Keeping on the same handful of routes will put you in the fast lane, especially if you're a city dweller hammering gray sidewalks. Admittedly, it's hard to be adventurous, even though it's hard to put a run on your schedule, but it's worth reserving a bit of weekend time and making it a weekend out because Britain has some extraordinary trail Running Spots In a few hours where you are, you will surely be one.
As an inspiration for your next escape route, we asked Simon James, the founder of Run the Wild, to share his favorite places, Running in the UK.
First place in the United Kingdom designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). With some of the best beaches in the world, the Gower is the scenery! Climbing trails, epic sandy beaches, hills and valleys, castles, estuaries and forest rivers ̵
Just 30 minutes by train from London is another AONB, the Chiltern Hills. A beautiful chalk arc extending about 80 km from Dunstable in the east to Goring-on-Thames in the west. It offers a variety of trails, from the ancient forests of Ashridge to the hills that offer breathtaking views of the home counties. A network of paths criss-crossing the area. The most famous is the Ridgeway, Britain's oldest street, about 140 km long in its current form. The first trail runners on this route were probably from the Neolithic Age!
Further west of the Chilterns are the Cotswolds. With many pretty B & Bs and pubs to visit, and good transport links, it's an easy place to escape. For longer trails there is the 161 km long Cotswold Way, which is worth exploring.
Walking through the granary of England is a breath of fresh air. The surrounding countryside offers wide open fields that change color with the seasons, from properly plowed fields in winter to summers of thigh high, rapeseed and sunflowers. Quaint villages with urban-themed Tudor-style houses offer a typically English experience, especially in the Dedham Vale to the east. A mix of coastlines, rivers and valleys offers a good selection of landscapes via a well networked network of trails.
The Lake District is Chamonix's UK response with the Bob Graham Round (a challenge that requires 42 traps in 24 hours) and many historical fall races in the area. Trail running is rather rough and wild here. It is quite remote for most people, but worth getting there, and in good weather you can expect epic paths, peaks and views.
After Snowdonia has spent a lot of time on mountain training classes, I have a thing for this part of the world – in fact, for the first time, I experienced mountains. You do not even have to enter Snowdon yourself to make the most of it. Circumnavigation of the highest mountain in Wales was one of the best trails I have ever made. Difference in altitude and hustle and bustle give the routes a good track adventure.
The Cairngorms are the wildest area in the UK and more accessible than you might think – just a short drive from Inverness. Here are four of the five highest peaks in the UK. Though definitely not a place for the unprepared, this wilderness offers some epic trail-running adventures. As a bonus, you can extend your trips with the Bothy system (simple shelters scattered throughout the national park). There are not many places in the world where you can wake up to a stag sniffing your tent. From remote high peaks to lakes and wooded valleys, this environment will test your trail running and mountain skills.