Nonsuch parkrun guide

Back to where, for me, it all began 9 years ago at Nonsuch parkrun. Nonsuch Park is the grounds of King Henry VIII’s former hunting lodge, Nonsuch Palace. The word ‘Nonsuch’ is said to derive from Henry himself who declared there was nonsuch place like it. The palace is no longer there (the mistress of Charles II had it demolished and sold the materials to pay her gambling debts).

Nonsuch Park
Nonsuch Park

Getting There

Nonsuch Park is in Cheam on the outskirts of South London, in fact the boundary between Greater London and rural Surrey runs along the edge of the park. It is a 15 min walk from Cheam Station with direct trains from London Vctoria. The park is sandwiched between the A24 and the A232 and can be reached by car at either end.


The park, has free car parking at either end (Ewell Road and London Road). This fills up quickly. So if you are driving, it pays to arrive early.

Nonsuch Park in spring
Nonsuch Park in spring


The run starts near the Mansion House, which has a cafe and toilets. With an average attendance of around 500, the toilet queue (particularly for ladies) can be rather long…

Nonsuch parkrun
Nonsuch parkrun start (my 100th parkrun)


The course consists of a mixture of tarmac paths and grass. The summer route (Course A) is two laps. In winter, a slightly shorter, three lap course (Course B) is used.


As already stated, the course consists of a mixture of grass and tarmac paths. Course A is very flat, with one slight incline (total elevation 37 metres). Course B is even flatter (total elevation 7 metres).

Nonsuch parktun
Nonsuch parkrun


Most of the year, trainers. On the winter course, which has a lot of grass and can get quite muddy, possibly trail.


Run Britain Rankings for UK parkruns place Nonsuch as the 70th fastest out of a total of 706. Course A has a total elevation of 20 metres. Course B has an extra hill, so a slightly higher elevation of 24 metres.

Nonsuch parkrun
Nonsuch parkrun finish

Fun Factor

Nonsuch is a large, well established parkrun. It began over a decade ago and regularly hosts over 500 runners, many from local running clubs. It’s very friendly and inclusive. Turn up, and pretty soon someone will be chatting away to you like you’ve known each other for ever!

Making friends at Nonsuch parkrun

Nearby Attractions

Cheam is prime commuter belt and doesn’t have much in the way of attractions. Stop at the Nonsuch Pantry Cafe for post run refreshments, or head into Cheam Village to my favourite sandwich bar, Piggies.


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