4 of the UK’s most popular walking challenges

With mountains, lakes, coastlines and valleys, the diverse landscape of the UK offers ramblers and hikers a nearly inexhaustible choice of challenging routes and paths. North, south, east or west, here are four of the best…(and keep reading for a chance to win £100 worth of walking gear!)

Are you an ambitious walker? Why not test your endurance by taking part in some of the UK’s gruelling long-distance walking challenges? Taking anywhere from four to 48 hours to complete, ramblers have an exciting choice of challenges to choose from, each with their own beautiful scenery to conquer (and some treks aso help raise money for charity).

Outdoors kit provider Sportsshoes.com have shared with us their pick of the top four most popular medium and long-distance walking challenges in the North, South, East and West of the UK (Note: These endurance walks are not suitable for beginners and all require a good level of fitness, experience and training).

Lake District, Cumbria
Lake District, Cumbria (c) Geograph.co.uk

NORTH: Lake District 3000 Footers, Cumbria, England

Also known as the Lake District Four Peaks, the comparatively small distance of this challenge is mostly covered by the ascent and descent of four mountains, each over 3,000 feet: Scarfell, Scarfell Pike, Helvellyn and Skiddaw. It’s a demanding and serious challenge, with a variety of undulating terrain – but with glorious views from no less than four summits, the rewards are great.

  • Distance: 15 to 21 miles (depending on the route taken)
  • Duration: 16 hours of walking (tackled in one long day or split into eight hour walks over two days)
  • Getting there: The M6 runs to the east of the Lake District National Park; car journeys from the south east take approx. six hours and journeys from Manchester and York take roughly two hours. Direct trains run from Manchester and Windermere
  • Find out more: Organise a group trip with Lake District Challenges

 

Snowdonia Glyderau from slopes of Pen yr Helgi D
Snowdonia Glyderau from slopes of Pen yr Helgi D (c) Geograph.co.uk

WEST: Snowdonia Mountain Challenge, Wales

Although some training is required for this walk, it’s a great challenge for ramblers with little experience. The Llanberis route up Snowdon is a steady ascent but the climb is all on paths (some parts of the path are rougher than others however). The summit commands striking views of Snowdonia National Park with Anglesey and the Irish Sea in the distance.

  • Distance: Nine miles
  • Duration: Average completion time is seven hours
  • Getting there: Betws-y-Coed train station is located in the heart of Snowdonia and can be reached from London Euston in four hours and from Manchester in three. To drive from the north west take the M56 and A55; roads M6, M5 and M1 link North Wales with the south east
  • Find out more: Take part in an organised climb with Marie Curie

 

South Downs, view from Ditchling Beacon
South Downs, view from Ditchling Beacon (c) Poliphilo

SOUTH: South Downs 100km, South Downs National Park, England

Not to be undertaken lightly, the South Downs 100km is a seriously strenuous challenge, with walkers having to endure the high ridges and steep hills of the rolling South Downs of Hampshire and Sussex. The hike takes place over night and day, starting at the historical town of Arundel and finishing at Beachy Head, the UK’s highest white chalk coastal cliffs. To conquer this challenge walkers have to battle strong fatigue and must be experienced, determined and physically fit. The South Downs is a once-in-a-lifetime challenge and those who complete it will be proud of their achievement for their lifetime.

  • Distance: 100km – which is just under 63 miles
  • Duration: 30 to 36 hours of walking (covered over two days)
  • Getting there: The start of the challenge, Arundel, can be reached in 90 minutes on train from London and is roughly a two hour car journey from London. The walk finishes in Eastbourne where trains can take you directly back to London (or you can arrange a friend to collect you!)
  • Find out more: Discover Adventure will help you organise your South Downs 100km walk for any charity you wish

 

Norfolk Coastal Path, Sidestrand
Norfolk Coastal Path, Sidestrand (c) Dennisbluie

EAST: Norfolk Coastal Challenge, Norfolk, England

There are a number of organised challenges along the dramatic Norfolk coast. One of the most ambitious walks sees people complete 47 miles on foot in 24 hours. Starting in Hunstanton and finishing at Cromer Pier, the route takes walkers over field, sand and stony beaches. The event does see a few challengers drop out with injuries; however, the supporting crowds at the finish line make the arduous feat worthwhile. A participant from last year, Tom Bailey, perfectly summed up the experience saying “Pain is temporary, pride is forever. Coastal Walk Challenge was truly memorable and organisation phenomenal.”

 

Image sources Dennisbluie, Geograph.org.uk and Poliphilo

Competition Time!

Fancy winning £100 to spend on walking shoes at Sportsshoes.com?

To enter, simply subscribe to our monthly enews to receive a regular round-up of the best from Goodtrippers (including some exclusives) straight to your inbox – Enter and subscribe

But hurry, you must sign-up before 6pm on 4th August 2015 to be in with a chance of winning. The winner will be notified by email (the one used on entry) by 11th August.

Terms and conditions (please read before entering)

  • One entry per person
  • One ‘entry’ counts as one individual subscribing to the Goodtrippers enews using a valid email address
  • All entries must be received before 6pm (BST), Tuesday 4th August 2015
  • Competition open to residents of the UK and the Republic of Ireland only
  • Employees (and their immediate families) of Sportsshoes.com and Goodtrippers are excluded from entering this competition
  • One winning entrant will be picked at random – judges’ decision is final
  • No part of the prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize
  • It will be assumed all entrants have read and accepted the competition terms and conditions

 

 

Join the festival fun at the River Cottage Summer Fair

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is flinging open the farm gate at River Cottage HQ for the annual summer fair (and you could win a family ticket in our competition below!)

River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)
River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)

It’s all happening down on the farm at River Cottage HQ…. The River Cottage Summer Fair will be celebrating the best of the season with a weekend of live music, cookery, hands-on masterclasses, talks and tours, gardening tips, kid’s entertainment, and local food and craft stalls this August.

food at River Cottage Fair (c) River Cottage
food at River Cottage Fair (c) River Cottage

This family-friendly festival, taking place Sat 15th and Sun 16th August, is one of the River Cottage team’s twice yearly celebrations. It’s also a chance to peek behind the scenes at River Cottage HQ, meet the team, see the animals and gardens, and enjoy the very best of what’s in season from the River Cottage food tent. Food and drink will be available all day and evening with a licensed bar serving local ciders, beers, wines and bubbles.

crafts at River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)
crafts at River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)

There is a full programme of events that stretch from mid-morning coffee and cakes whilst taking in the beautiful surrounding scenery, through to dancing away to live music at the gig nights way beyond sunset.

River Cottage Summer Fair tickets: Day tickets for the fair (10am – 4pm) are £12.50 per adult; children under 12yrs go free. Book via rcevents@rivercottage.net / T: 01297 630 300.

live music at River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)
live music at River Cottage Fair (Nick Hook Photography)

Gig Nights – music for a summer’s evening

The evening programme kicks off from 6pm on Friday 14th with funk, soul, blues and disco from Plymouth’s finest 10-piece, Joey the Lips. On Saturday 15th Tankus the Henge, a foot-stomping powerhouse of a band, take to the stage.

Gig night tickets: Gig nights only are £15 per adult for 6pm – 10.30pm. Book via rcevents@rivercottage.net / T: 01297 630 300.

For more information visit www.rivercottage.net/summerfair

Location: River Cottage HQ, Trinity Hill Road, Axminster, Devon EX13 8TB. Nearest train station: Axminster (direct from London Waterloo) which is 5 minutes away in a taxi.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (c) River Cottage
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (c) River Cottage

COMPETITION TIME!

We have one family ticket (up to two adults and two children under 12yrs) to the River Cottage Summer Fair for either Saturday 15th or Sunday 16th August to give away.

To win, simply share this post on Twitter (making sure to include the Twitter handles @Goodtrippers and @RiverCottageHQ) before 5pm on Tuesday 21st July.

One winner will be selected at random and contacted via Twitter before Friday 24th July.

Good luck!

Terms and conditions (please read before entering)

  • One entry per person
  • One ‘entry’ counts as one individual sharing this post on Twitter and including both of the handles @Goodtrippers and @RiverCottageHQ
  • All entries must be received before 5pm (BST), Tuesday 21st July 2015
  • Competition open to residents of the UK and the Republic of Ireland only
  • Employees (and their immediate families) of River Cottage and Goodtrippers are excluded from entering this competition
  • One winning entrant will be picked at random – judges’ decision is final
  • No part of the prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize
  • It will be assumed all entrants have read and accepted the competition terms and conditions

Competition time! Win a set of Wild Things books

Do you love taking a dip in Britain’s lakes and secret coves? Running the fells or cycling along hidden country lanes?

We love refreshing ways to enjoy the wild outdoors which is why we’ve teamed up with one of our favourite book people Wild Things Publishing – the people behind the best-seller Wild Swimming – to offer you the chance to win a full set of their brilliant series, worth almost £150!

5 wild books

Wild Things Publishing have created a series of inspirational books and apps to get people back in the wild, exploring the outdoors, experiencing nature and having amazing adventures. The authors write about and photograph their own experiences, spending their summers outside exploring new places to share and their winters writing it all up to produce beautiful books. Their inspiring and beautiful books are a celebration of the simple pleasures in life and will be just what you need to start your own special adventures!

One lucky winner will receive the entire set of nine Wild Things books:

  • Wild Swimming (UK guide) – by Daniel Start
  • Wild Swimming: France – by Daniel Start
  • Wild Swimming: Italy – by Michele Tameni
  • Wild Running – by Jen and Sim Benson
  • Wild Swimming: Hidden Beaches by Daniel Start
  • Wild Guide to the South West by Daniel Start, Joanna Tinsley, Tania Pascoe
  • Lost Lanes – by Jack Thurston (hidden bike rides off the beaten track)
  • France en Velo – by Hannah Reynolds and John Walsh (a journey across France by bike)
  • Only Planet – by Ed Gillespie (one man’s amazing global adventure by all kinds of transport except flying)

 

How to enter

To enter, simply sign-up to the brilliant e-newsletters from both Goodtrippers and Wild Things. Click here to enter the competition and subscribe on the Wild Things website before 5pm (BST) on 6 October 2014 to be eligible. All new email subscribers on the list by the closing date will be entered into the draw with one winner chosen at random. If you already subscribe to the Goodtrippers newsletter, you can still enter the competition by signing-up to the Wild Things newsletter on their website. (See full terms and conditions below)

Good luck!

Wild Things new books 2014

Terms & Conditions:

  • Eligibility requires subscription to both the Goodtrippers and Wild Things e-newsletter
  • All sign-ups must include a valid email address
  • One entry per person
  • The winner will receive the full series of printed books from Wild Things publishing
  • No cash alternative is available
  • This competition closes on 6th October 2014 and the winner will be notified by email within 10 days
  • If we do not hear back within a week we reserve the right to choose an alternative winner
  • Your email address will not be shared with any third parties unless express permission is given

GT + Wild Things logos

Competition: Win a stay at Britain’s Best Beach

Imagine waking up to this view every morning for a week…

Rhossili Bay ©CCSpCW

The beautiful Rhossili Bay, in Wales’ Swansea Bay, has been voted Britain’s Best Beach by TripAdvisor and was described by the poet Dylan Thomas as “very near nowhere”. And you have the chance of winning a week’s stay in this glorious secluded coastal spot.

As part of the 2014 centenary celebrations marking the birth of Dylan Thomas, Visit Swansea Bay is running a competition to win a week’s stay in the National Trust owned, four-bedroom cottage, The Old Rectory – the only place in Britain with the country’s best beach as its front garden! Located on its own in this beauty spot, the cottage is the perfect base to explore the Gower Peninsular.

All you have to do to enter is share three words to describe your favourite place in Swansea Bay – take a look at the website, www.visitswanseabay.com, for inspiration and to enter. Get your entries in by 29 June 2014.

Good luck!

Wormshead ©CCS (Rhossili)

 

Competition time! Win a holiday to Tanzania

It’s 2014 and our friends at NGO Frontier are celebrating 25 years of conservation, volunteering and adventure holidays (Happy Birthday Frontier!). To celebrate they’re giving you the chance to win a two week volunteering holiday for two people to the beautiful country of Tanzania.

Choose from either a beach conservation, wildlife conservation, or teaching and beaches volunteer holiday on Frontier’s original project site of Mafia Island, Tanzania.

To enter, all you have to do is ‘Like’ the Frontier Official Facebook page, then enter your email address into the sweepstakes. But hurry, you have until 31st January 2014. The winner will be notified by email. Good luck!

teach

Established in 1989 as a non-profit conservation and development non-governmental organisation (NGO), Frontier has been an innovator in creating quality volunteer programmes across the globe. Frontier’s first projects started in Tanzania as a partnership with the WWF to create the world’s first successful multi-user marine park in a developing country, a marine park which volunteers still work in today and one that exemplifies Frontier’s aim of creating long lasting and sustainable results. Since then, Frontier’s has grown to operate over 330 capacity building projects in over 60 countries spanning 5 continents, making Frontier a truly international organisation with a global impact.

kate montgomery tzm 14.1

Competition time! Win Pieminister summer goodies

Can you believe it? It’s been one year since Goodtrippers launched!

To help celebrate our first  birthday, our lovely friends at gourmet pie-makers pieminister have given us a bunch of fantastic summer goodies to give to you (yes, the joy of giving is our birthday present!). One winner will receive a box of 12 award-winning pieminister pies, plus extra goodies including a pieminister T-shirt and frisbee – just what you need for a great British picnic.

grey logo

The winner can select a dozen pies from a mouth-watering list including: Kate & Sidney, Pietanic, Wild Shroom, Peahock, Deerstalker, Chicken of Aragon, Heidi Pie and many more… All of pieminister’s pies are made with responsibly-sourced meat and fish (outdoor-bred pork and venison, MSC-approved fish, and free range chicken – the only national pie brand to use solely free range British chicken in their recipes). Their vegetarian pies are approved by The Vegetarian Society. Pieminister is committed to reducing its carbon footprint in its kitchens, shops and vans – which is why we love them at Goodtrippers!

To be in with a chance of winning the pieminister selection box and summer goodies…piem-1709

  1. Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/goodtrippers
  2. Like‘ the Goodtrippers main page…
  3. …and, ‘Share‘ the pieminister competition post, including our review of pieminister’s Stokes Croft eaterie in Bristol

 

UPDATE: All entries must be received before 5pm (BST) on Thursday 15th August 2013. One person will be selected at random and contacted through Facebook within 5 working days to confirm their postal address for prize delivery.

If you miss out on winning you can sample the pieminister menu at shops, delis, pubs and festivals around the UK. Read our review of the newest pieminister dining space at Stokes Croft in Bristol: Pieminister’s new Stokes Croft diner, Bristol

Good Luck!

Terms and conditions (please read before entering):

  • One entry per person
  • One ‘entry’ counts as one individual clicking ‘Like’ on the Goodtrippers main page, plus clicking ‘Share’ on the pieminister competition post – uncompleted entries will not be eligible
  • All entries must be received before 5pm (BST), Thursday 15th August 2013
  • Competition open to residents of the UK and the Republic of Ireland only
  • Employees (and their immediate families) of pieminister and Goodtrippers are excluded from entering this competition
  • One winning entrant will be picked at random – judges’ decision is final
  • No part of the prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize
  • It will be assumed all entrants will have read and accepted the competition terms and conditions