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The Calke Explorer is an orienteering type trail event for all abilities. Participants will navigate their way around the spectacular Calke estate to find a series of checkpoints at their own pace, using a map they will be given at the start line.
Start times will be staggered so you can't just follow the person(s) in front, but you can opt to team up with friends, club-mates of family members.

It is part of the Calke Outdoor Weekender, so there are also plenty of other things to get involved in back at the COW arena. These include yoga, natural movement workshops, inspirational talks, or just relaxing with some great food. Click HERE for more info.

As part of our environmental policy, t-shirts are an optional extra (so not produced for those that don't want one). And/or you have the option of joining the National Forest 'Plant a Tree' scheme as an alternative. 

Entry fees include general entry entrance to Calke Park and activities in the COW arena.

£5 Discount for National Trust Members (£2.50 children).  £2 supplement for unaffiliated. 


Calke Explorer (standard course)

On the standard course you can expect to cover between 8 and 10 kilometres (5-6miles), or a bit more depending on how good your route finding is. It is open to anyone over 16.

Start time:


09:00 to 10:30

8 to 10km

Age limt:



  • Course map

  • Results 

  • Entry to Calke Park & Gardens

  • COW arena talks & activities

  • Parking

Finish deadline:


Entry fee:

£12 (+£2 unaffiliated)

£5 discount for NT members


Calke Explorer (short/family course)

On the short/family course you can expect to cover around 3 kilometres (2miles). Children under 16 can take part for free, accompanied by a parent or guardian over 18 (max of 2 children per adult). 

Start time:


09:00 to 10:30

Approx 3km

Age limt:

16+ unaccompanied

<16 with parent/guardian


  • Course map

  • Results 

  • Entry to Calke Park & Gardens

  • COW arena talks & activities

  • Parking

Finish deadline:


Entry fee:

£12 (+£2 unaffiliated)

£5 discount for NT members

Accompanied under 16's free (park entry free of £2.50 still applied if not NT member)

Event Information


The Calke Explorer is part of the Calke Outdoor Weekender is organised by Peak Running, in partnership with the National Trust at Calke and the National Forest Company. Timed to coincide with the opening weekend of the annual National Forest Walking Festival and inspired by the great outdoors, the aim is to welcome people of all abilities to get active and reconnect with nature in the wonderful Calke estate and the surrounding countryside.


On-line entries will go on sale in February and close at midnight on 13th May 2020 or earlier if the capacity is reached. If there are any remaining places they will be availabe for sale on the day of the event, subject to a small supplement. Prices are as detailed above. The Calke Explorer has 100 places available in each distance. By purchasing an entry you agree to our general terms and conditions which can be found at the bottom of this page and the event specific terms in the 'taking part' section of this page.


The event in based in the wonderful Calke Park in South Derbyshire.

The base for the race and event HQ is COW arena on the meadow next to the Abbey itself.

The address is:

Calke Abbey



DE73 7LE

Car Parking

Car parking is available within Calke Park close to the event arena and is included with your event entry, as part of your general access to the park and gardens at Calke.


Camping is available to participants in the COW's Big Challenge and other COW events at Whistlewood Common. More details HERE


Taking Part

Experience Required

The Calke Explorer is designed to a self navigation, orienteering type event, that is suitable for all levels. There are no specific requirements for previous experience.


You will be provided with a clear map of your chosen course at registration on the day.

This should be used to navigate your way around the checkpoints.

You may also use a compass or electronic device to aid your navigation.

If can join forces with friends, club-mates or familty members, to do the route finding together. If you do this, you will be given joint finishings positons/times.

Kit Requirements

There are no specific kit requirements, athough we would recommend that you have:

  • Magnetic compass

  • Appropriate clothing for the challenge and weather conditions

  • Appropriate footwear (trail shoes recommended, or walking boots for hikers)

  • Mobile phone

Time Limits & Cut-Offs

The deadline for finishing the event is 12:30pm.

You may start anytime between 09:00 and 10:30am. Therefore if you anticipate taking more than 2 hours, it is advisable to start well before 10:30.


We have assessed the health and safety risks associated with the event and have put in place measures to manage these so far as reasonably practicable. However, the nature of running or hiking on trails, means that participants have a higher level of responsibility for their own personal safety and that of others, than they would in a more controlled environment. In the most part this simply means applying common sense and good judgement.


There will be a number of self-clip checkpoints around the route. You must viist these in the correct order and record that you have done so. The process for doing this will be explained at registration on the day.

Medical Support

Medical support will be available throughout the event.

Prizes & Finishers Awards

Full details of prizes and finshers' awards are currently being finalised.

Permit & Rules

The feature events will operate in accordance with UK Athletics Rules under a permit issued by the Trail Running Association. Permit number 3529.

Terms and Conditions

When purchasing an entry to a Peak Running Ltd event you are agreeing to the general terms and conditions specified below, as well as any terms and conditions specific to the event. Our general terms and conditions for our events, can be found at the link at the bottom of this page. These are supplemented with event specific terms and conditions. Calke Explorer event specific terms and conditions are as follows: The refund available is 70% of the entry fee recevied by Peak Running. The deadline for cancelling your place and receiving a refund is 15th March 2020. The deadline for transferring your place to another participant is 13th May 2020. This must be done by the original entrant editing their entry on SiEntries.

In the Calke Explorer you are permitted to transfer your entry to a different distance at the same event, subject places being available. The deadline for transferring to a different distance online is 13th May 2020. Otherwise you can transfer at registration on the day.


Frequency Asked Questions

Are there any age limits?

The minimum age to take part in the standard course or unaccompanied on the short/family course is 16. Under 16's may take part on the short course if accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian over 18, with a maximum of 2 children per adults.

Can I run/walk with a dog?

You are not allowed to take part in any of the competitive races with a dog as it's not permitted under UKA/TRA rules.

Can I use trekking pole?

Yes, no problem.

What happens if I retire?

If you decide to retire you must return to the event arena in Calke Park if at all possible and inform the event crew of your decision. If you are forced to retire while out on one of the courses, you must contact the organisers immeidately. Details of the process for doing this will be provided in the Event Guide prior to the event.

What happens if I can't complete my routes within the time allowed?

We recommend that you register and start in good time on the day to give yourself ample time to finish the course. If you do not finish the course within the deadline you will be categorised as a DNF (did not finish). If you do not visit one or more checkpoints, you will still be recorded as finished but your position will be below those that visited all checkpoints.

Can I take a break or skip a checkpoint?

Yes you can take as many breaks as you like and for as long as you like, provided you remain on track to complete your event by 12:00. You are allowed to skip a checkpoint but see the previous question for how this will be treated.

Will I get lost?

How accurately you follow the course will be down to your own navigation skills. However, as the courses are all in and around Calke Park it is unlikely that you will get completely lost. If you go off course, it is recommended that you back-track to the last point where you were sure of your position, and continue from there, or make your way back to the start/finish area on the Meadow.



Results will appear here shortly after the event.


A selection of images from the event will be provided here once available. 

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