Trying to decide where to put on your running bucket list for 2020? We’ve done the hard work for you and collated six routes from around the UK to inspire your love of the run.
Wild moorlands, stunning coastlines and rugged cliffs - the Cornish coast leaves runners spoilt for choice. Home to one of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches, the picturesque seaside town of Polzeath provides easy access to Pentire Point and The Rumps, from which you might be able to spot dolphins, seals and even basking sharks.
To make the most of this run, we recommend following the route of the Polzeath 10k. The views out over Padstow Bay are phenomenal - make sure you watch your footing, as there are some particularly tricky sections along the way.
With its iconic white chalk cliffs, a run along Beachy Head is sure to stir an appreciation for the beauty of the British countryside. Boasting the tallest chalk cliffs in the UK, the views out over the English Channel are simply breathtaking.
A popular route is a 24k circuit beginning and ending at the Beachy Head Countryside Centre. Taking you through the lush woodland of Friston Forest and over the grassy tops of the white cliffs, you’re rewarded with panoramic views out onto the horizon.
For London dwellers looking to escape the city, the North Downs provides a nearby countryside retreat. Stretching from Farnham in Surrey to Dover in Kent, this ridge of hills is home to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Whether you’re coming from London or further afield, the 11k run from Box Hill to Reigate Hill is a great route to start with. Fantastically diverse, the run features steep uphill and downhill sections combined with wooded tracks, fields and dirt pathways.
Whether you live in London or you’re just in town for a visit, there’s arguably no better way to explore the city than by running through the heart of it. A run along the River Thames provides the perfect opportunity to soak up the city’s culture and take in the sights of London’s most famous landmarks.
We recommend a 10.6k route following the south bank of the Thames from Westminster Bridge to the far end of Battersea Park, before crossing the river and heading back up the north bank.
Snowdonia national park makes it onto our inspirational list for one very good reason: it’s home to Britains first-ever dedicated trail running centre -Run Coed-y-Brenin. Tackle one of the five waymarked trails or join one of the numerous events the centre hosts throughout the year.
The 8.4k Sarn Helen Trail has a mix of both natural and historical man-made scenery, including Cefndeuddwr ridge and medieval ironworks. Featuring narrow winding trails and wide forest paths, as well as steep ascents and descents, it’s fantastic for multiple types of training.
Finding beauty in nature is often a source of running inspiration, but architectural beauty can also have a similar effect - Edinburgh offers both. Arthur’s Seat offers many sites to explore, as well as stunning views over the city.
To really take in the city’s beauty we recommend a 7.5k route beginning in the heart of Edinburgh’s old town, encircling Holyrood Park. For a more adventurous run, you can take the trails up to the summit of Arthurs Seat and enjoy a well-earned break as you look out over the city.
If you’ve already explored these locations then share your experiences with us below, or if you know somewhere that should make our list of inspirational runs, we’d love to hear about it.
We want to wish all of you a happy new year and hope 2020 brings you a fantastic year of running.