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Great Notley parkrun

After venturing into Suffolk last week at Clare Castle parkrun, this week I decided to return to Essex to continue making progress towards completing the region.

The area

Great Notley is a garden village situated in Braintree. The village was constructed with the ideas of instant community and instant maturity in mind. While the hamlet of White Court predates the modern development, the area as a whole has been designed to act as a single coherent community while supporting three new hamlets in addition to White Court.

Great Notley Country Park

Like Kesgrave on the outskirts of Ipswich, Great Notley offered local planners a means of increasing residental capacity in the area without redeveloping existing infrastructure.

The course

Great Notley parkrun's course is run on a mixture of gravel and grass, over two laps of the country park. The route is mostly flat, although the second lap does start with a small hill which offers great views over the park and surrounding area!

Paid parking is available within the country park itself, while toilets and a cafe can be found in the visitors centre.

The run

Unbeknown to me, today was Great Notley's monthly pacer week, and so there were many more attendees braving the cold weather than usual at today's event.

Even though Great Notley is a two-lap course, because the first lap is slightly longer, it seemed like a one-lapper for the majority of the route, as there was only a short section where runners on their second lap and the tail are sharing the path!

Thank you to all of the volunteers for such a welcoming event!

After the run

Once the event was completed, I took some time to explore the park at a more leisurely pace, including the giant bird statue which overlooks the park.

Bird statue at Great Notley Country Park

The park includes a range of other features, including fishing lakes, one of which houses two giant eggs!

Giant eggs at Great Notley Country Park fishing lake

The bird statue sits atop a hill within the park, making it a very visible landmark from all corners of the park and beyond.

Bird Statue from afar in Great Notley Country Park

A number of carved statues are located throughout the park too, including a wood elf.

Wood elf wood carving at Great Notley Country Park

As the area surrounding Great Notley Country Park is primarily residential, I decided to venture over to Braintree to explore and do some Christmas shopping. The settlement at Braintree has its origins in the period of Roman occupation, as the settlement lies at the junction of three Roman roads; linking Sudbury, Cambridge, London and Colchester together. As the settlement was primarily to accomodate travellers, there is no significant infrastructure or ruins beyond the roads remaining in the area.

Links: Results | Strava

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