Finding ways to get our daily exercise from our doorstep has never been more crucial.
Now that we’re back in a third lockdown, and after months of being stuck in Tier 3, it is important that we all still try to find ways to get outside. One of the most accessible, and local ways of doing this is by going for a run. Cost free, and a fantastic way of exploring our area, pulling on a pair of trainers and working up a sweat could make this lockdown just that bit more bearable.
It’s cold, and the nights are dark, so it can be difficult getting the motivation to kit up and exercise outdoors – to make it easier for you, here is a collection of a few running routes that you could try in Teesside, of varying length for varying ability.
If you would prefer, they can all be adapted for a walk or cycle instead.
A short route that you can lap twice if you’re looking to get in some extra distance, Stewarts Park is easily accessible from all of Middlesbrough and the run takes you mostly over tarmac with little battling uphill. Start at Cooks Café and run to the outer path that circles the park. Taking that once around the very outside edge of the park will give you a 2.5K running route, if you follow it twice then you’ll make up 5K easily. Finish the run by returning to where you started.
From the Barrage and Back
Tying in a large section of the riverbanks path that will lead you to a loop around the barrage, this riverside big miler is a much longer run for anyone wanting to push themselves, and their distance. Starting at Stockton barrage, cross the river and take a left. Keep following the same path, under the A19 and along the Tees river until you arrive at a right turning onto Riverside Park Road. With a little tarmac running, continue left along Riverside Park Road and onto Vulcan Street. A loop can then be run around Middlehaven Docks, across Scotts Road and back down Winward Way, before taking a sharp right at a footpath before Lower Feversham Street which will lead back to Dock Street. Then return to the barrage along the same, peaceful, wildlife filled route.
Teesaurus Park route
A 6-mile round loop, the Teesaurus Park route is not just a good hour long run to stretch your legs, but also a fantastic walk for families. Starting at the Tees Barrage, head across the river and turn left. Then follow signs for the Maze Park Nature Reserve. The path will take you along the picturesque riverbanks towards and under Newport bridge. Directly under the bridge, stay left and continue to run along the river path. Eventually you’ll come to a sign with the Teesaurus Park waymarked. Take a right, and you’ve arrived. The route is around 3 miles, with 3 miles back, and you get chance to take a quick breather in the company of our finest industrial dinosaur sculptures.
Tees Barrage 5K
Tees Barrage is the start and finish of many running routes along the riverside. A 5K loop is easy to find that follows the usual park run route. Follow the Stockton side of the river along to the infinity bridge, before crossing to Stockton riverside college. Off the bridge, take a sharp right, followed by a left to continue to take the river canal, past Durham University Queens Campus. Continue to follow the canal, and the path will take you under a road bridge before a foot path allows you to loop back and return to the barrage along the same route.
Guisborough Woods Loop
Those that have spent a lot of time in Guisborough will know that it presents many challenging climbs (and descents) but can give you plenty of options for running routes, depending on your fitness levels. Starting at the visitors centre in Pinchinthorpe, take a left past ‘the chains’ playground and follow the fire road up to the cottages at the top of Harrison Close Wood. From there, continue the same road, down the bank and round into Bousedale woods. There are many tracks that wind their way through this area of the forest, so you can either take the first left at a fire road junction and follow the Hutton Village Road back past Home Farm and Bousedale cottages for a 5K loop or continue for a longer run.
Redcar to Marske
Running along the beach from Redcar to Marske (or a little further, to Saltburn) and back is one of the most beautiful routes Teesside has to offer. Taking the sand down the coast and doubling back over the top path varies the route whilst also giving you jaw dropping views and extraordinarily little tarmac running. Tide times can be checked on Magicseaweed, so you don’t risk wet feet.
At the moment, we are being asked to stay local. Finding ways to get our daily exercise from our doorstep has never been more crucial. Getting out for either a run or a walk gives you a break, allows you to get some fresh air and can calm the mind. Teesside is home to some amazing views, and epic running routes. Whether you strap on your boots or trainers, a blue skies day and some exercise can do wonders for your mental health and helps you see parts of the area that you might sometimes miss. If you’re going out, remember to wrap up warm and take water or sustenance and above all, enjoy.