top of page

A 14km Running Tour of the London Design Festival

Saturday was the beginning of the London Design Festival (15th to 23rd September 2018)- a celebration of our capital's creativity! If you're in central London, you may well see 4 highly anticipated Landmark Projects unveiled alongside a number of temporary installations - public art for all to enjoy!

What's more, the V&A will fill up with a huge range of design installations, whilst workshops and events take place all over the city throughout the week.

But why leave bumping into them to chance? Why not run between all the action? Exercise and culture - I'm sure by now you'll have to agree that it's a win-win!

With this in mind, I've put together a 14km running tour that links up the highlights of London Design Festival 2018 for you to enjoy this week.

This is self-guided, so you can just follow the map and see my commentary below at a time that suits you. You could choose to complete it as one epic adventure or break it up into a few runs.

Start off at Finsbury Avenue Square, right next to Liverpool Street station, also very near to Moorgate, and enjoy your first Landmark Project 'Alphabet' by Kellenberger-White and British Land. 26 colourful alphabet chairs, that you can move around and play with. What a start!

Now, time to work up a sweat over the 2.8km run to Lincoln's Inn Fields.

Discover the architectural 'characters' inhabiting Sir John Soane's Museum in a new project by Studio Mutt. This museum was the home of distinguished 19th century architect Sir John Soane - by his request, the house has been left untouched since his death. This temporary installation by architecture studio MUTT is inside the museum and promises to make a visit there extra special. Entrance is free, but this is only open between 10am-5pm Wednesday (19th Sept) to Sunday (23rd Sept) so if you're running this in the weekday evenings, I'm afraid you'll have to jog on past it ready for the next exhibit.

Just 1.6km until your next've got this.

Right up my street - An exhibition by Heal's Building in collaboration with creative agency mcgarrybowen that explores the spaces that inspire some of London's most pioneering women to create. This is open 10am-7pm today, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, 10am-6pm this Weds (19th) and 10am-9pm on Thursday.

Just a short trot to an absolute highlight!

This is the Landmark Project that I'm most excited about seeing - this collaboration between Es Devlin and Google Arts Culture looks incredible. The architect of the the lion statues at the base of Trafalgar Square never intended for them to look so passive. But Queen Victoria found the original designs with an animated stance too shocking.

So today a fifth fluorescent red lion is joining the pride!! The public are invited to "feed the lion" with words submitted online. Those words will then appear in the lion's mouth and on the column at night. CAN.NOT.WAIT.

Another short jaunt until another culture stop...

Your third Landmark Project - venture up to the first floor of Fortnum & Mason and immerse yourself in a daily tea ritual. This intriguing installation includes performances at 11am, 1:30pm, 4pm and 6:30pm. A great motivation to pick up the pace en route to make the next performance.

It's a 2.8km trek to your next exhibit, but it WILL be worth it.

The final Landmark Project of your tour today - an interactive maze-like installation in the the Sackler Courtyard of the V&A. I was lucky enough to have a trot through it on my private tour with Victoria on Saturday morning.


This installation by Waugh Thistleton Architects was designed to confront two big challenges of our time: the need for housing, and the urgency to fight climate change. Of course, whilst you're here you could check out all the other exhibits inside the V&A - it's all free and open 10am-5:45pm daily, with a late opening until 10pm on Fridays.

Now it's another longer run - 2.9km until the finale in Paddington. Once you get to Point G, everything is very close together, as Paddington celebrates its first year on the Design Trail of the festival.

Along the canal side of the square, you'll see an enormous pop-up book. Pretend you're a character inside it and immerse yourself. This is open 24 hours a day.

This looks fabulous! A 24-hour exhibit by architectural and design firm Snohetta - visitors can step inside an oversized collection of books that flip to create a variety of spaces. Interaction is encouraged - hurrah!

If you're there between 8am and 7pm, you can also go inside 2 Kingdom Street for an installation on The Future of Lobby Spaces and then along to 4 Kingdom Street and enjoy the Residential Build of the Future both by Royal College of Art.

These barges, designed by the 'godfather of British pop art, Sir Peter Blake, double up as works of art!

Look out for the giant light cubes under Bishop's Bridge - uncovering how emerging technology will affect retail spaces.

Hope you've enjoyed the adventure - would love to know how you found it! Tag us on Insta (@secretlondonruns) or email in your pics to if you make it round. Maybe see you in Trafalgar Square soon, where I'm planning to camp out next to the red lion for the rest of the week!

186 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page