Medina I.O.W. parkrun takes place on Saturdays at 9 am in Seaclose Park and Medina sports field in Newport on the Isle of Wight.
From the mainland, there are four main options to reach the Isle of Wight.
- Red Funnel run vehicle ferries and Red Jet passenger ferries between Southampton and Cowes.
- Wightlink offer a vehicle ferry between Lymington and Yarmouth.
- Wightlink also operate a vehicle ferry between Portsmouth and Fishbourne and a passenger ferry between Portsmouth and Ryde.
- Hovertravel offer a hovercraft passenger service between Southsea and Ryde.
Newport is inland. The nearest port, Cowes is 5 miles away. By car, you head south from Cowes on the aptly named Cowes Road (A3020). Once you reach Newport you take the A3054 (Fairlee Road) to reach Medina Leisure Centre. Bus No 1 will take you from Cowes to Newport Bus Station. From here, you can walk the 15 minutes along Fairlee Road to the start or take the No 9 Bus to Ryde, which stops at Medina Leisure Centre.
We sailed to Yarmouth (10 miles from Newport) because we were coming from the west of England.
Paid parking is available in Medina Leisure Centre car park (£1.70 for an hour). Free parking is available in the car park in Seaclose Park, which is a five minute walk through the park and Medina Arboretum to the start.
If you park at Seaclose Park (which makes sense, because it’s free), there are toilets adjacent to the car park.
The course consists of two laps of the area around the fields of Medina and Seaclose Park. It’s a bit squiggly, but the area along the River Medina in particular is very scenic and offers great views of the river flowing down to the coast.
Note: This is the winter course which is in operation between September and May. During June, July and August parkrun takes place at Appley Park in Ryde.
The route is over varying terrain – grass, gravel and tarmac.
A difficult one. We ran in November, when the grass was muddy and slippery. But there are also sections of tarmac.
Run Britain rankings for UK parkruns places Medina I.O.W as 548th fastest out of 706. It has a total elevation of 28 metres.
I enjoyed my weekend on the Isle of Wight. The parkrun course was challenging, with its twists and turns but as already mentioned, very scenic. This is one I would definitely recommend.
Where We Stayed
There is a Premier Inn – Isle of Wight (Newport) – located very close to the start on the corner of Seaclose Park. However, much as I love a Premier Inn, on this occasion we opted to stay in the centre of Newport at The Wheatsheaf Hotel. To be honest, it’s seen better days (lots of them; it’s a 17th Century Coaching Inn) and recent reviews complain about the (lack of) heating. However, it is very conveniently located right in the centre of Newport. The price includes breakfast, which is served until 10 am, so you have to rush to make it back in time, but we made it and it was a good breakfast. Check out is 10 am, which is a bit of pain.
I love The Isle of Wight, I used to take the kids on holiday when they were little and the island has plenty of tourist attractions to keep you entertained. I’ll be honest, this was our first winter visit and I hadn’t realised how seasonal attractions and other things were. We even saw a sign on a bus stop (in November) saying ‘Next Bus Due: April)!
So on our weekend parkrun adventure, we took a wander round Newport then retired to the Man in the Moon (Wetherspoons Pub) for fish & Chips and a pint of cider; The perfect pre race meal!
The following day, after parkrun we headed to The Needles. At this famous landmark where three chalk stacks sit out to sea, you can take a chair lift down the cliff tops to Alum Bay, renowned for its multi coloured sand cliffs. You can also visit the Victorian Fort and more modern fortifications at The Needles Old & New Battery.
Other popular things to do on the Isle of Wight include:
- Osborne House (holiday home of Queen Victoria)
- Monkey Haven – Primate Rescue Centre
- Carisbrook Castle (1000 year old castle)
- Blackgang Chine (Pirate Themed Amusement Park)
- Isle of Wight Steam Railway
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