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Stop To Admire The View On These London Sunset Runs

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Even during a mild UK summer, running in the middle of the day can be a sweaty, unpleasant affair. Now that June has arrived, bringing with it 16 hours of daily daylight, there’s a lot to be said for moving your runs to the early morning or late evening, when it’s a little cooler.

If you can time your runs to take in the sunrise or sunset, you’ll not only guarantee cooler weather but also ensure you have the ideal opportunity to take a stunning, Instagram-ready picture. (Side note: When planning exercise, at least half your time should be spent assessing Instagram potential.)

The team behind Adidas Runners (opens in new tab) have picked out the five best London runs to see the sun rise or set. If we’re honest, we’re most interested in the sunsets, which happens between the very reasonable times of 9.10pm and 9.30pm in June. If you want to watch the sunrise it’s going to require either impressive commitment or a nasty dose of insomnia, as it takes place between 4.40am and 5am.

Either way, here are five great London runs for sunspotters to try. Click an image for the routes on Google Maps.

Hornsey Lane Sunset (opens in new tab)

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There are two cracking views on offer as part of this 6.5km run, which starts in Finsbury Park and cuts across north London to finish on Hampstead Heath. The first view is on the Hornsey Lane bridge which runs high above Archway Road and provides a great spot to watch the sun set over the city. Or you can stop on Parliament Hill on the Heath for a panoramic view.

King’s Stairs Sunset (opens in new tab)

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The King’s Stairs Gardens are found on the banks of the Thames in Rotherhithe and offer excellent views along the river and of the London skyline. You can plot any run to end there at sunset, but the route recommended by Adidas Runners starts at the Cutty Sark and covers 6.5km through Deptford and Rotherhithe along the Thames.

Stave Hill Sunset (opens in new tab)

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Starting from London Bridge this short, 4km route runs along the Thames past HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge before turning away from the river to finish at Stave Hill Ecological Park. Run up the mound for a superb view of the sun setting behind the Canary Wharf skyline.

RECOMMENDED: The Six Best Lunch Runs In London

Sawyers Hill Sunrise (opens in new tab)

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This 11km loop of Richmond Park involves two glorious opportunities to take pictures of the sunrise. The route starts and finishes at the main entrance to the park, taking in viewpoints at King Henry’s Mound and Sawyers Hill along the way.

West Carriage Drive Sunrise (opens in new tab)

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If you’re able to get into central London in time for the summer sunrise, this should be the perfect start to the day. The highlight of this 6km loop around Hyde Park comes as you cross the Serpentine on West Carriage Drive, where you’ll see the sun rising over the trees in the distance.

Adidas Runners (opens in new tab) is a free running group that organises weekly runs on Monday evenings and Friday mornings in London

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.