OS Map courtesy of ordinancesurvey.co.uk
Next on our list of local adventure spots is Queen Elizabeth Country Park, and the adjacent Butser Hill. Queen Elizabeth Country Park is a great spot in the South Downs, located off the A3 between Portsmouth and Petersfield.
The park is ideal for a number of activities, with dedicated trails for MTB and for hiking/running. There are several car parks, a cafe and visitors centre, children’s play area and BBQ spots for hire. Training aside it’s a great place for a family day out. The South Downs way also runs through the park.
When it comes to hiking and running, there are plenty of trails over some great undulating terrain, perfect for getting some speed and hill training in, and that’s before you even look at Butser Hill across the road! TTA members including myself have used the park many a time for training for events such as the Fan Dance, with a rucker or Bergen, barreling up and down trails past bewildered looking families. Indeed the park is one of the sites that Avalanche Endurance Events run their navigation and fitness training days, led by their excellent lead navigation instructor, Nick. Look out for a future blog post for details and a review of these brilliant courses.
Coach Olly (kneeling right) taking part in an AEE Navigation Training Day in Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Photo courtesy of Avalanche Endurance Events.
Butser Hill is a place that is certain to cause shivers running through the members of TTA who have been foolish enough to join me on a training session there. The main trail to the top is a nice 400m of path perfect for hill repeats, preferably with push ups, burpees and jump squats thrown into the mix as well. It is also great for weighted hill repeats with a ruck or weight vest.
Once on top, there are plenty of trails running around the edge, and plenty of flat space for some brutal outdoor circuits. There is also a great re-entrant on the north side of the hill which is great for some nice steep hill repeats, with or without a bergen on! Truly some serious fitness gains can be made on this hill, limited only by your (or more likely my!) imagination.
Weighted Hill Repeats on Butser Hill Re-entrant. Photo courtesy of Avalanche Endurance Events