Houghton Hall parkrun, England

Houghton Hall parkrun route. 3 laps, only the first include the small loop at top right.

On a wet, wet, wet day, I was in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire. Unlike the volunteers, I could at least shelter in the car till it was nearly time to start, and we all caught a break as it stopped raining for 20 minutes or so, just before 9am.

The route heads round past the visitors’ centre, away from the camera here.

Despite the weather, I enjoyed my run around, and was happy to be doing laps of the park. Those laps vary a little, with the first a longer one, taking in a wooded section at the top right of the map. After that, we headed round the main loop a couple of times, avoiding some puddles and splashing through others.

I missed all the hay bales on the way round, but they’re not hidden.

I blame those puddles, and my focus on planning a route round them for the fact that I missed the inside of the park entirely. There is more there than I appreciated at the time, with a large grassy area spotted with hay bales at this part of Autumn.

A view I completely failed to take in during the event.

The route heads out of the main part of the park for a short downhill section. It’s worthy of note mainly for the narrow gates on the way out and then again on the way in, which are described as an impediment, but have a gap big enough to tempt you into racing through them. A tempter! They definitely don’t need much of a shuffle for most of us, but if you get it wrong you’ll be brought up short by the metal. A nice piece of jeopardy on the route.

The narrow gates.
More narrow gates to head back into the park.
Not on the route, but a particularly verdant view.

A pretty park, a well-organised event, and all the facilities are available right by the start/finish.

Results from Houghton Hall parkrun, event 129, 30/10/21.

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