Today, in solidarity with my child who was doing his Silver DofE expedition in the horizontal rain, I tackled the Godolphin Trust 10 run (10km, hence the name). I’d run one 5km lap of this before, but the full run includes two identical, off-road 5km laps up and down the small but steepish Godolphin Hill. Today I wanted to complete the 10km.
If you’re after a pretty, fun run, this is really fab – but it IS steep in parts, and there are stiles, so take care of your knees.
It’s a short, well-marshalled circuit marked clearly by little pink flags, and it’s not timed so it’s relaxed, but the first mile is a definite uphill – the kind of steep where a brisk walk is often as fast as trying to run (but it’s not a scramble or a climb). Then there’s a fairly smooth downhill but watch out for rocks, roots and potholes – several people went flying today, probably because the ground was very wet. There are three or four stiles but all in good condition with plenty of handholds. And that’s it: up, down, twice.
was a mess of hissing rain and dense cloud, so the run was muddy, steep, slippery, and the views were mostly of other people vanishing into cloud. Still, it had its lovely moments. The building is beautiful and eerie in the fog, and in the lower sections, the woods were alive with birdsong and thick with bright young bluebells – the scent was gorgeous. I have a love-hate relationship with running when I’m actually doing it: the first part of a run, warming up, is an effort, and there are times in a run where I’ll wonder why on earth I’ve started (sometimes it just hurts), but then I also enjoy the feeling of movement. The muscular effort, the power, and the rhythm are fabulous – and the endorphin hit is always a high.
Best time to go?
This looks like one of those runs where each season has its pleasures: on a clear winter day it’s probably gorgeous (great views, not too hot), in spring the bluebells are a real feature, in summer the climb will be hot but it’s short and the summit would make a lovely picnic afterwards, and in autumn, the woods would be gorgeous.
Will I do it again? Yes.
With kids? Yes, probably aged 12 or older, although it depends on the child.
If you fancy the run…
I did the organised trail run but you can go up there at other times, running or walking, details on the website. It’s a free run on the 4th Sunday of every month at the National Trust Godolphin site. The car park’s free to National Trust members. You sign in (and out) at the Welcome hut from 8:30am and the run starts at 9am. There’s a café on site and toilets close to the start. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Dogs must be kept on a lead (and their mess cleared up).
There are other paths for people with limited mobility or for those who prefer a gentle walk, and a café for those who need to sit or rest or wait for runners, and it’s a lovely spot for everyone – but the 10km run is only accessible to people who can run uphill, off-road, and climb stiles.