Parkrun tourist report - Bushy Park

If you are a parkrun enthusiast, you will know that Bushy Park is where it all started 12 years ago. With over 1,000 runners on a typical week, it's probably the biggest parkrun.

My husband and I take the opportunity to be parkrun tourists whenever we are away for a weekend, and yesterday was the turn of Bushy Park. It's one of the London "royal" parks, filled with deer and a resident colony of parakeets. The terrain is flat with areas of low level ferns, trees and ponds. We saw heron on one of the ponds.

The parkrun takes a butterfly shaped single lap course, using a mix of compacted paths, grass and tarmac. Like all events I have attended, it was very friendly. A large volume of runners means a large volume of volunteers - over 50 in fact - many of them managing the extensive double funnel needed to finish the runners.

At this time of year the run takes place to the backdrop of the territorial behaviour of the deer - stags making warning sounds, marshalling their flock, occasionally rutting with rivals. You would be running along and spot horns in the nearby ferns, or hear a commotion.

We had a great time! With thanks to all at the run, this one is a definite recommend.


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13 Replies

  • That sounds lovely! I love the idea of being a Park run tourist once I've graduated!!!

  • Please do check out your nearest one, is great to get an idea on how they go before you start. Good luck.

  • I did my first parkrun yesterday and loved it, and I 've also introduced my boss to pr. He'd never heard of it until a few weeks ago although he is a runner. He visits Cornwall regularly, so did his first down there yesterday and loved it too and says next week he'll try Worcester! I think it's a brilliant organisation, and if there is one near you it's a great goal when doing C25K. Thanks for your report, sounds lovely, and over 1000 runners, wow!

  • Well done on graduating. With 42 park runs across 6 different venues, I most definitely recommend them!

  • I did that one for my 50th parkrun and I was a bit overwhelmed with so many people but it was nice and flat!!!!

  • I think it would be hard work to operate but as a runner it seemed quite smooth. With a very wide start area there was none of the finding your best start point in the starting funnel for your speed that you find at some of the other large ones. The organisation of finishers was really good.

  • Thanks for this post, I am in London in a few weeks and was hoping to do a Parkrun. I know Hampstead is quite hilly so may try this one instead 😃

  • I have also done Richmond and Southwark. Richmond another big one, gently down and up rather than hilly. Southwark (in an urban park) is all on tarmac and completely flat. I think Finsbury Park is fairly flat too.

  • Thank you, i will be in Islington so Bushy Park perhaps a bit too far out on reflection. I will look at the others youve suggested👍🏼

  • That sounds amazing - not only in the wonderful views but in the size and organization of the run.

  • Yes, possibly a pain for the other park users as it somewhat dominates the paths it uses!

  • Dont do parkrun, but we do go running in Bushy park amongst all the deer. Then out the gate and through Hampton Court and along the Thames Path to Kingston. Its a lovely route.

  • Yes it's a lovely area

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