As one of the few places where you can combine fine wines with fast times, the Bacchus Marathon is where runners get to taste victory in a vineyard.
While some see the great outdoors as the perfect environment to lace up some running shoes and get active, there are others who couldn’t think of anything better than sitting back in the sunshine with a chilled glass of wine to while away the hours.
Both are brilliant ways of experiencing England’s countryside, and while to some they may seem mutually exclusive, there’s one particular race where you can combine your racing with your riesling.
Run Bacchus is an annual event held at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey, one of the country’s finest vineyards. Competitors can opt to do either a marathon, half-marathon or five-mile run, safe in the knowledge that each drinks station along the route will be serving up beautiful English wine and locally produced food; more grenache than Gatorade.
The marathon course has 12 “refreshment opportunities” throughout its two-loop route through the North Downs and its early autumn date means that the vineyard is pre-harvest, with grapes ready to burst off the vines.
For anyone sober enough to worry about the terrain underfoot, the course is undulating and varied, with one hill to scale, although there is a large chunk of the loop on the road. Running within the North Downs means that you can take in views of Ranmore Common and Mole Valley.
Timings are, for most, fairly irrelevant but race organisers ask that those attempting the marathon be able to complete the race in under five hours. At each of the six sampling stations per loop there is a different wine to taste, with a mix of whites and reds, all of which are produced on Denbies’s estate.
Upon completion of the race there is one final celebratory tipple to help wash down the hog roast that’s been cooking while you’ve been running. For the more sensible and/or competitive, there is also water and snacks – biscuits, sweets, energy bars – also available at each station.
Find out more about the Bacchus Marathon.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.