“Bressay parkrun, the most northern parkrun, is incredibly quirky, quick and quaint.”
Bressay parkrun, the most northern parkrun you can do, is incredibly quirky, quick and quaint. Set on the island of Bressay just off the coast of the mainland of Shetland, this is the only parkrun I know which requires a Ferry journey to get to the start line (leaving Lerwick at 9 am and costing £5.50 return for foot passengers). It brings together a very friendly bunch of runners made up of a large contingent of tourists as well as a hardy group of locals.
The route is an out and not quite back, starting by a Maryfield House Hotel and finishing outside Speldiburn Café. The scenery is beautiful running along the roads of the island (keeping left and an eye out for traffic) with harbour views, rolling fields and gorgeous homesteads. Its slightly more downhill than up, but it’s not really hilly as such, just a number of rolling slopes.
Overtaking was super easy, around 60 runners were taking part from all over the UK and a few further afield. Buggy runners would have more problem getting the buggy on the boat than they would have getting it around the course. You will want your best road runners for this course, the benefit of it being on the tarmac is it’s super fast!
One note of caution: if you are a much slower participant or if you go to the excellent cafe afterwards you’ll end up having to get the 11:30 rather than the 10:30 return ferry. Also, the walk to the boat is a good 15-minute walk from the finish, you don’t want to have to be sprinting to catch it!
An awesome parkrun set on a stunning island – I can see why so many people would travel to take part!
Facilities wise: park near the Ferry Terminal in Lerwick; toilets at the Ferry terminal on Bressay and at the hotel at the start; a lovely cafe ran by local volunteers that cook “parkrun special bacon rolls”.
PB – 24:24
Best Position – 12th
Times run – 1