5 of the best running routes in Britain

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 07.01.2019

Whether you want to keep fit while on holiday, or just explore new corners of the UK on foot, Jen and Sim Benson – authors of the new Wild Running: 150 Adventures on the Trails & Fells of Britain – have compiled their five favourite running routes in Britain.

East Cornwall

The south east of Cornwall boasts a wonderful mixture of pretty fishing villages, beautiful beaches – take the three-mile sweep of Whitsand Bay – and the rugged South West Coast Path with its mile upon mile of fantastic running terrain. Following the gently winding River Fowey northwards brings you to the wide-open spaces of Bodmin Moor, punctuated with tors whose granite has been used for millennia to build the towns and villages nearby. A favourite run here takes in the stone circles of the Hurlers and the towering rock stack of the Cheesewring passes close to Golitha Falls, where the Fowey cascades down a spectacular wooded gorge.

Full run details at wildrunning.net/hurlers-cheesewring

The South Downs

Full run details at wildrunning.net/beachy-head-seven-sisters


© GlennV/Shutterstock

The Howgills

The quieter, wilder neighbours of the Lake District, Cumbria’s Howgill Fells lie just within the borders of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Characterised by sweeping, grassy hillsides, craggy outcrops and rambling, stony trails there is a feeling of utter peace and tranquility here. One of our happiest discoveries when researching for the book, this little-visited area is a true wild runner’s dream. A fantastic 6 mile loop from Haygarth takes in Cautley Spout - nearly 200 metres of bubbling, tumbling waterfall – and The Calf, the highest point in this range of fells at 676 metres, finishing with an exhilarating descent into Bowderdale.

Full run details at wildrunning.net/the-howgills

Southern Snowdonia

The rugged mountains of North Wales are a perfect arena for walking, climbing and running, from the peaceful Rhinogydd to the high passes of the Snowdon Range. The classic, spectacular Glyder Ridge is an awe-inspiring run, with nearly 700 metres of ascent packed into the first 2 miles. Cadair Idris is a picture-perfect mountain, and home to the legend of Idris, the giant who dwelt here in Welsh folklore and whose great chair crowns its summit. The run up the Pony Path and back is exciting, adventurous and exhilarating, taking you through some magical scenery with vast views out across the surrounding mountains, whilst being relatively straightforward to follow. Navigation may be challenging in poor weather.

Full run details at wildrunning.net/cadair-idris


© Jim Grant/Shutterstock

Fort William & Lochaber

Full run details at wildrunning.net/loch-ossian-loop

Top image © Helen Hotson/Shutterstock


Runners and writers Jen and Sim Benson are passionate about exploring the wild places of Britain and finding the best places to run. Their new book Wild Running: 150 Adventures on the Trails & Fells of Britain (Wild Things Publishing) is available at £16.99 inc P&P from wildrunning.net.

Explore more of Britain with the Rough Guide to Britain.

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