Keep on running in the North East

Whether you run for fitness, walk for wellbeing or you’re training for an event, our waterways offer ample opportunities to help you reach your goals

Running on the Calder Navigation


Would you like to run the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2019 on behalf of the Canal & River Trust? We’ve been allocated a limited number of spaces in this incredible event, and we’re keen to hear from keen runners who would like to take part and help raise vital funds to help make life better by the water.

Plan your route

Whatever your level of running ambition – whether you’re training for an organised event or just getting started – the flat surfaces and convivial atmosphere of a canal towpath can give you just the boost you need.

‘It can be hard to get going at this time of year,’ says journalist and runner David Robinson. ‘But the rewards are huge if you give it a try. The sight of mist rising from the canal on frosty mornings is something to behold. And it’s always calming running alongside water; almost like you’re in step with the natural flow of things.’

The north east region is famed for its hills and crags, but it is also blessed with hundreds of miles of flat, easy going towpath for beginners. The beauty of it is, you can pick and choose how difficult you want your run to be depending on how ambitious you are.

Mirfield in West Yorkshire is great for runners who like to mix ascents and descents with a bit of respite on the flat. Nestling in the Calder Valley, the town boasts plenty of waterside running routes for beginners and seasoned athletes alike.

Head north out of the station to Lowlands Road and pick up the towpath eastwards along the Calder and Hebble Navigation. Follow it till you reach the River Calder, then head over the bridge and onto Steanard Lane as it skirts the river. The street turns into Granny Lane, then Calder Road, which you follow until you reach the bridge over the river and right along Back Station Road to your starting point. More energetic runners can extend this route by climbing Hopton Lane after Granny Lane, looping around Upper Heaton before descending to the valley floor along Helm Lane and Woodend Road, then over the bridge and back to the station.

‘One tip: if you’re thinking of taking up running seriously, get yourself a good pair of trainers,’ says David. ‘It’s worth spending the extra money on something that suits your style of running – and it makes a world of difference.

Fancy a challenge?
Did you know that the Trust has a few limited places to run in the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon? If you’re interested to run for us in this iconic event, helping to raise funds for our work, email us to register your interest at and we will be in touch with more info.

Just starting out?
Find your nearest waterway and plan your running route on our website.

Andy Tryner