Updated: Apr 18
That’s the only possible way to describe London when it’s covered in a blanket of fresh, white snow.
As a southern Californian, I love everything about the snow. As much as Brits like to grumble about the imminent train delays, I couldn’t care less! All my life, I’ve had to drive to find snow, so the idea of waking up to an unspoiled blanket of it enchants me.
So this morning, when I eagerly flung back my curtains at 6:30 am to see if the “beast from the east,” a spell of freezing winds from Siberia, had delivered a thick layer of snow as promised, you can understand why my only reaction was to hop into my running shoes!
I was like a child at Christmas, excitedly bounding out of the building for my run to some confused looks from the security guards. I’m sure they thought I was crazy!
But I was on my way to Tower Bridge as fast as my feet could carry me, the snow crunching oh-so-satisfyingly underfoot. I just wanted to get there before everyone else woke up, in order to have the magical atmosphere as much to myself as possible – and of course, to take as many photos as I could!
The first stop was the backside of Tower Bridge, and then a quick dash around to the front. At this time of the day, really the only people out and about were runners and photographers, but everyone had identical looks of awe and happiness on their faces.
It was a joyous run. Even though I was stopping every few minutes to take a photo, I have never been so grateful to be freezing cold! It was incredible to be out so early and to see the sun rise over London’s famous landmarks, capped with snow. I don’t know if I will ever be so lucky again in my lifetime.
By the time I got to Westminster Bridge, I knew it was almost time to take the tube back home to get ready for work – especially as I had managed to run my phone battery down to 5%! I decided that my indication to go home would be when it finally died, because there was no way I was ready to stop the adventure quite yet.
A quick pit stop at Westminster Abbey, the snow in front of it gloriously untouched, and then what should have been a quick dash through St. James’s Park. It was there that I unfortunately was introduced firsthand to one of the dangers of winter running – snow-covered holes! I went flying, to some very unimpressed glances from those passing by (sadly, no one bothered to say anything!) and managed to skin my elbow through two layers of shirts, which was quite an accomplishment. So with two bruised knees, a bloody elbow and a damaged ego, I hobbled off to visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace and the tree-lined alleys of Green Park.
After arriving back home, I was seriously not ready to go to work! I was desperate to see more of London covered in white, so I texted my boss to see if she would allow me the morning off. Kind-hearted soul that she is (and probably knowing full-well my intense obsession with snow) agreed, so I scarfed down breakfast in record time to dash off to my local park, Southwark.
A sunny Southwark Park
In what some people might deem slightly crazy, I then grabbed the tube to Regents Park and managed to arrive in the middle of the snowstorm. There was barely anyone in the park, so it was like I had it almost entirely to myself. I walked and walked until my toes went completely numb and I was coated in snow – I was so happy it didn’t even matter. At some point though, I realized I couldn’t feel my hands so I hustled back to the café and cuddled up with a coffee, watching the storm rage on.
Regent’s Park in a snowstorm – the only soul around
I’m not lying when I say this was one of the best days of my life! I practically had London all to myself and got to see it in a way that most people only dream of. It was totally worth the injuries, frozen extremities, and looks of incomprehension in order to document my favorite city, all dressed up in white.
A message I left on the Southbank during my run
A few more photos from the day, just because they are too stunning not to share:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Natascha abandoned sunny California for London in October 2016 and has been a proud member of City Runners ever since. She loves a good 10K, but enjoys signing up for marathons so she can eat whatever she wants. Therefore, she is very much looking forward to running the Berlin Marathon this year (and hopefully snagging a new PB along the way!).