Queen Elizabeth parkrun guide

Queen Elizabeth parkrun takes place at 9 am on Saturdays at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, which is situated within the South Downs National Park. The day we chose to meet up with friends and run this event turned out to be an absolute shocker weather wise with seemingly unending torrential rain. We met up in the car park at Queen Elizabeth Country Park and braved leaving the dry warmth of our cars to slip our slide our way through mud and puddles to the start, where we huddled under a tree for the pre race briefing, before setting off on our mudfest.

Getting There

Queen Elizabeth Country Park is easy to reach by car, as it is just off the A3 (London to Portsmouth road). By public transport, it is somewhat more problematic. I asked Google how to get there from my house in Bournemouth 60 miles away and it suggested an 8 hour, 3 x bus, 2 x train trip via London Gatwick. If you do want to attempt a public transport extravaganza, the nearest station is Petersfield, 6 km away – from here you can catch the no 37 bus.


Entry to the park is free, but parking is not and costs approximately £2 per hour between October and March (£2.50 an hour April to September).

Old Road Sign
Sign in Queen Elizabeth Country Park


There are toilets located in the Visitor Centre near the park entrance.


The course is described on the parkrun website as ‘undulating’. Undulating is one of my least favourite words. It consists of two loops; one larger and one smaller; each is hilly in its own special way.

Queen Elizabeth parkrun Strava segment


The parkrun website states that the terrain consists of a mixture of grass, gravel paths and forest trails. When we ran it, it consisted primarily of mud. Lots and lots of mud.

Queen Elizabeth parkrun
Mud, mud, glorious mud




Run Britain Rankings for UK parkruns place Queen Elizabeth as the 675th fastest out of a total of 706. The course has a total elevation of 113 metres.

Queen Elizabeth parkrun
Queen Elizabeth parkrun

Fun Factor

Queen Elizabeth parkrun is a small and friendly event; the average number of finishers is just 89. On the weekend we visited, a mere 66 runners came out to play in the rain and mud. Among this number were plenty of parkrun tourists, in particular ‘alphabeteers’ (those looking to attend a parkrun starting with each letter of the alphabet) in search of their Q. Visitors are made to feel very welcome. I’m not sure if I enjoyed my trip to Queen Elizabeth parkrun or not. It is probably a very scenic run when visibility is more than a few metres. I think I need to return in very different weather conditions to make a fair assessment. Although, to recap, it is hilly.

Finish of Queen Elizabeth parkrun
Finish of Queen Elizabeth parkrun

Where We Stayed

We stayed at the Premier Inn Portsmouth (Horndean), which was reasonably priced and situated 4 miles from Queen Elizabeth Country Park.

Premier Inn Porstmouth (Horndean)

Nearby Attractions

Spread over more than 2,000 acres, Queen Elizabeth Country Park offers visitors plenty to do; walking and cycling trails, an assault course, adventure playground, picnic and BBQ areas – there’s even a pizza oven. However, as we visited during a deluge, we retired to the café in The Visitor Centre (Beechwood Kitchen) for breakfast, which I can thoroughly recommend. The Butser Buster consisted of sausages, bacon, eggs, beans, tomatoes, hash browns and toast for £9.50 and certainly ensured we replenished any calories we’d burned during our run!

Breakfast at Queen Elizabeth Country Park


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