Itchen Valley Country Parkrun Guide

Itchen Valley Country parkrun takes place at 9 am on Saturdays at Itchen Valley Country Park, Allington Lane, West End. The park is located 5 miles north east of Southampton, close to Southampton Airport.

Getting There

Itchen Valley Country Park is next to the M27, midway between Junction 5 and Junction 7. Which you would think would mean it was accessed via Junction 6. But there isn’t a Junction 6, so you must exit at 5 or 7 and follow a fiddly route. It is signposted.

Parking

There is a large car park close to the start, which you will pass approximately 27 times (OK so I’m exaggerating slightly) while you run. Parking costs £1.70 per hour. In the spirit of making things complicated, according to the parkrun website, ‘displaying a spare parkrun barcode will give you double the time in your ticket’. Whereas according to the park website, ‘Parkrun runners can get two hours parking for the price of one by placing their parkrun barcode alongside their one hour parking ticket on the dashboard’. So, you definitely get two hours for the price of one by displaying your barcode. If you get four for the price of two etc is unclear.

Toilets

There are toilets in the park, but they’re not particularly near the start. Either park up and walk back the way you came to reach the toilets, or stop en route to the car park.

Course

Itchen Valley Parkrun Strava Segment
Itchen Valley Parkrun Strava Segment

The course looks a bit like my route home from the pub on a Friday night when I’ve drunk too much cider. You somehow manage to run 5 km without really going very far at all from where you started.

Terrain

A field and rough trails. Lots of roots and puddles. Possibly no puddles if it hasn’t rained for a while, but this is England…

Shoes

Trail.

Difficulty

Run Britain rankings for UK parkruns places Itchen Valley Country as 625th fastest out of 706. It has a total elevation of 11 metres. All the difficulty comes from the technical nature of the course.

Fun Factor

I didn’t enjoy Itchen Valley Country parkrun. This was not helped by the fact I seemed to be within sight of my car for almost the entire route and was seriously tempted on more than one pass-by to get in it and go home.

Nearby Attractions

My car.

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