Whether you’re on a mission to get fit this year or are already a seasoned runner, there’s no denying that parkruns are a great way to meet your exercise goals.
From its humble beginnings in 2004 as a fun way for friends to exercise together, parkrun has spread to 20 countries around the world. There are now almost 650 locations in the UK where you can run a free 5km race in a friendly and supportive setting – and eight of them are in Cornwall!
If you’re visiting Cornwall on holiday, parkruns are the perfect way to keep fit while getting closer to the county’s beautiful landscape. Whether you choose the most picturesque route, challenge yourself to Cornwall’s trickiest parkrun or want to bring the whole family, here’s our guide to everything you need to know about parkruns in Cornwall. Just remember to bring your barcode!
The hardest parkrun in Cornwall
Feeling up to a challenge? Mount Edgcumbe parkrun is one of the trickiest courses in the UK, with only three routes deemed more difficult.
The 5km route is set inside the grounds of Mount Edgcumbe Park, 855 acres of parkland that overlooks Plymouth Sound and the River Tamar. With a mix of terrain to tackle, including tarmac, gravel and grass, it’s a great way to test your fitness.
You can even arrive by boat by catching the Cremyll Ferry from Plymouth. After the run, there’s a café, a children’s play area and local crafts.
Stay nearby: Crew Cottage – Millbrook, Whitsand Bay | sleeps 4
The most picturesque parkrun in Cornwall
Offering incredible views around the National Trust’s Trelissick gardens and along the Fal Estuary, Trelissick parkrun has got to be the most picturesque in the whole of Cornwall.
The National Trust allows parkrunners to walk through the beautiful gardens of the country house before beginning the route, which undulates through woodland and along the River Fal.
When you’ve finished your run, have a coffee in the on-site café or explore the extensive estate – that is, if you’ve still got some energy to spare!
Stay nearby: Allium Cottage, Falmouth | sleeps 4
The most child-friendly parkrun in Cornwall
If you’ve got little ones in tow but still want to get a run in, Heartlands parkrun – just outside Camborne – is your best choice. No point on the course is further than 400 metres from the start, so it’s easy to turn back if little legs get tired.
The course is mostly flat and follows a tarmac trail, so junior runners can lace up their running shoes and keep up with the grown-ups without too much trouble – although kids under 11 years old must be accompanied by a parent.
Buggies are permitted on the route if your kids are tiny but still want to be a part of the action – just watch out for some narrow sections along the route. There’s also a children’s adventure playground, a café and a tin mining museum to keep them amused post-run.
Stay nearby: Brea View Barn, Portreath | sleeps 4
The most popular parkrun in Cornwall
Boasting an average of 224 runners a week, Eden Project parkrun is the most popular in Cornwall, and it’s no surprise why.
Not only do you get to run around the famous biomes of this well-loved tourist spot, but the route is the fifth quickest in the UK so it’s a must-visit for those looking for a speedy time!
If you want to combine your parkrun with a trip around the Eden Project, parkrunners get full access at the time of the event only. After your run, you can enjoy a restorative drink in the Eden Kitchen before making full use of your time in this world-famous attraction.
Stay nearby: Alpaca View, Charlestown | sleeps 2
All parkruns in Cornwall
Come and stay with us in Cornwall!
If you need a little longer than the duration of a 5km run to take in Cornwall’s beautiful sights, take a look at our full range of self-catering holiday cottages in Cornwall. From cosy fishermen’s cottages by the coast that are just right for a romantic getaway, to huge country houses surrounding by rolling fields perfect for the whole family, and even dog-friendly homes too, our Cornwall cottages are the perfect setting for exploring this wonderful county.
Or if you still have energy to burn, why not check out our guide to the best places to learn to surf in Cornwall?