Route: Windsor to Buckingham - the Royal FKT (UK)

Location
United Kingdom
Description

This history-studded route runs from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace, and was created by Scott Jenkins.  He describes it as follows:

The UK has so much history and i felt that it would be cool to do a run between two iconic landmarks with such historical significance so hence The Royal FKT was born.
The premise of the route is fairly straight forward, a 42.63 Mile run from Windsor Castle, Berkshire, UK to Buckingham Palace, London.
The route starts at the gates to Windsor Castle (The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England and since the time of Henry I has been the longest occupied castle in Europe).
From the Castle gates, the route heads to the right along the B3022 and Thames Street where it joins the Thames Path Footpath at Windsor and Eton Riverside. From here the route heads along the footpath to the the bridge at King Edward VII Avenue, a quick crossing of the bridge has you on the the opposite side of the river rejoining the Thames path heading East. At this point turn your head to the right and you will have magnificent views of Windsor Castle and St Georges Chapel peeking through too.
The route then follows the Thames Path through Datchet eventually arriving at the bridge on Southlea Road, a quick crossing of the bridge has you back on the south bank on the river and a straight shot down the river through Old Windsor before arriving in Runnymede. 
Runnymede is famous for it's signing of the Magna Carta. on the 15th June 1215! The Magna Carta is often described as one the most important documents in history as it established the principle that everyone is subject to the law, even the king!
From Runnymede the route follows along the south bank before transferring across to the North bank at the Staines Road bridge. 
Once on the North side again you continue along the Thames path down and under the M3 Motorway past the Thames Court Pub eventually arriving at a left hand turn where the path leaves the banks of the Thames and nips through the small hamlet of Shepperton, turning right on the B375 and past The Red Lion Pub. Take another right onto Walton Lane eventually arriving at Walton Bridge, crossing over to join the south bank of the Thames.
From here the path starts heading North East towards Hampton Court. You will arrive at Hampton Court Bridge (note there are toilets and running water just before the bridge, along with shops should you require refreshments) and have to switch sides back to the North Bank, which is great news as you get to run right past the front door of Hampton Court Palace (This palace was first built in 1515 and one of only two surviving palaces owned by Henry VII) at the 21 Mile Mark..Nearly half way! 
Continuing on along the North bank you will run alongside people out rowing up and down the river and people enjoying being out on their boats. Eventually the river with curve again and you will have to cross back to the south side via the Kingston Road Bridge, take a left at the bottom of the stairs and head North towards Teddington Lock (first built in 1810). As i continued North i ran past the Ham Nature reserve on my right and the river on my left, nice stretch of river in my opinion. Eventually the river curves and the hustle and bustle of Richmond Upon Thames (first established 1501) comes into view at 28.47 miles, you know you are coming into London now as foot traffic starts to increase on the Path. 
I quickly nipped into a cafe under the arches of Richmond Bridge to buy water and grab a coke before continuing on north and east towards Kew Bridge. As you approach Kew bridge you will have been running right next to the world famous Kew gardens which is a botanical garden that houses the largest and most diverse botanical collections in the world, founded in 1840.
Passing under Kew bridge the path continues on the south bank up towards Chiswick Road Bridge, again you pass underneath. This is where thing started to get rather busy and perhaps choosing to do the run on the day before the Oxford V Cambridge Boat Race was an oversight. All manner of rowers, TV crews and pedestrians began to make running 'challenging as i had to slalom my way through groups of people. 
Known as The Boat Race the annual Oxford v Cambridge Rowing race is a huge event between the two leading universities of the UK and was established in 1829. The race runs the length of the 4.2 mile section from Chiswick bridge all the way to Putney Bridge, passing under Hammersmith Bridge around 1.2 miles from Putney. I followed this route on the path south bank all the way to Putney Bridge at 37.48 miles, crossing straight over at Putney Bridge and following the path through Wandsworth Park still on the south bank. From there you can see The Shard building off in the distance to the right.
The next section was my least favourite as the path cuts in and around all manner of new apartment developments and industrial buildings, welcome to the city! Eventually i passed over the Battersea bridge and spotted my final river crossing to the north side of the river - The Albert Road Bridge.
I like Albert Road Bridge, its just a cool design and looks unique compared to the other river bridges, it crosses the river to the south of Chelsea, turning right i ran along the sidewalk next to Chelsea Embankment Gardens.
I then took a left onto the B302 (Royal Hospital Road) and past Gordon Ramsay's restaurant on the right hand side, no time to stop for steak! 
Next you pass by the National Army Museum which houses British Army History from the 1600's to modern day and then onwards past The Royal Hospital Chelsea which is a retirement and nursing home for over 300 veterans of the British Army often known as Chelsea Pensioners.
I followed the road north east past the statue of Mozart (he lived near there with his family for a short time and actually composed his first symphony in 1764 at the house.)
Turning left onto Buckingham Palace Road, you can really smell the finish now, all that lies between you and The Palace is a very busy mile of running, multiple road crossings and hoards of tourists moving in every direction. I gunned it as quick as i could weaving my way through the throngs, showing remarkable sidestepping ability for a man running into his 42 mile of the day, eventually i could the queens gallery and knew the finish was in sight, continuing past the gallery i took a left onto the short spur road and could see the side gates. 
Again i dodged past people and sprinted for the main palace gate in the middle. I touched the gate in a final time of 8 hours 5 minutes and 32 seconds to cover 42.63 Miles, the first completion of The Royal FKT.
In summary the run was great fun and past so many historical sights as to make it completely unique, i encourage people to go and enjoying running through history.

Comments

Well done! Excellent running and really well researched description. Looks like a great route!