So that’s it, it’s with tears in my eyes and a knot in my stomach that I leave beautiful and exciting London behind to go back to my little Swiss “city” lost somewhere along a lake in the mountains. My time in London has been unreal. I found a job in a raw vegan cafe (first time actually working in something health/fitness related), met a ton of people from all over the world, spent quality time living with my best friend Chloe (who housed me so generously) and spent as much time as I could out and about discovering the city. I was thinking about doing a “living the fit life in London” post like I had done for Barcelona, but realized that I’ve only been in London 6 weeks so I’m not really in a position to preach on London living. I therefore cut it down a bit, and took all my favourite things of this beautiful and magical city, and made a little “living a fit day in London” guide. Whether you’re coming to London for a semester, for summer holidays or just for a long weekend, follow this 24-hour guide to guarantee yourself a fun and fit day in the city.
TIME TO GET THE DAY STARTED (yes you’re getting up early)
7:00 am – Run in Hyde Park
Rise and shine, it’s time to get up and take advantage of the morning calm that tends to be pretty rare in this bustling city. Starting 8/9am it’s Go Time for all the busy business men in terribly fitted suits to run and catch the tube last minute, so get out early, and beat the crowd. Head off to Hyde Park, one of London’s biggest parks, with a large interior lake and lots of running and bike paths. I’ve been doing my marathon training here, usually leaving from Westminster, going through St. James Park, then Green Park and onto Hyde Park. Hyde Park can sometimes be tricky however (I literally get lost every single time I go) but since the average person tends to be less directionally challenged than I am, you should be fine. There are maps at every crossing, so it gives a nice excuse to catch your breath as well. There are also little dirt paths in the park (they’re pretty narrow and look like they’ve just been made from some guy riding his bike in the same place repeatedly) but they do make for a softer landing surfase, your knees will thank you.
9:00 am – Borough Market
After a kicking off the day with a killer run in one of the city’s most beautiful parks, head off to Borough Market, foodie heaven. Being one of London’s oldest and largest markets, it offers tons of fresh local produce, with bakeries, specialty product shops, spice stalls, ready-to-go food stands proposing Indian, Middle Eastern, Spanish meals, boxed right in front of you. Stroll the path that makes you go in circles all over the market, stop for a coffee or pick up some fresh fruit to refuel after your morning workout. There are also lots of healthy vegetarian/vegan pre-prepared food stands such as the “Free From Bakehouse” (their banana chocolate-chip bread is absolute bomb), and Mini Magoo’s organic nuts, seeds and granolas.
12: 00 pm – Camden Lock Market
The Camden Market has a way different feel than Borough Market. If you haven’t already, check out my full blog post about Camden Market HERE. The crates of organic apples, local berries and every type of mushroom ever is replaced by seemingly homemade food stands and walls covered in street art. Stroll the whole market, with it’s hip cafes and alternative thrift stores where you can find literally anything and everything.
Once you’ve checked out all the stalls, take your pick for lunch (I know, can I have like four lunches cuz how am I supposed to pick one?!). The mexican stall (vegetarian/vegan burritos are available) is delish and so is the falafel stand, but there are a ton of others to chose from. For dessert though, make sure you pass by Cookies and Scream because the desserts there are INSANE (NO, THE CAPS ARE NOT AN EXAGERATION, THIS IS REAL) (sorry I didn’t mean to frighten). But for cereal you. must. go. there.
3:00 pm – Walk the lock
After having eaten a nice and hefty meal, you’re probably stuffed. So time to walk it off! The Camden Market is right on the Camden Lock, where little house boats are docked along the cute pathway that sides the mini river. Enjoy a nice long walk from the market all the way to Regent’s Park. On the way you will also find yourself walking along the back end of the London zoo where all the terrified animals are hiding in the back of their enclosed gardens, so as your strolling the path there is only a flimsy looking fence separating you and a hyena (I pray for you all that the fence is sturdy).
7:30pm – Dinner at Wild Foods
So you’ve spent all day walking and eating, so now you’ve (hopefully) showered and gotten ready to eat more because yay, it’s meal time again. For dinner, make your way to Wild Food Cafe on Neal Yard. The area is amazing, and in the evening it’s always full of people, classic Brits standing outside pubs with their beer etc. But you’re gonna walk right by them (okay fine you can have a pint before if you want) and head to the blue door because a delicious and healthy meal awaits you. The ambiance in Wild Foods is great; big common tables full of people chatting, sipping on wine, the open windows look down to Neal’s Yard Place, not to mention big portions of amazing healthy food. There’s no better way to end the day.
9:30 pm – ???
The rest of the night is up to you. If you’re ready to fall into a food comma after eating a few too many amazing raw cakes then it’s sleepy time. If the cakes were just enough to give you a little energy boost, there are many bars in the area, notably rooftop bars such as Vista and Aqua. Enjoy the night and let London take you where it may. I swear this city has a mind of it’s own, you never know where you’ll end up (but be safe kids and don’t accept candy from strangers).