Cornwall now hosts 9 parkruns – great news considering how big our county is. Here’s the lowdown on all 9 locations – how many have you ticked off your list?
Every Saturday, 9.00am is parkrun time. Parkruns are 5k long and despite the name, you don’t have to run them at all. They’re for people of all abilities and ages so walking is permissible. In fact, I love how inclusive they are. Plus, parkruns are not permitted to take place on public routes ensuring all events are traffic free and totally safe.
Junior parkruns have started popping up too, offering a shorter one mile distance for children if 5k is a bit too much.
There are many devoted parkrunners out there who turn up week after week to complete the 5k distance. All you have to do is register online (you only do this once), download your unique barcode and turn up. If you attend without a parkrun barcode, you can still complete the distance but you won’t be named on the results when they come through via email.
Parkruns are free and take place all over the world. In Cornwall, parkruns have expanded over the years and we now host 9 across the county. This is excellent news as we get to experience running in different parts of our vast county. The same applies for parkrun tourists who can add expand their list of completed parkruns.
Cornwall’s Parkrun Locations
Mount Edgcumbe Parkrun
Tucked away in Torpoint, this is the parkrun that’s most likely to escape me. It would take me over an hour to get there which would make for a super early start on a Saturday!
Based in the grounds of Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park on the Rame Peninsula, this parkrun involves a lap of the grounds, covering road paths and trail. If you take part, you’ll run up to the house and around the estate, passing through the impressive Grade 1 Cornish Gardens. Rumour has it that this is the toughest parkrun in Cornwall but I can’t vouch for that!
Some people arrive by ferry from Plymouth for this one. Parking is pay and display. For the obligatory cuppa afterwards, The Farriers Cafe is on site.
If you’d like to take part in the Mount Edgcumbe Parkrun, you can find the facebook page here.
Tamar Lakes Parkrun
Tamar Lakes are in Kilkhampton, near Bude (postcode EX23 9SB). The Tamar Lakes are a well known spot for those who like a bit of fishing, a touch of watersports, and is popular with walkers. It’s now home to a Saturday morning parkrun.
The 5k course is on mixed terrain covering path, cinder and trail. It’s a one lap, anticlockwise course that takes participants around one of the lakes. Parking costs £2.50 and a post run hot of caffeine and cake can be had at the Froghopper cafe.
You can find up to date information on the Tamar Lakes Parkrun facebook page.
Another parkrun situated on an estate. I believe it was one of Cornwall’s first parkruns too, starting in 2014.
Lanhydrock House belongs to the National Trust and is a popular place to visit in Cornwall (I really like coming here). As it’s a National Trust property, parking is free for members. Otherwise, I suspect you have to pay.
Lanhydrock parkrun has a downhill start followed by 2 laps along the river and in neighbouring woodland (I suspect it heads into Respryn). While I’ve never completed this parkrun, I’ve heard many talk about the “big hill”. I know there’s one that leads up to the house and then continues for a bit longer! Sounds like fun to me 🙈.
After such a testing finish, you can visit the Park Cafe, near the visitor centre for a well deserved refuel!
Eden Project Parkrun
Even though Trelissick is nearest to me, Eden Project Parkrun is the one I’ve done the most.
Running solely on tarmac path, this parkrun starts at the bus park (that’s the banana car park) and leads down to the biomes. Parkrunners weave their way along the snakey paths that cover wrap around the Eden Project. It’s an undulating course with some inclines but also some fun, fantastic downhill sections.
The Eden Project parkrun is popular. And yes, if you complete the parkrun you can stay and enjoy the biomes and facilities for free! (Definitely worth covering 5k for.)
The Eden Project doesn’t just host a weekly parkrun. There’s also a marathon and half marathon – it’s not for the faint hearted. You can find my Eden Project marathon write up here.
The Eden Project Parkrun facebook page is updated regularly. Occasionally parkruns here are cancelled due to the Eden Sessions so do make it’s on before you leave.
Unlike the others mentioned, Trelissick parkrun is an out and back route. Make sure you arrive early too, there’s a bit of a walk to the start from the car park.
Held within the grounds of this National Trust estate, this 5k trail route offers shelter amongst the trees and follows the River Fal. The turning point of this course involves running around a field which offers a lovely, generous hill. From what I can see, most seem to walk this bit!
Depending on where you’re coming from, you can get to Trelissick via the King Harry ferry (if you come from The Roseland). I sometimes park my car up the hill on the Roseland Peninsula side and hop on as a foot passenger. Parking is free for National Trust members.
Visit Trelissick parkrun facebook page for regular updates and information.
Penryn Campus Parkrun
Starting in October 2021 after 2 years of preparation, Penryn campus parkrun is finally with us. It takes place in the grounds of Falmouth University in Penryn. The route starts at Tremough House and basically involves three out and backs with a little loop in the middle. This parkrun is on a wide path; I believe road shoes would be fine for this course.
Penryn campus parkrun is quite demanding. From what I’ve heard, it’s not a course where you’re likely to bag a 5k PB.
I’ve not completed it yet but it’s definitely on the list!
Heartlands is a Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, near Redruth. It’s also the home to an established parkrun.
Starting on a path, runners make their way across a bridge and then through the gardens. While it’s a looped course, it sounds a bit like the Eden Project parkrun, where runners have to complete 3.5 loops. It’s worth noting too that Heartlands parkrun is reported to be unsuitable for buggies.
There is a pay and display car park at Heartlands. Unfortunately, parkrunners don’t get to park for free.
You can find more information on the Heartlands parkrun facebook page.
Held on the Penrose Estate, in Helston, this is a flat out and back 5k route. Penrose consists of woodland tracks and wide green spaces. It’s popular with walkers, cyclists and runners. After your parkrun, why not grab a coffee and meet with the rest of your family for an extended stay.
Lands End Parkrun
It might be a good hour plus drive for me, but I’m proud to say that I’ve done Lands End parkrun, and what a beautiful course it is!
Starting at Land End (obvious, I know), this is a coastal route heading out on the south west coast path towards Sennen. There’s an out and back section before runners complete 3 loops of a section near the start.
As you’re literally running around the edge of the Cornwall, it’s pretty brisk. On the day I completed this Lands End 5k, there was a bracing wind and I almost lost my favourite running cap several times.
If you’re wanting a parkrun with epic views, this is for you.
There’s parking at Lands End and it’s pay and display. I went in winter and I’m pretty sure we didn’t have to pay. Do check with the facebook page though before you go.
I’ve got to say, I think Cornwall hosts some cracking parkruns. Have you completed any of Cornwall’s parkruns? Do you have a favourite?