Welcome to our running group

Next run: Thursday 28 October 2021

About our group

Welcome to Chew Valley Snails, a group for novice to experienced recreational runners in the Chew Valley area.

Please see our News pages for Risk Assessment and COVID updates

Once the coronavirus situation has been resolved and our Run Leaders feel it is safe to do so  we  hope to be able to quickly revert to business as usual. If you are well and would like to run with friends why not keep an eye out on the Snail FB page for members posting personal runs that you are welcome to join, in addition to our Buddy Runs and returning offering of social runs.

In usual times we offer Couch to 5k and Improvers courses for new and returning runners at Chew Lake, multiple weekly Social Runs from locations within the Valley, and trips to local parkruns and races. We're affiliated to the Association Of Running Clubs. Non-members are welcome to come to a few runs with us before deciding whether to join us - our annual fee of £10 is worth every penny.

"Run at the speed of chat!" is our motto - and we encourage socialising over coffee and cake as well. We have a facebook group for runners to arrange meet-ups for homework and social runs, and to share details about other local events and lifts to parkrun. Would you like to train towards a specific event such as the Chew Valley 10k? This is the perfect starting point.

Running has been proven to be excellent for both physical and mental health. Running outdoors is even better because the fresh air, extra vitamin D and interaction with nature are all mood-lifters. Sometimes you won't feel like running but if you make yourself pull on your trainers we can guarantee you'll benefit from it. Running can improve your weight, your blood pressure, your mood, diabetes, your stamina and cardiovascular endurance - and it's a great way to meet other people in a safe environment.

About your regular leaders:
Dawn joined the Chew Valley Snails through the Couch to 5k course in February 2017 and since then has gone from strength to strength. She qualified as a Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF) in December 2017 - but she remembers and understands just how it feels to be a novice right at the start of your running experience. She prefers to deliver C25k courses.

Karen joined the Chew Valley Snails as a new runner who started running on a Couch to 5k course in February 2017, and trained as a Run Leader (LiRF) in February 2018. She concentrates on offering a wide range of social runs, usually during weekday daytimes. The majority of Karen's led runs include fields and tracks whenever possible. 

Alice started as a Couch to 5k runner in October 2018 and qualified as a Run Leader in March 2019.   She now leads regular social runs (both trail and road) of varying distances from 5k.

Annabelle started as a Couch to 5k runner and now leads social runs and some 5k-10k runs.

Jaine started as Couch to 5k before qualifying as a Run Leader.  She leads the 'Classic Snails' for shorter social runs and has also delivered Couch to 5k.

Mick is another Run Leader who started with Couch to 5k, before moving on.  He particularly enjoys Shake Out sessions to develop fitness, and plans to deliver a course to enable members to move on from 5k to 10k.

Belen also started with Couch to 5k and is now a qualified Run Leader.  She leads a range of social runs in the Valley area and enjoys exploring new routes.

Kerrie is another Couch to 5k graduate. As a qualified Run leader, she offers day time social runs in the Valley.

Anne trained as a LiRF in 2016, then became a Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) in early 2018. She founded the Chew Valley Snails in January 2017 with a Couch to 5k offering. Recently returned to the Chew Valley she offers coaching and technique training for all ages, abilities, paces and distances.


New to running? Have a look at what others have said about what we do. Experienced runner? Come along to our Social runs or Improvers courses.

The format of the Couch to 5k courses:

  • 10 weeks long, roughly 45 minutes per session. In between sessions you should aim to complete two "homework" runs (or walks, or jogs!) of around 30-45 minutes each. All details will be given at each week's sessions
  • The cost is £35 for 10 weeks, which includes your annual Membership for Chew Valley Snails as well as a free hi-viz Chew Valley Snails branded buff when you graduate
  • We often meet at the Salt & Malt car park at Chew Lake. Parking is £2, but we encourage everyone to walk, cycle or car-share. You can buy an annual parking pass for Chew Lake for £22 from Salt & Malt. The venue has public toilets and a cafe area where you can get a drink. After sessions we'll often stay for a drink (and probably cake) in the cafe - all are welcome
  • Every session will start with a dynamic warm-up, and end with static stretches and a cool down - look after your body and let your muscles recover, it's a great time to ask any questions as well
  • At the end of the course we complete a local graduation parkrun, and each graduate will be given an exclusive Chew Valley Snails hi-viz buff
  • We PROMISE no-one will ever be left behind
  • We don't have anywhere at the venue to keep items safe, so only bring things you can carry with you. We encourage personal responsibility and self-sufficient running, so if you bring water bottles or spare layers you'll need to carry them. Many people find they don't need extra water for a 45 minutes / 5k session, but if you would like to bring some then choose a water bottle which is comfortable in the hand
  • Layers are good, especially in cold weather! Hats, gloves, waterproof or windstopper jackets - wear what is right for you. Some people 'run hot' and some always feel the cold, so go with your instinct. You don't need to spend a lot of money on expensive clothing but wicking technical fabrics will help to keep you comfortable. Aldi, Lidl and other discounters do excellent bargain price running clothing, and we can give advice if you're not sure
  • Shoes: we'll be on tarmac, grass and trails. Road trainers are fine, hybrid trail shoes may be even better. Trainers which are specifically made for running and which fit you correctly are really important. We can point you in the right direction for reputable running shoe shops
  • Although our courses are usually run in the daytime we strongly recommend you wear hi-viz and reflective items on your clothing and shoes. It's a good habit to get into and essential when you're doing your homework runs. A headtorch might help if it's an evening course!
  • Sorry, no headphones during the course sessions: running is social so we chat during sessions (remember "Run at the speed of chat"?) and also with headphones in you may not hear hazards. Interacting with, awareness of, and enjoying, the environment around you are all important parts of running. Sorry, no dogs and no buggies on the C25k course
  • Finally: it's really important we know anything which might be relevant about your personal and medical needs. You can speak to us in confidence, but please disclose everything on your registration page. This is particularly important if you use an inhaler, an epipen, have allergies which may be triggered during a session, or have a hidden disability such as epilepsy. 
  • Recommend a friend: if you recommend Chew Valley Snails to someone who subsequently signs up to a full C25k course, you get one free run session with Chew Valley Snails. Contact us to provide details and claim your session.

Club clothing: can be bought direct from Initially Yours using their online shop.

Are you looking for advice on running shoes, clothing, nutrition, sports massage, physiotherapy or anything else running-related? We're not experts but we can give you the basics and can also point you in the direction of people who really know their stuff. No question is ever too small, so please ask anything and everything. 

Contact Group

Contact details

A Chew Valley Snail Run Leader - Group Leader

Meet our Team

Our locations


Chew Lake (Salt & Malt cafe)

Ashton Court Mansion car park (parking £1.20)

New Manor Farm Shop car park

Meet outside Moondance Cafe


Avon Valley Railway carpark

Chew Magna Baptist Church

Tyntesfield Estate (Cow Barn Cafe)

Parsonage lane, Winford (8km lanes & bridleway)

Pelican Inn car park, Chew Magna

Ashton Court Mansion

The Woodford Lodge car park

East Harptree playing field car park BS40 6BH

Parsonage Lane, Winford, BS40 8DG by school

The Litton, BA3 4PW

Stanton Drew Village Hall

Dundry Baptist Church (Cnr Dundry West & Wells Road BS41 8ND)

Chew Valley Lake southern causeway (A368 between Bishop Sutton & West Harptree)

Chew Valley Lake second car park (not the Salt and Malt one)

Winford Primary School, corner Felton Lane & Parsonage Lane, BS40 8AD

Herons Green Bay lay-by on B3114 between Chew Stoke and Blue Bowl

Chew Stoke Village Hall (BS40 8TU)

Stanton Drew primary school

Chew Kitchen, Bell Lane, off Dairy Way, Chew Stoke, Bristol BS40 8UP

Salt and Malt BS40 8XS (£2 car parking)

Ring O'Bells, Hinton Blewett BS39 5AN

BS39 4BH Corner of The Orchard, off High St, Pensford

Lords Wood entrance, Birchwood Lane, Pensford BS39 4NG.

Pensford Memorial Hall BS394HW

Velvet Bottom carpark (BS40 7XR), down the lane from the Charterhouse Outdoor Centre.

Small car park just along from the Druids Arms

Bishop Sutton village hall

Carpark behind the former Methodist chapel, now used as the Preschool and Community Library/Cafe

Lay-by next to entrance of Woodford Lodge on B3114 (at bottom of Stoke Hill just outside Chew Stoke)

Warwick Arms Pub, Clutton

Temple Cloud GP surgery

Clutton Village Hall, Venus Lane, Clutton, BS39 5SP

Cheddar leisure centre car park

Herons Green Bay Layby (B114)

Herriots Bridge

The George, Stanshalls Lane, Felton, Bristol, UK

Salt and Malt (£2.20 daytime car park fee)

Chew Croft, Upper Stanton Drew, about 8 houses past the school

lane alongside Ubley Parish Hall, BS40 6PJ

Bus stop opposite Somerset Toiletry Company

Herriots Bridge