Running Routes in Kent

I live in Gravesend and I'm desperate to find a good route for long runs. I'm happy with a 2-4 mile lap around an lake or something to do laps. But someplace flat and pretty away from traffic. I've been running the Wealdway but I'm doubting the mileage and I'm tired of having to read a map to find the route.

Is there a good park or lake to loop around with its distance known?



  • We lived in Gravesend until last year. Loads of options:
    1) You can get out of town onto the ND30K course within a few miles.
    2) Run down the canal and onto the back roads
    3) Shorne Country Park
    4) Trossley Country Park
    5) Weald Way takes you out fo town too

    Get yourself an OS Explorer map for the area
  • Thanks!

    Johnny J, I'm willing to travel around-- if there's someplace good in Maidstone or something.

    I'll buy a map too. But do you know of any lakes or resevoirs popular for running?
  • I live in Maidstone. Try Mote Park! Lovely and hilly and muddy! Nowhere's flat in Maidstone.
  • So why (apart from the kit being vile) are you not a member of the awesome Maidstone Harriers, JennyD?
    Wednesday night club runs are fun :-D
  • I think I've insulted too many of you to be able to show my face :o)

    I'm also allergic to cold and dark ;o) I might think about it come the longer evenings, but I'm not wearing that awful vest! I hear it's 70's cotton and not the wicking stuff, do you run in Dunlop Green Flash too?

    You don't want an eeyore like me.
  • Its true, no where in Maidstone is flat. I live near mote park and as soon as I come out of my house i have a 1/2 mile down hill stretch before i can do anything, its impossible to avoid - its not too bad going out, but is a nightmare coming home as it means 1/2 mile up a steep hill to finish.

    I occasionaly park at Lockmeadow and run along the Medway, you can get a fairly decent flat 10 miler in.

    How are you Pants ???
  • There are several good running routes around Gravesend – Pants has mentioned Shorne Country Park and Trosley – Camer Park and the surrounding woodland and fields is also a good place to run (beware of the dog walkers though) as is much of the farmland and woodland to the South and the East of the town.

    The Saxon Shore Way heads East from Gravesend and follows the Thames crossing the Cliffe peninsula to the Medway – some excellent running although it get bleak in winter.

    The Wealdway heads south from Gravesend crossing the North Downs Way and the Pilgrims Way – very many good routes around here.

    Also some good routes around the surrounding villages – Higham, Shorne, Cobham, Sole Street, Nurstead, Meopham, Harvel, Vigo, Hodsoll Street, Fairseat, Stanstead, Ash, Longfield, Southfleet, Istead Rise, Ifield etc. Further afield there are places like Cliffe, Upnor, Wainscot, Cuxton, Halling, Snodland, Birling, Ryarsh, Addington, Wrotham, Borough Green, West Kingsdown, Hartley and the Darenth Valley (Kemsing, Otford, Shoreham, Eynsford etc). The North Downs offer some really good trail running (and some great views) and quiet country lanes.

    Even further afield there is the river Medway – some good towpath running from Allington Lock all the way through to Tonbridge. Also on the Kent/Sussex border there is Bewl Water, the largest stretch of water in South east England – fabulous place to run (the Bewl 15 is a very popular annual race).

    A personal favourite place to run in the summer months is the Isle of Sheppey and the nature reserve to the East of Harty Ferry - some good waymarked paths and bags of wild life.

    Our club organises trail runs for all abilities every few months starting and finishing at a point on the outskirts of Gravesend – we run for around two to two and a half hours hours ending up at a café or tea kiosk at one of the country parks – you’re welcome to join us as are any other runners who may be interested.
  • Thanks, Graham! I'm new to Gravesend and am just beginning to explore the running potential of its area. The Saxon Shore Way sounds good, I'll have to find a map first.

    What club do you belong to? I'm thinking of joining one that meets at Cascades on Wednesdays.
  • A&C - welcome to the area - I've lived in or around Gravesend most of my life.

    The club I belong to is Gravesend Road Runners - we meet at the AEI sports and social club at 7:00 every Tuesday - there's often a Thursday group (according to demand) and every couple of months we organise a Sunday morning trail run.

    The club that meets at Cascades on Wednesday is Istead and Ifield - they're a good club, a little larger than GRR.

    You'd be made very welcome at either GRR or I&I - both clubs cater for runners of all ages and abilities. Maybe you should check us both out before deciding which one to join.

    It's not too dificult to find enjoyable places to run in and around the area - there's some nice countryside and some quiet country lanes to the South of the A2.

  • Excellent thanks. One of the main reasons for joining a club would be to learn the surrounding routes and find runners to join me. I'm mostly a morning runner which makes me nervous in deciding to commit to one club. I rarely can convince myself to run after work. Is it a problem to just join club night runs once a month?
  • I'm sure that wouldn't be a problem either for us or (I expect) for I&I - you may be interested in joining us on our next Sunday morning trail run - I'll find out when the next one is.

    Happy running!
  • Sounds good. This Sunday I'm running the Folksworth 15 mile in Northamptonshire and the following three Sundays I'm out of town, then running Brighton 1/2 Marathon. Eventually, yes I'd like to join in. But things over the next couple weeks seem busy. Guess I should sample your normal Tuesday night runs instead then.
  • A&C - we'd be pleased to see you. Let me know when you'll be coming along - if I'm not able to be there myself (sometimes find it difficult to get back from London for 7:00) I'll ask some of the other runners to look out for you. Have a good race on Sunday (we'll be at Minnis Bay near Westgate for a cross country fixture).
  • JennyD - there are new vests now - same colours sadly - but wickable and good quality. Dunlop Green Flash not required (although it WOULD match well!).

    You would be more than welcome and would fit in well - there are faster women but many slower ones too.

    And rude comments are all forgiven and forgotten... ;-)
  • Thanks Pantman, it might be nice to get out in the summer evenings trying out some new routes.

    I hear on the grapevine :o) that you speedy guys let your egos get the better of you and go off at race pace. What's all this about base training then? If you're doing base (7-7:30 m/m?) then I should be able to keep up with you, right? As if.
  • Micksta is still learning the definition of easy. I, however, plod round with my two eldest kids - HR = 110bpm - a true recovery run! And there are plenty who run much slower than us - you'll find a group to suit you whether you want to go easy or fast. Although, if I recall, you only have one spedd - flat out... ;-)
  • I would love to go flat out around Maidstone :o( but with the hills around here I need climbing gear. No, I don't go flat out any more - can't! Not when Tim tells me to do 9 miles! I try to give it my all in the last mile though and always finish knackered.

    I think I've seen Micksta legging it through Bearsted and Willington St. (my route too :o)) and I thought, that's base then eh? Hmmm.
  • I live just off Willington St, in Downswood, I have to run half way up and turn off through Mangingford. (Say Hi if you see me) The Ashford Rd is just as bad.

    I tried following Pants' base programme last year but gave up - basically because it is so hilly.

    To get anywhere I have a half mile steep down hill trot from the top of Downswood then its about a third of a mile steep up Willington before you can level out.

    I have to finish all my runs at the entry to Downswood because I could never keep my HR down, so I end up with 1/2mile walk cooldown
  • Hi Stuart, glad there are other runners out there who have to suffer Willington St!

    I'm actually in Boughton Monchelsea, but to avoid lanes, it's got to be Willington St and there's a steady 2 mile climb after the big dip homebound! I'm off running at the mo (stress fracture caused by landing badly on rocks) but will be back in a few weeks and will be doing that and along the A20 as a 9 mile route.

    I actually do like Mote Park very much and go the hard way round :o) Up the rugby and football pitches and down on the paths. 2 laps, about 10k. Then I sprint finish (hee hee hee) with hubby!
  • The Mote is beautiful, but it still has some killer hills - especially adjacent to willington street, the climb up to the old Cheshire Home is pretty tasty as well. But 1st thing in the morning the park is beautiful, I miss it at the moment because its too dark before work so have to run round the roads, Madgingford, Bearsted etc. At the weekend for my longer run I park up at lockmeadow and can run as far as I want really in either/both directions.Its a lovely run (apart from the rowing club coaches on their bikes screaming at the rowers)

  • On some mad days we race up the hills in Mote Park! I find it toughest going up alongside the football pitches then by the side of the leisure centre, mainly because of all the boggy grass! The climb to the Cheshire Home is great, get to the bend and you think it's all over but uh uh...

    I'm interested to try along the river but I hear the ground can get a bit lumpy there? I'm really scared off dodgy ground now :o(
  • From lockmeadow if you go towards barming there is gravel path for a couple of miles, then it is natural footpath - which is okay really. You can go as far as you want, to Tonbridge apparently, but ive never gone further than 5 out 5 back that way.

    From lockmeadow heading down towards alington lock (dont stop at The Malta!!!) it is about 4miles of good footpath, then natural footpath. I tend to run thisway,under the M20, cut alongside Travis Perkins and you are into Aylesford where you have as much footpath as you want. You can easily get a 20miler!!! with only about 2 miles roughish ground, even then, only in winter. AND ITS ALL FLAT !!!!

  • Jenny,

    Micksta does not understand the word "slow" - he does not follow base type training in any sense. His easy days are always too fast.

    That said, I will often run 6:30 pace now while keeping HR in the right zone. It has become easy to me now.

    Re. Mote Park - once the weather gets warmer you may well see some guy (often with two children) jogging round barefoot - that will be me... ;-)

    We live out Lenham way - I occasionally go swimming with my two eldest at Mote Park - I run there and they accompany me on their bikes (9.5M trip). We then have post-swim b/fast and, a short while later, run/bike back again.

    The routes out this way tend to be country lanes - nothing flat, but the bigger hills can generally be avoided. But if we wnat them, they are there - we live at the foot of the Downs.
  • Stuart thanks for the info, though I do like the Malta Inn :o) Right now I'm too much of a chicken to contemplate unmade paths, maybe I might get a bit more confident after a couple of months comeback. I know I have a weaker left ankle and often twist it. Hilly roads are safer :o) Do you go out with the Harriers? Hubby and I might go down there maybe in April after the clocks have gone forward!

    Pantman, I have a chuckle about Micksta - I thought all you fast guys did loads of easy running! I don't have a hrm but outdoors I usually go steady and stay comfortable (terrain permitting!) and most of the time that's about 7:30m/m. Nowadays the "uncomfortable" runs are the treadmill ones.

    Barefoot round the park? Aren't you worried about what you could tread in?
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