The 10 Most Beautiful Running Routes in Britain
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The 10 Most Beautiful Running Routes in Britain

These beautiful routes make running that bit easier

If you’re training for a marathon, or are just inspired to pop your trainers on and go for a bit of a jog, then keep scrolling for the prettiest places to plod along here in the UK, from Wordsworth spots to Hadrian’s Wall.

The 10 Most Beautiful Running Routes in Britain

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Hadrian's Wall Jimmy McIntyre Flickr 2012

1. Hadrian’s Wall

With impressive views, historic interest and plenty of steep climbs to get your blood pumping, this route is just under five miles, and takes you along part of the 73-mile wall. Hopefully the views will distract you from the hills…

Plan your route:

Image: Jimmy McIntyre, Flickr 2012

Regent's Canal digitaltemi Flickr 2014

2. London

Ok, this isn’t for the faint-hearted, as it covers 17.8 miles, but for those training for a marathon, this is a lovely one to try. Head east along the north bank, following the Thames Path all the way to Limehouse Basin (it’s signposted). You then follow Regent’s Canal north, then west to Little Venice, before heading south to Paddington Station. Afterwards, you end up travelling south to Hyde Park before using the Royal Parks to connect back to your start point. Just don’t forget to avoid the cyclists around the canal…

Plan your route:

Image: digitaltemi, Flickr 2014

Tintern Abbey Stewart Black Flickr 2015

3. Tintern Abbey

Fancy channelling Wordsworth while going for a run? If so, this running route is for you. It’s literary. Run along the tranquil Wye Valley, which starts at Tintern Abbey, to bring a little peace to your day.

The South Wales Argus says:

This rising path takes you underneath Shorncliffe crag, and then you take a sharp, steep rightwards path which you follow to the top and then turn left and head towards Brockweir, first on a gently undulating trail, then a steep, exciting, runnable descent. At Happa, you take a left back on a gently rising trail towards Tintern.

This six-mile route will have you thinking back to the romantic era with the words of Wordsworth’s poem ringing in your ears…

Plan your route:

Image: Stewart Black, Flickr 2015

Beachy Head, Ed Webster Flickr 2011

4. Beachy Head, Sussex

White chalk cliffs, views over the sea, lush woodlands and shingle beaches, what more could you want for your next run? Wild Running suggests you follow these directions to avoid making this run far longer than you might have anticipated…

From the start, head north, joining the South Downs Way shortly after the B2103. Follow waymarkers to Jevington. Leave the South Downs Way here and head south west through Friston Forest to Westdean. Follow tracks south along the edge of the Seven Sisters Country Park to reach the South Downs Way again, now heading east along the coast. Follow waymarkers, past Birling Gap, all the way back to the start.

Be warned, it’s 15 miles.

Plan your route:

Image: Ed Webster, Flickr 2011

Rest and Be Thankful John Flickr 2010

5. Rest and Be Thankful

For those of you who like a challenge, this hill is it. A former hillclimbing course in Glen Croe, Argyll, Scotland, it’s a total and utter killer, with a gradual ascent of 400 feet over 1,425 yards. Thankfully, there’s a nice view at the top, which (sort of) makes it worth it. You’ll have thighs of steel!

Plan your route:

Image: John, Flickr 2010

Croyde North Devon, Stuart Webster 2007

6. Tarka Trail from Croyde to Saunton Sands

Who doesn’t love the seaside? Croyde is a popular surfing village in North Devon, which has an incredible strip of road leading to Saunton Sands. Just keep an eye on the road if you can… This route is just under four miles along the Tarka Trail.

Plan your route:

Image: Stuart Webster 2007

Peak District, Lezan Flickr 2008

7. Peak District

The Roaches is a lovely run which starts at the Tittesworth Reservoir, and continues up along the ridge, rising up along Hen Cloud, through the woods and back to the reservoir. It’s around nine miles. Take in the fresh air and mind the fallen twigs.

Plan your route:

Image: Lezan, Flickr 2008

New Forest, Davidgsteadman Flickr 2009

8. The New Forest

This one speaks for itself. Just follow one of the many sign posted trails and get lost in the woodlands. We like route 112 from Burley, which is a lovely six mile loop.

Plan your route:

Image: Davidgsteadman, Flickr 2009

Windsor The Long Walk, Karen Roe Flickr

9. Windsor Great Park

For a lovely royal run, Windsor Great Park is unbeatable. Start along the Long Walk and carry on south until you hit Victoria Water (the biggest lake in Windsor Great Park) and circle the park, until you return to the Long Walk. Watch out for the deer!

Plan your route:

Image: Karen Roe, Flickr

Albert Bridge, DncnH Flickr 2015

10. Thames Path

This run is as simple as they come. Just follow the Thames Path on the river’s south bank all the way to the lovely Battersea Park. At the far end of the park, cross to the north bank via the impressive Albert Bridge. Then follow the waterside pavement all the way home whilst admiring the houseboats, the monolithic Battersea Power Station and some pretty spectacular real estate. As you can see (above) this run is only made better by a sunset.

Plan your route:

Image: DncnH, Flickr 2015

Featured image: Getty Images