PJR parkrun tourism guide

Here our members give a short review of all the parkruns they’ve completed across the UK and worldwide.

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Aberystwyth – South Wales. Surrounded by beautiful Welsh countryside and mountains I really wasn’t expecting a flat, unpicturesque course next to an industrial estate but it did make for a fast route, all on smooth pavement, with just 18ft of elevation gain. On arrival I wasn’t sure I was in the right place as I couldn’t see how a 5k with over a hundred runners could possibly fit in such a small area but it worked  flawlessly. There are 3 parallel paths separated by just 5m of grass between each. You start by going out and back on the middle path then do 3 laps of the 2 outer paths before going back up the middle path to the finish. Review by Chris Lamb

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Ally Pally – London. Approx. 15 minutes walk from Wood Green tube station following signs for palace (Alexandra Palace overground station is approx. 5 minutes from start). Parking is available at the park if driving and there was a bus option from the tube station. No toilets. Course is on a mixture of pavement, grass and boardwalk – there is one long uphill section (218ft of elevation in total) and you do two loops before running back down to start. There is a café five/ten minutes from finish by a boating lake that opens at 10am and a variety of options as you walk back to the tube. Review by Jenaya Marie

Ashford – Kent. This park seems to be situated in the most unlikely of places and getting there early is a good idea for parking. The course is 2 and a bit times round; it isn’t flat but I wouldn’t describe it as undulating either (47ft of elevation gain). Fast times are unlikely to happen on this course, as most of the sections are narrow as runners are coming back up the same path. Overtaking was incredibly difficult and, with a buggy, near on  impossible! However, the course was aesthetically pleasing in places, and the finish was wide so offered an opportunity for a decent sprint finish after navigating a sharp turn. The course was well marked out with km markers clearly displayed. One point to note was that the race director didn’t have a mega-phone so could not be heard – especially since most of the park runners were chattering loudly over her. However, there was a lot of moaning that seemed to precede the run, which dampened the parkrun spirit a little. Review by Claire Holland

Aylesbury – Buckinghamshire, 34ft elevation gain. A “lollipop” shape consisting of a narrow start, all tarmac paths leading up to the first of 2 circuits after approximately 750m. A couple odlf wooden bridges and some tight turns to negotiate before heading back towrads the start. A sharp hill to finish with providers most of the elevation, a fast coirse overall. Review by Bryan Winn

Bakewell – Derbyshire. This is fast Parkrun as it is straight out and back along a disused railway line with just 74ft of elevation gain. Going out there is a very slight incline that you don’t notice but you do notice the downhill on the way back!  It is just outside of Bakewell and there is plenty of parking but there is a charge. Lovely cafe/gift shop and toilets. Review by Jo Codner

Banbury – Oxfordshire. Beware – the Sat Nav takes you to the wrong place and you need to pay for parking when you reach the actual destination. There is a short walk over to the start across a prettyish kind of park. The course boasts a wide variety of surfaces: tarmac, gravel and grass; it was a little slippy in places on what was a very cold, wintry morning. The first mile seemed to be the longest mile I have ever ran in my life and the course felt tough considering it only has 41ft of elevation gain. Review by Claire Holland

Barnstaple – North Devon, 55ft of elevation gain. No parking near Rock Park, best option is the retail park on the other side of the river which runs parallel to the park. Allow yourself 20 mins to walk to the start. A flat 2.5 laps with a couple of tight turns. Pinch point a few metres after the start means it’s congested when busy. Small grass track for about 20% of the course which can gets muddy after rain. Very friendly and well run event. Review by Andy Lack

Basingstoke – Hampshire, 125ft elevation gain. One of the first I did and so lives a little more difficult in the memory than it probably was. A 2 lap course of both grass and tarmac paths. One long steady hill just over halfway around the lap makes for a challenge but overall not too taxing. Has a good wide grass start, useful as it’s quite popular. Parking was limited. Review by Bryan Winn

Bedford – Bedfordshire. Although free parking is mentioned on their website we missed it and ended up parking in a nearby side street. There was plenty of parking available but payment required registering a credit card so added a couple minutes of stress before the run! We then joined all the runners for the pre run briefing which took place at the bandstand before walking along to the start.  The course is 2.5 laps around the lovely Bedford Park all on paths and it finished on a short downhill. 90ft of elevation gain in total. The Pavilion café is ideally situated alongside the finish for a post run drink. Review by Claire Dixon

Bicester – Oxfordshire. 29ft elevation gain – Two laps on a mixture of tarmac path and some grass. Tight but flat with some sharp turns. Potential to be slippery. Limited parking and no nearby facilities. Good excuse for a post run shop though. Review by Bryan Winn

Bideford – North Devon. Takes place at Victoria Park right by the river. Best place to park is the pay and display adjacent to the park. It’s a 3.5 lap circuit with several pinch points and on one section runners are going in opposite direction only parted by a series of disc cones, care needed not to bump into each other. Having said that the park is slightly lower than the surrounding area, very well protected from the wind and there’s on 17ft of elevation gain so if not too many people running it’s a very fast track with huge PB potential. Very friendly people made me feel welcome. Review by Andy Lack

Blenheim – New Zealand. Starting at 8am at the Amphitheatre on the Taylor river on the edge of the town, the course is extremely flat, run on concrete pavements on an out and back route. A great course for a PB unless like us you had been visiting several of the local vineyards. Lots of parking within easy reach of the start/finish line, it is pay and display but the meters don’t start until 9am.  A local told me that in the winter the course can become flooded and the start moves to the turning point so best to check their Facebook page for updates. This was the smallest parkrun I have ever done with less than 50 runners taking part and loads of them were tourists. I can recommend the nearby cafe – Thomas and Sons, for a coffee afterwards. They amazing savoury and sweet muffins. Review by Julia Bradnam

Boston – Lincolnshire. Very flat with just 26ft of elevation. Three laps of a very pretty country park. The first lap included a tight turn which was congested but the runners then spread out and had no further problems. You run towards St Botolphs Church spire in the distance then double back on yourself to run along a tow path which in part does have tree roots but their were volunteers ensuring you knew about them. Free parking available at Boston FC. Review by Julia Bradnam

Bournemouth – South Coast. Starts at Kings Park Athletic Stadium (Must admit, as a tourist, I was disappointed that it wasn’t on the seafront). The course was flat  (87ft of elevation gain in total) and consisted of three laps. It starts on grass then goes onto gravel paths through some trees and passes AFC Bournemouth Stadium. I enjoying it. Importantly there were toilets and refreshments. Review by Jo Codner

Buckingham – Buckingham, 65ft elevation gain. A “frying pan” style 2 lapper. All tarmac path although narrow and uneven in places. The start unludates for around 750m before flattening out for the two laps around the park playgrounds. Some tight turns before returning back up towards the start with a speedy downhill last 100 yards. Plenty of parking but not free, 50p gets you 3 hours. Review by Bryan Winn

Bushy – London. Parkrun Mecca, 12ft elevation gain. A single lap figure 8ish shape. Incredible 1000+ weekly turnout, get there early for free parking, parking wardens on hand to ticket. Grass and gravel paths with a wide start. Fast flat course with a wide start, positioning is key, a PB course. A must do for any tourist. Review by Bryan Winn

Canons Park – Middlesex. 78ft elevation gain. 3 laps of tarmac with a refreshing forest section. Narrow in places can make passing hard. Parking in local streets, tricky, but facilities are available at the start. Potentially quick. Review by Bryan Winn

Cassiobury – Hertfordshire. 47ft elevation game. 2 and a half laps of fast tarmac with a couple of tight turns. Street parking is limited, paid parking available at the Watford Tube station. Facilities and cafe near the finish. Review by Bryan Winn

Clair – West Sussex, 332ft elevation gain. A four and a half lapper. All narrow tarmac paths up and down steep sloped park. Not for the faint hill hearted. A true toughy. Lapping on the narrow paths is tricky. Prone to flooding too. Plenty of parking though. Review by Bryan Winn

Clermont Waterfront – Florida, USA. Who could travel to Disneyworld  without trying to tag on a parkrun? Unfortunately the nearest one is over an hour away but does offer good parking. Satnav warning: you might have to drive up to a mile further than your satnav tells you to find the start. Just look for the parkrun flag. The start is located in Lake Hiawatha preserve which looks lovely. The run starts early at 7:30am to avoid the worst of the heat, but the humidity is unreal so even though it is a flat out and back course along waterfront, it isn’t necessarily a PB location! They are so used to getting tourists that they have an official camera-person to record your moment at Clermont before the start which is a nice touch. They also have free water at the end. Review by Charlotte Yarker

Coldham’s Common – Cambridgeshire. A fairly flat 2 lapper consisting of rugby fields and a small trail section. Quite open to the elements. Facilities at the nearby leisure centre and free parking. Not the most exciting course but very friendly. Review by Bryan Winn

Conwy – Wales, 36ft elevation gain. An out and back along the beautiful setting of the Conwy river and Conwy Castle. All path and pretty much flat except for a pedestrian bridge which must be crosses twice. Good, free parking and facilities. Definitely worth a visit and so is the castle! Review by Bryan Winn

Corby – Northamptonshire, 120ft elevation gain. Two and a bit laps consisting of both grass and tarmac paths. One small and one pretty big hill on both laps which come almost straight after each other. Very friendly and plenty of parking. Review by Bryan Winn

Coventry – Warwickshire. 133ft elevation gain. 2 laps of the memorial park all on tarmac. A tight start may punish you for poor positioning due to the high numbers. A quick course nonetheless. Plenty of free parking and toilets near the start. Review by Bryan Winn

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Crissy Field – San Francisco, USA. One of the friendliest parkruns I have ever been to as they are used to having tourists every week. I think they said it was a 50/50 split when we were there and they are very keen to take photographs. We walked to the event, but there seemed to be lots of parking available and there were toilets near the start. Single loop, which is almost completely flat and you run towards the Golden Gate bridge before turning away and completing the loop. Review by Jenaya Marie

Curl Curl – Sydney, Australia. This parkrun starts at 7am and is held in John Fisher Park. Lots of nearby car parks. The course has a mixed terrain of grass, trail paths and pavements and can be congested at the beginning but it soon filters out.  You do leave the park at either end and run alongside the road (not busy roads though). It’s a big one lap with a small double back towards the end with some shady areas. Make sure you take plenty of water and wear sunscreen. We had a delicious coffee at the Cooh cafe afterwards (had to drive though – 17/64-68 Pitt Road,  amazing menu with great choice for vegan’s and vegetarians). Review by Julia Bradnam

Darlington – County Durham. Three lap around the lovely South Park which includes a bandstand, pavilion, bird avery and duck pond. There’s a short sharp drop which climbs near the end of each lap but only 54ft of elevation gain in total. You can sprint finish either side of a monument before finishing next to the bowling green. Review by Mark Kennedy

Daventry – Northamptonshire, 60ft elevation gain. A single lap around Daventry reservoir. Sadly when I went a bridge was out and it was changed to an out and back. Sheltered country trail makes for a great summer run. Some narrow grass trail sections after the start limits passing. Relatively flat. Definitely worth a go. Review by Bryan Winn

Des Dougnes – Cubnezais, France.  This was back in the early days of parkrun France, I think this was only one of two at the time. It took some orienteering to find the course as this was somewhat more remote than most UK locations. Brits out numbered the locals here! The course was pretty rural: a fairly flat, two loop route, land-marked by pylons and tree. Worth the effort for the experience, with the bonus of plenty of nearby vineyards. Review by Kathy Saunders

Dolgellau – North West Wales. A twice out and back route on a thin path which goes over a bridge with a couple of tight bends which slows you down a little but otherwise a pretty quick course with just 26ft of elevation gain. No room for buggies or dogs. Parking right by the start/ finish at a charge of £1. Review by Chris Lamb

Druridge Bay – Northumberland. Meet by the visitors centre at the Country Park for a welcome briefing before walking down to the start.  The course is 2 laps anticlockwise around Ladyburn Lake. It’s a very pretty course and although it has just 61ft elevation gain it’s not one for breaking records – lots of narrow paths and a few tight turns. I’ve run this course a couple of times and on the second occasion I was lucky enough to see a deer jump out in front of me. Plenty of parking but you’ll need to display a spare bar code if you want to park for free. Very reasonable onsite café for a post run cuppa. Review by Claire Dixon

Dunstable Downs – Bedfordshire, 190ft elevation gain. Set in the highest point in the county, the views from the start are great. A single lap course on grass and a small amount of trail. A small loop near the Gateway centre begins with a downhill before coming back around two short hill sections covers most of the elevation change. It is then off through the short forest section and through some fields along the ridge before returning to the centre to finish. Not a PB course but worth a visit. Has the potential to be very windy. Toilets available at the centre and free parking if you display a parkrun barcode. They also host a free 10km trail run on the 4th Sunday of every month. Review by Bryan Winn

East Coast Park – Singapore. This parkrun starts at 7.30am and starts/finishes on the path by the changing facilities in car park B1. It’s a straight out and back course on tarmac/concrete with great views of the Singapore Strait. Totally flat run although it’s a very busy park with loads of running groups, walkers and cyclists so could be good for a PB if you are good at dodging the other park users. When we visited it was extremely hot and humid so I would recommend you take loads of water and wear suncream. We did join the  volunteers and other runners for a post run coffee at Starbucks but not sure if I needed the caffeine or air conditioning more! Very friendly bunch. Review by Julia Bradnam

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East Grinstead – West Sussex, 216ft elevation gain. 2 large and 1 small lap of a very hilly grass course. Muddy and uneven ground makes an already tough course even tougher. Tight turns in places add to possibly the most difficult course I’ve done. Definitely a challenge, not a pb course. Review by Bryan Winn

Ebotse – Gauteng, South Africa. An out and back course starting in a public park and running through a private housing estate. A combination of grass and road. Slight hills, the challenge lies in the 8am start, heat and altitude. At nearly a mile, air is much harder to get hold of. Warnings of snakes before the run adds to the fun. Review by Bryan Winn

Eden Project – Cornwall. Located in the stunning setting of the famous Eden Project, this is a must do for any tourist. Free parking, which enables you to have a mooch around the place afterwards. I highly recommend the shop! The course itself, has many steep, punishing uphill sections that spiral around. However, there are lots of downhill parts too, which enables a quicker time than expected based on the elevation of 265ft plus there are incredible views. A 3-lap spiral-esque, tarmac surfaced course with a mysterious finish that seems to appear from nowhere! Toilets available near the start. Super friendly and teeming with tourists! Review by Claire Holland

Erddig – Wrexham, Wales. Starting right outside the stunning Erddig Hall this course features 125ft of elevation gain almost all of which is in the final kilometre. There’s a muddy trail loop through woods to begin before heading down a gravel pathed hill then picking up the trail that leads to another loop in a different section of woods then you follow the same route back also finishing outside the hall. The toughest course I’ve done. Review by Chris Lamb

Etna – Italy. We were staying in the capital, Catania. The bus doesn’t get you there on time so you need a car. I emailed the volunteer co-ordinator to find this out and they ended up giving me a lift. As the name suggests you are running on a volcano, in this case Europe’s most active! The route is an undulating four lap course on volcanic ash, amongst pine trees. While few in number everyone was made truly welcome and treated to refreshments. Review by Kathy Saunders

Fire Services College – Gloucestershire. 114ft elevation gain. 3 laps of the grounds of the fire services college. Mostly grass with a small amount of tarmac. Open fields make the wind feel much stronger. Great support with music playing at the start/finish. Plenty of free parking and toilets. Review by Bryan Winn

Finsbury – London. Around 10 minute walk from Finsbury Park underground station. Starts at the park cafe at the top of the hill (that’s a clue about the course) with public toilets available. Nice start with a wide path down the hill, sadly, this is where the hard work starts. A couple of loops in a surprisngly hilly little park before a final make-up-distance circle to the finish. 191ft of elevation gain in total. Review by Jenaya and Dean Shears

Fountains Abbey – North Yorkshire. A visually stunning course. The car park is free but a 10 min walk to the start. The course itself is 2 laps of differing sizes, mainly on tarmac (aside from the cute little wooden bridge) and felt like it could be a fairly fast course despite its undulating nature (117ft of elevation gain). You pass the Abbey itself twice and the Studley Royal Water Garden on the second lap is breathtaking. Toilets and cafe situated within the property. Also well worth a tour of the National Trust site itself. Brilliant play area too! Review by Claire Holland

Fritton Lake – Norfolk, 85ft of elevation gain. This one lap course is all off road mostly on gravel paths but with some sections that could get mudder. The route is located at a country park and runs through a holiday park where we were staying going right past our wooden lodge. The smallest parkrun I’ve done in terms of numbers so no issues with parking. Review by Chris Lamb

Gadebridge – Hertfordshire, 245ft elevation gain. 2 laps, consisting of a small and a large hill. The smaller being on tarmac, the large on grass, especially tricky in wet conditions. A tight turn at the bottom of the hill and an underpass adds another dimension . Not a pb course. Review by Bryan Winn

Gladstone – Greater London, 244ft elevation gain. A lollipop style run on tarmac paths with two laps at the top and slightly varying start/finish areas. The run up to the top of the North side of the park is a long, but not too steep, near kilometer climb, coupled with a lengthy sweep back down. The reward for enduring the long climb twice is the great view! Plenty of free street parking if you’re silly enough to drive into London like me. Review by Bryan Winn

Great Denham – Bedfordshire, 22ft elevation gain. One of the flattest courses in parkrunning, 2 laps across firm gravel and tarmac provide perfect PB conditions. The slightly narrow start does mean sensible positioning is required. A must visit to blast out a quick time or have an easier time. Plenty of free parking with a bit of a walk. Review by Bryan Winn

Hackworth – County Durham. A random, small, friendly parkrun. Starts at one end of Hackworth Park in the Northern mining town of Shildon before taking in three laps and finishing at the opposite end. Each lap consists of a winding loop through a play park before a tough climb to the back straight with 198ft of elevation gain in total. It’s great to drop down the hill again before and off-road stretch to the start of the next lap. Review by Mark Kennedy

Hampstead Heath – London. Approx. 15 minutes walk from the tube station. Starts in a grassy area then you run down hill and complete two laps of a hilly square before returning to the start. 316ft of elevation gain but you do get to run around on Parliamenet Hill! No toilets close to start but there are some in the park itself and if required there is a large car park just five minutes away. Review by Jenaya Marie

Harcourt Hill – Oxfordshire. 72ft elevation gain. One of two parkruns (possibly 3 soon) in Oxford. A 2 lap all grass affair around the rugby/ athletics field and golf course. Not the most scenic run and it’s quite open so subject to any wind that’s about but no real elevation worries. Free parking and toilets are available inside the sports centre. Follow Harcourt Hill Rd right up to the end before turning right or face ending up in the wrong carpark! Review by Bryan Winn

Hartbeespoort – North West, South Africa. Hot, hot, hot. Dirt trails next to a dam, 7am summer starts often hot 30C. 4 loops of various sizes are well marshalled. Potential to be very muddy. Humid and sticky on a normal day. A definite toughy. Review by Bryan Winn

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Holkham – North Norfolk. 187ft of elevation gain. A lovely scenic parkrun. The course is one lap on tarmac and gravel through the park, farmlands and woods. The first half of the course is uphill mainly on the hardcore/ gravel but this is quite a gentle, gradual with lovely views. It’s then mainly downhill to the finish with just a small incline past the obelisk. Their numbers are clearly boosted by holiday makers with big increases on Bank holiday weekends. Friendly people, no problems with parking, excellent toilets and a large cafe ( seasonal opening Easter – October). Review by Angela White

Horsham – West Sussex, 108ft elevation gain (summer course). Differing summer and winter courses. A grass summer course has 3 laps, slight hills bit nothing major. Some tight sections for passing lapped runners. The winter course is an undulating tarmac path over 2 and a bit laps, circling a lake. Tight turns and hills make this a tough one. Review by Bryan Winn

Houghton Hall – Bedfordshire. 66ft of elevation gain. A 2 and a half lapper with a mixture trail and tarmac. Two gates along the route slow you down and make it unsuitable for buggies. Great cafe and facilities at the visitor centre but limited parking. Review by Bryan Winn

Huddersfield – Yorkshire. It features predicted time markers so you know where to stand at the start. It begins with a short loop along a tarmac path followed by two anti clockwise laps through the park also on tarmac. There are a few short, steep inclines that contribute to the 178ft of elevation gain. The route has altered slightly over the years to accommodate its rapid growth and its one of the biggest park runs I’ve been to. Because of its size, parking is a nightmare so plan to get there very early or run/jog. It’s a very friendly parkrun with typical northern hospitality and great volunteers. Review by Louise Coburn

Ipswich – Suffolk. 150ft elevation gain. Chantry Park course. Be aware there are 2 courses. A single lap of mixed terrain, mostly grass set in a beautiful park taking you all around the park. Not particularly hilly. Starting and ending at the cricket pavillion which houses toilets as well as post run cakes and tea. Dogs and buggies welcome. Many very friendly marshalls and enjoyable course. May be windy though. Lots of free parking but it is scattered so arrive early if possible. Well worth a go for 1 of only three “I” courses at the time of writing. Review by Bryan Winn

Isle of White. During the Summer this parkrun moves around the island. When we were there it was at Appley Park. Plenty of parking and toilets approx. 5 minutes from start. Lots of post run food options especially during the holiday season. Multi terrain course starts in the park followed by an out and back along the sea front before a slightly unwelcome hill towards the end. Review by Jenaya Marie

Jersey Farm – Hertfordshire. 198ft elevation gain. Two and a little bit of undulating laps of trail and a little grass based on a farm. Not too hilly but terrain can make it harder. Limited parking just under a mile away for a good warm up. Toilets at the parking area. Very friendly bunch. Cafe near the parking is a good social meet, apparently. Review by Bryan Winn

Kettering – Wicksteed Park, Northamptonshire, 108ft elevation gain. 2 and a bit laps around the theme park, consisting of a pontoon bridge adding an unusual dynamic. A steady hill ensures it’s not an easy flat one. Plenty of parking. Review by Bryan Winn

Knowsley – Merseyside. 136ft elevation gain. 2 laps of mostly tarmac with a short grass section of each. Very limited parking and no facilities in the area. A reasonably quick course with the potential for a good finish position due to the lower attendance. Review by Bryan Winn

Kraków – Poland. A very warm welcome awaits you in the heart of Kraków, with a very cosmopolitan group of multi-national parkrunners.  If you are looking for a PB, this relatively flat two lap course provides a great opportunity. Even in eastern European continental winter the hot drinks and chocolate at the finish reflected the warm welcome and hospitality this parkrun offers. Review by Kathy Saunders

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Leamington – Warwickshire, 159ft elevation gain. A single lapper! Beware the mud in any rain. A narrow start and big hill within the first km makes a challenging start. A gradual decline back to the start is made up of gravel paths. Plenty of free parking and a visit to Leamington Spa make for a great tour. Review by Bryan Winn

Linford Wood – Buckinghamshire, 111ft elevation gain. A deceptively tough single lapper. All tarmac pathway, winding through the wood, using a few underpasses. Looks to be good for all weathers, quite well sheltered. A long opening gradual hill sets you up for some downhill recovery. Gradual hills are a hallmark, one at 2 miles is harsh. Plenty of free parking. Review by Bryan Winn

Llyn Llech Owain – South Wales. Not an easy parkrun. Two loops around the lake within the local Country Park.  Mainly on trail with some tough little undulations and turns with 167ft of elevation gain. Lovely scenery and a nice cafe in the start/ finish area. A course to enjoy rather than chasing a time. Review by Dean Shears

Long Eaton – Nottingham. This boasts the title of being one of the flattest parkruns in the country with just 9ft of elevation gain. This two-lapped affair is carried out completely on tarmac, which is also a pro for pb setters. However, there is a tight turn into the bridge, which can break your flow, and this does have to be tackled 4x over. In addition, the course is quite open to the elements so a stiff breeze would have a slight effect on those aiming for a fast time. Once a month, Long Eaton hosts a paced event, with an incredible number of paced times available. Parking is excellent and toilets are situated in the health club if, like me, the nerves get the better of your bladder! Overall, an incredibly friendly, welcoming event. Review by Claire Holland

Ludlow – Shropshire. A lovely trail through the forest starting with an uphill and continued undulatiions throughout the course which includes two loops with 370ft of elevation gain in total. Can be muddy and there was talk of people losing their shoes in one particular section! Not a course for a PB. Free car park at start but no toilets. Postcode does not take you to location instead follow the sign for the Forestry Commission. All volunteers mentioned GPS measure short due to trees. Review by Jenaya Marie

Luton Wardown – Bedfordshire. 111ft elevation gain. 3 and a bit laps around the lake of mostly tarmac with a short grass section that can be slippery. Narrow sections and tight turns on top of lapping can make a fast time tricky. Limited parking and Public toilets. A small narrow bridge makes it unsuitable for buggies. Review by Bryan Winn

Margate – Kent. Located a short distance from the centre in Clifftonville (next to a quirky hotel) the course is fairly flat (78ft of elevation gain), there was on street parking and public toilets available at nearby points along the beach. The course starts with a mini out and back loop then you go back past the start to do a longer loop in the opposite direction (which has a grassy section) both of which are on the coastal path. Review by Jenaya Marie

Market Harborough – Leicestershire, 21ft elevation gain. Flat but tight and plenty of turns. 3 and a bit laps makes for plenty of tricky lapping moments. All tarmac bar a short gravel section. Parking is tricky. Early arrival is sensible. Review by Bryan Winn

Millennium Country – Bedfordshire. 35ft of elevation gain. An out and back course around the lake at Forest of Marston Vale. A quick, light gravel track should be good for road shoes at any time. Narrow in places, keep left for the two way flow of runners. Midges may be a bother in summer. Buggies allowed, dogs not as it’s also a bridleway. Plenty of parking, £1 for an hour, £2 for 3. The centre has toilets available pre run and 10% off in the cafe if you show your barcode. Review by Bryan Winn

Millom – Cumbria. A 5 lap course of a muddy field with 55ft of elevation in total. This is a small parkrun with usually only 30 or 40 runners so a good chance for a high finish! We were made to feel very welcome. Review by Mick Conroy

Milton Keynes – Buckinghamshire, 79ft elevation gain. A single lap mixture of tarmac path and trail like grass with a punishing zigzag climb. Made up for with views of running next to Willen lake. Don’t let the Peace Pogoda fool you into thinking this is a kind course. Not flat. Review by Bryan Winn

Mole Valley – Surrey. 289ft elevation gain. Set on Denbies Wine Estate, this picturesque run starts with a short 500m lap of a field before heading up into the hills of the vineyards. A little muddy and punishingly undulating, the 2km stretch downhill back to the finish is welcome. The wine estate also boasts free parking, 10% off in the cafe and good facilities. Reveiw by Bryan Winn

Moors Valley – Dorset, Situated in the new forest, with 92ft of elevation it has a large turn out but still a friendly feel with the organisers celebrating runners birthdays and landmark runs. A stunning course mainly made up of gravel paths and long slight hills. The whole experience was extremely enjoyable. Review by Alex Hewson

Newbiggin-by-the-Sea – Northumberland. A challenging course run on a mixture of sand, grass and paths with beautiful views across the beach and sea. Starting on the beach before joining the promenade. A steep uphill dune section is followed by a great downhill run. Part of the route is run twice so you get a second chance at the dune (although there are steps if preferred) and this is where the majority of the 120ft if elevation is made up. There is a large free carpark available right near the start and you’ll be guaranteed a very friendly Geordie welcome from runners & marshals. If running with a dog please note that there is a beach ban for dogs between 1st May & 30th September. Although buggies are welcome the uphill dune section would be very challenging! Review by Claire Dixon

Newcastle – Northumberland. A one lap figure of 8 course entirely on tarmac in Exhibition Park and around the Town Moor. It’s a popular course regularly attracting 600+ runners and does get quite congested when you pass through the gates (always cheerfully marshalled). The course finishes with a slight uphill (overall elevation gain of 73ft). Plenty of paid parking just a couple of mins walk away from the start. Do check their website / facebook page before touring as the Parkrun does get cancelled on occasions when local events are taking place on the Moor. Review by Claire Dixon

Northampton – Northamptonshire, Don’t be fooled by the 90ft of elevation gain, this is a very fast course. The only thing that will slow you down is the wind as it is a fairly open park. It’s a one and three quarter lap course all on tarmac. It can get quite busy at the start but plenty of opportunities to overtake with lots of long straights. Review by Chris Lamb

Northwich– Cheshire. 104ft of elevation gain. Free parking at Matalan across the road. A mix of forest trail and paved track. One loop which takes in a snaking hill and then you come back round by the start and just when you think you would have to run up the hill again you are sent off in another direction to do a loop through woodland by a river. It was very scenic. Difficult to get past people early on with a narrow path but once everyone thinned out it was fine. Just after mile 2 there is another incline but when you get to the top you turn around then it’s all downhill. It was quite a long (their page says short) walk back to the car after you finished as the start/finish are not in the same place. Review by Jo Codner

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Oxford – Oxfordshire. 84ft elevation gain – A double lapper around a mix of mostly grass and some trail. Potential to be muddy and slippery. Starts with a slightly strange 2 x 200m square before heading out. Good free parking, toilets and cafe near the start/finish. Review by Bryan Winn

Penrith – Cumbria. Two anti-clockwise laps of a Sports Centre site. It’s a mostly flat route (45ft of elevation gain) and runs along the bank of the River Eamont. The route covers a mixture of tarmac, grass, and road surface. At the time it was quite a small parkrun and did feel a bit cliquey but I was made to feel more welcomed once they realised I was a tourist. Review by Louise Coburn

Penrhyn – North Wales. This one is lovely! Get past the idea of running two bigs loops and two small loops and enjoy the fact you are running around an amazing castle with views into the sea at the Menai Straits. The elevation does not suggest this is too hilly (182tf), but some short, sharp, climbs left a sting in the legs. Good parking and toilets available. Definitely one to run for the amazing views if you can get there. Review by Jenaya and Dean Shears

Pocket – Cambridgshire. Just 12ft elevation gain. Flat but muddy tight trails make it tricky but there are also some tarmac sections. A start and finish lap around a grass field completes a full house of ground conditions. Try and run it in drier conditions. Nearby leisure centre provides plenty of parking and facilities. Review by Bryan Winn

Queen Elizabeth – Hampshire.376ft elevation gain makes it one of the hilliest parkruns in England! One small and one large lap, both utilising a long steep gravel hill. Grassy and muddy downhills make a tricky but fast descent. Paid for parking gives you access to the stunning country park setting. Good facilities at the visitor centre with a lovely cafe. Review by Bryan Winn

Redland Bay – Queensland, Australia. This parkrun starts at 7am due to the heat and humidity. The run starts and finishes in Sel Outridge Park on the outskirts of Redland Bay. Loads of free parking. The terrain is a mixture of grass and concrete paths starting with two laps of the oval and then heading out along the water front.  You turn around at the golf club and head back with a second chance to admire the stunning views of the bay.  At the turning point the marshal has a water sprayer to cool you down and just before you cross the finish line there was another volunteer spraying you with a hose which was very much appreciated. A pretty flat course with only a couple of inclines. Review by Julia Bradnam

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Reigate Priory – Surrey, 216ft elevation gain. My first and amongst my favourite. 2 laps, all grass and trail. Open fields around the priory give way to a narrow, undulating trail in the woods. Passing is impossible at this point before opening back into the fields and a downhill gallop. Definitely not flat, but the reward is a gorgeous park and a coffee shop right near the finish. Review by Bryan Winn

Rickmansworth – Hertfordshire. Just 10ft of elevation gain with 2 laps around the Lakes of Rickmansworth Aquadrome. All path and flat makes for a potential PB! Well attended so the start can be cramped so position well! Loads of free parking, toilets and a cafe at the start. The route is well sheltered from both wind and sun. Review by Bryan Winn

Rugby – Warwickshire. 135ft of elevation gain all on the one steed, muddy hill which you do on both laps. It was also very slippery on our visit in January. Most of the course is on grass with lots of corners. Not the quickest route but would be much faster on a dry summer’s day. Lots of free parking and some of the most enthusiastic marshals I’ve come across. Review by Chris Lamb

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Rushmore – Bedfordshire, 203ft elevation gain. Located in Rushmere Country Park, this is a scenic beauty. 2 laps through the forest with a tricky long steep down slope. Mud and tree roots require cautious running at times. Good facilities at the visitor centre and a PB gong! Parking is pricey at about £3 but that gets you access for the day. Review by Bryan Winn

Rutland Water – Leicestershire.  A simple out and back route along the edge of the reservoir on flat trail (just 38ft of elevation gain). Good PB opportunities and the Normanton Church at the finish is a good marker when you are working hard on the way back. Ample parking and good cafe options. Review by Dean Shears

Sedgefield – County Durham. 145ft of elevation gain. A really pretty route through Hardwick Country Park starting at the visitors centre before hitting a downhill trail that loops around to a lake. The back straight passes Hardwick Hall, past a small pond and back up the hill through the woods. It’s two laps so you get to enjoy the scenery twice. Review by Mark Kennedy

Shepton Mallet – Somerset, 155ft elevation gain. A 3 lapper, almost all tarmac but tight, including an pit and back section making the first lap tricky. A few minor rises ensure it isn’t flat but nothing too demanding. Not likely to be cracking any stellar times though. Review by Bryan Winn

Sheringham – Norfolk. This course is situated in the breathtaking Sheringham Park (a forest cared for by National Trust, who generously allow free parking for park runners). It was a very friendly atmosphere at this parkrun briefing, before we took the walk through the woods to the start. Runners were asked to stick to the trail paths so as not to erode the grass areas, which was a sensible request handled politely. There was plenty of room for runners to stick to the path throughout the route. If you are looking for a fast time, however, then this is not the course for you. It was incredibly undulating and featured the – aptly dubbed – ‘Heartbreak Hill’ not far from the finish (279ft of elevation gain). Footing was uneven around many parts of the course due to tree roots and stony paving in places. This was a tough but picturesque course. Well worth a visit just for the aesthetic qualities of the course. Review by Claire Holland

Sixfields Upton – Northampton. Almost plan flat with just 44ft of elevation (which I’ve not noticed on any of the occasions I’ve attended). It’s a 2 lap course with a tiny extra loop back to the finish. Very nice route through the country park all on paths but they are quite thin in places meaning you have to move onto the grass to overtake. Quite windy in parts but still a pretty fast course. Review by Chris Lamb

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Skipton – Yorkshire. It’s small and friendly, you can park your car without any hassle BUT this is a four lap course and it features four quite testing hills.  Definitely not a pb course with 247ft of elevation gain but it’s in Skipton – it’s gorgeous. Review by Adrian White

Southwark – London, 21ft elevation gain. A flatty and quick. Although 3 and a bit laps, the tarmac paths are wide enough to allow for good overtaking. Big turnout so positioning at the start is important. A wide variety of cafes for a post run treat. Review by Bryan Winn

Southwick Country Park – Somerset, 113ft elevation gain. 2.5 laps, all gravel path. Despite not a huge elevation gain, the laps has long rises culminating in a sharp downhill to the finish but also a tight turn. Hard to make up the uphill time loss. On road parking possible. Very friendly. Review by Bryan Winn

St Helens – Merseyside, 180ft elevation gain. 3 big and 1 small lap. All tarmac path. A gradual hill of around 300m taken 3 times can wear you down, but the time can be make up on the long sweeping down section. Not the easiest to overtake on. Typically friendly Northern, free tea and biscuits on, cakes if you’re lucky. Review by Bryan Winn

Swansea Bay – South Wales.  One of the flattest parkruns with just 16ft of elevation gain as you run an out and back route along the seafront promenade. There are good possibilities for a PB and a lovely view but this is Wales and so there is always the threat of wind and rain. The suggested parking fills quickly but there are other options nearby. Review by Dean Shears

Tilgate – West Sussex, 145ft elevation gain. 2 laps of the lake and 1 of the forest, a scenic but tough course. Flat around the lake but wicked hills out and back from the forest are tough. The 2nd lap of the lake brings you to tight overtaking sections but award winningly well organised. All tarmac but for one small section of dirt path. Possibly muddy. Review by Bryan Winn

Tooting Common – London, 42ft elevation gain. 3 triangular laps on tarmac. Very tight sections allow for single file only, making passing very difficult and sometimes frustrating. Added London pedestrian traffic adds to congestion. Buggies not allowed due to the tightness. Review by Bryan Winn

Torbay Velopark – Devon. Two fast laps on the flat (just 33ft of elevation gain), smooth tarmac on the velopark followed by a gravel track and a lap of the football pitch. This is a fast course and one to attempt a PB.  Ample parking at the sports centre but you do have to pay. Very friendly  and a staggered start based on ability is a welcomed addition. Review by Jason Carter

Tring – Hertfordshire, 346ft elevation gain. One of the prettiest, definitely the hardest parkrun I’ve done. A grass start gives way to an incredibly steep climb up to the first km mark. Gravel paths, relatively steep guide you back to the start. Fighting to control your pace downward leads to further tiring. Rolling hills for the final 2.5km or so don’t make it any easier. A real tough one, but worth a go for some.of the views alone. Review by Bryan Winn

Upton Court – Berkshire. 30ft elevation gain  over 2 laps, slightly differing, of grass and some tarmac. Trail shoes recommended for the wet. Not the most visually exciting but there is a vocal support team. Limited parking at the local rugby club who also provide facilities. Beware the postcode leaves you with the M4 as your destination! Use the rugby club for guidance. Review by Bryan Winn

Victoria Lake – Gauteng, South Africa. 2 laps next to the lake. Mostly tarmac but a grassy hill towards the end of each laps makes for a challenge. A welcome light in a slightly dodgey area. Review by Bryan Winn

Watermeadows – Towcester, Northants. 3 and 3/4 laps of relatively flat but uneven grass with the potential for some mud patches. The number of laps can make it congested in places. Plenty of free parking, toilets at the local Tesco until 9am. The council Forum is open after that. Review by Bryan Winn

Wendover Woods – Buckinghamshire. 291ft elevation gain. Beautiful run on the trails in the forest. This is a single loop through the woods with some great views of the surrounding landscape. There are a couple of long hills to tackle and a few bits of single-track path. Don’t forget to say, “Hi” to the Gruffulo! Easy parking (but it is £2.20) with toilets. Cafe available which can get very busy.  One to follow the directions rather than the postcode. Review by Jenaya and Dean Shears

Westmill – Hertfordshire, 141ft elevation gain. A tough and undulating almost 2 lapper, mostly on grass and a little gravel.  The camber of the hills adds to the difficulty. Great views make up for the difficulty but not one I’d attempt in winter. Great for the compass tourism badge. Review by Bryan Winn

Westport – Republic of Ireland. A reasonably flat tarmac course. It’s an out and back route ran on the Greenway path which is an old railway line. The locals were very friendly. Review by Mick Conroy

Wetherby – West Yorkshire, 18ft elevation gain. 3 grass laps around the sports fields. A couple if tight turns but on the whole not the most interesting run. The town however is pretty and worth sticking around for. Ample free parking within a 10min walk is welcome. Review by Bryan Winn

Woolacombe Dunes – North Devon. Beauty and the beast sums up this parkrun. Stunning views across the Atlantic to Lundy Island but a sand dune aptly named the travelator. This one is tough, expect to take at least 2 mins longer than your average parkrun. It start on a downhill patchy tarmac road, after about 600 meters you do a sharp right on to a very steep uneven path. At the bottom a sharp left sets you off down the dunes pathway to the beach, where it is single track leading to the beach. This is the easy bit with about 2k on flat sand which is sometimes soft, sometimes hard depending on the tide. Then it’s time for the travelator! Believe me it’s lung busting and leg sapping. At the top you have a further 1k back though the dunes then it’s back up the severely sloping path you came down at the start which is a killer! It’s then just a slight incline to the finish. Check Facebook page as occasionally start time changes because of high tide. Review by Andy Lack

Worthing – West Sussex. The course is very flat (just 12ft of elevation!) entirely run on tarmac. The start line is in the Splash Point area on Worthing promenade (close to the pier), and it is an out-and-back route. This acted as a good motivator as it felt like you could high five other runners as they ran back past you! (I didn’t, but it’s nice to see encouraging smiles as opposed to the back of people’s heads!) – I particularly liked this run because of its proximity to the sea, which on a nice day would offer a lovely view, however there was a real gale when I ran that made it hard work. The run takes you past the Pier and Lido to West Worthing, before turning round and finishing on a bank of grass. Review by Louise Coburn

Yeovil Montacute – Somerset, 162ft elevation gain. Located on the grounds of Montacute house, the building provides a stunning backdrop to the start and finish. 1 small and 1 large laps on uneven, grassy trails surrounded by loose sheep makes for tricky going. Trail shoes are definitely needed in wet conditions. A wicked hill with 500m to go makes you earn the finish on the avenue. Review by Bryan Winn

York – Yorkshire. Situated at the York racecourse. This is a fast parkrun, one and a half laps around the racecourse ground. It is run on tarmac paths. Some sections of the course may accumulate mud, leaves and puddles and we had to divert onto a grass sandy area or you can run through the puddle, getting wet feet. Only 9ft of elevation making it one of the UK’s flattest course! No toilets or changing facilities available but there is a small coffee van at the end. Not a lot of car parking available so get there early to secure a space. Other areas are available outside the racecourse. A definite PB parkrun. Review by Chloe Tallett

Zielona Gora – Poland. 72ft elevation gain. 2 laps of a fairly flat forest course made up of mostly firm trail and some short sections of sand. Easy to get to following the Facebook page map from Zielona Gora itself. No facilities but plenty of free parking. A bit odd that there are no course marshals but it’s all well signed and the locals are very friendly. The nearest place from the UK to finish off that alphabet and great excuse to tick Poland off your list. Review by Bryan Winn

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