Runners on frosty path in the winter

Every forest running event coming up in 2020

For many of us, a new year means new fitness goals. So whether you're a seasoned trail runner or working towards your first 5k in 2020, England's forests are some of the most picture perfect training grounds out there. In the forest, you can get into the swing of things with no crowds. Just you and the open trails... and maybe a canine companion!

Satisfy your sense of adventure and take a fresh approach to exercise this year with these forest running events. With a roster of great races, from Canicross to Adventure Trails, there's something for everyone. If you're in it for the ultimate forest experience, make a weekend of it by staying at one of Forest Holidays' beautiful woodland cabins.

Cannock Chase 5 & 10 Miler
Cannock Chase Forest - Sunday 9 February

Following a sell-out debut in 2019, come and join us for this great 10 Mile race using the undulating forest paths and trails in and around Cannock Chase Forest.

The event is open to runners of all abilities, and is perfect for spring marathon training. If the 10 mile doesn't quite suit, there's also a 5 mile option.

runners at the start of a race at Westonbirt
Running in the forest
Fraser Allen

The Bedgebury Forest Spring 10k
Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest - Sunday 22 March

This brand new single loop 10k race within the beautiful surroundings of Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest is open to runners of all abilities, from novices to experienced athletes.

Spring Canicross 10k and 5k
Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest - Saturday 16 May

Join us for the return of this event for the South East Canicross Calendar, with its picturesque forest trails. This event has sold out every year since it's inception in 2017, so book your place before it's too late!

Running event in the forest
runners at start of Hamsterley Forest 10k
Neil Denham

Hamsterley Forest Half Marathon (10k)
Hamsterley Forest - Saturday 18 July

Take in some of the greatest views Hamsterley Forest has to offer on this exciting half marathon. You’ll get to see parts of the forest that the general public haven’t seen before. This race is the perfect summer event for anyone looking for a rewarding Half Marathon run

10k Moon Runner
Hamsterley Forest - Saturday 28 November

Sharpen your senses by competing in the Moon Runner series. In these races, you'll be running at night in beautiful locations illuminated by the moon and stars. These events are suitable for trail running and head torch novices, but are also challenging enough for more experienced runners.

Stars in Night Sky
Photo credit: Andrew Jenkins
Start of parkrun running event

Nationwide - Every weekend

Kick start your weekend with a parkrun to get the whole family outdoors and having fun together. parkrun's weekly 5km timed runs are open to everyone, free, and safe and easy to take part in.

We currently have parkrun or junior parkrun events across 21 of the nation’s beautiful forests every weekend.

Full forest running event listings for 2020

East Midlands

25 February - Salcey Forest - Gato Sports Head Torch 10k
25 February - Salcey Forest - Salcey Winter Challenge (1st of the Salcey Season Series) 
29 March - Sherwood Pines - The Sherwood Pines Half Marathon & 10k
5 April - Salcey Forest - Fitnetics 10k
28 April - Salcey Forest - Salcey Spring Challenge (2nd of the Salcey Season Series)
29 April - Sherwood Pines - Forest of Light Run 3k
20 May - Salcey Forest - Northants Sport 5k Series
27 June - Salcey Forest - Festival of Running Summer Cani-X Challenge (5k and 10k)
28 June - Salcey Forest - The Salcey Forest 10k & 5k
8 July - Salcey Forest - Salcey Summer Challenge (3rd of the Salcey Season Series)
5 September - Salcey Forest - Festival of Running Autumn Cani-x Challenge (5k and 10k)
6 September - Salcey Forest - 2nd day of the Festival of Running (Half Marathon and 10k)
29 November - Salcey Forest - Fitnetics 10k
5 December - Salcey Forest - Salcey Christmas 5k and 10k

Past events
23 January 2020 - Salcey Forest - Gato Sports Head Torch 10k
16 February - Sherwood Pines - Tough Runner UK Nottinghamshire Epic Trail 10k

East of England

8 March - Thetford Forest - Thetford Trails Half Marathon
29 March - Thetford Forest - Barr Ellison Thetford Forest 10k hoohaah
15 March - High Lodge - Mud and Mayhem Trail Race + Canicross
4 April - Thetford Forest - Forest of Light Run 3k
18 April - Thetford Forest - Colour 5k

Past events
16 February - High Lodge - Thetford Trails 10km + Canicross (Winter Series, Race Three)

North East

29 March - Chopwell Wood - Run Nation 10k and 15k 
4 April - Kielder Forest - High Terrain Events Kielder Ultra Trail
11 April - Chopwell Wood - Wild Deer 3k easter trail race, 5k ‘King and Queen of the Mountains’ and an 8k trail race
19 April - Chopwell Wood - Traildog 5k
25 April - Hamsterley Forest - 10k and 5k
26 April - Chopwell Wood - Great Run Company Ultrarunner
3 May - Chopwell Wood - Run Nation 10k and 15k 
14 June - Hamsterley Forest - Runduro
18 July - Hamsterley Forest - Half Marathon / 10k
25 July -  Chopwell Wood - Wild Deer 10k 
8 August - Chopwell Wood - Runduro
13 September - Chopwell Wood - Tough Runner 10k 
26 September - Hamsterley Forest - Trail Marathon
11 October - Hamsterley Forest - Hamsterley Beast
25 October - Hamsterley Forest - 10k
8 November - Hamsterley - Remembrance Day 10m & 5m
28 November - Hamsterley - 10k Moon Runner

Past events
9 February - Hamsterley Forest - Winter 10k and Half Marathon
15 February - Chopwell Wood - Chopwell Moon Runner 10k

North West

15 April - Whinlatter Forest - Grisedale Grind Keswick Athletic Club Open Fell Race
29 April - Whinlatter Forest - Lord's Seat & Barf Keswick Athletic Club Open Fell Race 
10 May - Whinlatter Forest - Run Nation 5k
27 June -  Whinlatter Forest - Whinlatter 10k with Pure Outdoor Events
10 October - Whinlatter Forest -  The Beast of Whinlatter 5 mile & 10 mile event

South East

22 March -  Bedgebury Forest - Bedgebury Spring 10k
29 February - Wendover Woods - Spring Festival of Running (5k & 10k Canicross Challenge)
1 March - Wendover Woods - Spring Festival of Running (10k & Half Marathon)
26 April - Wendover Woods - The Wendover Woods Trail Marathon
6 May - Bedgebury Forest - Summer Series Race 1 (5k & 10k)
16 May - Bedgebury Forest - Bedgebury Spring Canicross 10k and 5k
21 May - Wendover Woods - Wendover Challenge
3 June - Bedgebury Forest - Bedgebury Summer Series 10k and 5k (Race 2)
1 July - Bedgebury Forest - Bedgebury Summer Series 10k and 5k (Race 3)
5 August - Bedgebury Forest - Bedgebury Summer Series 10k and 5k (Race 4)
17 October - Wendover Woods - Tough Runner Bucks Epic Trail 10k
18 October - Wendover Woods - Tough Runner Bucks Epic Trail Half Marathon
7 November - Bedgebury Forest - Bedgebury Autumn Canicross 10k and 5k
8 November - Bedgebury Forest - Bedgebury Forest Half Marathon and 10k
21 November - Wendover Woods - Autumn Festival of Running (5k & 10k Canicross Challenge)
22 November - Wendover Woods - Autumn Festival of Running (10k & Half Marathon)

Past events
2 February - Bedgebury Forest - 10m and 5m

South West

14 & 15 March - Westonbirt Arboretum - CaniX
29 March - Haldon Forest - Haldon Winter Series - 10 mile
7 May - Westonbirt Arboretum  - Westonbirt 10k

Past events
25 January - Haldon Forest - Tough Runner - Exeter Epic

West Midlands

29 February - Cannock Chase - Dirty Dozen 12k Adventure Trail Race
4 April - Cannock Chase - Cannock Chase Trail Half Marathon (& CaniX)
1-3 May - Cannock Chase - Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) Festival
17 May - Cannock Chase - Staffordshire Epic 10k 

Past events
9 February - Cannock Chase - The Cannock Chase 5 & 10 Miler

Yorkshire and the Humber

8 March - Dalby Forest - Canicross 5k, 8k or 10k
29 March - Dalby Forest - Canicross 5k, 8k or 10k
10 May - Dalby Forest - Canicross 5k, 8k or 10k
6 June - Dalby Forest - Colour Run (3k & 5k)
19 July - Dalby Forest - No Ego 'Conquer the Forest'
8-9 August - Dalby Forest - Outdoor 24 (24hr endurance race)
6 September - Dalby Forest - Canicross 5k, 8k or 10k
12 September - Dalby Forest - Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain rescue Team (SRMRT) (10k, half and full marathon)
25 October - Dalby Forest - Canicross 5k, 8k or 10k
8 November - Dalby Forest - Dalby Dash 10k
6 December - Dalby Forest - Canicross 5k, 8k or 10k

Running on forest trail

Training in the forest

Keep exploring

Runner on forest trail
17 January 2020
Are you bored of staring at the gym wall? Swap the treadmill for the trail this year, and try out these 13 forest running routes.
Woman running towards sunset in the forest, autumnal forest
09 October 2019
"I’d often find ways to escape the city and head into the forest near where I grew up. It was a place where I could switch off from everything and just slow down. I loved it, and felt safe there." ~ Hope Virgo, Mental Health Campaigner
Sherwood bushcraft
27 September 2019
In a quiet corner of Sherwood Pines, a group of people are learning how to build shelters, weave willow and whittle wood.
Couple walking in autumn forest
18 September 2019
Refresh your body, mind and spirit whilst discovering breath-taking forest landscapes and incredible displays of colour!