The differences in Tough Mudder courses in the UK
If you’re relatively new to Tough Mudder, a first timer (if it is your first Tough Mudder, I have a 20% discount at the bottom of the page) or possibly completed your local race – you would be forgiven in thinking that all Tough Mudder courses are the same. But you would be wrong!
Sure, each course does have the “showcase” obstacles along the route including Blockness Monster, Everest, Arctic Enema Funky Monkey and Electro Shock Therapy to name but a few. And you won’t miss out on those whichever course you particpate in.
However, due to the location and environment of each course, each has their own nuance and if you’re lucky enough to be able to travel to a different location, you may wish to take on a different event rather than the Tough Mudder which is just closest to you. Here is a quick run down of each UK Tough Mudder course:
- Tough Mudder London West – HILLY! – The first event of the UK Tough Mudder season based in Culden Faw near High Wycombe and Henley on Thames. Although in 2020 this has been moved into May in the past this event has been VERY COLD (frosted tents anyone?). This event is hilly (could be the most undulating, but it could just feel that way because its the first of the season!) After a short flat you’re straight onto an incline and basically it doesnt seem to stop from there. Some obstacles in a valley, but you are back up the hill and into the forest. And just to finish you off, there is usually Killa Gorilla (aka Hill repeats) along the final hill before you head towards the finish.
- Tough Mudder Midlands – Scenic – Based in the grounds of Belvoir Castle and also shares the course with Europe’s Toughest Mudder – the route usually takes you around the grounds of the Belvoir estate (near Grantham) passing a number of beautiful statues, ponds, lakes and bridges. Not the flattest of courses but defintiely one of the most scenic. Belvoir Castle stands proud on the hill overlooking the event village. If you’re a fan of Cheese – the Colston Basset is very close (one of three places where Stilton cheese can be produced) whilst lovers of Pork Pies can also take a trip to Melton Mowbray
- Tough Mudder Scotland – Unknown – for 2020 Tough Mudder Scotland has moved from Dumfries to Dalkeith. So for right now – I can’t tell you what it’s going to be like as I haven’t been there! I will update once I have completed the course in June. Hopefully there will be fewer midges….
- Tough Mudder Yorkshire – The Views – Based at Broughton Hall, Skipton, this course has the best views of any course. Once you have climbed the hill (you will know which one I mean when you have done it) take a minute and just take in the breath-taking Yorkshire scenery. Unfortunately the have changed the course from a couple of years ago in which you climbed a taller hill, but that won’t take anything away from the views you get. Yorkshire has been very wet the past few years but this year it has been moved slightly later into the year, kets hope the British Summer is kinder as its a course to be enjoyed in the sun rather than the rain
- Tough Mudder South West – Flat Flat Flat – For me, this is the least interesting of the UK Tough Mudder courses (actually any Tough Mudder course I have done). Based at Badminton (famous for the horse trials) it is a shame that the course cannot use any of the layout which would make this course unique. There is very little elevation change and pretty much feels like a dog leg out and back. Unfortunately one of the most generic courses you can get and I wouldn’t recommend this unless it really was your closest course or you are a completist. The one saving grace is Mud Mile – this get’s really churned up through the weekend and due to the sandy consistency, this becomes one of the gloopiest mud miles very quickly.
- Tough Mudder North West – MUDDY MUDDY MUDDY – My home course (close to Chester) and the one which started my Tough Mudder journey. You will have seen all the ads, photos and videos of people in mud, falling in mud, playing in muddy and just pure muddy. 99% of the time this content would have come from Tough Mudder North West. Mud Mile and Sewer Rat gets very muddy very quickly. You want a “proper” obstacle course with mud – this is the one to do.
- Tough Mudder London South – Best for spectators – I really like this course and it suits being the “Classic” season finale. Not too much elevation compared to some courses but enough to make it “interesting”. The best part of this course is it’s “clover leaf” route design. Participants seem to run out from the event village and come back to the centre on a number of occasions. This means the show case obstacles – Blockness. Funky Monkey and Everest are all within easy reach of the event village. Spectators get to see participants a number of times across the course and able to take those all important photos.
This is a quick rundown of the “Classic” courses which take in a 10 mile or 5km route. Of course routes changes, obstacles are cycled in and out. But I’m pretty sure these will be the generwl jist of things.
There are 3 scheduled “City” courses – 2 in London based at Morden Park (Season finale in October) and Finsbury Park (Season opening in April). I am assuming these will be relatively flat with little difference between the two. However the new Manchester course (July) is based at the Etihad stadium which I assume will take in the grounds of the stadium, both inside and out. I am really looking forward to this one!
- London West – Hilly
- Midlands – Scenic
- Scotland – Unknown
- Yorkshire – Views
- South West – Flattest (yawn)
- North West – Muddiest
- London South – Best for spectators
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