The world's best running spots

By Eleanor Ross for British Airways High Life magazine

Photography by Batchelder / Alamy

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August 2016

Running clears your head and sets you up for the day, wherever you are. Here are ten scenic city spots worth packing your trainers for

Central Park, New York

As the ‘lungs of New York', Central Park is crisscrossed with bridleways, bike tracks and roads, ensuring there's plenty of room for all the keep-fitters.

Top tip: try the full 6.1m loop around the park between 7-10pm, when the park is closed to cars.

Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Griffith Park rises up out of the LA smog to give runners, hikers and dog walkers 53 miles of dirt paths and bridleways to explore. But beware stepping too far off the beaten path: the park is a wilderness area, with coyote, deer and rattlesnakes all calling it home.

  • Take in the impressive views of Los Angeles from Griffith Park © Mitch Diamond / Getty

    Plan your run

    Maps of Griffith Park’s trails and up-to-date information on trail closures are available from the park’s eastern-located Ranger Station (+1 (323) 913 4688). Fly from London to Los Angeles from£316 return

    Book flights to LA
  • Skip the steps: Bergen’s cable car will whizz you to Ulriken peak © Age fotostock / Alamy

    Book your ticket

    Bergen’s cable cars run 9am-9pm, Monday to Sunday between March and October, and 10am-5pm during the winter months.

    More information
  • Cool off in Cape Town at Sea Point promenade © M.Sobreira / Alamy

    See the sights

    The Atlantic Ocean is home to plenty of wildlife, from cormorants and oystercatchers to seals, dolphins and humpback whales. And if you time your run for the evening, you’ll be in the perfect spot to see an epic South African sunset. Fly from London to Cape Town from£776 return

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Vidden Trail, Bergen

Unless you feel like running up 643m of steep trail, jump on the cable car to the summit of Ulriken, one of Bergen's seven peaks. From here, the Vidden trail awaits, complete with lakes, mountain firs, heather and rocky outcrops.

Leave your iPod at home when running Cape Town’s Sea Point promenade – the sound of the waves breaking against the coast is the best soundtrack

Sea Point Promenade, Cape Town

This 11km route offers incredible vistas of the wild Atlantic Ocean. Leave your iPod at home – the sound of the waves breaking against the coast is the best soundtrack.

  • World-class views: Table Mountain, Cape Town.

    Challenge yourself

    Make friends at a South African trail-running session. CRAG (Cape Runners Against Gravity) organises a 90-minute trail run every Wednesday night at beautiful venues all over the Cape Peninsula.

    Find out more

Margaret Island, Budapest

With long bike tracks running along the Danube, plus tens of public swimming pools and nearby lakes to splash about in, Budapest is fitness bunny’s dream. For the most pleasant place to jog, visit the 5km rubber-coated running track at Margitsziget – an island in the centre of the Danube.

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Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Leave your hotel's stuffy gym behind and get active on this 3.5km trail that encircles Hong Kong's highest peak. Mainly flat, this path is best at sunrise or sunset, when the air is a little lighter and the city below is bathed in a golden glow.

Discover more things to see in Hong Kong >

MacRitchie Reservoir loop, Singapore

Jump on a bus from Orchard Road to MacRitchie Reservoir, where boardwalks and dirt paths come together to create one of the best urban escapes in Southeast Asia.

Circus Maximus, Rome

Bang in the centre of the city, the Circus Maximus used to be the site of chariot races and parades. Now, you can take a step back in time by using it as a running track. At 621m, with a springy, grassy surface, it's an atmospheric enough place to run laps. Be sure to go early, before the tourists arrive.

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Holyrood Park, Edinburgh

The site of Edinburgh's Bupa Great North Run, Holyrood Park is the perfect place to beat out a 5k amid craggy scenery and lush parkland. The route circles the park before looping around the cliff face of Arthur's Seat and past pretty Dunsapie Loch.

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