The popularity of running has increased massively over the past few decades, you only need to look at the increasing number of applications for races such as the London Marathon to see that. It is an easy (ish!) and cheap activity to take part in and is a great way to keep fit and healthy. But more and more of us are expanding our horizons and taking on more adventurous running, veering away from roads and pavements and across fields, moors, and mountains, too.
Welcome to trail running. A type of adventure which combines running with hiking and you don’t need to be an avid or expert runner to have a go. So, grab yourself a good pair of running shoes and try them out on of these routes:
Coed-y-Brenin, Snowdonia (Wales)
Set in southern Snowdonia, home to many of Wales’ stunning mountains, Coed-y-Brenin forest is the perfect place for trail running and even has the UK’s first trail running centre. The forest is 9000 acres and there are miles of trails for you to try out and enjoy, from just 2.7 miles to even a half marathon length.
When you’re done you can grab refreshments in the Forest Café within the visitor centre.
Tarka Trail, Devon (England)
Join the Tarka Trail at Croyde and run to Saunton sands, passing beautiful coastal scenery. You’ll be running on the road, too, so keep your eyes peeled, but this stunning stretch is 4 miles long and offers breath-taking views.
And, if you didn’t already know, Croyde is a popular surfing town with great beaches, so why not try your hand at surfing, too for a fun packed adventure.
Fountains Fell, Yorkshire (England)
The National Trust also offer many of their sites for activities including trail running and Fountains Fell in Yorkshire is no exception. It’s a tough run and lots of uphill gradients to contend with and is 8.5 miles long.
You’ll need a good pair of running trainers and take a change of clothes, particularly if you intend to run after wet weather, you’re sure to get muddy.
Polesden Lacey, Surrey (England)
Just an hour away from central London, if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then Polesden Lacey is for you. The trail is just under 11 kilometres and boasts amazing views of the North Downs. There’s quite a lot of uphill running here but you can always hike these parts if you prefer.
Two Lairigs Circular, Glen Coe (Scotland)
The Scottish Highlands Mountainous terrain is ideal for trail running but it’s not always for the fainthearted. This hilly route in Glen Coe is no exception but you won’t be disappointed by the local scenery. It’s 9.25 miles in length and has plenty of terrain for you to enjoy. Remember to pack the correct clothing.
Wild trail running may not be for everyone, but it can be great fun for beginners and experts alike. You can take the trail at your own pace, even walking some of the more difficult uphill climbs and at the same time really getting to take in some of the beautiful scenery the UK has to offer.
Before embarking on any journey, please check before you travel for the latest restrictions and advice regarding COVID-19.