Running in the park at Night

When I run in the evenings I most run around the perimeter of the park on the roads. However I have seen people running in the park in the dark as well as people playing tennis? Does anyone do this? How safe is it?


  • edited January 10
    Common sense suggests it’s not safe at all; no lighting and no (regular) policing. I imagine it’s very convenient for muggers, rapists and drug dealers (and some of these may go about in gangs, so there’s no safety in being with just a tennis partner), and rather risky for (even pairs of) joggers and doggers. Criminals no doubt feel all the more secure and emboldened by the unlimited escape routes and hiding places.
  • This worrying incident happened last year -

    Otherwise there's not been anything major reported in the news in 2020 to my knowledge.

    It's probably common sense to not go there at night, but that being said I have done so myself a few times as a short cut and had no issues.

    I thought Haringey Council was going to install more lighting and some CCTV?
  • I've ran in the park for years in all seasons and lights, the gangs always seem to be at the SSR entrance near Lidl but seem to ignore joggers.

    I had three guys try to stop me by the bridge as I was exiting once, I could see what was about to happen so was really not about to stop, I also had the engine to get a move on but it did strike me that had that been on the way in to the park i would have had a long way to leg it.

    I also told a couple in Oxford Road not to go in via the bridge but they didn't listen.

    Unfortunately I think it's a numbers game if you run regularly, add in some multipliers like the fact that I am probably not the easiest target and also do not strap a £500 phone to my arm then maybe my odds are favourable.

    Equally if there are 30 people in the park in winter and 200 people in summer when are the odds of getting mugged worse?
  • Anyone able to provide a risk assessment of Parkland Walk after dark?
  • Ok I think I might stick to the pavement at night . It is difficult to socially distance on narrow pavements but not sure much else I can do
  • @Patso probably also not a good idea - not least because it's unlit with an unmade surface. It's also the local crime superhighway.
  • edited January 11
    Running on Parkland Walk in the dark has an 80% chance of a twisted ankle and a 130% chance of meeting people that look like the love child of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and a bin man and think nothing of brewing wine in toilet bowls.
  • Hehe, ive cycled there at night and it's fine if you're moving relatively quickly - but extremely dark - not recommended for running I think.
  • Yes, I suppose the visibly fitter (in the dark) or faster-moving of us can feel safe in that any supposed malefactors in the Park are likely to make rational, intelligent decisions in choosing their victims, especially if they’re desperate for some drug money or already mentally impaired. There's probably a City and Guilds in thuggery that they have to pass before they're qualified to offend. Side-swiping a passing cyclist or poking a stout stick through his spokes is probably against their code of conduct. Not that some might be averse to using classic tactics when it’s a case two or three onto one.

    As for the Parkland Walk after dark, that’s probably an even more attractive proposition, with many places to suddenly appear from at close quarters, and then to disappear just as quickly. In fact, for many years (going back to when it was just a disused railway) it’s been an escape route for muggers operating on the streets near the bridges over Tollington Park, Stapleton Hall Road, Mount Pleasant Villas, and the passage from Florence Road.

    Still, each to his/her own level of risk with which he/she feels comfortable.

    @HolbornFox, apart from the crappy service we get from Veolia in Haringey (I don’t know who Islington use), what have you got against bin men?
  • I was wondering whether from the muggers point of view there is enough foot fall in either place to make worth their while as a business for all the reasons mentioined above.
  • That’s an interesting point, Ali. Obviously, if it’s perceived that virtually no one is going there, then it’s absolutely safe, as there’s no point going a-mugging there, and it becomes less the case as you start raising the number (it becomes a more viable proposition for, e.g., mugging), but then if you increase the numbers enough, it (probably) becomes safer. Still, not a theory I’d care to test directly.
  • @Ali I think it's opportunistic rather than an evening plan, as it were. Crims hang out there and if they see someone vulnerable, they'll shift their attention to mugging.

    On a lighter running note - down stroud green road and towards clissold park isn't that far, you can then run loops of clissold in the streetlights and head back uphill to stroud green. Quite a nice route.
  • Exactly that with muggers, it's generally just something to do as opposed to a way of earning money (and selling Class A is much more lucrative).

    My old man wasn't a Dustman @Scruffy but I've got nothing against them, in fact now we have left the EU can they finally start throwing your rubbish down the street again if you don't give them a tip at Christmas?
  • edited January 12
    A great Saturday morning running route is to start at the bottom of Parkland Walk and run all the way up via PW North to Ally Pally (uphill all the way).

    Do the first short loop of Ally Pally and run all the way back down, through the park and onto New River Path.

    Then down through the reservoirs to Clissold Park.

    Loop Clissold Park and come back up the beginning of Parkland Walk.

    There's facilities all along and optional loops in Highgate Woods.
  • thats a great route. how far is that? you cant run round the reservoirs now. they stopped it during the first lockdown!
  • I didn't even know they were shut, I don't actually understand why they are not open 24 hours anyway to be honest.

    The run is probably about 13 or 14 miles if you do it without looping through the parks, I wanted to do 20 miles when I was doing it (marathon training) so looped every park.

    It's fantastic as it's bloody hard going at first but you get great views as well as a good recovery period back down the hills and the second half is flat(ish), you also don't have to carry water.
  • Had a walk up Parkland Walk this afternoon. At our end the under growth has been bashed to bits the path is at least twice the width of what used to be. There is also loads of granite chips I guess to manage erosion. There is certainly less places for a mugger to pounce out from. One downside is that is now much easier to get to the back of houses bordering the walk do watch out for more burglaries
  • I once walked all the way down Parkland Walk after dark very late at night from Highgate. (After a few drinks at the Boogaloo.) It was very hairy. We didn't meet anybody. Two takeaways: it really is very, very dark indeed, with no ambient light, you feel totally detached from the city. And the most difficult part was getting off down the steps in pitch dark even with a handrail - I fell on my arse a few times and got home looking like a mudlark. Won't be doing it again for a while.
  • I also walked home from the Boogaloo at night, after a skinful, and it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life.
  • edited January 13
    The lesson seems to be that going to the Boogaloo leads to bad life decisions.
  • edited January 13
    I saw a great band in the Boogaloo one night called The Oddsocks Revival, they were that good that I actually travelled to Ireland to see them play a couple of months later.
  • #therattle I havent been to the Boogaloo since. Does it even still exist?
  • I used to cycle on the PW to work in the dark. There were regular runners everyday. Albeit the morning is probably safer.
  • @krappy, I believe so. I hope so. I have been a couple of times and really enjoyed it.
  • It's definitely still open (pre pandemic), the garden has been snazzed up and they even have a radio station.
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