The Course

The course is 5000m (5k) long. This has been accurately measured by us with a professional measuring wheel. The course is at Hockley Woods, Hockley. The course is run on a mixture of trail paths and woodland 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

Hockley Woods 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 Hockley Woods 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

A two lap, clockwise, scenic, undulating course within the confines of Hockley Woods (the largest remaining area of wild wood, which covered Essex after the Ice Age 10,000 years ago).

The run starts just a short walk down the main path (less than a minute from the car-park and assembly area), and accessing wide hard-packed soil and gravel paths.
The slight uphill start is rewarded with a complex mosaic of different trees, oak and sweet chestnut grow on the higher ground; birch on the most acidic soils; hornbeam on the wet clays, with a right turn at the end of the main path, and an immediate left turn onto harder paths reaching the limit of the outer woods.
A right turn brings you down into Hawkwell Wood before a slight uphill and then long wide downhill section in Beaches Wood brings you to a final short uphill narrow section in Great Bull Wood to the overlap section where you begin the second lap which now includes a downhill section, running past the original start positon before retracing the route of the first lap.
The finish area is just off the main path, and in front of the children’s play area and The Woodlands café.


  • Toilet block at Woods entrance. If locked, please tell Run Director, as we have keys.
  • Disabled facilities accessible by Radar keys, buggy space female cubicles and baby change facilities.
  • Children’s play area, Woodlands café.
  • Car Parking: Hockley Woods car park (80 spaces - free)
    As we get busier, and whilst the Bull PH is closed please walk, jog or cycle (if possible), and car share.
    Arrive early - after 8.20am and the car park will be full. Park considerately, as you may be liable to a Penalty Charge Notice from Rochford District Council if you cause an obstruction. Park locally when the car park is full.
    It is hopefully only an issue until The Bull reopens (whenever that is) so we’ll be asking for cooperation from all our participants to help us get through this tricky period by parking sensibly.

Getting There

Location of start

The run starts just a short walk down the main path (less than a minute from the car-park and assembly area).

Getting there by public transport

The nearest Train Station is Hockley (Abellio Greater Anglia), Station Approach, Hockley, SS5 4BG (less than 1 mile from entrance to Hockley Woods).

Bus numbers 7 or 8 from Rayleigh Station.
Bus numbers 7 from Hockley Station.

Getting there on foot

The Woods entrance is a 15 minute walk from Hockley Station (turning right from Station Approach toward Rayleigh).
Continue to head towards Rayleigh on Spa Road, bearing right at mini-roundabout onto Hockley Main Rd/B1013. The entrance to the woods is off of Hockley Rd/B1013, just before The Bull Inn PH, on the left hand side.

Getting there by road


From A127 Rayleigh Weir, take High Road/A129 towards Rayleigh, Continue through Rayleigh onto High Street and continue straight onto Hockley Main Rd/B1013 (Aldermans Hill) and the entrance to the woods is off of Hockley Main Rd/B1013, just past The Bull Inn PH, immediately on the right hand side.

From Hockley Station, head towards Rayleigh on Spa Road, (turning right from Station Approach toward Rayleigh) then bear right at first mini-roundabout onto Hockley Main Rd/B1013. The entrance to the woods is off of Hockley Rd/B1013, just before The Bull Inn PH, on the left hand side.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the Village Cafe in Hockley (only 4 mins walk) and process the results. There is also a Costa, and other cafes in the area - please come and join us!