Monday 24 February 2014

The Kent parkrun venues

The county of Kent is made up of Kent County Council and the unitary authority of Medway Council. The pins on the map mark the locations of parkruns within the county.

The pins on the map mark the locations of parkruns within the county. The green pins show the venues I have officially visited while the red pins are venues that I still need to visit. The list below covers public 5k events only, not prison venues or junior parkruns.

Ashford - Victoria Park, Ashford, Kent.
Course: 2 laps
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat with one short sharp incline towards the end of each lap
Notes: A fast course but not the fastest due to the short incline
Further reading: My Ashford parkrun blog entry

Bedgebury Pinetum - Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, Bedgebury Road, Goudhurst
Course: 1 lap
Underfoot: Gravelly and stony paths
Profile: Hilly but with a great 2km downhill section in the middle
Notes: The Pinetum is a great place to visit
Further reading: My Bedgebury Pinetum parkrun blog post.

Canterbury - University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent.
Course: A double out-and-back plus a couple of laps of playing fields
Underfoot: Tarmac/hard surfaces and Grass
Profile: Initially it looks flat but the Crab and Winkle Way takes you through a valley resulting in four inclines/declines to negotiate.
Notes: One of the more challenging parkruns in Kent.
Further reading: My Canterbury parkrun blog entry and also my blog entry from the Canterbury parkrun test event.

Cyclopark - Cyclopark, Gravesend, Kent
Course: Double out-and-back
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Gentle elevation change throughout the entire length of the course
Notes: Does not take place inside the Cyclopark, but outside on National Cycle Route 177
Further reading: My Cyclopark parkrun blog entry

Dartford - Central Park, Dartford, Kent (London+)
Course: 1 small lap followed by two large laps (new course as of July 2016)
Underfoot: Tarmac and grass / dirt
Profile: Mostly flat but with a slight incline during the dirt trail section
Elevation gain: 26m
GPS data: Dartford parkrun (new standard course)
Notes: My home run
Further reading: My full Dartford parkrun write-up from 2022.
Video: Dartford parkrun (freedom run) (the original course - not the current course, but quite similar)

Dartford Heath - Dartford Heath, Heath Lane, Dartford, Kent (London+)
Course: Almost two laps
Underfoot: stony paths, grass, concrete
Profile: flat
Notes: No facilities on the heath.
Further reading: My Dartford Heath parkrun blog post

Dover Waterfront - Dover Waterfront, The Esplanade, Dover, Kent
Course: 3 x Out and back (2 on waterfront / 1 on pier)
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: No dogs allowed
Further reading: My Dover Waterfront parkrun write-up from September 2023

Folkestone - Leas Cliff, Folkestone, Kent.
Course: A double oab course with the first one run twice
Underfoot; tarmac
Profile: slightly uphill whilst running west
Elevation gain: 133m (need to check this)
GPS data: Folkestone parkrun
Notes: takes place on the cliff top so can be quite windy
Further reading: My Folkestone parkrun freedom run blog entry and also my Folkestone parkrun official event 94 blog post.

Great Lines - Great Lines Heritage Park, Gillingham, Kent.
Course: 2 out-and-back laps with a loop at each end
Underfoot: resin paths, gravel and grass
Profile: gently undulating
Notes: Great view and impressive naval memorial
Further reading: My Great Lines parkrun 2023 venue write-up. Also My Great Lines event 1 blog and another with the running buggy on Christmas Day.
Video: Great Lines parkrun (freedom run)

Kingdom - Kingdom, Penshurst, Kent.
Course: Three laps
Underfoot: Trails (former cycle tracks)
Profile: undulating / hilly
Notes: Great views across the Weald of Kent
Further reading: My Kingdom parkrun blog post

Lullingstone - Lullingstone Country Park, Castle Road, Eynsford, Kent
Course: 2 laps
Underfoot: Grass / trail
Profile: Hilly
Notes: Beautiful. One of the hilliest parkruns in the UK.
Further reading: My Lullingstone parkrun blog entry. I revisited for event 126 and again at event 151.

Maidstone River Park - Kent Life, Maidstone, Kent.
Course: Out and back along the river Medway with a bridge and a loop at the far end
Underfoot: Canal towpath / gravelly
Profile: Flat except for the bridge crossing and the last dash to the finish line
Notes: Maidstone parkrun, renamed in March 2024. Towpath is narrow so overtaking can be tricky.
Further reading: The 2022 Maidstone parkrun blog post. Or My original Maidstone parkrun blog post from 2014.

Malling - Leybourne Lakes Country Park, Malling Road, Larkfield
Course: Two laps around the main lake
Underfoot: Stony / gravelly path
Profile: Flat
Notes: Fast course / car park fills up
Further Reading: My Malling parkrun blog post from January 2023. There is also my original Malling parkrun blog post from 2015.

Margate - Palm Bay Seafront, Margate, Thanet, Kent.
Course: 2 different out-and-backs, the first short, the second long with a loop at each end.
Underfoot: Mostly tarmac but there is a short section at the far end on dirt/grass
Profile: There are a couple of undulations to negotiate during the second out-and-back section
Notes: Fast course but slowed down by the undulations
Further reading: My 2023 Margate parkrun write-up /  My original 2013 Margate parkrun blog

Mote Park - Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent
Course: Out and back plus two inner laps
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Undulates throughout. Hilly.
Notes: Nice undulating park.
Further reading: My Mote Park parkrun blog post

Pegwell Bay - Pegwell Bay Country Park, Thanet, Kent.
Course: 2 laps
Underfoot: Compact gravel paths and tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: The course is short, full details in the 2024 write-up
Further reading: My 2024 Pegwell Bay parkrun write-up. There is also My Pegwell Bay parkrun blog from 2014.

Royal Tunbridge Wells - Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Course: 2 laps
Underfoot: tarmac/grass (dirt/mud/puddles)
Profile: undulating
Notes: Very nice park with an uphill finish.
Further reading: My Royal Tunbridge Wells blog entry

Shorne Woods - Shorne Woods Country Park, Gravesend, Kent.
Course: Varies depending on seasonal conditions (but usually 3 laps)
Underfoot: Compact gravel easy-access paths
Profile: Flat (not pancake flat, but close)
Notes: A fun course with some twists and turns
Further reading: My Shorne Woods parkrun 2023 write-up, My 2014 Shorne Woods blog entry and also my New Years Day 2015 blog entry

Sittingbourne - Milton Creek Country Park, Sittingbourne, Kent
Course: Two-and-a-bit laps
Underfoot: gravelly paths plus some grassy sections
Profile: pretty much flat
Notes: Nice course - lots of turns. The marshals are crucial to keeping runners on course.
Further reading: My Sittingbourne parkrun blog entry

Squerryes Winery parkrun - Squerryes Winery, Westerham, Kent
Course: One-and-a-half laps (a big lap and a small lap and a tail, kinda)
Underfoot: Farm tracks / trail
Profile: gently undulating
Notes: Official page states not suitable for running buggies
Further reading: My Squerryes Winery parkrun blog post

Swanley parkrun - Swanley Park, Swanley, Kent (London+)
Course: Two laps (but see course page) - looks like a tied shoe lace
Underfoot: Grass and paths
Profile: Undulating
Further reading: My Swanley parkrun blog post

The Leas parkrun, Minster - The Leas, Minster-on-Sea, Isle of Sheppey, Kent
Course: Double out-and-back
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: Seafront, so can be windy
Further reading: My The Leas parkrun, Minster blog post

Tonbridge - Tonbridge Racecourse Park, Tonbridge, Kent.
Course: Out and back with a loop around Barden Lake at the far end
Underfoot: A mixture of grass, tarmac, dirt, gravel and bridges
Profile: Flat
Notes: Flat and fast but does have sections on grass and trail which make it a little slower in the winter.
Further reading: My new/update Tonbridge parkrun venue guide,  My original Tonbridge parkrun blog entry from 2013 or my freedom run before the venue went live.
Video: Tonbridge parkrun (freedom run)

Walmer and Deal Seafront - The Beach, Walmer, Deal, Kent
Course: Out and back style (1.5km north and then 1km south)
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: On a clear day you can see across to France
Further reading: My Walmer and Deal Seafront parkrun blog post

Whitstable - Marine Drive, Tankerton-on-sea, Kent.
Course: 2 laps along the lower and upper levels of the promenade
Underfoot: Tarmac and Grass
Profile: Flat apart from the slopes between the levels
Notes: A pretty seafront location. The first Kent parkrun venue.
Further reading: My 2024 Whitstable parkrun write-up. Also there'a My Whitstable parkrun blog entry from my 2024 visit.

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