Monday 19 May 2014

The Essex parkrun venues

The county of Essex is made up of Essex County Council and the unitary local authorities of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock.

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 5k events only, not junior parkruns.

Basildon - Northlands Park, Basildon, Essex
Course: Almost 3 laps
Underfoot: Tarmac, grass, gravelly / stony single track paths
Profile: Flat with a little incline
Notes: Realy lovely looking park with a very friendly bunch of volunteers
Further reading: My Basildon parkrun blog entry.

Billericay - Lake Meadows Park, Billericay, Essex
Course: 4 laps
Underfoot: Tarmac and grass
Profile: Gently undulating
Notes: A beautifully landscaped town park with a lake
Further reading: My Billericay parkrun blog post

Brentwood - Weald Country Park, South Weald, Brentwood, Essex
Course: 1 figure of eight lap
Underfoot: grass / forest paths / dirt and mud
Profile: undulating / hilly all the way round
Notes: A tough course
Further reading: My Brentwood parkrun blog entry

Burnham on Crouch - Riverside Country Park, Millfields, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Multi terrain
Profile: Generally flat with a few small changes in elevation
Notes: Lots of dog walkers
Further reading: My Burnham-on-Crouch parkrun blog post

Chalkwell Beach - Chalkwell Beach, Chalkwell Esplanade, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex
Course: Out-and-back
Underfoot: Tarmac (finish on grass)
Profile: Flat
Notes: Seafront - may be windy
Further reading: My Chalkwell Beach parkrun blog entry

Chelmsford Central - Central Park, Chelmsford, Essex
Course: 1 lap or an out-and-back depending on your point of view
Underfoot: about 4km tarmac and 1km grass
Profile: Almost completely flat. Just one short incline to tackle.
Notes: Takes runners into two different parks
Further reading: My Chelmsford Central blog entry.

Clacton Seafront - Clacton Seafront, Clacton on Sea, Essex
Course: 3 out and back laps (out along the upper prom, back along the lower)
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Flatish, but has gradual incline along the 'out' section
Notes: watch out for vehicles on the lower prom
Further reading: My Clacton Seafront parkrun blog post

Colchester Castle - Castle Park, Colchester, Essex
Course: 3/4 lap, an out and back, then 1.5 laps.
Underfoot: Tarmac
Profile: Mostly flat but as an incline that as to be climbed 2.5 times
Notes: Very nice. Still flat enough to run a fast time.
Further reading: My Colchester Castle blog post

Great Dunmow - Recreation Ground, Great Dunmow, Essex
Course: 1 large lap, then 1 small lap (large lap is figure of 8)
Underfoot: mostly grass / dirt paths. Some tarmac style paths.
Profile: flat
Notes: There is a single-file bridge with two-way runners
Further reading: My Great Dunmow parkrun blog post

Great Notley - Great Notley Country Park, Great Notley, Essex
Course: 2 laps (not completely identical)
Underfoot: Gravelly paths, grass and a tiny bit of sand.
Profile: Flat apart from the hill at 2.8km
Notes: #touchthebird
Further reading: My Great Notley parkrun blog post

Gunpowder - Gunpowder Park, Waltham Abbey, Essex (also appears in London+)
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Gravelly paths
Profile: Gentle undulations
Further reading: My Gunpowder parkrun write-up (2022). Plus my Gunpowder parkrun blog from my first visit in 2012.

Hadleigh - Hadleigh Country Park, Hadleigh, Essex
Course: 1 lap (lollipop)
Underfoot: Gravelly trail paths and 250m of grass
Profile: Hilly
Notes: A challenging route with great views
Further reading: My Hadleigh parkrun blog post

Harlow - Harlow Town Park, School Lane, Harlow, Essex
Course: Two large laps and one smaller lap
Underfoot: Tarmac and Grass (dirt/mud)
Profile: Undulating
Notes: Nice varied course with ups and downs and some twists and turns
Further reading: My Harlow parkrun blog post

Harwich - Cliff Park, Harwich, Essex
Course: 1.5 laps of small park followed by a long out and back along the seafront
Underfoot: Tarmac / concrete
Profile: Mostly flat but contains a slope between the park and prom
Notes: It was windy when I visited (headwind on way out)
Further reading: My Harwich parkrun blog post

Hatfield Forest - Hatfield Forest, Takeley, Bishop's Stortford, Essex (CLOSED)
Course: One lap (technically a point-to-point)
Underfoot: tarmac, grass, mud, puddles
Profile: almost completely flat
Notes: No longer in operation - event relocated to Castle Park, Bishops Stortford
Further reading: My Hatfield Forest parkrun blog post

Highwoods - Highwoods Country Park, Chanterelle, Colchester, Essex
Course: One lap (summer and winter routes)
Underfoot: Forest trail, tarmac, stones, plus the summer course has grass
Profile: Hilly
Notes: Look out for the googly eyed tree
Further reading: My Highwoods parkrun blog post

Hockley Woods - Hockley Woods, Main Road, Hockley, Essex
Course: Just under two laps
Underfoot: Woodland trails (dirt / mud)
Profile: Undulating throughout with a steeper incline at the end of the lap
Notes: A great run in the woods. This is a 'net uphill' course.
Further reading: My Hockley Woods parkrun blog post. Also, my second visit blog post.

Maldon Prom - Promenade Park, Maldon, Essex
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Tarmac and grass
Profile: Flat with a steep bump that you negotiate three times
Further reading: My Maldon Prom blog post

Markshall Estate - Markshall Estate, Marks Hall Road, Coggeshall, Colchester, Essex
Course: One and three quarter laps
Underfoot: Paths / Concrete / gravel / grass
Profile: Relatively flat with one easy incline
Further reading: My Markshall Estate parkrun blog post

Mersea Island - Cudmore Grove Country Park, Bromans Lane, East Mersea, Essex
Course: Two full laps plus 1 shorter lap
Underfoot: grass / dirt
Profile: Largely flat with some extremely gentle changes in elevation (flat)
Notes: Lots of WW2 historic links / they have a PB horn.
Further Reading: My Mersea Island parkrun blog post

Roding Valley - Roding Valley Recreation Ground, Loughton, Essex (also appears in London+)
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Fairly even split between grass and tarmac
Profile: Flat
Notes: Fast and flat - Lovely, friendly team. Park popular with dog walkers.
Further reading: My Roding Valley parkrun blog post.

Southend - Gunners Park, Shoeburyness, Essex
Course: Three laps
Underfoot: Tarmac and a tiny section on dirt
Profile: Flat
Notes: Sometimes suffers from wind coming off the sea
Further reading: My Southend parkrun blog post

South Woodham Ferrers - Marsh Farm Country Park, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex
Course: One single lap with an out-and-back section included
Underfoot: Mixed terrain
Profile: Flat
Notes: Beautiful country park adjacent to the River Crouch
Further reading: My South Woodham Ferrers parkrun blog post

Thurrock - Pyramid Centre, Orsett Heath, Chadwell St. Mary, Essex
Course: Two laps
Underfoot: Grass
Profile: Flat
Notes: The venue is a little rough around the edges, but overall it's a great event
Further reading: My Thurrock parkrun blog entry

Wickford Memorial - Wickford Memorial Park, Rettendon View, Wickford, Essex
Course: Two-and-a-bit laps
Underfoot: Mostly tarmac paths, some grass, some non-tarmac paths
Profile: Flat
Notes: Really nice park, great playground, nice breakfast
Further reading: My Wickford Memorial parkrun blog entry

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