15. Lowestoft: Suffolk
Lowestoft has the distinction of being the most easterly town in the United Kingdom and the Parkrun here takes place on paths which allow great views across the North Sea. Runners will pass beach huts and Kensington Gardens before finishing in the gardens of the Royal Wellington Esplanade. The race is run on tarmac and gravel paths and despite uphill sections, is considered fast. There are a number of parking facilities available and the start line is close to Lowestoft station.
14. Fell Foot Park: Lake District National Park
Fell Foot parkrun takes place in the National Trust owned park of the same name. Lying in the Lake District national park, this run contains a mixture of grass, tarmac and gravel paths across the 5km course. Highlights include the views across meadows and the beautiful Lake Windemere. There is free parking and the venue is accessible from the A592.
Lake Windemere: Fell Foot Park
13. Dalby Forest: North Yorkshire
A great rural Parkrun location, this route takes participants through forests and over the Dalby Beck river with the backdrop of the beautiful Dalby Forest. The course features footpaths, roads, gravel tracks and is flat, with the exception of a few minor elevations. There is a discounted toll charge of £2 for runners wishing to drive and lots of parking spaces.
12. Dolegellau: Northern Wales
The Dolgellau Parkrun takes place on the Mawddach trail, an old railway line featured in our list of the top 15 railway walks in the UK. The course is set within Snowdonia National Park and you can take in some beautiful scenery as you run alongside the river Afon Mawddach. The paths are narrow here so runners with dogs and pushchairs aren’t able to take part.
11. Aviemore: Scotland
Aviemore Parkrun is set in the picturesque Cairngorms National Park and takes runners along the Speyside Way. Here you’ll run through a mixture of picturesque woodlands, forests and moorlands. A perfect location for enjoying the great outdoors, the race takes place solely on trail paths and has plenty of parking.
10. Osterley: London
Set with the backdrop of Osterley House, this course is set in the national trust Osterley Park. This run is a great place to escape from the city with views of meadows and farmland in one of the few remaining country estates in London. Car parking here is free when showing your barcode or alternatively, take the tube to Osterley station on the Picadilly line, which is a 10-15 minute walk away.
9. Brighton (Hove): East Sussex
Brighton is an hour from London on the train, so is the perfect Parkrun location for those living in the South East looking for a change of scenery on their Saturday morning jog. The run takes place on Brighton promenade and alongside fantastic views across the English Channel, runners are treated to sights of the pier, bandstand and the new 162 metre observation tower. The course is exposed to the elements so along with warm clothing being advisable, the run may sometimes be cancelled due to pebbles from the beach covering footpaths. The route itself is flat and tarmacked so if weather allows fast times are possible. The course can be reached from Hove (1 mile) and Brighton (1.5 miles) stations and arriving on public transport is advisable as parking in the center is difficult and expensive.
Brighton Pier Viewed From the Promenade
8. Parc Bryn Bach: South Wales
This course takes the form of two laps on a tarmac path around the lake at Bryn Bach Parc. This flat route is a great chance to run a personal best and the lake offers some of the best scenery available at any Parkrun location. There is plenty of free parking and the visitor centre has toilets and showers.
7. Lyme Park: Cheshire
Lyme Park is a challenging run where participants negotiate a variety of hills, loose ground and stony trails. Those who persevere are rewarded with fantastic panoramic views of Manchester, sightings of deer and the national trust house, which is the largest in Cheshire. Disley station is half a mile from the park and there is free parking.
6. Kingsbury Water Park: Warwickshire
Kingsbury Water Parkrun takes place in the picturesque Kingsbury water park. Runners start alongside the Echills Wood Minature railway and pass through wooded areas before completing a lap of Bodymoor Heath Water. This race is located just outside Birmingham, so is perfect for those looking to escape the city. Discounted parking is available for runners who show their barcode.
5. Edinburgh: Scotland
The run in Edinburgh follows the Silverknowes/ Cramond promenade and allows participants to run alongside the Firth of Forth. Together with spectacular natural scenery, participants can also enjoy views of the Forth road and rail bridges as they run on a largely flat and tarmac path. Due to being sited on the banks of the Firth of Forth, the course is completely exposed to the weather so runners are advised to dress appropriately. Limited free parking is available so it’s a good idea to arrive early.
4. Lanhydrock House: Cornwall
This route is within the National Trust grounds of Lanhydrock House, a late Victorian country house in 1000 acres of wooded parkland. Alongside the house, sights to look out for include fantastic views of the River Howey and South Park. The route does feature some hills. However, runners are taken downhill towards the finish to help with those tired legs! Parking is pay and display and you’ll run entirely on trail paths so appropriate shoes are advisable
3. Bushy Park: South London
Bushy park held the first ever Parkrun in 2004 when there were just 13 runners. It is now one of the most popular in the country, regularly receiving around 800 entrants a week. The course is fast, flat and passes through the scenery of the beautiful Bushy Park, the second largest royal park in London. The area was originally established as a hunting ground by Henry VIII and deer can still be seen to this day.
2. York: North Yorkshire
York Parkrun is a unique race which follows the tarmac service road on the inside of York Racecourse. This relatively flat route has no tight turns and coupled with the tarmac surface, it’s a great place to run a quick time. The course record here is held by Olympic Triathlon medallist Johnathon Brownlee with a time of 14:43.00 The course is located a 15 minute walk from York station.
1. Portrush: Northern Ireland
The first Parkrun to take place exclusively on sand in the world, Portrush offers a unique opportunity to complete the 5 kilometres with the backdrop of waves crashing against the shore and a fresh sea breeze. Although this may not be the place for a fast time, it is likely to be one of the most relaxing courses in the country. The venue is less than 10 minutes from Portrush station.
Enjoy A Run At The Beach!