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Three ways to get a free workout in north London

Melissa Power

There are a few things that really stand out about north London. It has really good beer gardens – The Flask, the Edinboro Castle and The Faltering Fullback among them. And north London has hills. Many steep hills. Here are three ways to exercise for free in a short space of time, so you can get back to the beer garden.

Hill sprints 

I asked my north London Facebook fam what they thought was the absolute worst hill to run up. It’s been over a week now and the debate is still raging strong, but the results are in: Highgate West Hill won. This monster is approximately two miles long and will make you feel angry, elated, depressed, euphoric and very nauseous. Running up it is so tough it will make even your fingernails and eyelashes hurt. It is that amazing. Get from the bottom to the top in whatever way you can – jog, sprint, walk quickly, crawl if need be and earn yourself a gin and slim at The Flask, which is usefully positioned at the HWH summit.

Step jumping at Alexandra Palace

The last time you jumped up and down for a considerable amount of time was either a) as a toddler or b) at the Dome in Tufnell Park in the late '90s when Weezer came on. Well, my friend, it’s time to put on some House of Pain and... well, you know the rest. Jumping pretty much burns more calories than all other aerobic activity so head to Alexandra Palace where there are various sets of 26 steps.

Get from the bottom to the top by hopping, sprinting or jumping. As long as you are airborne you are on your way to the best bottom in the whole of north London. Happily hop away for as long as you can then head to the Faltering Fullback for a refreshing cosmo – which has less than 100 calories!


A photo posted by Muswell Hill ❤️ (@muswell.hill) on

Cycling up Muswell Hill 

A few months ago I taught a spin class in Marylebone and then cycled up Muswell Hill to see a friend and her newborn baby. Once there I ignored the baby (and the friend) and instead demolished an entire chicken. That’s what happens when you cycle up Muswell Hill. Grab a bike and head to the Victoria Stakes pub. Once there (no, don’t go inside) simply cycle up the hill as quickly as you can, only standing up when you absolutely have to. Do this a few times and then celebrate with a vodka, lime and soda or another lo-cal drink.

Enjoy a breath of fresh air with the best outdoor exercise classes in London

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