UK staycations 2021: 5 great UK destinations for runners on holiday - which routes to run and where to stay

Fabulous running routes, gorgeous scenery and great food: these are best places in the UK for runners to holiday

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 8:36 pm
If you’re a keen runner or even just an easy-going ambler, a holiday destination with brilliant running routes and stunning scenery is a must.

With there still being a great deal of uncertainty around foreign travel many of us will be choosing a UK holiday this year.

If you’re a keen runner or even just an easy-going ambler, a holiday destination with brilliant running routes and stunning scenery is a must. After all, a brisk 10k is ideal for raising the appetite if you are heading to a local pub or restaurant for lunch.

The UK has a number of destinations ideal for enjoying a relaxing holiday, with gorgeous running routes nearby. We consulted Steve Paterson, People Development and Product Trainer at Runners Need, who provided a guide to locales with the best running routes in the UK.

As a long-term runner he has years of experiencing running across UK trials - these are this favourites.

After a long run, you’re going to need somewhere to rest, so we have put together a list of some of the best places you can book to stay (all bookable via www.booking.com) near to the running routes.

For a one of a kind run: Northumberland

Timber Cabin Hut near a Lake at Kielder Water and Forest Park.jpg

Steve says:

Run: Kielder Forest Park is known for its incredible night sky views. There are regular organised night runs offering a unique opportunity to enjoy running under the largest Gold Tier Dark Sky Park area of protected night sky in Europe. This is the perfect opportunity to experience the wonder of the stars.

Beyond Kielder, Northumberland is renowned for its waterfalls. Try the well-signposted trail from Bellingham to Hareshaw Linn, a 5km round run with a gentle incline.

Recharge: After hitting the trails, experience the other delights Northumberland has to offer. Refuel with locally sourced oysters, explore historic castles, shop in friendly market towns or visit one of the county’s 31 beautiful beaches.

We say:

Places to stay:

Le Petit Chateau & William de Percy

Le Petit Chateau & William de Percy

Treat yourself to a bit of luxury after all your hard work, with this beautiful hotel. Every room in this opulent accommodation includes a wardrobe and a private bathroom. 

The units come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kettle, a shower, a hairdryer and a desk. There’s even a terrace at the hotel. Guests are also treated to a range of breakfast options, including full English/Irish, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free - perfect for post-run refuelling.

Prices start for £130 for one night. Book here

Horse and Hound Country Inn

Set in Bonchester Bridge, the Horse and Hound Country Inn features a restaurant, garden and free WiFi. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge.

At the hotel, every room includes a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. There’s also tea and coffee making facilities for that much needed cuppa after a long day.

Guests at Horse and Hound Country Inn can enjoy a Full English/Irish breakfast too. Prices start at £75 per night. Book here

For coastal paths: Dorset

Trail Run in England's Coastline, Jurassic Coast

Steve says:

Run: The Jurassic Coast, England’s only natural World Heritage Site, offers 95km of stunning trails with sea views. Scale the Golden Cap to view this prehistoric coastline from 190m above sea level, or tackle a shorter circular trail at Old Harry Rocks to see unique chalk formations as part of a picturesque route with lots of wildflowers.

Recharge: The Dorset coast is geologically significant, featuring rock formations and fossils that provide a fascinating insight into the Earth’s history and the evolution of life. Enjoy a ride on a classic steam train, conquer the tree top walkways and ziplines or take a boat ride along the coast.

We Say:

Places to stay:

Hotel Springfield Country Hotel, Leisure Club & Spa

This is a great place to stay for ultimate relaxation and pampering. Set in six acres of beautiful landscaped gardens, Springfield Country Hotel, Leisure Club and Spa features a luxury spa and leisure club, modern rooms with private bathrooms and free private on-site parking.

The spa offers a full range of indulgent spa and beauty treatments, and there is a hot tub, sauna and steam room so you can truly unwind.

All rooms have private bathrooms, a TV and radio, tea and coffee making facilities. Some have private balconies and wonderful garden views and others have luxury bathrooms and double-ended baths.

Prices start for £128 a night. Book here

The Carrington House Hotel is on a tree-lined street on the East Cliff of Bournemouth. There is free parking, and a restaurant featuring French and English cuisine.

The accommodation boasts spacious rooms, private bathrooms and tea and coffee making facilities in each room.  The rooms also have a satellite TV, a work desk, a telephone and a hairdryer. 

There are on-site eatery options. Mortimer’s Restaurant serves a varied menu and wine list in a relaxed atmosphere. The King’s Bar provides light meals, snacks and beverages, and breakfast is available daily.

Prices start from £52 a night. Book here

For challenging fell runs: Lake District

A hiker crosses Stockley Bridge from Seathwaite Fell in the Lake District, Cumbria UK.

Steve says:

Run: Every viewpoint in the Lake District is just breath-taking, with shimmering Lakes, rolling hills and craggy mountains dominating the scenery.

Recharge: Cumbria boasts eight Michelin-starred restaurants, the ideal destination for a food-loving runner. Cartmel in particular is an epicentre of good food, the birthplace of the sticky toffee pudding. Work off those hearty meals with some adventure – an open water swim, sailing, clay pigeon shooting, horse riding or archery.

We say:

Places to stay:

Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

On the shores of Lake Windermere, Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa has an award-winning restaurant, a beauty spa and scenic views. This hotel is set in a stunning location and the rooms each have a flat-screen TV and tea/coffee facilities with mineral water.

The bathrooms feature fluffy robes and free toiletries, and some rooms have lake views. You can also relax in the ice room, sauna or aroma steam room, and try indulgent treatments in the beauty salon.

You can also treat yourself to some divine food. With 2 AA Rosettes, the restaurant serves a modern menu featuring quality local produce and organic ingredients. Terrace Bar and Lounge offer light meals and traditional afternoon teas.

Prices start from £279 a night. Book here

This hotel, which is located just next to Killington Lake, offers many rooms with scenic Lakeland views with free Wi-Fi and free parking. Rooms at Days Inn Kendal include a 22-inch TV, coffee maker, lounge chair, and a clock radio.

Catering offers are provided in the Main Amenities Building by McDonalds and Costa Coffee. Breakfast choices include continental, vegetarian and American.

Prices start from £65 a night. Book here

For city running: Cambridge

Running route along the River Cam, Cambridge

Steve says:

Run: Whether you’re running down historic cobbled streets surrounded by awe-inspiring architecture, heading further afield to the open countryside or jogging along the river, Cambridge is hard to beat.

Recharge: Punt down the river, explore the university colleges, take a bike tour, walk the Botanic Gardens or take your pick from the many museums and galleries in this charming city. You’re genuinely spoilt for choice.

We say:

Places to stay:

University Arms, Autograph Collection

This hotel has a real wow factor. It is one of the top picks in Cambridge on booking.com. It is located in the Cambridge City Centre district and has views over Parker’s Piece, historic Regent Street, and the hotel’s inner courtyard.

All the rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV and have a private bathroom. Some rooms also have a balcony.

The daily breakfast offers continental, buffet or à la carte options. Guests are welcome to take advantage of a fitness room too or you can relax with a cocktail at the bar, or brasserie, Parker’s Tavern.

Prices start at £203 for one night. Book here

Rectory Farm

This lovely little country house will make you feel like you are out in the country, but you are still within walking distance of Cambridge centre. The grand period building is set in 50 acres of beautiful grounds, complete with croquet lawn and a spacious terrace with outdoor seating.

The elegant bedrooms each have a private modern bathroom and tea/coffee facilities. Rooms also feature a TV and hairdryer, and all have scenic countryside views. Rooms are located in the House or in the adjacent Chalet. Continental breakfast is available.

Prices start from £59 a night. Book here

For wildlife spotting: London

A deer in the fog, Richmond Park, London

Steve says:

Run: It sounds counterintuitive but London is a brilliant place to spot wildlife on your run. Try Sydenham Hill Woods, a site of ancient woodland managed by the London Wildlife Trust.

You’ll spot old oaks, endangered stag beetles, tawny owls, plenty of fungi and beautiful displays of woodland wildflowers. Richmond Park is known for its wild deer population but you can also spy bats and wild rabbits.

Recharge: There’s so much to do in London but for a moment away from the hustle and bustle, try one of the many free art exhibitions at world class galleries like the Tate Modern or the Royal Academy.

We say:

Places to stay:

The Lilac Door

The Lilac Door is a family-run bed and breakfast which has a pretty name and an even prettier exterior. All units in the bed and breakfast are fitted with a flat-screen TV.

Rooms are complete with a private bathroom equipped with free toiletries, while certain rooms will provide you with a seating area. For an extra treat, chocolates, water and a tea/coffee tray are provided. A vegetarian, gluten-free or full English breakfast can be enjoyed in the breakfast area.

Prices from £105 a night. Book here

Warren House

This stunning Victorian mansion is just a five minute walk from Richmond Park, so you won’t have far to go for a rest when you’ve been out on your run. The hotel has its own private gardens and in the warmer months garden games including croquet are provided.

Each stylish, individually decorated room in the Grade II listed 19th century building is elegantly furnished and has a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi and a Bose CD music system. There are several private rooms that guests may dine in. The cuisine features local and organic produce, some taken from the orchards and meadows in the grounds.

Prices start from £129 a night. Book here