Calling all runners: Here are (undeniably) the best Strava Segments to run in York

And no, this is not just a plug for my Strava account

Following many new year resolutions, and influenced by the rise of fitness TikTokers galore, there has definitely been a spike in the number of runners spotted out and about this year. Often seen donning tight lycra and breathing annoyingly little, they cannot help but bug you; sadly, I must admit I am one of them. If like me, you too have somehow ended up becoming a part of the running community, I have compiled a list of the best Strava segments to run in York that I believe every runner should know about. Surely this means I deserve some extra kudos…and no, this is not just a plug for my Strava account.

Millennium Bridge

Kicking things off with a bang, Millennium Bridge is a staple for any runner in York, a segment slightly removed from both the University campus and town itself. It is 0.09 KM long, with a 0.1 per cent gradient increase, offering stunning views across the River Ouse. It is also a perfect linking point between two other segments mentioned later in this article (Riverside run and Rowntree Short Sprint) and so is perfect to incorporate into a new route.

The only thing that makes Millennium Bridge a difficult segment to run is when you choose to run here. If timed with school pick ups, this can make for a busy and chaotic experience, as you have to dodge children and bikes left, right and centre in order to try and avoid headlong collisions.

In terms of safety, I have found Millennium Bridge is always slightly busy, being a good distance from town, and you never feel at risk. Overall, it is a classic landmark for York runners.

Riverside Run

In terms of scenery, you won’t find much better than “Riverside Run”, a segment that takes you alongside the River Ouse towards the Millennium Bridge. At 0.52 KM, it is slightly longer than other segments in the article, but definitely worth it. Running here all year round is amazing, as you never tire of things to look at and distract you – you can almost trick yourself into feeling like you have a runners high!

This steady segment can also easily be extended along the river for as long as you feel like for additional distance. I have never felt unsafe running here, passing a number of houses along the way. The only problem with this segment is that it can be temperamental–when the river decides to flood, your run might turn more into a swim.

Rowntree Short Sprint

Another beautiful location, this segment is found in Rowntree park, just over the other side of the Millennium Bridge. This park is often quiet and peaceful, leading to a number of lovely coffee shops on the Bishopthorpe Road high street. There are plenty of ducks and geese to admire making this the perfect place for a York student to run!

Again, it is a relatively flat and easy segment, with plenty of people around. The only trouble I have found is that the park doesn’t open until 8am, sometimes closing early on weekends. If you are planning on a particularly early run before your 9am, this might be one to avoid.

Golf Course to Playing Fields Blast

Every York student has visited the Charles XII at least once, a popular pub situated relatively near to campus West. However, what you may not know is that there are acres of footpaths and fields behind the Charles, perfect to add in to your running routes, whilst giving you the opportunity to stop for a post run pint.

Although relatively muddy at this time of year, these trails are perfect for summer running in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. This segment in particular is one of my favourites as you run alongside York golf course. The area is relatively peaceful and quiet, but this can sometimes feel scary. Definitely always let someone know if you are planning to run around here alone.

York Parkrun Sprint Finish

York Parkrun takes place at 9am every Saturday morning on the York Racecourse. Not just used for the races, this park run loop is incredibly steady and completely flat, so perfect for a PB. The atmosphere of York Parkrun is one of complete safety and inclusivity, as you run with hundreds of other runners from varying abilities.

The only thing I find annoying is that it is quite a monotonous and boring loop, with not much to look at. I would definitely suggest incorporating it as a segment into one of your longer runs, to make them more exciting, or maybe if you are feeling energised after the races…

Cattlegrids to Cattlegrids

Located behind the University, this segment is a 0.5KM flat stretch between the biology buildings and the army barracks. It is very pretty in the summer months, and you often have the additional company of some noisy cows cheering you on if you wanted to go off trail and into the surrounding fields.

It does however get very busy running along here, with people commuting to and from uni, and having to run alongside a cycle lane. Whilst this is a good segment, especially for those living on campus, try to go at a quieter time if you can.

Minster Gates

And now, moving on to segments found in the city. One of the most amazing things about York is that you can run right into the heart of the city by the Minster, which is where you will find this 0.08KM segment that is both beautiful and safe.

However, again, you have to time when you run here carefully. Especially on a weekend it can get extremely busy in town, so much so that you physically cannot run without knocking into people. I would recommend getting up early to avoid the crowds, and see the Minster at sunrise.

The Shambles

Again, another segment in town, this time found in the famous Shambles. Whilst being extremely beautiful if you come early in the morning, the Shambles too can quickly become uncomfortably busy with tourists (what a Shambles!) and so this is definitely a segment for a quiet time of the day.

The cobbles can be also be surprisingly dangerous if you are not careful– no runner wants a twisted ankle!

Up the Hill to the Station

This is a good segment I have found that finally incorporates a bit of hill work into your runs, given how flat York is as a city. With a 1.2 per cent gradient, this gentle uphill is perfect to get your legs moving, whilst taking you past the beautiful station.

However, you have to run past the station bus stop directly after this segment, which is a challenge in itself, as you come face to face with buses and pedestrians. I would definitely say to be mindful of road safety when running around this area.

Up to Uni Road

Another uphill, this time on campus for anyone looking to incorporate campus loops into their runs. Directly behind the biology buildings, this steady uphill segment is relatively quiet and pretty, probably being one of the longest hills I have been able to find in York, with a gradient of 6.3 per cent.

It is definitely worth the slog, with this segment bringing you out onto University Road, an optimal location for extending your run in either direction – homeward or not!

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