The Course

The course is 5000m (5K) long. The course is at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, Nr. Ringwood, Dorset. The course is run on a mixture of tarmac paths, loose stone paths and 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 Moors Valley 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.
  • Runners wishing to run with a dog are welcome, but please keep the dog on a short lead or 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 also 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.
  • While rare, Lyme Disease is present in areas where deer live, and occasionally passed to human's through infected ticks. See NHS Choices website for more about Lyme Disease, and how to deal with ticks.

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

Age Grading

All parkrun events use Age Grading to help athletes 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 consists of one lap that is run in an anti-clockwise direction on firm, mainly flat gravel and tarmac paths.
The run brief takes place near the picnic area at the lower car park close to the right of the Visitor and Cycle Hire Centre.
The start is from the Totem Pole to the right of the Visitor Centre.
The first 4K are on gravel forest tracks with some slight inclines in the early stages. The final 1K is on tarmac paths around the lakes. The finish is on the path in front of Moors Lake and scanning takes place in front of the train station. It is important to note that the route doeshave cycle paths crossing it as well as a public bridleway and with parts of the tracks running close to the Golf Course there may be other park users using the pathways.
There is plenty of room for spectators to watch the runners come in and to meet friends and family after the run. It is then a very short walk to the Visitor Centre where runners, family and friends are welcome to get a drink, stay and talk and to make new friends.
Please note that the Start and Finish of the course are in different places and we would recommend leaving bags in the car. We do not accept any responsibility for any bags left in the picnic area next to the start.


We are lucky to have full use of the facilities in Moors Valley Country Park and Forest. This includes toilet facilities based in the Visitor Centre about 300 yards from the start, and further toilet facilities at the train station beside the Golf Centre.
There are play areas, cycle hire centre, high ropes course and orienteering course as well as walking routes and a children’s Play Trail available.

Car parking is available within 500 yards of the start for a fee of £1 (increasing to £1.20 wef 31/3/18).
To pay for car parking, put your car registration into the pay machine before 10.30am and pay the £1. You then have till 10.45am to exit the park. If you pay after 10.30am or leave after 10.45am then you will incur an increased car parking charge.
An annual weekend season ticket valid up to 11am is available from the park information desk for £19.50.

Getting There

Location of start

The run brief takes place near the picnic area adjacent to the bottom car park and to the right of the Visitor Centre. Runners will then be led through to the start area. The start is on the gravel track to the right of the Visitor Centre.

Getting there by public transport

The number 38 bus service that covers the Ferndown and Ringwood area stops at Lions Lane, at the Castleman Trailway entrance to Moors Valley (just over a mile walk to the Visitor Centre). Please visit the Traveline website (click on all stops) or phone 0845 0727 093 for more details.

The Forest Bus Baby service runs between Hythe Ferry terminal and Moors Valley at weekends and bank holidays between 24 May and 31 October 2015. Please visit the Forest Bus website for more details and timetables.

Getting there on foot

You can walk or cycle to Moors Valley from Ringwood or West Moors along the Castleman Trailway.

You can access the north end of the Country Park from Potterne Way in Verwood by walking through the playing fields at Potterne Park.

Getting there by road

Moors Valley is situated ten miles north of Bournemouth. From the west, it is signposted from the Ashley Heath roundabout at the junction of the A31 and A338, between Ringwood and St Leonards. From the east follow the M27 until it joins the A31 and then at the same roundabout (A31/A338) follow the signs for Moors Valley.

Car Parking

On entering Moors Valley you can park anywhere in designated car parking spots. At times there may be a Forestry Commission Ranger who may direct you to a car spot. Please follow their advice. Likewise signs may be placed directing cars where to go. Please follow the advice they give.
This is done to ensure that nobody is injured as there may be commercial vehicles also coming into the park at this time. Please follow the One way system that operates in Moors Valley. This is in place for your own safety and the safety of other park users. The advice given on signs or by Forest Rangers will always take priority.

Car parking is available within 500 yards of the start for a fee of £1 (increasing to £1.20 wef 31/3/18).
To pay for car parking, put your car registration into the pay machine before 10.30am and pay the £1. You then have till 10.45am to exit the park. If you pay after 10.30am or leave after 10.45am then you will incur an increased car parking charge.
An annual weekend season ticket valid up to 11am is available from the park information desk for £19.50.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in Seasons Restaurant - please come and join us!