parkrun : Hardest & Easiest Courses in UK | course difficulty

Easiest parkrun | Hardest parkrun course

Source: parkrun

You may well have often thought ‘How hard is my local parkrun compared to a flat 5k?‘.

Below you will find a list of the easiest parkrun courses and the toughest, most difficult parkrun courses. Starting with the easiest first and culminating in the really difficult Lanhydrock parkrun.

This list is purely organised for difficulty by total ascent. Naturally, a seasonally muddy course or an occasionally windy course could make any course relatively easier or harder on the day. For example, Old Deer Park parkrun ranks as flat and ‘easy‘ – but go there on a wet & windy day and the grassy, open course is much more difficult.

Must Read: Personalised 5k Training Plan

Just page down to the list of courses or instead, have a look at the following highlighted post “parkrun: difficulty rating, adjusted course times” which quantifies the amount of time you might lose on the hillier parkrun courses.

parkrun : difficulty ratings, adjusted times for toughest / hardest / easiest courses

Anyway; here is the list from easiest to hardest. Not all the newer parkruns are on the list. Please let me know which you would like added.

Easiest Sub 10ft Southsea, Hackney Marshes, York, Strathclyde, Fulham Palace, Long Eaton, Goole, Rickmansworth
Sub 20ft Portrush, Hull, Roding Valley, Evesham, Edinburgh, Crosby, Hove Promenade, Belfast Victoria, Kingsbury Water, Bushy, Worthing, Beckton, Stratford-upon-Avon, Kingston, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hartlepool, Reading, Swansea Bay, Cardiff, Bideford, Eastbourne, Ellenbrook Fields, Montrose, Seaton, Aberystwyth, Wetherby, Cambridge, Poole, Abingdon, Pegwell Bay, Hastings
Sub 30ft Minehead, Market Harborough, Colwick, Southwark, Harwich, Perth, Burgess, Peter Pan, Wimbledon Common, Didcot, Tonbridge, Stretford, Aldenham, Worcester Pitchcroft, Inverness, Greenock, Congleton, Durham, Wythenshawe, Dolgellau, Kingsway, Boston, Winchester, Bryn Bach, Beeston, Gloucester North, Grangemoor, Barking, Bicester, Woking, Great Cornard, March, Riverfront, St Albans, Upton Court
Sub 40ft Mansfield, Longrun Meadow, Beckenham Place, Exeter Riverside, Portsmouth Lakeside, Poolsbrook, Thurrock, King’s Lynn, Torbay Velopark, Salisbury, South Manchester, Aylesbury, Northallerton, Malling, Peterborough, Kesgrave, Brighouse, Ellesmere Port, Weymouth, Aberdeen, Burnham and Highbridge, Conwy, Redcar, Bognor Regis, Comber, Thetford, Elgin, Rutland Water, Linwood, Lincoln, Southend
Sub 50ft Banbury, Crane Park, Rother Valley, Tooting Common, Albert, Newbury, Cleethorpes, Croxteth Hall, Penrith, Old Deer Park, Osterley, Pymmes, Warrington, Northala Fields, Antrim, Cassiobury, Ashford, Carrickfergus, Stonehouse, Rushmoor, Portobello, Maldon Prom, Ecos, Perry Hall, Chelmsford Central, Maidenhead, Heslington
Sub 60ft Sittingbourne, Bromley, Cwmbran, Hereford, Darlington South Park, Barnstaple, Southport, Wimpole Estate, Walsall Arboretum, Millom, Frimley Lodge, Woodley, Norwich, Newport, Maidstone, Blackpool, Black Park, Prudhoe Riverside, Lydney, Gorleston, Penrose, Andover, Arrow Valley, Daventry, Wanstead Flats
Sub 70ft Druridge Bay, Chippenham, Belton House, Ormeau, Huntingdon, Mersea Island, Riverside, South Norwood, Lytham Hall, Buckingham, Rising Sun, Limavady, Bedfont Lakes, Gunpowder, Catterick, Tees Barrage, Cheltenham, Fareham, Widnes, Rushcliffe, Brockenhurst, Wycombe Rye
Sub 80ft Moors Valley, Valentines, Bangor, Brueton, Doncaster, Victoria, Newcastle, Stormont, Netley Abbey, Cannon Hill, Humber Bridge, Nonsuch, Canons Park, Margate, Ellon, Chipping Sodbury, Milton Keynes, Preston Park
Sub 90ft Harcourt Hill, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton, Marple, Dulwich, Oak Hill, Oxford, Dartford, Harrow Lodge, Fritton Lake, Whiteley, Brierley Forest, Wilmslow, Burnage, Bournemouth, Riddlesdown, Lowestoft, Great Notley, Forest of Dean, Harrogate, Whitstable, Tamar Lakes, Delamere, Northampton, Scunthorpe, Bedford
Sub 100ft Medina IOW, Whitley Bay, Newark, Tewkesbury, Plymvalley, Penallta, Walthamstow, Worsley Woods, Mulbarton, Cheadle Hulme, Chester, Waterworks, Basildon, Dalby Forest, Citypark, Pontypridd, Porthcawl, Clacton Seafront, Conkers, Folkestone
Sub 110ft Gunnersbury, Dudley, Dudley, Panshanger, Stewart, Raphael, Clumber Park, Livingston, Birkenhead, Blandford, Ayr, Wormwood Scrubs, Horsham, Kettering, Derry City, Peckham Rye
Sub 120ft Linford Wood, Luton Wardown, Hatfield Forest, Princes, Ormskirk, Enniskillen, Llanelli Coast, Lymington Woodside, Southwick Country Park, Swindon, Catton, Bexley, Burnley, Bracknell, Fountains Abbey, Queens, Workington, Braunstone, Upton House, Fell Foot, Telford, St Andrews, Corby
Sub 130ft Cannock Chase,  Bury St Edmunds, Leicester Victoria, Chichester, Shorne Woods, Basingstoke, Sunderland, Erddig, Peacehaven, Brighton & Hove, Eastleigh
Sub 140ft Pontefract, Woodhouse Moor, Blickling, Coventry, Worcester, Aviemore, Harrow, Rugby, Highbury Fields, Knowsley, Heaton, Killerton, Greenwich, Stevenage, Hoblingwell, Omagh, Eglinton
Sub 150ft Wotton, Merthyr, Keswick, Sedgefield, Tilgate, Brandon Country Park, Sewerby, Springburn, Mile End
Sub 160ft Preston, Markeaton, South Oxhey, Bath Skyline, Hazlehead, Ipswich, Shepton Mallet, Glossop, Chadderton Hall, Great Lines, Orpington, South Shields, Leamington, Rosliston
Sub 170ft Yeovil Montacute, Sherwood Pines, Havant, Richmond Park, Sheffield Hallam, Cranleigh, Gnoll, Hillsborough, Llyn Llech Owain, Melton Mowbray, Colchester Castle, Brockwell
Sub 180ft Pennington Flash,  Wallace, Wakefield Thornes, Brundall, Carlisle, Huddersfield, Billericay, Barry Island, Southampton, Gateshead, Kirkcaldy, St Helens, Woodbank, Harlow
Sub 190ft Penrhyn, Bramhall Park, Hanley, Banstead Woods, Vogrie, Falkirk, Grovelands, Colby, Pontypool, Holkham, Witton, Newent
Sub 200ft Guildford, Finsbury, Roundshaw Downs, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Hackworth, Concord
Sub 225ft Shipley Country,  Cross Flatts, Rotherham, Phoenix, Rushmere, Hyde, MUSA Cookstown, Pollok, Reigate Priory, Forest Rec, Ally Pally, Bradford, Horton Park, Nostell, Pomphrey Hill
Sub 250ft Armagh,  Bolton, Gedling, Parke, Lloyd, Stamford Park, Stonehaven, Gladstone, Gadebridge, Valley, Canterbury, Skipton, Homewood, Ruchill, Crystal Palace
Sub 275ft Hilly Fields, Haigh Woodland, Hockley Woods, Dewsbury, Graves, Brentwood, Barclay, Barrow, Larne, Tamar Trails, Temple Newsam, Trelissick, Roundhay, Oldham, Falls, Henley-on-Thames, Ganavan Sands
Sub 300ft Alice Holt, Sheringham, Camperdown, Dunfermline, Oakwell Hall, Bramley, Halifax, Mole Valley
Sub 400ft Colin Glen, Wyre Forest, Gainsborough, Bestwood Village, Pendle, Hampstead Heath, Lancaster, Ashton Court, Bedgebury Pinetum, Clair, Rostrevor, Blackhill, Sheffield Castle, Hadleigh, Cuerden Valley, Tring, Gibside, Tollcross, Barnsley, Ludlow, Queen Elizabeth, Watergrove
Hardest Sub 500ft Lullingstone, Bevendean Down, Lyme Park, Drumchapel, Mount Edgcumbe, Wepre, Lanhydrock

Must Read: parkrun courses: difficulty rating, adjusted course times

Source: (modified)


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27 thoughts on “parkrun : Hardest & Easiest Courses in UK | course difficulty

  1. Hello, I’d love to see some of the newer Parkruns graded on this site. How about Heslington and New Earswick (both York area). Thanks.

    1. I will add the new ones at some point in the future than kyou for alerting me to those two.
      It is more than just listing as I have to get a course profile and then there is a post that is linked to this information that I also have to update as well. The day job has a greater calling unfortunately. I will try. !! 🙂

  2. Pomphrey Hill, Bristol has a tough climb and you have to do three laps to cpmplete the 5K x

  3. Hi
    Can’t see Mole valley and The Bethlem Royal Hospital is a recent new one.

  4. This is a really interesting list encouraging. I assumed my local parkrun was one of the easiest. It isn”t. Thank you

    1. trick question….
      it’s downhill but lots of ups and down and turns too.
      it would come out as the easiest by one measure but clearly isn’t the easiest

      1. Got to be in the easiest 5 in the country. It’s asphalt all the way and a big wide start to find a position before it narrows. The ups are all short and sharp and the downs long. The irony is that now with the new course at Lanhydrock (changed post covid restart) the toughest and the easiest are just 5 miles drive apart.

  5. Would be good to see Lanark Moor on here. I did it this morning and still don’t think I’ve fully recovered! Beautiful course though, well worth the pain! Apologies if I have missed it on the list.

  6. A number of Parkruns mentioned 1-2 years ago here, and to date have not been entered, has the site been dicontinued?

    1. happy to update the table if people have the supporting info. The course info should be on Strava, RwGPS, Komoot or similar

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