Sheringham parkrun is run around the stunning grounds of Sheringham Park, a National Trust property in Norfolk. Usually, parking is available for parkrunners for free until 10.30am at the visitor’s centre, near the start line. However, the car park was not in use on the day we ran, due to muddy conditions, but the parkrun team had arranged for the use of the neighbouring Woodlands leisure centre car park for free and had signposted the walk from there through the forest to the start line – about a 10 minute walk. Just keep an eye on the Sheringham parkrun social media pages for updates about car parking on the day. There are free toilets, a café and a gift shop at the visitor’s centre.
Sheringham parkrun has three different routes and which one you get will depend on the time of year; there’s the main route, a second route which avoids the frogs/toads and a third route which avoids the cattle. We ran in April and got the ‘frog’ route, which is a straightforward out-and-back, following the main route for the first half but then running back on yourself instead of taking a different route home. One regular told us it was the hardest of the three routes because the first half is largely downhill and the return leg is mostly uphill, but apparently all of the routes are fairly challenging.
The start is at the visitor’s centre and the course heads out on undulating permanent paths through a forest. After about 0.5km or so you start heading downhill and as you turn a corner there is a smashing view of the hall (sadly, not open to visitors), which you run towards – there is a cattle grid here, but there should be a marshal ensuring runners go around it. As you near the hall, you turn left onto trail paths and head past some fields towards the 2.5km point before heading back. If you get the same out-and-back course, be sure to keep to your left because the trail paths are narrow and only wide enough for one runner in each direction. Contrary to the course page, there were no km markers when we ran, though it was fairly well marshalled with only one place you could take a wrong turn (near the hall) if you had lost sight of the runners in front.
This is a really nice course with some fantastic views and a good mixture of permanent paths and trail. It is challenging though, due to the uphill second half. Try to make the most of the downhill while you can. From the parkrun, it’s an easy 7-minute drive into Sheringham if you want to visit a nice coastal town as part of your trip.
Nearby postcode: NR26 8TL
Hills: Ascent/Descent metres 85.0
Distance Displayed on Suunto Spartan Trainer: 5.14 km