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Top running routes by La Sportiva athletes

La Sportiva • Running • Apr 05, 2022 • 5 min read

Short training runs across Britain

Where do the top ultrarunners go for their training runs? We've teamed up with La Sportiva to give you an exclusive insight into their athlete's favourite running routes across Britain. Despite being ultrarunners, not every one of their runs must cover this distance. These routes are considerably shorter and suitable for most runners.
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Trail running

Trail running

Threipmuir loop

Recommended by athlete Rachel Normand

Threipmuir loop

Distance: 6.5 miles / 10.5km

Difficulty: Moderate

Parking: Harlaw carpark

The long descent around the side of Black Hill is lots of fun with rocks to jump on and over. You can usually hear me whooping with joy as I run down!

  • Shoes: Trail shoes. Studs not needed unless it’s particularly wet and muddy as you’re on good path most of the route!
  • Refreshment options: Some days in the summer there’s a snack van by Harlaw House Visitor Centre, otherwise head in Balerno village for shops and cafes.
  • Toilets: Portaloos available at Harlaw House Visitor Centre.
Rachel Normand 

Rachel Normand

Caen Hills locks & Devizes White Horses route

Recommended by Anne-Marie Watson

Caen Hills locks & Devizes White Horses route

Distance: 7.7 miles / 12.4km

Difficulty: Moderate

Parking: In layby on March Lane (B2101)

Head up the Kennet & Avon Canal Path towards Devizes alongside the incredible Caen Hill Locks system. The 29 x locks have a rise of 237 feet in 2 miles and were completed in 1810. Enjoy a break on the way up or down (or both!) at the Caen Locks Hill Café. Follow the trail up towards Devizes Millennium Horse on Bank Field. Return through the fields to the canal and back along the canal. This running route traces part of the 100-mile White Horse Trail which visits the eight chalk white figures in Wiltshire. Anna-Marie Watson set the Fastest Known Time in May 2021 and captured her epic adventure in the film ‘Eight White Horses’.

Surrey sundowner (or sunrise!)

Recommended by Ry Webb

Surrey sundowner (or sunrise!)

Distance: 6.5 miles / 10.5km

Difficulty: Moderate

Parking: Hurtwood carpark

Views from Pitch Hill at sunset

Views from Pitch Hill at sunset

This run will give you a small glimpse of what the Surrey hills has to offer, with woodland trails taking you through some of the most picturesque spots around the area.

This route start in Hurtwood car park 6 radar site. From here you head east along the Greensand Way for a short while before taking a long gradual decent down through woodland. Before making the climb back up to the view point of Pitch Hill. Views all across the South Downs and even the sea of a clear day. Heading back on the Greensand for a short time you see the Ewhurst windmill. Before crossing a road to take a right hand turn and another decent down a rocky path. This takes you on a small loop back up to the Greensand Way again for the short section you started on back to the car park. The route takes in around 1000 feet of elevation all on trail.

  • Trail shoes recommended
  • No facilities
  • Free car park

Wyming Brook trail

Recommended by Sally Fawcett

Wyming Brook trail

Distance: 3.5 miles / 5.6km

Difficulty: Easy

Parking: Wyming Brook car park

Wyming Brook

Wyming Brook

From the car park, head down the steps to the stepping stones at the stream, crossing here. Climb up to the good path, following the woodland trail high above Wyming Brook. Continue to the end of the trail, where you meet another good but rocky and technical in parts path which descends to the reservoir. Go along the side of the dam to the wide, bridal path back through the woods. Ascending gradually to the path junction, go right here. As the good path continues right, over a bridge, you want to take the small, often muddy path climbing to the left, following the small stream. At the top of the climb, follow the fence line along the top of the woods back to the car park.

  • Shoes recommended: Mutants
  • Refreshments: There is the new Blue Moo cafe, serving from a horsebox outside Wyming Brook Farm, Slougley Lane, serving excellent cakes and coffee!
  • No toilets

Maes Knoll Settle Hill loop

Recommended by John Kelly

Maes Knoll Settle Hill loop

Distance: 6.7 mile / 10.8km

Difficulty: Moderate

Parking: on the road around Norton Malreward

John Kelly 

John Kelly

Everywhere I've lived I've had a spot. A place on one of my favourite running routes that I couldn't help but stop for a moment to relax and take it in. Maes Knoll is my spot in Somerset. The peacefulness, the views to all sides, and imagining the hill fort that once stood there... it captivates me every time.

  • Shoes: I'm usually in my trusty Jackals - versatile enough to handle a wide range of terrain and underfoot conditions
  • Refreshment options: The Rising Sun in Pensford is great for a meal afterwards, or stop by The Miner's Coffee Shop to refuel


Castle Combe woodland loop

Recommended by Anne-Marie Watson

Castle Combe woodland loop

Distance: 3.8 miles / 6.3km

Difficulty: Moderate

Parking: On ‘The St’ or Castle Combe Free Visitor Car Park off the B4039

Castle Combe

Castle Combe

This route starts and finishes at the heart of this classic picturesque Cotswolds village outside The Castle Inn and The White Hart pub. Head south along ‘The St’, the path climbs through Becker’s Wood then through Danks Down Cottage Wood before reaching Ford. Join the MacMillan Trail which traces By Brook through Long Dean and through Grains Quarry Plantation back into Castle Coombe.

  • Refreshments: Cake at Ellen’s Cottage (honesty box) or The Old Stables coffee shop.
  • Public toilets available in Castle Combe.

Find more trusted routes from La Sportiva and our other official route partners on OS Maps or have a go at plotting your own. Now there's nothing stopping you from spicing up your training runs and trying somewhere new!

Climbing, Mountain Running, Mountaineering, Skialp: Since 1928 La Sportiva provides everything you need #foryourmountain

Published: Apr 05, 2022 Edited: Apr 05, 2022

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