Our Guest Blog this week comes from John and Hannah from Trailscape, organisers of fantastic trail races in beautiful locations within a stone’s throw of London. 
As avid runners, we love taking part in trail events and seeing amazing parts of the UK but living in London, we didn’t have a car and it always meant a weekend away, borrowing a car, the added cost of accommodation and inevitably it took up all of the weekend. We just thought…..there must be an easier way? So we started exploring the countryside surrounding London and realized there were loads of great trails easily accessible by train. We wanted to share the routes that we had found and encourage more city-folk to switch to the trails which ultimately lead to the creation of Trailscape, enabling us to host beautiful trail events on our doorstep in London. The Rail to Trail series of runs offers four easily accessible trail runs, all within an hour of London by train. These runs are through some stunning countryside, over varying terrain and we aim to show that trail running is not beyond the reach of city folk. There are focuxton woodsur locations in the series; roughly north, east, south and west of London and the race HQs are only a short walk from the train station. The concept is aimed at people in the south-east and Londoners and we are hoping to get everyone hooked on the trails.
The second race in the series is the East location. One of our favourite runs in the Rail to Trail series is the East 10k for a variety of reasons. Neither of us knew the area at all when we started searching out good trail running routes accessible from London and it really took us by surprise. Starting in the village of Cuxton, a little outside the Medway town of Rochester, some incredible and often empty countryside can be found as soon as you leave the village. What we look for in a good trail running route is varied terrain and gradient and this certainly ticks those boxes! This run takes you on a delightful figure of eight route through a stunning location and across varied terrain; woodland, open fields and some challenging hills await as you explore this pocket of the Garden of England. After 5.5km the run leaves Rochester Forest and opens up into the Bowling Alley – a valley of fields offering great views of where you’ve been as well as where you’re heading, before leading you back into the woods for the final few km. Forest trails and footpaths through fields ensure a muddy run with some great views and scenery your reward. If that’s not enough, there’s even a pub to refuel in on your way back to the station after you’ve finished! This run is the second of Trailscape‘s ‘Rail to Trail‘ series; four runs accessible within an hour of London by train (10k, half marathon and marathon distances available). The second series kicks off on October 31st 2015 and the Cuxton run is scheduled for 05/12/15. See www.trailscape.co.uk for more information and to sign up.