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

This trip is no longer on sale

Trip Ref #10065

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


1 night


United Kingdom


None at all!




Up to 12 people


Windermere Train Station






Based on 10 reviews


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

Day 1

Prepare yourself

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.

Day 2

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.



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

Not Included

Some meals as described

Personal expenses

Visas where required

Day 1

Hostel · Same sex dorm




Day 2

Departure day




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.

The Area




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.

Travel options

There are regular trains to Windermere from stations across the UK. For those driving, parking is available at the YHA.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • 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.

- Maha(June 2022)

Thank you so much for the amazing trip- overall excellent day. The hike up the old man of Coniston was really nice with beautiful views. Cycling in the forest is a very good choice. Jim was very helpful and professional throughout the day,Thank you so much again for a great day!

- Karen(June 2022)

A fantastic experience. Jim was amazing, he created a welcoming, relaxed and fun atmosphere which enabled the group to gel fantastically well. He worked incredibly hard to ensure the weekend ran to plan. The activities were challenging but to the right level. Shame the weather was grim but to be honest this made it great fun and certainly didn't dampen spirits. A great group of people. We will certainly be doing more adventures!

- Harry(June 2022)

The Lake District challenge was fun and challenging as you’d expect despite the weather. The guide for our trip, Jim was excellent too. Would recommend.

- David(June 2022)

excellent trip, Jim was a superb host will be booking again soon

- 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!

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 2023 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.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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