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 at Herrington Country Park, Houghton-Le-Spring. The course is run entirely on trail paths. 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 Herrington Country 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.
  • Runners pushing buggies are welcome, but please take extreme care of other runners around you. If possible start from the back of the field and try to keep to one side of the main body of runners.

We hope these tips help to ensure that Herrington Country 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

The course starts next to the amphitheatre and is on hard trail pathways. Follow the path for 100 metres before turning right down and around the boating lake. Once through the gate you follow the trail path to the left around for the first large clockwise outer loop, before taking the second clockwise inner loop. At the end of the second loop, you follow the trail path back retracing your steps around the boating lake towards the start before finishing inside the amphitheatre.
Herrington Country Park offers beautiful views of the countryside and Penshaw Monument built 1844. The country park has significant wildlife and is popular with dog walkers.


Toilet facilities near the main car park. A play area is available for children to enjoy and there is lots of wildlife located around the country park.
One of the largest parks in Sunderland with walks and cycle trails, family cycling with Sustrans, an adventure play area, skateboarding, Nordic walking, model boat sailing in the lake and a variety of sculptures that celebrate the heritage of the area.

Getting There

Location of start

The event starts next to the amphitheatre.

Getting there by public transport

Bus: There are regular bus services that operate passing through Penshaw and both stop at the bottom of Penshaw Monument near to the entrance to Herrington Country Park. Service 78 operates between Sunderland and Chester-le-Street. Service 2 operates between Washington and Sunderland.

Getting there on foot

Herrington Country Park is easily accessible from Chester Road (A183) with the main entrance just off the Penshaw Monument roundabout.

There is also a pedestrian entry to the park at the west end which is just opposite the Prospect Public House.

The country park can also be accessed from the New Herrington side via a number of entry points but you should allow a few extra minutes to get to the start area.

Getting there by road

To find us using Satnav please use postcode DH4 7EL.

From the A19 take the A183 Sunderland/Chester-Le-Street exit and head towards Chester-Le-Street (2 miles). From the A1 junction 63 follow the A183 towards Sunderland (5 miles). Herrington Country Park is on the opposite side of the A183 from Penshaw Monument.

parkrunners can park for free in the car park next to the boating lake or the overflow car park located at the entrance to the country park. There are allocated disabled parking spaces and electric car charging bays in the main car park.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in Penshaw Tea Room - please come and join us!