It’s coming up to my 5th year of living in London, and being a country bumbkin I was seriously worried about moving here and hating it. Never the less I came, and I tell you want it’s a fitness lover’s paradise, oh man is it ever! Here are some stats to get you convinced:
- The eight royal parks take up 5000 Acres
- Council ran parks include Crystal Palace, Victoria, Alexandra and Battersea park and cover 800 Acres
- The remaining green spaces cover an huge 11,000 Acres (rounded down)
- This doesn’t include all those small parks dotted around London
OR, the Thames paths and river side.
Cycling, YES FRICKING BIKES WOOO!
So before you get thinking you’ll not have any place to escapee or go running, think again. And as for cycling, you have the mecca of Richmond park all 2,400 Acres of it.. We also have at least 6 indoor spin clubs just dedicated to the sport, yes you’ll have some whoops a disco ball and dam fine music to boot, embrace it this is London!
We’ve a cycle club for pretty much main location Greenwich, Clapham, Hampstead, Wimbledon, London Fields, to name a few !! AND, what better than a handful of cycle café’s to rest up in whilst clad in lycra with Look mum no hands and the high end Rapha club too! OH, and the UK’s best bike café in Esher, and yes it really is special! We have our scattering of cycle shops too, from Evans to cycle surgery and half a dozen privately run and high end shops too, EVEN a shop solely for electric bikes, has anyone else found it yet?
London is also just 5 hours from main land Europe for weekends away at very little cost, with routes like London Brighton/Paris/Amsterdam all a weekends riding. we also have the stunning Surrey and Kent countryside which has some of not only the most stunning but also the best riding in the UK. And if all that’s not enough we have both outdoor and indoor velodromes all within easy train rides of you, and yes we have Olympic BMX tracks and manmade mountain bike parks (Bracknell & Hadleigh) within an hour of London too, and yes you can rent bikes there if you don’t own one!
Water Sports? London? Never!
London Boasts 14 outdoor lido’s including a heated pool, Europe’s largest (Tooting at 90 odd metres) and newly built kings cross pool which is a manmade natural jobie with reeds and such like. Also to boot there’s a heap of other natural pools, in both Hyde Park and Hampstead which even has separate men & women’s only pools! Oh, we have the Royal Docks by the excel centre too!
We have Kayak centres in Limehouse Basin, Stand up paddle board clubs over Putney, the Olympic water Sport centre at Lee Valley, and a heap of sailing clubs in Rickmansworth, Kingston and on the Thames too. And as for rowing, how do you not know about the boat race? Get up at 5AM and head to Putney/Kingston way on and you’ll see the teams out training, this is like a whole thing down here!
If you can find a park in London where this doesn’t happen, well, you didn’t wait long enough did you! There’s group training session before work, at lunch and after work every day, and if their isn’t well you can rope a gang from work and hire a PT for it, really easily! There’s a whole movement of free session’s to with groups like Project Awesome, Midnight runners and even The North Face Store getting involved with not only PT classes but Free trail running days too.
Boot camps & health Clubs.
Seriously, every few minutes in London you’ll go past a gym Virgin Active has over 50 within a few square mile radius match that with Fitness first, Nuffield and the cheaper no frills gyms there has to be 350 gyms! (Guesstimation)
We even have boot camp/crossfit type set ups going on too, given these are less frequent but I still pass four everyday so they are by no means tough to find! There’s tennis clubs & golf courses too!
Wellbeing & specifics
Yoga of all kinds to be found not just in gyms you have to be members of but standalone people renting spaces and selling classes for specific things, yea really. A cyclist? Yup we have cycle specific classes! We have altitude training centres, gait foot analysis even a good group of swim improvement coaches where they film your swimming! REALLY! We have trapeze schools, acupuncture, Tia chi and even floatation rooms!
As I mentioned we an altitude centre to ehlp with pre aclimatiseation, ALL the shops for gear, Patagonia, North Face! Snow & Rock, Ellis Brigham (it has a ice climbing wall inside!). London even has a great array of climbing centres The Castle and The Reach are my two favourite, right in the centre (Zone 1) there are two bouldering centres too, so when you’ve no time to jump on a quick flight to Europe from our local airport you can keep up the strength in doors, no excuses!
Looking for inspiration, London has a vibrant adventure soul beating at its heart with speaking events being held almost weekly, many in large pub rooms that hold 50-80 people but every few months there’s something real special at say the RGS (Royal Geographical Society) or an outdoor/adventure show. Pub meet up’s for groups who are exploring a specific trip, around the world cycle shall we say.
London’s adventure community isn’t about just doing something inspiring or amazing it’s about our way of life, its infectious and we are a family who help each other achieve our dreams pretty much regardless of what stands in our way!
To add to all this, fuelling and repairing yourself are also high up on London’s lists of to do’s with walk in massage rooms all over the place, and if you’re working for a top London firm you might even get one come around the office at lunch! (No joke) And and, drop your shirts/suits/skirts & such like threads off on a friday and pick it all up on a Monday fresh and clean, no fat, a few quid no hassle and extra training time..
And the food outlets in the city are amazing, if you’ve no time to prep your own food, don’t worry the options are plentiful and yes even for fuelling and nutritional types who really are all about becoming a better athlete! And yes you can get it delivered to your desk…
TOO MUCH STUFF!
Oh man, I haven’t even included all the events going on down here Marathon’s, 10K races, group walks, Sunday rides out, colour run race’s and the sheer amount of Facebook groups dedicated to keeping fit and outdoor activities you’ll be wanting a rest from it all….
Let’s be straight people, you want to be at the top of your game. You need that extra edge and want to learn and grow as an athlete London is where it’s at. This place can and will change your life, if you’re willing to put the effort in and let it! OH YES, we even have a beach! No really..
Pretty much, in a nut shell move to London. Sure theirs more people but that means more opportunity, more gyms, more clubs, more disposable income and more people to help you on the way to what ever your goal is.
MOVE TO LONDON IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!
PHEW, thats me done! I’m over excited just looking at this list….