Trust10 – monthly trail runs at National Trust properties

Given parkrun a go and fancy something a bit different?  Inspired by our recent Go Outdoors article, but prefer following a route?  Or tired of chasing PBs and looking for some un-timed events?  Then you might just be interested in a Trust10 event.

They’re not especially well known amongst the running community (at least, not compared to parkrun!), so we decided to give you a Lonely Goat summary so you can know what they’re all about.

What is Trust10?

In a nutshell, they are usually (but not always):

  • 10km trail running events;
  • Held on National Trust properties;
  • Organised by the National Trust;
  • At 9am on the 4th Sunday of the month;
  • Untimed;
  • Dog friendly;
  • Open to runners over the age of 14;
  • Free!

As the National Trust say, “Fancy a morning run through the clifftop gardens of a 1920s villa?  Or how about testing your fitness in the grounds of a medieval castle?  Our free monthly 10k trail runs are a great way to blow away the cobwebs, get some exercise and take in spectacular scenery.” Sounds good to us!

Where do Trust10 runs take place?

The National Trust, for those who may be unaware, is a charity that looks after historic places of interest or importance.  Within its estate are dozens of country houses and other historic buildings, plus large areas of countryside (such as Studland Bay in Dorset, shown below).  As such, they have plenty of stunning places that runners might want to run through.  Fortunately, they’ve chosen to invite runners to eighteen of their sites, dotted around the country.

Studland Bay

Please visit the Trust10 website for full, up-to-date details, but here’s a quick summary, accurate at the time of writing:

Avebury, Wiltshire

“Enjoy a run around Avebury’s famous stone circle.”

Run between April and October.  Dogs are welcome, provided they’re kept on a lead as there may be livestock in the fields.  They’re working on offering a timing system, but at the time of writing they don’t have one in place.

Blickling Estate, Norfolk

“Discover sweeping views and fascinating landmarks.”

As with Avebury, dogs are welcome but must be kept on a lead due to livestock in the park.  This is a non-marshalled event, with no facilities along the route.

Chirk Castle, Wrexham

“Take in the sights on the Chirk Castle estate for free.”

The course is two laps of 5km, so you could stop after one lap if you don’t fancy doing the whole 10km.

Clumber Park, Nottingham

“Run along Clumber Park’s woodland paths.”

Clumber Park has a dog-friendly cafe, the excellently named Central Bark, which is where registration takes place.

Coleton Fishacre, Devon

“Run through the garden and on to the South West Coast Path at Coleton Fishacre.”

This is one of the more challenging Trail10 routes, with steep ascents and descents throughout.  As a two lap run, you can always stop after 5km if necessary.

Cragside, Northumberland

“Head out on a run through the Victorian grounds at Cragside.”

A bag drop is available at the on-site Tea Rooms.

Cragside

Dunstable Downs and the Whipsnade Estate, Bedfordshire

“Whilst you run along the Downs, take in the views from the highest point in Bedfordshire.”

Another two lap route that includes Dunstable Downs, Chute Wood and the Chiltern Gateway Centre.  There are no marshals or on course facilities, but there is a tail runner.

Godolphin, Cornwall

“Discover hidden corners of the Godolphin estate.”

Another two-lap route, make sure you pop along to The Piggery for tea, coffee and cake afterwards.

Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire

“Take part in a gentle run around Hanbury Hall.”

Assistance dogs are welcome.  The tearoom café will be open to serve hot and cold refreshments, bacon or sausage sandwiches and freshly baked cakes.

Longshaw Estate, near Sheffield, Peak District

“Explore the stunning Longshaw estate.”

This run follows a varied route, over two laps, including technical off-road sections on grass, rocks and some muddy ground.  The timing system consists of paper and stopwatches.

Lyme, Cheshire

“Choose from a range of routes around the estate.”

Dogs are welcome on a short lead, but they will need to be able to negotiate a couple of stiles.

Morden Hall Park, London

“Take in the views and get closer to nature on a run around Morden Hall Park.”

This run starts earlier than the others, at 8:30 am and all runners get free parking for an hour and a half.

Ormesby Hall, near Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire

“Timing will be via paper and stopwatches so if your time is really important to you, please remember to bring your own timing device.”

Bags can be left in the tea room, which is open for refreshments before and after the run.

Polesden Lacey, Surrey

“Try out varied terrains on a run around Polesden Lacey.”

Dogs are not permitted on this run, which takes in a variety of terrains.  A special ‘Tinsel10’ is run on the last Sunday before Christmas.

Saltram, Plymouth, Devon

“Take in the views on a run around Saltram.”

Down in the South West, this route offers great views just on the edge of Plymouth.

Speke Hall, Liverpool

“Explore the grounds around Speke Hall.”

Like the majority of Trust10 events, this one has only a few marshals, no timing system, and you’ll have to bring your own water – but it does offer the opportunity to run somewhere new and picturesque.

Speke Hall

Studland Bay, Purbeck

“Enjoy a challenging trek across rugged terrain.”

This Trust10 doesn’t run as an organised event during July and August, but you’re still welcome to visit and run it at your leisure. The route includes Studland Bay and Ballard Down, with great views.

Tyntesfield, Bristol, Somerset

“Run around the grounds at Tyntesfield.”

Two laps and plenty of hills, with no runs during May and August.

Is there anything else I should know?

Registration

Each of the locations seems to manage registration differently.  For most of the sites, it is perfectly fine for you to turn up on the day, sign up and run.  For others – presumably the busier ones or those in more ecologically sensitive areas – prior registration is essential.  The web page for the Trust10 event you’re interested will say at the top whether you need to register in advance or not.  If you do, there will be a ‘book now’ button to click on which will take you to the registration page.  It is free, but worth double-checking.

Volunteering

Just like parkrun, volunteers help make these events a success. Roles cover everything from registration to tail-running, to marshalling and more details on how to get involved are available via the web pages for each of the locations.  ‘Club takeovers’ are also possible, so perhaps you could see if there were other local Goats who might be willing to help out too.

Age

Trust10 have set a lower age limit at 14.  However, there may be some local variation depending on the nature of the course, so please check each location’s website to make sure.

Buggies are welcome at most events, but you are advised to be sensible when considering whether you will be able to get a buggy around a challenging off-road course.

Trust10 runners

Get out there!

A few members of Lonely Goat Running Club have taken part in Trust10 runs and described them in our Facebook chat group as having a “very similar atmosphere to parkrun – pretty relaxed and very friendly” and catering for “every type of runner or walker”.

The National Trust say that Trust10 is “all about the experience you have running around our places” and they describe the runs as being suitable “whether you’re training for a challenge or looking for a sociable jog in the fresh air.”  They’re open, friendly and inclusive.  One of the advantages of not being timed events, is that having fun is more important than running fast, so you should feel comfortable attending regardless of the speed you run at.

With that in mind, maybe Trust10 runs are the perfect events to add to your running calendar?

(Have you taken part in a Trust10, or been inspired to do so by this article?  If so, please let us know.)

Trust10

NB: All images in this article are copyright of the National Trust.

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