Park runs

I have got my bar code for park runs and was aiming to do one end of June/July. My local ones are Moors Valley, Brockenhurst and Bournemouth. Does anyone have any experience of these? Do people sprint round or is there a good mix of abilities and if anyone has been to any of these venues which would they recommend? I'm a bit cautious about running with lots of people. I run alone at the moment and like that but want to do a park run to have something to aim for.


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

11 Replies

  • I don't know those but the one I go to there is a very wide range from sub-20 minute racing snakes to over-40 minute plodders. Go along to watch, or even better volunteer to help out, and find out what your local ones are like.

  • That's "MR" plodder to you!


  • I was encouraged to do my local park run by a friend. When I say run I really mean walk most of it and break into a trot in places :)

    I'm not alone either and everyone is really supportive recognising that you are making the effort to try to get fit.

    There are a huge range of abilities from snails like me through to those that sprint the whole thing.

    I just find it a really good atmosphere and great way to start the weekend.

  • Never been to a Park run but heard good things on this forum. However I used to live near Moors Valley park and it would be a lovely place to run. I wonder if the run goes around the lake or through the forest? Either would be very pleasant.

  • I really enjoy the solitude of running on my own but I did my first park run last week and loved it! The times on my local one range from 15-50mins so there's all abilities and everyone is so friendly. I was going to save it for my graduation but I started on week 5 and I'm going to build it in as my last run of each week now. My other half is a bit sick of me saying how much I'm loving running so it's great to feel part of a like minded community! ☺️🏃🏻‍♀️

  • Thanks for the comments I think I will just go along and have a go. I can stick to the walk/run program for whatever week and just see how I go. My husband is fed up of me going on about running too! Seriously never thought I would get hooked. Hope it lasts.

  • You'll do just great. Our Parkrun has loads of people that walk the majority of it, and once I'm cleared by the docs to run again I am fully prepared to break out W1R1 at my local Parkrun.

  • I had originally said I'd do a Parkrun this last Saturday (because it was my birthday on the Sunday). Thanks to my athlete grand-daughter "encouraging" me I started much sooner than I had intended and last Saturday turned out to be my Parkrun #3. A simple piece of advice - just do it, they are wonderful, friendly and totally non-scary. If you have to then just walk it all and you'll still find people cheering you in at the end ... I know, that was me doing my first one. DON'T WAIT!

  • I haven't run the Bournemouth course but I know the location and it's basically set in the fields adjacent to Bournemouth AC and the football stadium.

    Moors Valley is great-a proper parkrun (if there is such a thing) in a country park. It's a trail course with a short out & back. Very friendly volunteers and runners. Parking is £1 but the car park can get congested so I recommend arriving no later than 08:30. I also recommend paying for your parking at the machines near to the cafe when you arrive (it's ANPR so you need to type in your reg), to avoid queuing later. Also means you can linger over a post run coffee!

    In terms of numbers, both Bournemouth and Moors Valley are similar in size at approx 500 runners, so busy but not huge.

    Talking of huge, your other option if you don't mind travelling a bit further is Poole (25 mins from Ringwood, down the A31). It's a big parkrun these days, regularly 800+ but a wonderful location on a flat tarmac/paved course around the boating lake in Poole Park. Definitely a PB course! Free multi-storey parking 2 mins from the start/finish area and handy toilets plus complementary teas/coffees in the cricket pavilion. Can get a bit congested at the 1km point and at the finish if you're in the 24-30 minute range but no problems either side of that. It's my local parkrun so perhaps I'm a bit biased but I love it and they have a great team of volunteers.

    Another parkrun I can recommend is Blandford. Bit further for you to travel for sure, but a much smaller affair, around 200 runners. Course is a simple out & back trail in woodland and open fields. Very friendly crowd, parking not a problem and cafe/toilets in the nearby leisure centre.

    All of these parkruns have runners of varying abilities. Plenty of club runners and speedy kids at the sharp end but lots of slower runners, beginners and walkers. In fact, at Poole last week there was a big turnout of c25k runners who are affiliated to one of the local running clubs.

    Last but not least, a new parkun is coming to East Dorset in June, at Upton Country Park. It's a couple of miles from Poole but very easy to reach. A classic trail course in a woodland setting. Great facilities-cafe, toilets, parking, kids play area etc. I'm on the core team and we're just putting the last bits & pieces together. Probably not worth travelling to if you're that much closer to Moors Valley but one for the list if you get bitten by the parkrun bug.

    Oh, and watch out for 17th June. Poole parkrun is cancelled on that date so the numbers will be up at the other parkruns nearby.

  • Wow thanks for all that info! I am really keen now to try them all.

  • You're welcome! There are also the Hampshire parkruns, loads around Southampton and Portsmouth, plus Winchester and Salisbury. This is a pretty good tool for finding them all:

You may also like...