Bushy Parkrun Guide

At some time, most keen parkrunners feel the need to make a pilgrimage to the home of parkrun at Bushy Park. It was here, back in 2004 that injured runner Paul Sinton-Hewitt decided to organise a 5 km time trial for his fellow athletes. On that day 19 years ago, just 13 runners took part. Today, it has grown into a global phenomenon with over 1800 events spanning 20 countries.

Bushy parkrun takes place on Saturdays at 9 am at Bushy Park on the south west outskirts of London. As already mentioned, it has been running for almost two decades, notching up more than 900 events with an average of 775 runners per week.

Bushy Park
Bushy Park

Getting There

The 1000 acre Bushy Park, one of Eight Royal Parks, is close to Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace on the outskirts of London around 15 miles from the city centre. Nestled between the M3, M4 and M25, a few miles from Heathrow Airport, it is easily reached by car. The parkrun starts close to the Diana Fountain. Hampton Court Station is on the edge of the park, around a 15 minute walk from the start. Cycling to Bushy Park is also a popular choice.

Diana Fountain


There is free parking in the park close to the start at Hampton Court Gate and Diana Fountain. However, with such large numbers of participants, this fills up quickly. Another alternative which works well is to park at The Pheasantry Café car park. This is handy for post run refreshments. Bike parking is available at both Diana Fountain and The Pheasantry.

Bushy Park car park
Bushy Park car park


The Royal Parks Pheasantry Cafe has car parking and toilets and is around a 10 minute walk from the start. Aside from The Pheasantry, there are toilets at the play area next to the start.

Start of Bushy parkrun
Start of Bushy parkrun


The course consists of a kind of squished anticlockwise loop (to use the technical terminology) around the park, starting on the grass close to the Diana Fountain and finishing on the grass near to the start.

Bushy Park parkrun Strava segment
Bushy Park parkrun Strava segment


It’s a very flat course. The start is on the grass, before turning and continuing along paths and trails for most of the remaining route, then back onto the grass to finish. The park is home to deer, so you are likely to pass some as you run. Here is a photo of some deer in Busy Park, which I didn’t take because frankly, they terrify me and there’s no way I’d go close enough to take a photo.

Deer in Bushy Park


Probably trainers, unless it’s been raining for days and days… Then probably still trainers, although the start, and particularly the finish (as you can see from the picture below) can get a bit muddy.

Finish of Bushy parkrun
Finish of Bushy parkrun


Run Britain rankings for UK parkruns places Bushy Park as 86th fastest out of 706. It has a total elevation of 34 metres.

Fun Factor

Bushy Park is a beautiful park, particularly in the morning when the mist often hangs above the dewy grass. I love the idea of running at the ‘home’ of parkrun, surrounded by a thousand or so like minded individuals. Despite the large number of participants, it is well organised and doesn’t feel too congested with its wide start and multiple funnels at the finish. Add in the novelty of running surrounded by deer (as long as they don’t get too close!) and Bushy Parkrun has to be one of my all time favourite runs.

Bushy parkrun
Bushy parkrun

Nearby Attractions

The park adjoins Hampton Court Palace, former residence of Henry VIII. The palace is an interesting place to visit and has beautiful gardens. For children, there is a magic garden and a maze.


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