We have compiled a big list of the best walking challenges that take place across the UK during 2023 and 2024. Organised by date order, scroll down to find your perfect challenge! First, we have compiled some great options for hiking challenges that don't need you to sign up for an event. Then we have a list of great walking events you can sign up to and if you'd like, raise money for charity whilst walking.
Table of contents;
- Best Walking Challenges
- Charity Walks
- Best Hikes in the UK
- Three Peaks Challenge
- Best Hikes in the Lake District
- Walking Challenges Calendar
Best Walking Challenges in the UK 2023
A great relaxing way to raise funds for your favourite charity is by participating in walking challenges in the UK. Walking challenges are fun, and fulfilling and enable you to fully enjoy and engage with the route you take. You can find walking events that take you through parks, cities, the countryside or even to the top of mountains. Varying in length and difficulty they are a great way to keep fit and healthy whilst raising money for a great cause
- Shine Night Walk by Cancer research (multiple dates and locations)
- Jurassic Coast Challenge by Ultra Challenge
- Snowdonia for Science by Prostate Cancer UK
Anyone can take part in charity treks or a sponsored walk or charity trek whatever their level of fitness, this makes them ideal for anyone wanting to take part as a way to raise money for a great cause. There is less rigorous training or preparation needed compared to a run, but you’ll still want to get yourself ready as you need endurance more than anything. Any walks for charity can provide great motivation to keep up your training regime and propel you to the finish line.
Best Hikes in the UK
We have also compiled a great list of other common walking challenges in the UK. You don't always have to sign up for an event to start taking exercise more seriously, you can find local routes to build up your stamina and then try and take on a hike in the mountains, hills or countryside. We have a list of the best hikes across the UK and cover places like;
- Snowdonia: Great for anyone based in or near Wales. Spectacular scenery and a great mountain path to follow.
- Peak District: A fantastic 6-mile route with historical importance to add some variety to your walk.
- Norfolk Coast: A picturesque coastal path with options for circular or linear walks.
Interested in learning more? Click here to find out the 7 Best Hikes in the UK
Three Peaks Challenge
This challenge can be done as a charity trek or on your own. You can choose from a few options as there are multiple 3 peak challenges across the UK. It's a tough challenge as you have to walk 3 peaks which will involve lots of miles covered whether in the car travelling between the mountains or walking to get to the next one! We take a look at 3 of the key challenges available;
- Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge: 24 miles long and located in the Yorkshire Dales, people aim to walk this within 12 hours.
- UK 3 Peaks Challenge: Often referred to as the National Three Peaks, walking up Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis within 24 hours.
- Wales 3 Peaks Challenge: The lesser known challenge located in Wales, walking up Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen y Fan within 24 hours.
Curious about this challenge? Click here to find out more about walking the Three Peaks Challenge
Best Hikes in the Lake District
The Lake District offers some of the best scenery in the UK, from picturesque villages to stunning mountain ranges. There are lots of places to walk but we have found some of the best hikes to get the most out of your trip to the Lakes. We have 10 in total but here are 3 walks that we think are great;
- Catbells: One of the most popular walks in the Lake District, taking about 4 hours to walk, Catbells is 1,481 feet above sea level.
- Grisedale Pike: This walk takes around 6 hours and is 7 miles long. It has stunning views of Coledale Valley and Keswick when you reach the top.
- Haystacks: A 4.7 mile walk that is quoted to be “the best fell-top of all” by Alfred Wainwright.
Thinking of heading to the Lakes? Click here to see the 10 best hikes in the Lake District
Not convinced? You can look at our complete list of Lake District mountains instead
Walking Challenges UK Calendar
If signing up for a walking event or challenge is more your thing, we have you covered too. We have some of the best walking events from across the UK organised in date order below, don't see what you're looking for...just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can add it for you.
29th - Isle of Wight Challenge
13th - Jurassic Coast Challenge
14th - Bridport 10k Walk
27th - London to Brighton Challenge
10th - Ambleside 10k Walk
10th - Lake District Challenge
24th - Cotswold Way Ultra Challenge
8th - Peak District Challenge
8th - Bakewell 10 Mile Walk
22nd - North Downs 50 Challenge
22nd - Guildford 10k Walk
5th - Dunster 10k Walk
26th - London Summer Walk
2nd - South Coast Challenge
9th - Thames Bridges Trek
10th - The Henley 10k Walk
15th - Shine Night Walk - Bristol
23rd - Chiltern 10k Walk
23rd - Shine Night Walk - London
23rd - Chiltern 50 Ultra Challenge
30th - Shine Night Walk - Edinburgh
30th - Shine Night Walk - York
14th - Shine Night Walk - Belfast
20th - Shine Night Walk - Leeds
21st - Shine Night Walk - Leicester
28th - Shine Night Walk - Cambridge
28th - Haloween 10k Walk
28th - London Halloween Walk
Training and Preparation
Walking challenges can vary from a 5k walk or 10k walk up to larger challenges such as walking marathons or even sponsored walks for a charity that may span a few days. You will need a good amount of endurance as many challenges incorporate uphill and downhill sections that will tire you out quickly if you are not used to long distance walking. It is critical for you to exercise regularly in order to improve your endurance and begin to build up stronger leg muscles that can withstand hours and hours of use.
Ideally, you should begin training by walking three times a week – use a mix of leg exercises combined with core strengthening techniques to build and improve muscle. And walk a lot. You can easily incorporate walking into your lifestyle – a trip to the shop, visiting family or friends etc can all be done on foot rather than taking the car.
You’ll want to try and give yourself some routes that you can practice on and try to extend the length of these walks. Start off with just a few miles and slowly try to build up to longer distances.
Once you’ve got accustomed to walking longer distances, you can then start to take your activity onto different types of surfaces. These should ideally include grass, hill and pavement, and in different weather conditions.
Your training program should never be all work and no play – you can reward yourself with treats or goals at the end of walks. Instead of taking the car to the movies, walk instead and use that as your motivation.
Food and Drink
People mostly worry about what to eat or drink during training and at the walking event. There are no hard and fast rules to this – just make sure to drink lots of water or sports drinks to keep yourself hydrated and energised. You need to have a healthy daily intake of proteins and carbs to maintain your energy levels and ensure you don’t burn out. During the walk, you can eat carbs and energy containing foods to keep you going to fight fatigue.
Get the right Gear
Apart from nutrition, invest in some good clothing and walking shoes or boots. Although walking boots or shoes can be a bit costly, they are durable and won’t give you blisters. Similarly, you want to buy high-quality socks that won’t rub your feet too much and allow your feet to breathe. Also, it’s worth having a second pair spare just in case they get wet during the walk.
A majority of walkers prefer to wear lightweight trousers and a sports top for the main event. Whilst not essential, like socks, they will allow your skin to breathe and keep sweat away whilst keeping you warm. Furthermore, carry a pair of gloves to keep if you will be walking in cold areas.
You may also consider carrying a small emergency kit with things such as plasters or creams should you get stung by the wildlife. There are also a variety of gadgets you can take with you too. If you are walking an unfamiliar route then a mapping or GPS system will come in very handy in case you get lost. If the route will be over a few days, then a battery pack for your mobile phone will help in case of emergencies.
Taking part in a challenging walk can be exhilarating and rewarding, but don’t forget to take adequate rest during the training period. Do not push yourself beyond your limit and most of all, enjoy the experience!