• By Ellen O'Riordan on Mar 30, 2016

Fast Track Guide to Central London's Athletic Facilities

Despite London’s severe overcrowding problem, with flats the size of walk-in wardrobes, the city’s skyline receiving a new scrape each day and Birmingham now being classed as Greater London, the city retains a large number of spacious athletics facilities.  The majority of the facilities are found in multi-sport complexes and are good enough for elite athlete training, but there are also some more beaten tracks that can be accessed for free and should be satisfactory to the average Joe runner.  Here are a few of Central London’s athletics facilities to keep you on track.


Paddington Recreation Ground

This fantastic recreation ground accommodates 6 lanes of synthetic track, spanning 400 metres in length.  The track has clear markings on the well maintained surface and is floodlit, to keep you running even during those dark winter evenings.

Opening Times: Monday to Sunday 7am-9.30pm

Prices:  Free for individuals.  Charges apply for organised sessions.

Clubs:  The Serpentine Running Club train here on a Tuesday evening.

Contact:  padrec.admin@gll.org or 020 7641 3642.

Regent’s Park Track

Regent’s Park houses many sports facilities, including a 6-lane cinder track featuring tight bends.  The track is just shy of 400 metres and is in relatively good condition, but with slightly uneven surfacing.  The track is a popular lunchtime destination for many of the City’s workers.

Opening Times:  Always open.

Prices:  Free for public use.

Contact:  020 7486 7905

Mile End Stadium

The 400 metres of all-weather Spurtan BV track has a breadth of 8 lanes.  The track was resurfaced in 2011 ahead of the London games, so the ground is even and very well looked after.  With floodlights, changing facilities and a seating capacity of 439, the venue is a great location for competitive or recreational events.  

Opening Times:  Weekdays 6am-8pm; Weekends 9am-5pm.

Sessions:  Coaching is available for 5-11 year olds through the Better Athletics programme.

Clubs:  Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets Athletics Club is for all abilities and has groups of both juniors and seniors.

Prices:  £2.80 for adults and £1.40 for juniors.  Monthly passes are also available.

Contact:  mileendparklc@gll.org or 020 8980 1885

Local venues

Gymbox Covent Garden

42 - 49 St Martins Lane Covent Garden Central London WC2N 4EJ

PureGym London Piccadilly

Rex House 4-12 Regent Street Piccadilly London Central London SW1Y 4PE

View more venues