Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.
An incredible coastline and wide open spaces make Devon a great place to holiday if you’re thinking of tackling a parkrun this year.
Whether you’re a keen runner or thinking of taking up the sport, Devon is the place to go. With miles of sandy beaches perfect for seaside jogs and country parkland where you can race among fantastic rural views, there’s plenty of great choices.
Discover the many wonderful parkruns that regularly take place across the region – you can pick from the adults' 5k events, taking place across a variety of terrains, or the junior parkruns for younger runners that are just 2k in length and often take place on flat, easy ground.
Here is our choice of top parkruns across Devon - take your pick!
Challenge yourself to take part in the UK’s hardest parkrun, the Woolacombe Dunes course. With the sea to one side and lush country landscape to the other, Woolacombe Beach is a wonderfully scenic place for a parkrun, although you may not notice while concentrating on completing this notoriously difficult course.
This parkrun is 5000m (5K) long and offers a mixed terrain of stone tracks, sand and, worst of all, sand dunes. Running on sand is difficult enough but running up sand dunes will really test your endurance.
If you’re brave enough to tackle the route, you could always dash into the sea afterwards to cool off. Otherwise, there are showers, toilets and a café called The Porthole where runners often grab a coffee on completion of the course. Head there to get to know your fellow runners over a brew.
This beautiful forested route is a particularly inviting course to follow with towering trees offering cover from the rain or shade and dappled light on sunny days. It takes place on Haldon Hill, 250 metres above sea level, with fantastic far-reaching views which take in the local lake - a beautiful backdrop to your Saturday run!
Haldon Forest has a café for that all-important post-run coffee and chat and there’s even a Go-Ape, Go Segway, bike hire and Tramper/mobility scooter hire if you still have the energy to explore the beautiful park further.
Another great way to finish your run would be to settle down in one of the picnic areas with friends, family or your running companions and enjoy the great outdoors for a little while longer.
Unlike the adult parkruns which are 5k routes, the parkruns for juniors are 2000m (2k) to suit little legs. This parkrun takes place in Bideford’s family-friendly Victoria Park following a route across wide tarmac paths and grass, ensuring relatively flat and easy terrain for children to follow. There's also a great playground for younger ones who might not fancy the course.
It’s a fun, free, weekly event that aims to get children enjoying running and there are sometimes extra visitors – in spring, the Easter Bunny took part!
There’s a café in the park but also a wide variety of places to eat in the town itself. Once the run has been completed, why not head down to the riverfront to take in the views?
The most popular parkrun in Devon: Exmouth parkrun
It seems Exmouth is Devon’s most popular parkrun, having attracted an average registrations of 335 people a week back in 2018, according to statistics from the parkrun UK website.
This parkrun begins at the Esplanade in Exmouth and follows permanent paths that lead along the coast, offering a relatively straight-forward route but with a fantastic expanse of sea beside you every step of the way.
The course ends in front of Ocean Exmouth, a café with toilets, bowling and a large indoor play area for children – great if you have the family in tow.
All parkruns in Devon
Relax in a Devon cottage
After you’ve taken part in a Devon parkrun, you’ll be ready to collapse into one of our excellent holiday cottages in Devon.
Pamper your aching body with a dip in a bubbling hot tub if you choose to stay in one of our Devon hot tub cottages or find a holiday home with an enclosed garden where you can dine alfresco and celebrate a great run.
We have large cottages for big groups and romantic retreats for two-person getaways, not to mention a whole host of dog-friendly holiday cottages in Devon if you’re planning on bringing the dog along to join you on your parkrun adventure.
Browse our holiday cottages in Devon and start planning your next break to the South West.