For years I’ve run along the Thames Towpath between Putney and Hammersmith Bridge and I’ve never paid too much attention to little Beverly Brook that is about half way between the two bridges.

Yesterday, I decided to pack my bag, turn left and see how long I could follow the Brook. I was to find out later that the sign at the trail head belied the simplicity of following the stream, so poorly signposted was it.

Following the Beverly Brook Trail. Easier said than done

The beginning was easy enough, following the trail by the stream up to a little bridge. Once on the other side, I was in Barnes Common, with its many criss crossing trails and paths. I picked one that I hoped would take me back to the stream.

It didn’t.

Instead, I spotted a couple of tents playing host to a motley bunch of friendly looking people. I jogged over to realise I had stumbled upon one of Salomon’s City Trail events, where you can test run some of Salomon’s trail running shoes.

I temporarily traded my trusty Noosa 8s for a pair of the ridiculously light Sense Mantra , handed in my ID as collateral and headed off on the 4k loop. The Sense Mantra were wonderfully light, the inner sock-style lining fitting snugly around my foot and keeping my heel firmly in place. In the front of the shoe, my front foot and toes had ample space to spread and absorb the impact.

Some shots from the Salomon City Trail event in Barnes Common

It’d rained the last few days so there were a few muddy bits, but I never felt like I was going to lose control. The Sense Mantra gripped with every step, regardless of what was underneath. Dirt, leaves, asphalt; it made no difference. The ride was soft (but not spongy) and I was in control.

I do love my Noosa 8s as an all-surface, middle-distance running shoe (plus it frickin glows in the dark!), but the Salomon Sense Mantra‘d definitely make an excellent choice if you’re looking for a light trail-running shoe.

After returning to return my shoes and pick up my ID, I was also given some great Salomon freebies: a pair of trail running socks, and a multi-purpose headband/bandana thingy each from Salomon and Suunto.

The idea behind Salomon’s City Trail really appeals to me. Running is my favourite way of exploring a city and as they say in the video: “It’s that sense of adventure. All you need is a pair of shoes and a little curiosity.” If there’s parks, trails or hills – I see that a bonus.

I started off in search for the Brook again, but it seemed to always be inaccessible and hidden behind high fences and underneath roads. When I finally saw a sign for Barnes Bridge I decided to head that way and loop back via the trusty Thames Towpath.

Still, pretty awesome for finally turning left after night on six years of running past Beverly Brook.

Beverly Brook, Barnes Common, Barnes Bridge
Beverly Brook to Barnes Bridge via Barnes Common and then back via the Thames Towpath