The Course

The course is 5000m (5k) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is in Heaton Park, Manchester and mainly on wide tarmac paths with a small section of gravel around the lake. 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

Heaton parkrun is a fun, free event organised by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. We wish to make the event as safe as possible, so participants, 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.
  • 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 one dog by your side, within reach at all times, on a short, handheld, non-extendable lead. Please also see this Support Site entry for further details about parkrunning with dogs.
  • Runners pushing buggies are welcome, but please take care of others around you and do your best to start at an appropriate place in the field for your pace.

We hope these tips help to ensure that Heaton 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

We congregate at the Pavilion cafe from around 8:30am, at 8:50am we do a short talk and then we walk up to the start line. The course is made up of a short lap and a big lap, on the short lap you run down to the junction where the trees end, turning left up the hill. About a third of the way up the hill you turn left and run through the trees, turning left at the T junction. Go down the hill and turn a sharp left back to the cafe straight which completes the short lap.

The second lap continues the loop but instead of turning left off the hill, keep going up the hill till you reach Heaton Hall. Turn right and run in front of the hall and follow the path all the way around. Once you come around the hall you go straight down the hill at the crossroads, at the bottom of the hill were you turned sharp left on the hill, now you take the next path instead around the lake. The path around the lake brings you to a T junction, where you turn left back down to the finishing line. This runs in the opposite direction to where you started, pass through the funnel, collect your finishing token and take it down to the cafe where we will scan your barcode and finishing token.


Getting There

Location of start

The event starts by the Pavillion Café in Heaton Park.

Getting there by public transport

By Bus

You can take the number 135 from Manchester City Centre, which stops at the tram station on Bury Old Road. Many buses travel to Heaton Park, including 56, 59, 64, 64A, 135, 137, 138, 150, 151, 484, 495. Please check with GMPTE for the latest travel information and an interactive journey planner.

By Metrolink Tram

The nearest metrolink tram station is Heaton Park. Trams run regularly from the City Centre and other destinations. There is a gate into the park directly opposite the station, and once in the park you should keep walking straight ahead, following signs to Heaton Hall. Please see Metrolink for tram times and service information.

Getting there on foot

Getting there by road

Close to the M60 motorway, served by Metrolink which links to the national rail network and with Manchester Airport only 40 minutes away, Heaton Park is easily accessible.
Please use Sheepfoot Lane car park at postcode M25 0DL.


Pay & Display charges apply every day between 10am and 5pm. The maximum daily cost is £3. Annual parking permits are available. The nearest car park is the Lake Car Park, which can be accessed by using the Sheepfoot Lane entrance. The start and finish is a short walk to the Pavilion Cafe by the lake.

Parking can be paid for by cash or card at the machine in the car park and you'll need to display the ticket in your windscreen. To avoid the queues, pay online using our PayByPhone mobile phone app using the specific car park ID code - for the Lake Car Park it's 800894.
If you're in the park before 10am and want to stay after 10am, you can either:
- buy a ticket when you park (your paid time starts at 10am, so buying a two hour ticket at 8am allows you to park until 12noon); or
- use the PayByPhone app from anywhere in the park. With PayByPhone you can pay for, or top up, your parking ticket when required.

Disabled Car Parking

There are disabled parking bays in the Lake car park. Parking is free for holders of disabled parking scheme permits provided these are displayed in the car.

Coach Parking

Please use the Lake Car Park, accessing the park through the Sheepfoot Lane entrance.

Please avoid parking at the Hall or Golf Car Parks.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee at the Pavillion Cafe - please come and join us.