Bushy Park is a scenic Royal Park and the course meanders around the Easternmost half of the park taking in cricket grounds, lakes, lots of trees and a deer or two. The course was originally an anticlockwise loop which was reversed in later years. More recently the course has changed again and is now a ‘sort-of’ figure 8. The course finishes where it starts, next to the main car park and comprises approximately 50% of good trail-cum-tarmac with the rest being grass which, in summer, is hard.
It’s a flat course.
There is large, free car park next to the start, another at The Pheasanty Cafe and yet another further westwards of the cafe – probably a km away. With regular attendances over 1000 you had best arrive EARLY if driving. The nearest train station is the relatively poorly served Hampton Court; with Hampton Wick being closer than Teddington and on the same line. Locals tend to walk or cycle. parkrun tourists might consider staying in Teddington’s Travelodge.
It’s a relatively good course for spectators who can wander from the start to the centre of the figure-8 and see much of what is going on but most tend to have a coffee near the finish. You might even catch a glimpse of one of several famous runners who have raced here (see image).
The start of the course is not as iconic as it used to be when the nearby Diana Fountain was a backdrop. Now it narrows quickly after covering 100m or so of quite bumpy grass (ant hills). There is usually some jostling for position for the first km regardless of where you start. After that all you have to do is run straight and negotiate the 10, or so, turns and sprint over the grass to the finish.
Marshalling is always superb: you won’t get lost and you will be funnelled VERY efficiently.
Overall, it’s a pretty and enjoyable course. It’s not challenging and could be a PB course for many with favourable conditions.
Oh, and of course it was the first ever parkrun venue. But you already knew that.
Official Event page: Bushy parkrun
Nearby postcode: TW11 0EW (Pheasantry Cafe)
Hills: 4m ascent, 4m descent
Subjective PB Potential: 9/10 – get a good start.
see below for difficulty ranking