The Lake District Challenge

Adventure challenges in the UK

Spanning over 2,292 sq km, the Lake District is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. So it makes sense that it has been chosen as the location for one of the UK’s best adventure challenges.

The Lake District Challenge is the perfect adventure event for you if you want to test your skills, stamina and mental resilience – amongst one of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK. The challenge is no simple hike, you need to be prepared to take to the water in a canoe, hop on a bike for the cycling leg and then have enough stamina to top Scafell Pike (the highest peak in England) too.

Why do it? There are many reasons for attempting The Lake District Challenge – it might be to raise funds for a deserving cause, to challenge yourself against the mountain or just to get yourself amongst some of the most dramatic scenery in the UK.


Obviously itineraries vary but here’s an idea of what to expect on the two-day challenge.

Day 1

Arrive in the early evening in and get settled in to your accommodation nestled near the beautiful Derwent water. Tonight is the time to think about the two-day challenge ahead and treat yourself to a good hearty meal (all in the name of adventure preparation of course).

Day 2

An early start is essential, but you won’t regret getting up at the crack when you are completing the first leg of the challenge – paddling across Derwent water. The crossing gives you the perfect opportunity to soak up spectacular views of the surrounding scenery – without (hopefully) a soaking. When you reach the other side, it’s time to ditch the paddle a start to pedal with a cycle along the shoreline and then through the Borrowdale Valley. With the challenge over (for today that is) it’s time to get comfy in camp accommodation for the night (and of course swap those paddle and saddle stories).

Day 3

Yup – you guessed it, another early start but a good hearty breakfast will ease the pain. Today you will tackle Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak standing at 978m. And once you reach the summit The Lake District Challenge is complete – good job! Now it’s time to make your way (slowly, if you wish) back down the mountain for a well-earned pint – you deserve it.

How to get there

Pretty much with a car and a map! This is where a little bit of planning comes in as you need to work out a drop-off in Keswick (so you are near to Derwent Water) and a pick-up at the foot of Scafell Pike when you have completed the challenge. Also you need to arrange the canoe and bike hire for the first two legs of the challenge – phew lots to think about and you haven’t even left home yet!


You’ll need to arrange a night’s stay in or around the Derwent Water area before the start of your challenge and then a night in the Borrowdale Valley. If you can, camp it makes the challenge more exciting – after all tucking up in a B&B doesn’t really shout adventure does it? But you need to get organised and carry all your kit (no hairdryers) or alternatively arrange someone to drop it off for you.

How much will it cost?

Taking on The Lake District Challenge will set you back around the £250 mark. But you may need to bung a few quid in to pay for your designated drivers if you choose not to carry all your kit. Obviously hire costs for canoes and bikes will vary depending on the company you use and accommodation prices will depend on you being prepared to rough it or not.

Who can do it?

As The Lake District Challenge can be taken at your own pace, if you have a reasonable base level of fitness (exercising around four times a week for around 30 minutes at each time) you should be able to complete the event with no problems.

It’s good advice to visit your doctor before taking on any adventure challenges and realbuzz recommends a medical check-up before deciding whether or not to tackle The Lake District Challenge.

Charity challenge

Another option is to do The Lake District Challenge for a charity. Get sponsored for your trip and raise loads of cash for a worthy cause. Not only will you have completed one of the best challenges in the UK, you'll have helped other people too... the feeling of achievement will be fantastic!

As well as raising money for a worthwhile cause, if you do decide to go with a charity the good news is they take all the hassle out of organising the trip. You don’t need to worry about organising transport or accommodation and all the other stuff – all you need to worry about is getting in shape.

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