Trail Running Weekend in North Wales - 3 Days

An inspirational weekend of trail running in the beautiful Berwyn hills led by Welsh Orienteering Champion, Tim Higginbottom – with technique workshop, yoga, glamping and campfires!

Trip Facts

  • Guided or Self-guided: Guided (led by Tim Higginbottom, internationally-renowned fell runner).
  • Price: £325/€397 per person (based on 3 persons/tent).
  • Dates/Duration: 13-15 March 2020, 18-20 September 2020, weekend camp 3 days/2 nights (afternoon Day 1 to midday Day 3).
  • Running ability required: The emphasis for the week is on enjoyment and identifying aspects of your technique to work on. You will need to be able to keep running for around 2 hours in hilly terrain, but pace will be adapted to the slowest member of the group. There are 3 runs in total during the weekend – a short night run on Day 1 and two runs of approx. 2 hours each on Day 2 and Day 3. No yoga experience is required for the yoga component of the weekend.
  • Terrain/distance: Hilly paths, distance variable but duration max. 2 hours per run.
  • Location: Berwyn hills, North Wales, on the edge of Snowdonia National Park.
  • Travel to: Corwen, North Wales.
  • Accommodation: Glamping in bell tents, futon beds with bed linen provided. Tents have kitchen area and seating deck. Hot showers available and each tent has own dry compost toilet nearby.
  • Group size: 6-12 persons.

See below for details.

Why choose this tour for a running holiday in Wales?

  • Beautiful location in the Berwyn hills of North Wales, near Snowdonia National Park.
  • Guided runs and workshop led by Tim Higginbottom, internationally-renowned fell runner and orienteer.
  • Three runs during the weekend – a short night run and two trail runs in the hills.
  • Workshop focusing on identifying individual areas of your running where you can improve.
  • Yoga session focusing on relating breathing to movement to further improve your running.
  • Comfortable glamping accommodation in bell tents with all meals provided.

Tim Higginbottom – your guide and coach for the weekend

Your leader for the weekend, Tim Higginbottom, will be drawing on his wealth of experience and expertise to ensure you get maximum benefit and enjoyment from the runs and workshop, tailoring tips and advice to your needs.

Tim is a UKA Fell and Trail coach, has competed internationally in fell, trail and ultra running events and is currently Welsh Orienteering Champion. He has also taught navigation for the Welsh Fell Running Association.

Trail Running Camp in North Wales. Photo: AT.
Tim Higginbottom, internationally-renowned fell and trail runner and your guide for the weekend. Photo: AT.

Tim held the Paddy Buckley Round record for 10 years. Also known as the “Welsh Classical Round”, this is a demanding fell-running event in Snowdonia, covering over 100km and crossing 47 peaks.

Ideal preparation for your runs ahead

The Spring camp will focus on preparing you for the summer running season to come. The Autumn camp has a particular emphasis on maintaining your condition over the winter and using this time to really improve your running technique.

No sleeping bags here!

We all know how important a good night’s sleep is to enabling you to operate at your best – accommodation for the weekend is a beautiful campsite with hot showers available, where you’ll be sleeping on comfortable futon beds in a spacious bell tent.

Trail Running Camp in North Wales. Photo: AT.
Cosy and comfortable bell tents ensure you’ll be raring to go for your morning runs! Photo: AT.

Is it for me?

  • The weekend is suitable for anyone interested in developing their running technique while spending an enjoyable and sociable weekend in beautiful surroundings.
  • You don’t need to be a fast runner  – provided you’re able to keep running on trails in hilly terrain for about 2 hours (no particular pace), you’ll be fine!
  • The weekend is open to solo travellers or those travelling with partner or friends. Solo travellers will share tent with other same-gender guest (or solo occupancy may be available on request at additional charge – please contact us for details).
Day 1
Day 1: Arrival and evening run

17:00: Arrive at the campsite to check in to your bell tent.

This may be “camping” – but in style! The spacious tents have “proper” futon beds with bed linen provided – there’ll be no excuse for being tired due to lack of a good night’s sleep!

It may well be chilly in North Wales in March, but the log burner in each tent will keep you warm and cosy. Each tent also has a kitchen and private seating area to enjoy beautiful views across the Berwyn hills between your runs.

18.30: Time for a night run! The perfect way to ease yourself into the weekend, this short and fairly easy run will be under an hour, but give you your first taste of trail running in the area as you begin to get to know Tim, your guide and leader for the weekend, and your fellow runners.

You’ll need a head-torch. You’re far from light pollution here, giving you the chance to experience the special feeling of a night run in the darkness, hopefully with a clear sky of stars twinkling above.

19.30: You return to the camp for hot shower and your first dinner together, before retiring to your tent for the night.

Day 2
Day 2: Trail running in the Berwyn hills and running workshop with Tim Higginbottom

08:00: Breakfast together in the gathering tent. Your guide, Tim Higginbottom, will outline the day ahead.

10:00: Your first major run of the weekend. Tim will guide you for a longer trail run into the beautifully scenic yet surprisingly little-visited Berwyn hills.

The focus today is both on enjoyment and on improving your technique. During the run, Tim will be able to observe you and offer personalised tips and advice on running more efficiently and maximising your capabilities.

It’s not a race – the speed of the run will be tailored to the slowest in the group – but everyone will have an equal chance to benefit both from Tim’s expertise and experience and from the knowledge and cameraderie of the group.

You’ll need to be able to keep running for around 2 hours.

13:00: Lunch back at the camp and some feedback on the run from Tim Higginbottom.

14:00: The second half of the day will be a workshop led by Tim with the focus on producing an effective training plan to suit you and identifying the particular areas you as a runner need to work on and how to improve.

As part of the workshop, it’s time for yoga! Led by Poppy Backshall, a professional yoga instructor and enthusiastic trail runner, the yoga session will focus on breathing and how this relates to the movement of your body.

Breathing is one area runners can benefit enormously from focusing on, making a real difference to the efficiency of your running and extending your capabilities. The message will be: Run Relaxed, Run Longer.

18:00 It’s been a full day! Time to relax and socialise, with dinner around the campfire, hot chocolate and marsh mallows.

Day 3
Day 3: Sunrise run and departure

07:30: Rise and shine! Time to put what you’ve learned into practice, with a sunrise run to end the weekend.

As for Day 2, you’ll be out for around 2 hours, with Tim Higginbottom as your guide to give you some last tips to take away from your days in the Welsh hills.

Take time to try out some new techniques – as with any change, it may feel unfamiliar at first, but stick with it and you may have discovered some hidden depths to your running ability!

10:00: Return to camp for a hearty breakfast together before you pack and bid farewell to your new running friends and the beautiful landscapes of North Wales. Hopefully you’ll be leaving inspired and energised for a summer of trail running adventures!

Dates 2020:

13.03-15.03.2020 (Friday-Sunday)

Prices 2020:

£325/€397 per person

Prices based on 3 persons per tent.

Participants will share tent with other same-gender guests (solo occupancy or private tent as two persons may be possible for additional charge – please contact us for details).

What's included:

  • Three guided trail runs in the Welsh mountains as per itinerary.
  • Workshop led by Tim Higginbottom covering training and running techniques.
  • Yoga workshop on the connection between breath and movement, led by Poppy Backshall.
  • Two nights' glamping accommodation in bell tents (beds and bedding supplied - there is no need to bring a sleeping bag but please bring own towel). Prices are based on 3 persons per tent.
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 3 (please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements). You may of course wish to bring additional energy snacks, etc, for the runs.

Not included:

  • Transfers from local ferry, train or airport. Transfers can be arranged on request at additional charge - please contact us for details. If coming by car, driving directions will be provided.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What training should I do to prepare for the tour?

Your normal running training should be fine, provided you are able to keep running for around 2 hours on trails in hilly terrain – it is not necessary to be a fast runner to join the weekend and the pace for the group will be adapted as required.

What kind of running shoes do I need?

Trail running shoes suitable for short sections of surfaced road with the rest of the time running on hard-packed trails and some softer ground. Conditions may be wet. Fell running shoes are not necessary but may be used. Shoes for road running are not suitable for the tour.

What will I need to carry with me during the runs?

You’ll only be out for max. around 2 hours at a time, so take only the bare essentials – your preferred hydration and some snacks if necessary. You’ll need a headtorch for the night run.

What do I need to pack for the weekend?

A detailed packing list will be included in your booking documentation, but in general you will need clothing for your runs and for around camp during the weekend. Conditions may be wet and it will not be possible to dry clothes, so you should bring a spare set.

The tents have futon beds and bedding included, so there is no need to bring sleeping bag or other camping equipment.