a Perfect Sunday Run along the Thames!

A perfect run along the River Thames
 (about a 3 mile run)

For the first morning in a long while, we woke up this morning with SUNSHINE in our eyes (ok, maybe it had to do with the fact we slept in, but it DOES seem to be getting lighter here! 

So, inspired by our downstairs friend Howard, and maybe with the hope of working off a few calories from our "Long Lunch" yesterday (more on that later!),  we decided to try our luck at running a few of the River Thames bridges this morning!

We live right at the Tower Bridge, so that gives us a few options. We could have crossed over the bridge, and zig-zagged through all the tourists at the Tower of London, but we much prefer the beauty and stark granite of the southbank, so we took off towards the London Bridge, and crossed the river at the bridge.

View of River Thames looking east toward Tower bridge and HMS Belfast, Canary Wharf in distance

The river is so beautiful, I had to stop and snap a photo!Jeff and I force ourselves to always walk up the Tube escalator steps  so, no I wasn't winded from going up the steps at a run!) 

On the other side of London Bridge (on the right) there are some stairs that lead us down to the Thames Path on the north bank. We pass through some old tunnels with wonderful ceramic history plaques, and before we have a chance to blink, we are already at the next bridge, Southwark Bridge (pronounce it like a local---SUTH-uk).

Southwark Bridge

From here, the run gets a little dicy, because of London's ubiquitous construction, so we have to wander inland amongst the buildings, until we come to the Millennium Bridge. (if you want a longer run, you can continue to Blackfriars, or Waterloo.... or on and on, there are 30 bridges in London!) Photo courtesy Lis Watkins.

We love the Millennium Bridge, with its direct view of St Paul's Cathedral on one side, and The Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on the other. 

Just a bit of history for you fans out there--- The Millennium Bridge was commissioned for the Millennium celebration and coincidently, opened in 2000 with a huge run.  But apparently the builders "forgot" to put stabilizers in the bridge, and it swayed almost a foot each direction when the runners attempted to cross. The bridge was immediately closed on opening day, and remained shuttered for 2 years, during which time it got the nickname "The Wibbley-Wobbley bridge."  Perhaps because of this fiasco, it was demolished by Death Eaters in the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie, which was filmed around this time. (photo courtesy of Warner Brothers)

Whew! we made it across the bridge without any trouble, and directly in front of us is the Tate Modern Museum (so if you are exhausted by this point, you can catch your breath while taking in an exhibit). But we take a hard left, and proceed down the southbank towards home, passing the Globe Theater on our way.
Crossing the bridge (backwards photo, sorry), and heading past Globe Theatre

I absolutely love this next section of the run. We pass through old London, winding cobblestone streets, and juxtaposition of old and new. We run down Clink Street, past the old prison, and the ruins of Winchester Palace, until we arrive at Borough Market.

I had been thinking of getting a coffee and croissant at Borough Market, but then remembered this is Sunday, the only day it's closed. It looks so small and derelect without the bustle of vendors and tourists. Looks like an old car park. But bonus, it is easy to run through on a Sunday!!!!

So, we continue across London Bridge Road/Borough High Street, and back the way we came, stopping for a quick workout at our gym (we are GOOOOOOD!!!) 

Our gym is just a 3 minute walk from our house, and so we end our run with a beautiful view of the Mayor of London's office and the Tower bridge, before ducking under the bridge to our cute little pedestrian street, Shad Thames, and a well deserved coffee at Starbucks (no tourists this time of day),  so we walk right up to the front.... Cafe Americano, please!

3 miles, 7000 steps, workout complete!


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