Trail running provides a liberating escape into the countryside, with the right shoes and a good level of fitness you can explore some of the wildest and most beautiful areas of the country. Running across varied and often tricky terrain coupled with navigation and the British weather is a challenge but incredibly rewarding. Whether you are an experienced marathon runner or just enjoy jogging around the park, exploring your local trails can lead to an entirely new experience.
To inspire you to lace-up and head off-road, here are 5 of the best routes around the UK.
Monsal Trail passes over Headstone Viaduct
Hugging the River Wye from just outside Buxton and snaking to Bakewell the Monsal Trail utilises the old railway line. Converted in 1981 the route features the original railway tunnels, now lit up they provide relief from the steeper ascents. Park just off the A6 at Wyedale car park and follow the trail for 13km to Bakewell, alternatively use the Limestone way for a more challenging run.
Length (one way): 13km, with 323m climbing
With an elevation of 978m, Scafell Pike is the Lake District's (and England's) highest mountain
Possibly the most arduous and gruelling test of fitness and skill, the Bob Graham Round encompasses the 42 highest peaks of the Lake District in a 106-km circuit with 8229m of climbing. To enter the elite club, the round must be completed in an eye-watering 24 hours. For those who don’t possess a superhuman level of fitness the round promises a great multi-day run starting from, and returning to Keswick.
Length: 106km, with 8229m climbing
Difficulty: Very hard
The Yorkshire Dales offer some of the most picturesque scenery anywhere in the UK
A testing 44km route heading out to the north of Leeds and Skipton into the Yorkshire Dales. Supremely picturesque, the route has four main climbs spread evenly throughout the run, each providing views across the Dales. Start at Bolton Abbey and return via Rylestone Fell, there is a tearoom in the village for a well-earned treat afterwards.
Length: 44km, with 1143m climbing
The path taken by the railway line can still be seen clearly
Following the now disused railway line that connected the area’s mines, the Liskeard and Caradon railway provides some wild routes in the South West. Despite the route being still marked with the old stone sleepers, careful consideration should be given to the weather, especially when summiting Sharp Tor. There are various routes to explore depending on how fit you are feeling.
Length: From 8km
The view approaching Beachy Head is one of the UK's most iconic