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Active holidays: running

View of the inlet leading to open sea from Carolina Cellar, Port Quin, Port Isaac, Cornwall © Mike Henton

View of the inlet leading to open sea from Carolina Cellar, Port Quin, Port Isaac, Cornwall © Mike Henton

What do you picture when you think of a National Trust estate? Woodland walks, rolling parkland and beautiful gardens? Or open countryside with stunning views?

All of these things that make our places such wonderful locations for walking mean they also offer perfect running terrain – a true antidote to road running or sweating away at the gym. And to acknowledge this, many estates are becoming runner friendly, with carefully maintained trails to suit every ability and regular running events.

So, where would be your ideal place to run? There’s challenging, off-road routes along coastal paths, rocky coves and through fell and river scenery, tracks across moors and through woodlands, or gentle trails around lakes and along valleys. Check out our activities webpage for more details. Wherever you go, you’re guaranteed to feel rejuvenated while exploring some truly special places.

What’s more, you can make a run an enjoyable part of your holiday, as many of our holiday cottages sit on or near estates that offer fantastic running trails.

You could stay at Killerton Park Cottage or Forest Cottage on the Killerton Estate in Devon, where the best time to enjoy the many running trails is sunrise. Head off to explore the parkland outside of opening hours, and savour the early-morning sun glinting through the trees, with nothing to hear but the dawn chorus. Or you could wait a few hours and join in on Killerton’s weekly parkrun event: explore the miles of trails with your fellow runners and then relax with some tea and cake in the café.

Blickling in Norfolk also hosts weekly parkrun events, and we have a number of cottages on the estate to help you make the most of all the routes on offer. Enjoy a stay in The Dairy House or The Tower, and get out and explore the estate on foot.

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, anyone with an interest in running is sure to find a trail to tempt them with National Trust Holiday Cottages.


Our selection

  • The exterior of The Dairy House, Blickling, Aylsham, Norfolk © Mike Henton

    The Dairy House

    nr Aylsham , Norfolk

    This is a cottage with masses of character and a particularly welcoming feel to it.

  • The exterior of The Tower, Nr. Aylsham, Norfolk. © Mike Henton

    The Tower

    nr Aylsham , Norfolk

    Set on the real estate around Blickling Hall in the glorious part of north Norfolk.

  • The exterior of Forest Cottage, nr Exeter © Stephen Jones

    Forest Cottage

    nr Exeter , Devon

    This semi-detached eighteenth century cottage lies in Ashclyst Forest.

  • The exterior of Killerton Park Cottage, Killerton, Devon  © National Trust

    Killerton Park Cottage

    nr Exeter , Devon

    A former 1920's estate lodge on the edge of Killerton Parkland