Looking to head out for a training run? We've rounded up some of the best places to train for a trail event near you.

Trail runners on a run

Newcastle

The North East of England is home to some of the most incredible - and challenging - scenery in the UK - making it the ideal place for would-be trail runners to explore. You won’t need roads where we’re heading!

Looking for the perfect starting point as a new trail runner? Try an outing to Kielder Water and Forest Park. Parking is £5 for the day and there are 600 km2 and 26 miles of shoreline to explore. There’s a multi-user path you could start out on, before graduating to forest and moorland. Get some inspiration here.

Looking for something a bit further south - and want to up the challenge level? Try this 9-mile Cow Green and Cauldron Snout route in Upper Teesdale. You’ll definitely need sturdy shoes and some experience, but the views and the sense of accomplishment will be worth it.

Trail runners in London

London

London might not be the first location you think of when you think about trail running, but there are so many parks and green spaces inside the M25 and on the fringes of the capital that you’ll be spoilt for choice trail running in London.

Trail newbie? Richmond Park boasts over 2,500 acres of beautiful parkland, plus varied terrain with flat paths and steep inclines to challenge your endurance. There’s a 7-mile loop that's popular with runners and cyclists, and is also home to several running clubs that offer training sessions.

Want to go even wilder? Head for Epping Forest: a vast woodland area covering over 6,000 acres. The forest offers a range of terrain, from flat paths to steep hills, making it an excellent location for ultra training. Start with this moderate 11km loop and then keep exploring.

Manchester

The unofficial capital of the North is the best of both worlds - a thriving, vibrant city with plenty of greenbelt on the doorstep. Want to leave the city streets behind? You’re in just the right place. As a starting point, give Heaton Park a try - you can park for £2.50 for up to three hours and there’s a map here. There’s a 5km run route which you could extend or repeat and which takes you past historic landmarks, cafés and the boating lake.

Wild Trail Manchester organises regular trail runs around the city’s surrounding countryside, hitting destinations like Etherow Country Park, Dunham Massey and Chorlton Water Park. Take a look at their Facebook page for inspiration - or perhaps get in touch and discover the joy of trails with some new friends.

Bristol

As one of the UK’S coolest cities, you’ve chosen a great place to start your trail running adventure. And with Leigh Woods, Ashton Court, Clifton Downs, Trym Valley, Stoke Park and more on your doorstep, you’ll be really spoilt for choice.

Bristol Trail Runners are a fun and friendly group and are always open to new members. They also run an introductory trail running course for those runners aiming to run 10k of trail comfortably. If you’re looking to build confidence, this could be a great place to start - more info here.

Bitten by the trail running bug? We’d love to see you at a Beyond Trails event. Simply choose your city and your distance and we’ll see you on the start line. Browse here.