The Lake District Challenge
Take on one of the UK’s most rewarding challenges in a single day - a 20km cycle, 10km trek, 5km paddle and a 12-hour sweat to the finish
None at all!
Up to 12 people
Windermere Train Station
You don’t need to have experienced a challenge like this before, just an average level of walking and cycling fitness.
Hop on a bike and burn 20km through the ups and downs of Grizedale Forest
Hike the Old Man of Coniston on a 10km push to the summit and then grab your paddle and kayak 5km across Coniston Water to the finish line
12-hours of unrivalled action in one of the UK’s wildest adventure playgrounds
All our reviews are verified
— Colette, April 2022
Brilliant day. I loved every part of the it but the kayaking on Coniston waters was breathtaking. Our host Jim, was very helpful and encouraging. The whole day is planned around the lake so it smoothly links from one activity to another. There was a great sense of achievement when we finished. Definitely value for money.
— Garrett, April 2022
Absolute incredible day in the Lake District. Jim was amazing as a host. Made it a fun and rewarding experience.
— Katherine, October 2021
Hosts Jim and Sue were fab! Enjoyed it so much especially the mountain biking that was through beautiful forests
— Stewart, September 2021
Great trip highly recommend
— Rach, August 2021
Highly recommend, bike ride is through a scenic forest and Old Man is spectacular
— Adam, July 2021
Jim was the perfect guide and our group of 9 had an incredible day in the Lakes. Each leg came with its own highlights, we all left with a great sense of achievement and the dip in the lake at the end of the day was priceless. Thanks again Jim!
Qualified and experienced cycling, kayaking and mountain leaders
1 night in a local hostel
Breakfast at the hostel and a packed-lunch up the mountain
From Windermere Train Station and back again
Bikes and kayaks provided
Some meals as described
Windermere Train Station
18:00 on Day 1
Windermere Train Station
18:30 on Day 2
Your host will be waiting for you in front of Windermere Train Station at 18:00. If you’re not able to join the transfer, or coming by car, you can also make your own way to the YHA Coniston Holly How by 19:00. There is free parking available at the hostel.
At the end of your adventure, you will be dropped back at Windermere Train Station at 18:30, or back at the YHA.
There are regular trains to Windermere from stations across the UK. For those driving, parking is available at the YHA.
Hostel · Same sex dorm
What is the food like?
A full English or continental breakfast is included at the hostel. A packed lunch is also provided for the hiking portion of the challenge including a sandwich, cereal bar, drink, chocolate bar and piece of fruit.
Coniston also has plenty of restaurants and pubs to choose from. Any dietary needs can be accommodated including vegetarian and vegan: just let your host know when booking.
What is the accommodation like?
You’ll stay at the Coniston Holly How YHA in single-sex dorm that sleeps 4-6 people per room.
Check into your hostel in Coniston and head for a detailed pre-challenge meeting. After that you’re free to explore the town or just chill out at the hostel in preparation for the challenge ahead.
The Lake District Challenge
20km · 374m up · 250m down
10km · 822m up · 500m down
Your challenge begins on Coniston Water, one of the 16 bodies of water in the Lake District. Get set up with your bikes and start cycling, skirting the edge of the lake before heading deep into Grizedale Forest. Swap your bike for hiking boots and stomp up a zigzag trail to the iconic peak of the Old Man of Coniston (803m). On the way you'll climb over Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag, part of the famous Coniston Round.
Pause to catch your breath and soak up the panoramic views before continuing down the other side past the old copper mines. It's now time for the final push as you paddle around Coniston Water, before smashing through the Lake District Challenge finish line. Celebrate with a glass of champers, you’ve earned every sip.
15% Off Outdoor Gear
- Cycling equipment (bike and helmet)
- Kayaking equipment (kayak, paddle and buoyancy aid)
- Safety equipment (first aid kit and radio)
What do I need to bring?
- Rucksack (15-25 litre)
- Warm jacket
- Waterproof jacket with hood
- Waterproof trousers
- Worn in hiking boots or shoes
- Warm hat
- Thin gloves for kayaking
- Padded cycling shorts (optional)
- Cycling shoes or trainers
- Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen)
- Water bottles or water bladder (2 litres)
- Snacks and energy food and drink for the day
No optional extras are available for this trip.
We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.
What's the number?
It works out on average at 20kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.
The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.
But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:
- Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
- A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
- 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.
What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.
Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.
You don’t need to have done a challenge like this before, just a good level of walking and cycling fitness. Your host can provide you with a training program to help you prepare.
Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
Summers in the Lake District are not excessively hot or sunny - perfect for outdoor adventures. Daytime temperatures average a pleasant 19 °C, and night time temperatures cool off to 12 °C. it's the UK though, so you should be prepared for rain at any time!
Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.
Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.
We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!
We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.
If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.
All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.
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