The best parkrun courses in Hertfordshire

A group of happy runners

Parkrun is for everyone and anyone. - Credit: Howard Self

Words: Lauren Allen, Julie Lucas and Victoria Purcell

Run, walk, jog or volunteer... parkrun is a simple concept that's fostering a social movement for the common good.  

The parkrun experience first set off in October 2004, when 13 friends got together for a social run in Bushy Park, south west London, led by Paul Sinton-Hewitt with the aid of a few volunteers.   

The Saturday-morning event has since grown to more than 730 locations in the UK, with millions more participating across the world. 

Right now, however, parkrun is in peril. Currently, only 161 of 589 parkrun 5k events across the UK have landowner permission to return, a number that must increase significantly by 21 May 2021 for any of the events to return on June 5 as planned.

Despite legal permission to return and support from the Government (parkrun events have had permission to return since March), a misunderstanding of the roadmap out of lockdown combined with general hesitation and red tape threatens to delay the return of parkrun indefinitely.

Click here for the latest information from parkrun.

In the hope that parkrun returns as soon as possible, we've picked out 5 of the best parkrun routes in Hertfordshire, but please check with the organiser for the latest on the Covid-19 situation before turning up!

1. Stevenage
This course is two loops at Fairlands Valley Park. It starts at the crossroads between the two large lakes and finishes on the grassy bank at the north side of the boating house. A very friendly event, but then, all parkruns are. Every Saturday at 9am at Six Hills Way SG2 0BL. Meet at the bandstand to the west of the start point. 
parkrun.org.uk/stevenage

2. Panshanger
A scenic one-lap course on paths, grass and forest trails, crossing the River Mimram and including a loop around Kings Lake. This run is entirely off-road on a mixture of dirt paths, grass, gravel and forest trails. Every Saturday at 9am starting from the Thieves Lane Car Park just off the A414.
parkrun.org.uk/panshanger

3. Ellenbrook Fields
A mostly flat course at a privately owned nature reserve adjacent to the University of Hertfordshire Sports Village on the de Havilland Campus. Features of the Old Hatfield Aerodrome can be seen and the start is on the former taxiing strip. Every Saturday at 9am. Park in the main de Havilland campus entrance, off Mosquito Way.
parkrun.org.uk/ellenbrookfields

4. Aldenham
This event, held at Aldenham Country Park at Elstree, involves two laps of Aldenham Reservoir and is run on a mixture of dirt paths and pavement. It starts adjacent to the Aldenham Country Park car park. Every Saturday at 9am off Aldenham Road, Elstree WD6 3BA. 
parkrun.org.uk/aldenham

5. Jersey Farm
Based at Jersey Farm Woodland Park, St Albans, this is a gently undulating, two-lap course run on a mixture of grass and bridleway. Runners are asked to slow down and give way to horses. Every Saturday at 9am at Jersey Farm Woodland Park, St Albans, AL4 9LQ.
parkrun.org.uk/jerseyfarm

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