The National Trust was founded in 1895 with the aim of caring for historic properties and areas of beautiful countryside across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Today, the National Trust cares for more than 500 historic houses, castles, ancient monuments gardens, parks, nature reserves and coastlines… and they are home to 30 parkruns and junior parkruns every Saturday and Sunday morning!
We take a closer look at five events that all offer something a little different, wherever you are…
1. Cotsford Fields parkrun, North East
We begin our National Trust parkrun tour at Cotsford Fields parkrun in County Durham, on the cliffs overlooking the North Sea.
The area is part of a larger project to restore rich meadows and grasslands along a five-mile stretch of the Durham coast, and the parkrun itself is just under a year old, having celebrated their inaugural event in June 2018.
The event is nestled in amongst the scenery and welcomes around 45 people each week. More than 1,000 different parkrunners have experienced the jaw-dropping views that Cotsford Fields has to offer as you make your way around the off-road two-lapper.
And it’s not just locals and tourists who can be found walking, jogging and running their way along the course – some of the residents also like to join in on the action too!
2. Erddig parkrun, Wrexham
From one hidden gem to another, this time on the edges of the Welsh town of Wrexham, Erddig parkrun is an event that offers a little bit of everything.
The parkrun takes place at the Erddig National Trust property, set within the 1,200-acre landscape park where wildlife roam and the river flows.
Whilst the 400-year-old stately home has plenty of history and stories to tell, Erddig parkrun is not quite so old, having launched in May 2016. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be short of things to talk about after your 5k!
Starting and finishing outside the Erddig house, the single-lap course features woodland trails, mud, long sweeping downhills, a stone bridge, all culminating in a steep uphill climb that will have you yearning for the finish line!
Almost 7,000 different people have taken on the “Welsh flat” course, and with an on-site cafe and ample parking, Erddig parkrun is always a morning well-spent.
3. Fell Foot parkrun, Cumbria
The next National Trust destination on our list is found in the stunning Lake District, in the lakeshore Fell Foot Park.
Situated at the very southern tip of Lake Windermere, Fell Foot parkrun encompasses everything you would expect from a trip to The Lakes; views of the water, dramatic mountain backdrops, and of course… hills!
Unsurprisingly, the Fell Foot parkrun course is “undulating” and consists of a figure of 8 route around a meadow, but your reward for mastering the cross country style course is a final stretch along the shore, offering stunning views of Lake Windermere.
The event is hugely popular with tourists visiting the Lake District and has welcomed more than 12,000 different parkrunners in less than five years. Once your barcode has been scanned at Fell Foot, you can enjoy a post-parkrun coffee down by the lake and plan the rest of your adventures!
4. Lanhydrock parkrun, Cornwall
The fourth stop on our National Trust parkrun tour takes us to Cornwall in the south west of England, to a dramatic parkrun location that will live long in the memory.
Lanhydrock parkrun takes place at Lanhydrock, a late Victorian country house with garden and wooded estate. The parkrun was long notorious for being the most undulating parkrun in the UK, until that title was taken by Whinlatter parkrun in the Lake District.
However, this rollercoaster course will still leave you feeling ecstatic to see the finish line!
The single-lapper starts from the top of a hill, which is a fitting sign of things to come! Your 5k does at least start by travelling downhill, taking in some picturesque views of South Park and the River Fowey.
The middle section, well, we will leave that to your imagination, but you do get the added bonus of finishing with a downhill sprint, fuelled by adrenaline, or maybe just sheer relief!
There’s plenty on offer at Landydrock to make a day of it, from discovering Victorian life, to strolling around the extensive gardens and year-round colour. For those who are still full of energy, there are also off-road cycle trails, with bike hire available.
5. Osterley parkrun, London
Our final stop takes us to west London, where nestled between the hustle and bustle of urban Hounslow is a hidden gem of a parkrun.
Osterley parkrun takes place every Saturday morning in Osterley Park, a Georgian country estate, and one of the last surviving country estates in London, having been created in the late 18th century.
Osterley parkrun welcomes around 300 people each week, and the course itself is now a flat, two-lapper, starting and finishing in front of the main house, walking, jogging and running along firm trail paths, making it an ideal destination all-year-round.
To round-off your parkrun experience, the on-site Stables cafe opens at 9:30am, just in time for the all-important post-parkrun coffee! You can then celebrate your parkrun PB* (not guaranteed sadly!) with a walk around the lake, or a tour of the house.
Despite the idyllic surroundings, Osterley parkrun is one of the most accessible parkrun locations, handily located for the London Underground (Osterley station via the Picadilly Line), plus National Rail, motorways, and Heathrow airport.
And for those looking to make a weekend of Osterley parkrun adventures… there is also a junior parkrun in the Park on Sundays!
parkrunner Anna Law has seen the importance of research into dementia for herself. Her grandfather died from dementia 15 years ago, and more recently her mother has developed Alzheimer’s disease. Here she explains why she’s supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK not only through running, but also with a gift in her Will: My family…
On Saturday 12 October the Ugandan Crew celebrated Ugandan Independence Day with a very special parkrun at Burgess park, South London. Josephine Ocaka from the Ugandan Crew tells us all about the morning of cultural and community unison. Every Saturday we count ourselves very lucky to be part of the amazing parkrun family at…