I am truly blessed at the moment in running courses that have stunning views with Panshanger Park, Hertford as being right up the with the best of them!
The road to my 100th event at Houghton Hall is definitely a very scenic one with locations like Westmill, Tring and now Panshanger at times I don’t think we realise what beautiful countryside we have just outside our front doors to explore 🙂
Panshanger was formerly a large country house and estate acquired by the Cowper family from 1700 and parkland was developed from advice given by Humphry Repton to make the most of the surrounding Mimran Valley!
After the death of the final owner Ethel Grenfell in 1952 the estate was sold off with the house sadly being demolished through lack of interest!
Since the 1980’s the company Tarmac has owned this 1000 acre site for gravel extraction on the understanding that they will return this land to its former glory! Working closely with Hertfordshire & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Hertfordshire County Council and pressure from the Friends of Panshanger Park this estate is getting back to its beautiful best for the local community to enjoy!
The course is very scenic undulating one anticlockwise lap of Panshanger park that surfaces is a mixture of grass, gravel and dirt paths!
The course starts in the car park, you then run alone a woodland trail path, then turn right on a grass section before running around the parameter of a large field, next you run down through Garden Wood and followed by running down a dirt track!
Next you run over a small wooden bridge over the River Mimran, run around Kings Lake on to a grass track behind the river and Osprey Lake, cross over the river again and follow a trail path to a small field that you then run around to the finish funnel!
Points to Note
- Just need to be watchful when running for exposed tree roots and the odd uneven surfaces
- Couple of pinch points on the course, first at the start and near the end along this single track trail path! Overall though to be fair there are a lot of wide places to overtake!
- After a long period of run definitely a trail shoe style course
- Finally a sharp little incline at the end that catches your breath away
So overall this course was a joy to run with a beautiful backdrop that keeps your interest!
My time was 36:38 that was OK in this heat and my current lack of fitness!
As Panshanger website states please do not use the Thieves Lane car park as this is being limited to volunteers, park users, blue badge holders and emergency services.
Recommended for this event is limited free road side along Old Hertingfordbury Road Sat Nav SG14 2AR.
There are no toilet facilities available in this park and for the post run coffee there was mobile catering van at the car park that was owned by a lovely woman called Mary!
- Walk the many paths including Butterfield Way and Oak Trail
- Observation points for bird watching including Osprey, wild fowl
- Visit the remains of the Orangery and the former site of Panshanger House
I like to thank Michael Scutt and his time of volunteers for making me feel extremely welcome, also it was great to bump into the legend John Butcher again so soon after Westmill, the pleasure was all mine sir!!!
So finally any self-respecting parkrun tourist should schedule a visit to this single lap scenic course, you have all been told!!!
Mark aka Silent Runner