expansive area with a wide range of activities on offer. From a stroll along the trees, watching chess masters battle out over a cup of tea to peacocks roaming around the gardens. My favourite part is the Kyoto Gardens, a Japanese garden donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in recognition of the first Japanese festival held in London in 1992. A truly stunning garden, proper zen!
Samson, 28 Consultant, Foodie & Traveller @ Out of Office London
Cool Cousin London
Kyoto Garden
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London SW11 4NJ, UK
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This is my local park and it's a haven of tranquility, with lots of interesting things to do and see. During the summer you can rent boats to row or pedal around the lake. I love walking around the gardens all-year round, from the Old English garden to the Sub Tropical garden - I'm constantly discovering hidden new gardens here. There are numerous sculptures dotted around, including a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth. And there is a spectacular fountain in the middle of the park, but you have to go off the beaten path a bit to find it.
Jemima, 28 Journalist for Show Media Agency
Cool Cousin London
Battersea Park
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32 Duncan Terrace, London N1 8BS, UK
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I travelled this section of Regents Canal everyday en route to primary school and it's worth a trip whatever the season (though best in bright sunshine). Over the years many of the factories and warehouses that used to line it have been renovated but some great ones remain. The positives to gentrification are a host of great pubs and restaurants dotted along it such as The Towpath. I would recommend starting your walk at the Angel and walking East, ending up at Broadway Market (amazing food market on Sat) or further along to Victoria Park. Great to cycle along also but make sure you have a bell as pedestrians and joggers are often oblivious.
Max, 30 Art & Film Director
Cool Cousin London
Regents Canal  (Angel Entrance)
Mark Hogan
Thicket Road, London SE19 2GA, UK
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This park has everything, starting from the ruins of an old palace (that sadly burned down in the 1930s), a maze, lake, and even dinosaurs! (yeah you read right!)
Marlene, 31 Graphic Designer
Cool Cousin London
Crystal Palace Park
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9 Audrey St, London E2 8QH, UK
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Cuddled next to Hackney Road and Hackney Farm there's Haggerston Park - well groomed peaceful piece of greenery with a lovely little forest walk at the back
Yuli, 28 Digital Designer
Cool Cousin London
Haggerston Park
Tarquin Binary
Hackney, London E9, UK
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The river lea scores down the Lea Valley from Essex to Limehouse, but my favourite stretch is between Tottenham and Stratford. A great walk along Hackney Marshes, and canal boats and beautiful scenery.
Felix, 34 Owner venue & events company
Cool Cousin London
The River Lea
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London E20 2ST, UK
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It was made in April 2012 for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. There are a lot of attractions here but I am especially interested in one: The Aquatics Center made by Zaha Hadid Architects. It’s magnificent to swim in the pool that once was a part of the Olympics. You have to register before, for a 1 hour swim time.
Hazal, 39 Full-time Traveller
Cool Cousin London
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
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King William Walk, London SE10 9JH, UK
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I've been in London for almost 10 years now and still struggle to fit it all in! This has to be one of the best ways to see the city, and bonus you can avoid the crowds and have a break. Floating up the river from beautiful Greenwich you come across Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, you will also be able to see the Shard, Oxo Tower and The London Eye all the way down to Westminster and the Houses of Parliament. It's such a unique perspective of the city and if you can catch London on one of her dry days then even better, otherwise bring your brolly and a jacket
Kate, 32 Designer, explorer, all-round creative
Cool Cousin London
City Cruises Greenwich Pier
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Regent's Canal Towpath, Kings Cross, London N1C, UK
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Connecting Notting Hill and Stratford. The Regent's Canal is a beautiful walk, run or bike ride through London's heart. Join it anywhere and and follow it past beautiful boats and al fresco pubs.
Felix, 34 Owner venue & events company
Cool Cousin London
Regent's Canal Towpath
Athletics Track Hampstead Heath, Parliament Hill, Highgate, London NW3 2JP, UK
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The Parliament Hill Fields Athletics Track has a synthetic surface with a full size 400m olympic athletics track with six lanes. There are also synthetic surfaced run-up and take-off areas for field events at this North London athletics track with a long-jump/triple jump it and hammer/discuss cage to satisfy any Russian shot-putter.
Duygu, 40 Fashion Designer
Cool Cousin London
Parliament Hill Fields Athletics Track
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College Rd, London SE21 7BQ, UK
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This is a great park to go and ride your bike, scooter, rollerblade, or skate. It's the perfect circuit to go exercise without worrying about pedestrians.
Marlene, 31 Graphic Designer
Cool Cousin London
Dulwich park
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