London is welcoming the European Society of Cardiology’s five day congress with the launch of a new Heart Trail to promote greater public awareness of heart health

Taking place at ExCel London from 29 August to 2 September, ESC Congress 2015 will bring 35,000 cardiology researchers and clinicians to the capital. The new free Heart Trail has been developed to coincide with the event by VisitLondon.com with the British Heart Foundation, King’s Health Partners and ExCel to encourage more physical activity and an increased understanding of healthy living.

Taking in a route along the South Bank from the London Eye to Tower Bridge, the Trail gives participants the chance to win prizes by completing interactive challenges, deciphering clues and answering questions about heart health. It can be followed using the London Heart Trail App or by picking up a map, available online or from heart-shaped trees that will be dotted along the route.

The Trail has been officially launched today (21 August) by the cast of the musical Annie Jr, which is currently playing in London.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “It’s an honour to welcome thousands of international cardiology experts to London. The focus of the medical world will once more be on our great city as a leader in science, education and medical innovation, making it the perfect opportunity to also get Londoners and visitors thinking about the simple steps they can take to look after their health. Walking is one of the best – and healthiest – ways to explore the capital and the London Heart Trail App will signpost some of our greatest attractions, whilst learning about our own health and wellbeing at the same time.”

Tristam Jones, Head of Mass Participation at the British Heart Foundation, added: “We’re delighted to be chosen as the charity partner for the London Heart Trail. Heart disease is heartless, and can affect anyone at any age. That’s why we’re pioneering innovative research to help change the way we prevent and treat these devastating conditions which blight the lives of over 7 million people across the UK. By taking part in the London Heart Trail, and donating to the BHF, you can help us fund new life saving discoveries and continue our fight for every heartbeat.”

Professor John Moxham, Director of Clinical Strategy at King’s Health Partners, said: “It is important that we do all we can to improve the public health of Londoners and promote healthy lifestyle choices. Regular exercise is good for both your physical and mental health, and this is a great opportunity for people to learn about a healthy heart in a fun and interesting way.”

Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners, London’s official promotional company, which led bid to secure the ESC congress for London, said: “London is the destination of choice for a great variety of people, from business travellers to families on their annual holiday. It is fantastic that in London we are able to make the best of both worlds – drawing in investment while promoting a healthy lifestyle for future generations of Londoners and visitors to our city.”

The London Heart Trail will run until 3 September. To find out more and download a map or app go to: www.visitlondon.com/heart.