Readers of Runner’s World Magazine have picked Mole Valley as the best running destination in the UK. Mole Valley is at the heart of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and countryside was cited as the main reason for being named the best place for running in the UK.
Runner’s World Magazine readers listed a number of the district’s annual events in the ‘races of the year’ category, including September’s Bacchus Half Marathon, which saw more than 1,000 runners and walkers flock to the area.
Organised by Events to Live in Ashtead, the marathon – which follows a 13-mile loop passing the Denbies vineyard, Ranmore Common and the North Downs Way – was placed second in the ‘best half marathon in the country’ category, contributing to Mole Valley’s overall victory.
John Jelly, chairman of Dorking and Mole Valley Athletics Club (DMVAC), said: “The area is special because we are right in the middle of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. “The cross country options are endless and there is always a 360-degree route. “For instance, we go out to Ranmore Common every week and we can go on a different route every time”.
Councillor Vivienne Michael, responsible for customer services and wellbeing at Mole Valley District Council, said: “These are great running events and, in the setting of Mole Valley’s distinctive and beautiful countryside, they are deservedly amongst the UK’s best. “These accolades show how highly visitors and the community value our special environment, particularly the Surrey Hills – which is officially recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and how important it is that we do all we can to protect it.
“The events attract many visitors and help to support our local economy and ensure that Mole Valley is on the map in terms of business and as a tourist destination.”