How parkish is your Parkrun?

Decided to do a bit of Parkrun tourism today. I had to drop my son in Glasgow at 8am so had a look at the options for doing a Parkrun before driving back to Edinburgh. The one which looked most convenient turned out to be in Tollcross park. It was lovely and very friendly with only 83 people compared with the 400+ which is now normal for my usual run at Cramond. It was also very hilly and with two and a bit laps you had to do the main hill 3 times! I confess I walked a bit on the last one.

Really chuffed at my result - my 57th parkrun; 59th place; 13th female 1st in your age category VW55-59 (but there were only 2 of us!).

It was great to do a Parkrun in a real park and it got me thinking about what constitutes a "park". Tollcross ticked a lot of the boxes for me. We assembled by the bandstand in the middle of a rose garden. There was another rose garden area, a kid's playground, a glass house winter garden, some allotments, sports pitches and a bit of a wild area. It was looking splendid too because it's the place for the turnstiles and assembly area for folk going to the swimming at the Commonwealth Games and the gardeners have been busy.

All the other Parkruns I've done (Edinburgh, Eastbourne, Kawana Qld, Roundshaw Down) have been in what you would call a public open space rather than a proper park - all great locations each with their own interesting features. I'm sure my concept of a park comes from my earliest experiences of them. In Elgin where I was brought up we had the Cooper Park which was, and I think still is, lovely. It also had almost a full set of park features (play area, boating pond, bowling green, tennis courts, putting green, cricket pitch, floral displays etc).

So all you Parkrunners out there - what's your park like? How parkish does it seem to you? (I did think about parky but that something else - Edinburgh is often distinctly parky with the wind coming off the sea!)

We need to support our local parks and open spaces whether they are Parkrun venues or just the bit of green space at the end of the road.

28 Replies

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  • I completely agree with you perceptions of what makes a real park. Obviously a play area, a bowling green and a bandstand but also rose beds, a boating pond and tennis courts. Our local one is in the grounds of what was an old stately home ( no longer in private hands) but it still carries the hallmarks of its past. So few typical parky things but there are hills and a cricket pitch and pavilion and some great vistas. Just have to pluck up the courage to go run there!! :)

  • You should run there Ancient mum I have just discovered the grounds of Laursiston Castle in edinburgh which are absolutely beautiful I thought they were too ' good' to run in but took the plunge last week and it was lovely

  • Is 'too good' to run something like the wedding present dishes which are too good to eat off of? Or the front room which is just for company as it id 'too nice' for family? :)

  • Exactly Nilzed Silly isn't it as beautiful things should be used and enjoyed Apparently Laursiton Castle is known as one of Edinburghs best kept secrets but Wilma saw more runners today so hopefully more people going to be using it.

  • Went for a run round Lauriston this morning. Saw 3 other women running - first time ever! Also saw a fox in the field below the gardens. Will post some pics on Facebook - as I can't work out how to put them in a reply to a post here.

  • My four local Parkruns are in Brueton Park, Cannon Hill Park, Kingsbury Water Park and Coventry War Memorial Park ... so I think that makes them all reasonably park-like!!

    Out of the four of them, Kingsbury is definitely more open space than park-like (although there is a playground, it is not my childhood definition of one). Brueton (the only one of the four that I have actually attended) has two playgrounds, ducks to feed and tennis courts so I guess that's pretty parky. It's also pretty flat which gets a two thumbs up from me :)

    400 people attending one Parkrun is unbelievable. I bet the organisers didn't even dream that this whole thing would become so popular. And a mighty fine result from yourself - first in anything is something that I would love, regardless of the circumstances!

  • My two local park runs are in Albert Park and Stewart Park and they are both definitely parks ;)

  • I've got 4 'local' ones as well.

    Lloyd park, large green area (the 5k RFL only does a single circuit, so pretty big considering we're technically in London), cafe, loos, tennis courts, car park, swing park, bomb crater ( :D ) that used to have a long slide down it (can't remember if it still does) and a parkrun.

    Riddlesdown, up on the downs, basically a large open area (large enough to contain most of a 10k race a couple of months ago) much longer than wide, no facilities at all, loos are in the school nearby. Plenty of marked footpaths and walkers, runners, horse riders. And a parkrun.

    Roundshaw, not been to this one, basically the old Croydon Airport, mainly waste ground with a war memorial, don't think there's any facilities, there's a burger van usually on the other side of the main road, possibly loos and changing room as that's the playing fields side, with a swing park on that side.

    Banstead woods, not been to this one either, lots of trees, footpaths, large carpark, the walking book that took us for a walk up there said there was a cafe (snack shop) but it wasn't around when we went up there, possibly seasonal or weekends???

    Riddlesdown is where I usually run, what it lacks in facilities it makes up for with enthusiasm (and cake).

  • I quite enjoyed Roundshaw Down. I did it last month when staying at a friend's in Wallington. It's on chalk grassland which at that time of year was looking lovely. 2 laps with quite a steep bit through a patch of woodland but once you come out of that there's the view back across to the City and the gherkin, shard etc.

    Might think about Lloyd's park if I'm there again.

  • Ours (Whitley Bay) isn't a park but a large stretch of open green public land with paths/walk ways by the sea, a war memorial, gardens and a skate park so it's park-ish. I read about the muddy conditions other parkrunners face and think we are lucky, it's all paths.

    Good result Wilma, great to be first in your age category however small it was. :-)

  • Vaguely remember visiting Spanish City in my younger days ;)

  • Best ice cream ever just next door to Spanish City Paul Double chocolate noughet wafer Mmm Have every time we in W bay and that's quite a lot so no wonder can't loose weight

  • Mmm, that sounds lovely :) Mind you, it's years since I've been to Whitley Bay but if I do I'll make sure I get one of those :)

  • Oo oo jumps up in excitement not bad We are going to be in Whitley bay next week and I was thinking might do park run Our daughter only lives 10 min walk away Are you going to be doing it ?

  • I have not run it in ages but will if you are going to be there Fitfor60, send me a PM and let me know the details. PS Is the ice-cream from Delaval Ices btw? Definitely the best in Whitley Bay :-)

  • Absolutely best at Delaval

  • My local parkruns are Sheringham and Blickling in Norfolk. They are both National Trust parks. I think Sheringham is one lap but has a steep hill, unusually for Norfolk, and I haven't been brave enough to try it yet. Blickling is one and three quarter laps with a longish, slight hill. Being National Trust properties they are beautiful but sometimes have livestock present. Lovely cafe for afterwards :)

  • My local Parkrun (the only one for 100 miles) is held at Bught Park. This is not really a park, but public pitches. There are several pitches in this space which is open (only a simple one rail barrier) and surrounded by mature trees along the periphery. The Parkrun route actually runs round the periphery between the trees and the rail on the road side. One side has a proper fence which is around the shinty pitch and there is sometimes shinty practice going on at 9.30 Saturday morning. There is also junior football or rugby practice on one or two of the pitches too.

    The Parkrun does 2 1/2 laps of the park.

    There is a small playpark on one edge of the playing fields, closest to the houses, but no flowers or paths in the area. There is a large playpark with a small boating pond about 5 minutes walk away and this is where the toilets are.

  • If your ever in Elgin try the Cooper Park and along the side of the Lossie for a walk/run. Probably a bit more built up than you're used to, but quite pretty. walkhighlands.co.uk/moray/e...

  • We used to holiday at Lossiemouth lighthouse Wilma and funniest memory of Elgin park was my husband and young son being chased by swan - they had to climb a tree We have never let them live it down

  • Ha! Look at that flat profile! Looks like a pleasant run.

  • Edinburgh parky Wilma ? More like Baltic at times but I can remember one park run with no wind / breeze whatsoever !

    Racking my brain to think of park in edinburgh that has all your criteria and can't think of one that has them all

    Figgy burn - pond, burn, grass, slope,plants, trees, play park, wildlife

    Queens park, - ponds, wildlife, paths, grass, playpark, amazing views, hills, hills and more hills

    Princess st gardens - floral clock , play park , trees, grass, slopes,and a castle!

    Saughton gardens/park - grass, play park, skateboard park, athletic track, football pitches, roses garden,

    So maybe have to stick with Cramond - at least it's flat with amazing views and scones!

  • 'And a castle!' LOL

  • Always felt Edinburgh lacked a proper park. Reckon Saughton is about the closest to my model park but it's a bit open for my liking.

  • 57th parkrun! That is awesome!!!!!

    The park down the road from me has a version of parkrun but it's not free but the park is lovely. Roses, gorgeous flowerbeds, bandstand, ducks, boating lake, train, ice cream parlour, cafe, swimming pool and leisure centre, trees, shrubs, county cricket, local cricket, swings etc for the kids, footy pitches. Not done a parkrun yet but intend to when I can get a saturday morning off. It's only once a month though, unlike parkrun proper.

  • I think all three of Glasgow's Parkruns are in proper parks. I hadnt been to Tollcross but Victoria Park in the West end has all the proper parky things: playground, rose and other plantings, pond, Australian Football pitch (what?) and other pitches, Victorian building to create a museum over the top of the dinosaur bones left where they were found. The one in the south side of town is a former country house grounds, so, all the parky bits, plus an art museum and horses and cows and the police dog training site.

    All the parks round Glasgow are getting tarted up for the Commonwealth Games! There is a pot of money to be spent, and boy are they!

  • It's great that the ordinary people will benefit from the Games Nilzed Glasgow may have proper parks but we have a few castles here in edinburgh ! ( only joking Nilzed I have never understood the glasgow v edinburgh thing Both beautiful places )

  • Gotta give those Victorians blame and credit: they may have run roughshod over and pretty much obliterated all the medievalness Glasgow once had, but they beleived in Parks! Both big and small, public and private. At least in the west and south.

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