All 5k events in this country are currently suspended due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). For further details please see here.

The Course

The course is 5000m (5K) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is in Great Notley Country Park, Great Notley, Essex. The course is run on a mixture of trail paths and grass. Some sections of the course may accumulate mud, leaves and puddles after rain. Dependent on availability, marshals will be at key sections of the course, or signs will be in place.

Please remember that the parkrun uses shared paths. For the continued success of the event, please give way to other park users. This won't hurt your time, it won't stop you from getting a PB and it will make sure everyone continues to enjoy the event.

Please, wherever possible walk, jog, cycle or use public transport when attending the event. If you do have to drive, please consider car-sharing to reduce our impact on both the environment and other park users. Please also watch out for other park users when arriving and leaving. Parking may be limited so try to arrive early.

Course Safety

The Great Notley parkrun is a fun, free event organised by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. We wish to make the run as safe as possible, so runners, spectators and helpers are asked to take care about the following:

  • Please be considerate to the park and other park users at all times.
  • Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied (within arm's reach) throughout the run by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent's choice.
  • Please arrive by foot, by pedal-power or by public transport if you can - your efforts help to reduce our impact on the park and the planet.
  • Please consider volunteering to help occasionally - this event survives only because of your generosity - please visit the volunteer page for more information.
  • Take care near roads and car parks - some vehicles drive very quickly. Please congregate away from the cars and be careful in particular if you have children. If you’re driving to the run, please drive carefully even if you’re late!
  • When running, take care on uneven surfaces - whether on grass or on tarmac. Watch out for cyclists, other runners, pedestrians, children, dogs, wildlife, park animals, vehicles, park maintenance work, falling branches, bollards, posts and other obstacles around the course.
  • Please ensure that you are fit enough to walk, jog, run 5k (3.1 miles) with us. Health advice about running can be found at the excellent Runners' Medical Resource website (although this external website focuses on preparation for a race and does not describe parkrun events).
  • Remember to warm up before the run.
  • If you see a runner with a serious problem, please stop to help them out and get help as soon as possible.
  • If you’re watching, keep clear of runners on the course, and look after any children and dogs you may have with you.
  • It is not permitted to run with a pushchair and a dog at the same time.
  • Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks. Consider protecting yourself by wearing repellent when at parkrun events in grassy or wooded areas. See for further details.
  • You are welcome to take part with a dog, but please keep the dog on a short lead or short harness and under control throughout the event. Please also review the parkrun support page article about running with a dog at parkrun events.
  • Unfortunately this course is not suitable for pushchairs or buggies.

We hope these tips help to ensure that Great Notley parkrun is fun and safe for everyone.

Age Grading

All parkrun events use Age Grading to help parkrunners compare results.

Age Grading takes your time and uses the world record time for your sex and age group to produce a score (a percentage). This score allows you to compare your personal performance against other people's performances even though they might be a different age and a different sex to you - the higher the score the better the performance. The scores can also be compared across different race distances - to allow you to, for example, compare a 5km time against a marathon.

For more information, please see our Support page.

Course Map

Course Description

This is a two lap, anti-clockwise, course made up of mostly gravel tracks and grassy sections. Whilst the course is predominantly flat, there is a hill at the start of the second lap. The course starts near the café and the water play area and takes you North towards the Flitch Way, then follows the path around the back of the hill then leaves this outer path and takes you down the main path through the middle of the park.
At the end of this main path turn left, continuing to follow the signs will take you over the double back “lakes” bridge and then you’ll need to cross a grassy section and onto a track that will take you around the picturesque fishing lakes at the southernmost reaches of the park. Turning right at the top of the lakes will take you on a track back up to the central field running around the edge will lead you back to the start area (through the narrow “bridge sections” runners must run in single file and wherever possible keep to the left and/or avoid other park users).
The second lap starts with a run over the top of our hill with a great view of the park and surrounding area, then back down and south again through the middle of the park. The atmospheric finish funnel lies under the watchful eye of the café amongst some conveniently placed picnic benches where scanning takes place.
It’s worth noting that the park itself has a large selection of outdoor play equipment, activities and climbing areas scattered throughout and whilst the runners won’t have time to be playing with this on their run it’s well worth going for a bit of an explore with the family afterwards!
During our wetter months the park can get particularly wet and muddy in sections and runners are advised to dress appropriately. You should only run in these conditions if you are experienced and are able to do so. This course is not appropriate for push chairs or wheel chairs.


Toilets are inside the café.
Parking is a “Pay and display” between 8am - 5pm £3.50 per car after 5pm £1.00 per car (Off peak season, parking reduces to £2.50). The car parking season tickets: £65 cover parking across all seven Country Parks.

Getting There

Location of start

The run starts near the café and the water play area.

Getting there by public transport

There is a train that pulls into the “end of the line” Braintree Station at about 8am (don’t get off at Braintree Freeport!), and from here, there’s a lovely 4.5km walk/run/ride along the Flitch Way that will take you to the Great Notley Country park.

Getting there on foot

From the Braintree Town Centre, the easiest route is to walk along the Flitch Way (it runs roughly between Stansted and Braintree), this trail starts at Braintree Station.

Getting there by road

Pop “CM77 7FS” into your Sat Nav and it’ll take you to the park. It’s just off of the A131 just outside of Braintree and the A120, there are a series of brown signs guiding the way.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in The Wooden Spoon - please come and join us!