If you love nothing more than popping on a pair of trainers and hitting your stride, here are some great places to go running for fun around the globe.
If you enjoy working up a good sweat while running or jogging, you’re not alone. According to Statista, almost seven million people now run or jog regularly in England.
But it’s not just about working up a sweat. Running is a great way to take in the sights and familiarise yourself with new surroundings. It’s also a good way to get to know towns and cities if you travel a lot with work, for example.
Here are a few of our favourite places to try to beat your PB.
1. Grenoble, France
If running with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains is your thing, then head to Grenoble in the Rhône-Alpes region. The town is a little gem at the foot of the French Alps. Perfect for fans of trail running, there are heaps of great trails, with different lengths and degrees of elevation - so all fitness levels are catered for.
When not running, there are plenty of canyoning trips available, and cable cars (known locally as ‘bubbles’) up to the Bastille, which has incredible views. It’s also a mecca for mountain bikers.
Heading there in winter? Why not swap the trainers for skis? Flights into Grenoble are more frequent during ski season. If you are hitting the slopes, don’t forget to add ski insurance onto your Admiral Travel Insurance.
2. The Lake District
Staying in the UK, the fells of the Lake District have some of the country’s best trails. It’s well worth spending a bit of time here if you’re into wild running in spectacular landscape.
There are too many trails to list them all, but definitely take in:
- The Old Man of Coniston
When not running, we recommend breathing in the tranquillity and the country air. There are also great steamboat trips over the lakes themselves. Plus the Lake District is home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike, if you fancy a challenging hike.
3. Kamogawa River, Kyoto, Japan
Promenades along the Kamo River stretch for around 19 miles. And with little-to-no elevation, lovely views and the calming babble of the river, this is the most popular spot in Kyoto for running.
If you aim for the end of March to beginning of April, you’ll hopefully catch the cherry blossom season - which will certainly make the trip worthwhile.
If you’re thinking of heading to the Land of the Rising Sun, check out our guide to Japan.
4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
If you’re lucky enough to be en route to Rio, there are some incredible runs city-wide. The 4.5 mile cycle path around the lovely Lagoa lake is right up there. Rio de Janeiro is also great for beach runs.
Try starting at Leblon, heading via Ipanema and ending up at the Copacabana. There are two guaranteed earworms you’ll get stuck with right there for your 4.6km run
If you fancy staying on the beach, the Copacabana’s half moon shape is a stunning 8.11km route; we recommend starting your day with this run to make the most of Rio’s gorgeous sunrise.
5. The Appalachian Trail, USA
Into long distances? Well, the Appalachian Trail is in the vicinity of 2,200 miles. It’s in the Eastern United States, and stretches between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine.
Vegan ultra-runner Scott Jurek set the speed record after completing the 2,189.2-mile course in 46 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes. But for us mere mortals, you can run smaller chunks.
6. Easter Island, in the middle of the Pacific
Want to run past some massive mysterious heads? Then we think you know what we’re about to suggest. Running along the coast in the south-east of Easter Island (aka Rapa Nui) will take you past the iconic Moai heads. The main site is called Ahu Tongariki, which is also one of the best spots worldwide to watch the sunrise - so be sure to get up before dawn.
Officially part of Chile, the best way to get to Rapa Nui is a five and a half hour flight from Santiago. It’s incredibly remote, but well worth a stop if you’re looking into a round-the-world trip.
7. Gili Islands, Indonesia
What could be more satisfying than running the entire circumference of an island? If you find yourself in Bali, it’s well worth heading over to Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno or Gili Air for a bit of island time.
You can run around each of the islands barefoot if you like.
Gili Trawangan is the longest loop, at approximately 4.5 miles, with Gili Meno and Gili Air both around 3.1 miles. They can get sandy in places, and it’s definitely wise to take a bottle of water.
You’ll also never achieve your PB here, as you’ll either be distracted by getting the classic ‘swing shot’ in the water, or by the abundance of cocktail bars.
When not running, grab a mask and snorkel, and get yourself a boat trip out to see some great sea life. You might even befriend a turtle.
Run round a monument or landmark, anywhere in the world
For a bit of visual inspiration, work out your own trail around some of the world’s most iconic landmarks. Why not make a top 10, and tick them off as you do them? In fact, why stop at 10?
Before you run off: Do you need to get some travel insurance? Safeguard your trip with the right level of travel cover. If not… jog on!