Click here for a zoomable map and the Strava route
- Distance – 4.6 mile loop but multiple options available
- Surface – Gravel and Trail (very muddy in Winter)
- Terrain – Undulating
- Surroundings – Woods and heathland
- Traffic Free – Yes (2 road crossings if using Wimbledon Common Southside)
- 16 minutes from Central London (0.7 miles from Wimbledon Station/Underground to Wimbledon Common Southside including 0.3 miles of a challenging hill)
If you don’t have a lot of time and have issues with getting lost, this may not be the route for you. But if you like trail running and finding your way around a bit of city wilderness, then it could be for you.
Most people have heard of Wimbledon. This is because of a little tennis club down the road that has a famous tennis tournament every year and also because of The Wombles! The best year round and real attraction is Wimbledon Common, the largest expanse of heathland in the London area. There are many Commons in London that vary from flat grassland to areas with mixed habits.
A Common is a piece of open land for “the benefit of the general public for informal recreation, and the preservation of natural flora and fauna”.
Many parts of the Common look similar and getting “temporarily lost” is easy to do. I’ve run (and walked) on Wimbledon Common for 8 years and still manage to go astray. After a couple of minutes, you realise where you are and you get back on track.
Parts of the Common are a golf course, but as it is public space, Common users have right of way. The golfers wear red tops and are very respectful. I’ve never had any near misses.
A word of warning – the Common gets very muddy in the winter. It can look like a ploughed field as you dance between murky pools of water. Trail shoes are essential in the winter or after periods of wet weather.
I have tried to make the route as navigable as possible, but please bear in mind my points above.
The route starts in Wimbledon Common Southside, near Wimbledon Village but can be started from the Windmill, the major built landmark on the Common and where there’s also car parking.
- Follow cinder path across the “open” Common; keep the small lake on your left.
- Cross the road and continue to follow the path to a 4 way crossroads.
- Bear right keeping with the small cottages on your left.
- You will come to the edge of the “proper” Common. The path will now fork. Take the right.
- Follow through the trees for 0.5 miles, crossing the bridlepath.
- When the route meets another major path/unmade road, cross maintaining the same line. The Windmill will be on your right.
- You will come to more trees with the golf clubhouse, café and Windmill on right.
- Head down the footpath that slopes steeply through a tunnel of trees and vegetation.
- At the bottom of the slope is a lake, bear right and keep the lake on your left
- After 100m, go straight on heading through a break in the vegetation. Do not follow around the lake.
- After 20m, turn left on the path you come to. A cemetery will be on your right.
- Follow the path for 0.5 undulating miles and you will come to the Beverley Brook (a smallish stream). There are some football fields on your right.
- Continue to follow the path with the Brook on your right for 1 mile.
- The Brook will come to an end and there will be two bridges on the right.
- Take the path to the left but continue to bear right.
- You will come to a road. Go left (almost a U-turn) and follow the other pathway back on yourself.
- After 150m, take the right and follow the narrow path between the golf course holes.
- After 0.5 miles, you will come to a road. Follow straight on and you will come to the 4 way crossroads that you passed at the start.
- Cross the “open” Common back to Wimbledon Village or go left and head back to the Windmill.
The Wimbledon Common route can easily be linked with Richmond Park. When you reach the Brook, cross the football pitches to the A3 dual carriageway and use the pedestrian crossing to Robin Hood Gate into Richmond Park.
The Common has no opening and closing times. It’s recommended not to run on the Common when it’s dark for safety reasons.
Getting There – Public Transport
It’s 0.7 miles to Wimbledon Common Southside from Wimbledon Mainline Train Station and District Line Underground Station including 0.3 miles of a challenging hill.
- Train – 16 minutes from Central London (London Waterloo) via Clapham Junction
- Underground – Approx. 20 minutes from Earls Court District Line Station
The main car park is the Windmill Car Park, Windmill Road, SW19 5NQ (open between dawn and dusk). The car park is busy, particularly at weekends and Saturday mornings between 8.00am and 9.30am due to parkrun.
Windmill Tea Rooms
The Windmill Tea Rooms is located next to the Windmill (and Windmill Car Park) serving tea, coffee, hot dishes, cake and ice cream. Toilets are situated next to the café. It’s open 7 days a week.
- Weekdays: 9.00am – 5.15pm
- Saturdays: 9.00am – 5:45pm
- Sundays: 9.00am – 6.15pm
There’s a parkrun on the Common every Saturday at 9 am with the meeting location next to the Windmill. Limited parking is available at the Windmill car park, which gets very busy and after a certain time, you will not be able to park. Please take public transport where you can. Clothing and bags can be left at the start/finish. This is an informal arrangement, and there are plenty of people around but anything left is at your own risk.
Click here for the Strava route which you can print or export.
Alternatively search “Where to Run in London” in the Strava app, go to “Routes”, pick the route and “Use”