5 Walking challenges to try this summer

5 Walking challenges to try this summer

Walking Boots or Walking Shoes Reading 5 Walking challenges to try this summer 5 minutes Next Louise Flockhart | Interview

Are you looking to push yourself this summer? A walking challenge could be the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy nature while challenging yourself. In this blog we take a look at some of the best walking challenges the UK has to offer.

What is a walking challenge?

Walking challenges have become very popular over the last few years – with people looking to complete challenges and tick off some tough walks and climbs.

There are loads of walking challenges in the UK – so here are some of our favourites:

The Three Peaks

Probably the most famous walking challenge in the UK is the three peaks. The three peaks takes you to the top of the three tallest mountains in the UK. Snowdon or Yr Wyddfa in Wales, Scafell Pike in England and Ben Nevis in Scotland.

Although the challenge can be done in just 23 miles it is not an easy challenge – taking in the three highest peaks in the UK the total ascent is 3064ft, meaning lots of uphill.

Add to that the travel (450 miles of driving) and logistics to get between the peaks this is a real challenge.

While some like to attempt the three peaks in 24 hours you can take your time and enjoy all three peaks.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks

The Yorkshire Three Peaks is a great challenge for novices as it doesn’t have as much ascent or any travelling between the peaks like the National Three Peaks does.

However the Yorkshire Three Peaks is still a challenge. The route is circular and has 1,500m of ascent and descent, which people aim to complete within 12 hours. The route takes in Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent, with most people starting at Horton in Ribblesdale.

Coast to Coast

The main attraction of most walking challenges is the sense of achievement of completing the challenge – and what is more satisfying then crossing the width of the country?

Devised by legend of walking Alfred Wainwright, the route takes you from the Irish Sea to the North Sea – from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.

This 190 mile walk usually takes around two weeks to complete, but like all of the challenges in our list, can be done in more manageable stages – if you don’t have the time to do it all at once.

The route is varied and has some difficult parts – especially through the Lake District and if the weather is bad (we are talking about the North of England after all!) it can be tough.

Cairngorms 4000s

The highest concentration of 4000m peaks is found in the Cairngorms, in the East Highlands – with five 4000m maintains all handily arranged in a loop. This means you can tick off all five in one go.

It’s a tough 21 mile walk with a lot of ascent – including ascending the Lairig Ghru pass about half way through the walk. A tough challenge in the Spring or Summer and even harder when you through in some wintery conditions – this challenge isn’t for beginners.

South Downs Way

If you’re looking for a longer challenge, then walking the entirety of the South Downs Way is the challenge for you. The walking is on paths and trails, following the coast from Winchester to Eastbourne making for easy walking over multiple days.

This 100 mile route follows the chalk cliffs and ridges of the South Downs with amazing coastal views of the English Channel. If you have the time to take a week (or more) and explore the South coast on foot you will be rewarded with quiet trails, just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the South East’s cities.

How to prepare for a walking challenge


Some challenges on this list are very physically demanding – so you need to asses your fitness level and the difficulty of the challenge.

Most challenges are able to be split into smaller stages, meaning if you aren’t up for doing it all in one go, you can do it bit by bit.


For all of these challenges you will need walking boots, a waterproof jacket and trousers, warm clothes, and plenty of food and water as a minimum. Some routes might involve camping, so you will need your tent and sleep system too.


Whilst some walking challenges are well signposted and stick to paths and tracks, others will require you to use some form of navigation skills. Having a map and a compass – and knowing how to use them will be essential on some of the harder challenges.

This is especially true when there is lots of altitude!

Whatever challenge you are undertaking this summer we would love to see and hear how you get on – so tag us in your adventures: @Scarpa_UK on Instagram and SCARPA UK on Facebook.