This Easter Saturday I’ve visited the picturesque and smallest town in Suffolk, Clare with a population of 2,000 that in the spring sunshine I can only describe as chocolate box vision in all its beauty.
Clare Castle Country Park
Today’s event was held at Clare Castle Country Park that was first opened to the public in 1972 and has a number of attractions for people to explore, including the main one being the remains of a hilltop castle “that was built in just after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 by Richard Fitz” link
The park also boasts the remains of Clare railway station that was sadly closed down after Dr Beeching report “The Reshaping plan of British Railways” in the 1960’s.
Now with large help from National Lottery Heritage Fund the stations building has been redeveloped for the general public to enjoy again and learn about its railway heritage!
Always a pleasure to bump into fellow parkrun tourists again in Stuart & Fiona originally from Wanstead Flats and I will look forward to our next encounter on our parkrun adventures 🙂
The course is made up of three flat clockwise laps of the country park that starts near the parks cafe and running surfaces is a mixture of tarmac, gravel and trail paths.
Points to Note
- There are a few pinch points on this course that makes it hard to overtake.
- The event was cancelled last week due to the river Stour breaking its banks, but to be fair I have been told this a very rare event as they have an alternative section of course they can use.
- Trail shoes definitely after prolonged period of rain.
- They have made visible exposed tree roots by placing red fitness cones on them on the out and back trail section.
- The course was well signposted and marshalled for us new to this event to follow the route.
Overall, a well maintained fast flat course that in the summer will look stunning especially the section running alongside the river Stour.
On their website, they state there is no public transport to get to this event, so the only real option is to go by car unless of course you are a local.
You can either park for free on the main high street or there is paid parking at country park itself postcode CO10 8NW.
Parking tariff starts from 9 am and costs £1 per hour up to a maximum charge of £5.00 for the full day at weekends.
Important note about the parking charge, you can pay before 9am at the meter via cash or use the Ringo app. I must admit I did have trouble for whatever reason finding this car park on the app before leaving to get to Clare Castle, only way to find it is search via its location code 4467
There are toilets is available inside the country park before the start of this event, but the only ones that were open on my visit were located next to the Station Road entrance to the park that is only a couple of minute’s walk from the start point of this parkrun.
Post Run Coffee
First for me having my well-earned post run coffee at Platform One cafe that is based in the Victorian ticket hall of the former abandoned Clare Railway station, beautiful building and location for this cafe!
I would like to thank this week’s run director to Ned and his team of hi viz heroes for being very welcoming on the morning, great work guys 🙂
So, if fancy beautiful country park to run around and then explore the excellent attractions afterwards, then Clare Castle must now be high on your parkrun tourist list, you have been told!
What next for me, well I have already chosen the next parkrun event from my lucky dip tourist list, and I will be looking forward to seeing you next week 🙂
Happy parkrunning everyone,
Mark aka Silent Runner
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