If you feel like you're carrying a little excess 'festive cheer' then you're not alone! So what better way to work off that turkey dinner and get back out into the great outdoors than taking part in a trail run this new year?

Across the UK running clubs and nature parks are hosting a series of races to kick the year off. These organised trails are a safe way of running over winter, making the most of your time and are a lot more fun than running on a treadmill.

Kielder Forest 10K Night Run


Kielder Forest
  • 10 Km
  • Start time: 17:00
  • Sat, 7th, Jan
  • Entry fee £15

Head torch needed, this 10 km night run leads you through the forest and around some of the famous sights and architecture. The trail is fully marked, has marshals at regular checkpoints and has full medical support in case of an emergency.

Kielder forest is the largest dark sky park in Europe and offers unrivalled views of the stars and even the Milky Way. The lack of artificial light attracts lots of nocturnal animals; keep your eyes open for bats, foxes and more on the run.

With this being the first run of the year there is a great sense of community spirit among the participants. After the race grab a hot drink or some food at the castle and relax with fellow runners.

Buff Winter Trail Half Marathon


Buff Winter Trail

Photo credit: runcoedybrenin.com

  • 21.8km
  • 10:30
  • Sat , 21st , Jan
  • Entry fee £26

Twisting and turning through the trees of Coed y Brenin the Buff Winter Trail Half Marathon takes in several climbs and a variety of terrain.

Fully marked and marshalled this is an official race with electronic timing chip to record your race position. However those who wish to take part for the fun of it are more than welcome.

Whatever position you finish Buff supply plenty of goodies including a thermal mug filled with tea or soup.

Wild Night Run


Wild Night Run

Photo credit: Wildnightrun.co.uk

  • 21.8km or 10km
  • 17:30
  • Sat 28th Jan
  • Entry fee £24

Not for the faint hearted the Moonlight flit has plenty of climbs (including Post Box Hill) and heavy moorland to navigate. Run out of the homely conservative club in Totnes it is either a half marathon or a 10km run - it's up to you. There is also the option to take part in the race as a team, combining your times.

Once you’ve finished the race its back to the conservative club for a cheap pint and some hearty grub.

Trossachs Night Trail Series


Trossachs Night Trail Series

Photo credit: carnethy.com

  • 8.8 km
  • 19:15
  • Wed 1st Feb
  • Entry fee £5

This is the third race in a series of night runs starting at Firth Inn, Aberfoyle Village (30 miles north of Glasgow). The short route takes you across local fields, up the low end of Creag Dhunh and back to the village.

Marked with high-vis tape the route is easy to follow and relatively flat – excellent for beginners not much technical skill is needed.

Arc of Attrition


Arc of Attrition

Photo credit: Mudcrew.co.uk

  • 160.9km
  • £140 (£15 GPS tracker)
  • 12:00
  • Fri 10th Feb

A serious yet hugely rewarding challenge the Arc of Attrition traces the rugged south west of Cornwall and should be approached with caution. Starting in Coverack and finishing in Porthtowan, participants must navigate their own route with checkpoints limited to every 20 miles.

It requires you to climb 4000m of elevation over 100 miles within the strict time limit of 36 hours. A support team is recommended and a full list of mandatory equipment can be found on their website.


About the Author:

Pete Fletcher - Outdoor Expert

Pete grew up hiking most of the trails in the Lake District before being introduced to skiing. A few decades later and you're most likely to find him snowboarding, skateboarding, or making a mean coffee.

Tagged as: Trail Running,Running