Rothay Park parkrun

Introduction / List of reviews

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We were visiting the area for a short easter break and having done Fell Foot on a previous visit we decided to give this one a go.


parkrun Link

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Strava Segment


We woke up to a frozen car which we were not expecting. Sun was out by the time we arrived and while it was chilly before the start it warmed up really quickly. One of those days where you ended up with too many layers on.

Getting There

Rothay park is the name of the venue on the outskirts of Ambleside

If coming by car it’s not difficult as there are only a few roads that come into Ambleside. Basically aim for the A591! Parking is at Miller Bridge Town Centre Car Park (LA22 OEE) which has loads of spaces as it’s the essentially the main car park for the village so has more than enough capacity to deal with parkrun. It’s a few minutes walk to the park once you’ve found a space.

Up to 1 hour: £1.50
1 to 2 hours: £3.00
2 to 3 hours: £4.00
3 to 4 hours: £5.50

Card, cash and “PaybyPhone” parking app are all good though be aware signal in that part of the world can sometimes be bit variable.

There are a couple of bus routes that stop near the library and are a five minute walk away and if you’re staying in Ambleside itself it’s likely to be walkable.

You could feasible cycle from another village too with it being one big main road that comes through Ambleside. We saw loads of people on bikes while we were in the area.


There’s a toilet block near the entrance to the park that is also near where the start line is. There’s a large children’s play area too but no food or drink facilities in the park itself. It’s not a huge problem though as with Ambleside being so close it’s a short walk to various different cafes and restaurants. We went to the Apple Pie cafe and bakery and had some very nice breakfast!

Briefings and Volunteers

Because of where this parkrun is located there are usually more tourists than locals so they don’t do a separate first timers briefing as it’s easier to just to do it all at the same time. I’d seen a couple of comments about this parkrun being one of the friendliest and I can certainly agree with that. Being the easter weekend too there was a box of chocolate eggs for everyone to help themselves too as well.

Our eldest decided that if we were going to drag them out of bed to parkrun they’d also volunteer and did a sterling job of marshalling and cheering people around!

Start line and finish funnel

Start line is on the football pitch near the park entrance to keep people off the path. It’s a busy park even at that time of the morning so that makes sense. Does mean on particularly soggy days you’ll get muddy before you’ve even started. Finish funnel was at the top end of the park and is in a slightly higher section which gives you a really nice view on the park as a whole.


Three laps.

When it’s described it initially sounds a bit intricate but there are basically two loops, one in the park itself and another in a field (Millers Field) next to the car park. You do a lap of the park, then down to the field where you do a lap of that and then repeat two more times!

The section that links the two loops is a little narrow, especially as it goes through two small gates as you come out of the park to go into the field so you do have to be mindful of runners coming in the other direction.

It’s mostly flat, has some sections that can be ran quickly but the twists and turns in addition to the narrow sections can slow you done a bit. For anyone not chasing times though the main section of the park has some stunning views.


In the winter or when it’s particularly wet you will absolutely need trail shoes for the field section. You’ll be fine with road shoes outside of that. We just about got away with road shoes on this visit.

Short or Long? (based on our watches and checking out other Strava profiles)

Bryony and I both had this slightly long but any course that has so many turns you’d need get the correct line on all of them I think to get this spot on.

Andy Stats

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10 (70.01% age grade)

Bryony Stats

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154 (29.46% age grade) 59th Female

How did it go?

Andy – From a touristing point of view I had a great time. The event was full of really nice people, the park was beautiful, especially when the weather decided to warm up. We had a lovely breakfast in Ambleside and spent the morning wandering about. It’s not often we get the whole family to parkrun but this was one of those. On the running side, I’ve had better days at the office. You can’t run a PB every week though so I’m just pleased we had a nice day out.

Bryony – As mentioned in previous weeks, Bryony is parkwalking at the moment but having company in our youngest was great on this occasion. Due to the narrow paths it did mean for a lot of single file walking for the most part though, often having to allow for faster runners coming from behind us at the same time there were runners coming towards us. However it was a nice walk to do, the marshalls were super friendly, especially the one by the gate 😉 and time passed quickly with the sun, varied scenery and chatting. We were surprised to see so few walkers at this one though – definitely one to try and encourage more to attend given how straightforward it is.

Return Visit Likely?

If we were ever in the area again I’d be happy if we came for another go.

Pictures and that.

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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