After the exertions of the last week, today is a day for Total Rest, but having been told that Falkirk parkrun could have been designed with me in mind and having discovered that my B&B was within easy walking distance, there was nothing for it but to go for a wander around the course.
The website is somewhat sketchy on course details (it is a wilted lollipop and it’s hard to know whether to run the loop clockwise or anticlockwise) but a quick squiz at Strava answered that question (clockwise). I created a Strava route, made my way to the start and set off.
The start is by Callendar house, home to a gift shop, a working Georgian kitchen and a very nice tearoom, and after a short gravel section, you run out along a wide, flat, tarmac path. At the far end of the lake, the footing changes to hard-packed stone and the open vistas of the first stretch are replaced with woodland.
The path turns right around the tip of the lake and then climbs gently through the trees. Look to your left and you’ll glimpse some columns, and before long you reach the crossroads that mark the end of the climb. Go straight over the crossroads and what I suspect is a glorious runnable down takes you to the far end of the park, where you turn right onto a short stretch of pavement, and then right again back into the park to run alongside the golf course.
Turn right at the children’s playground (and the toilet), and climb back to the crossroads. A left turn marks the end of the loop and the start of the return home. Run down the slope, watch for the columned building to your right, turn left around the top of the lake, enjoy the flat tarmac path and then sprint the last section of gravel to reach the line.
If the tearooms are open, indulge yourself with pancakes, eggy bread or a breakfast roll, and then take some time to admire the jewellery in the gift shop.
If you’re travelling from afar, I can’t recommend Rosie’s bed and breakfast highly enough (assuming you aren’t allergic to cats and dogs). She is a friendly host, a font of knowledge about the surrounding area and makes a mean breakfast.