Ultimate Three Peaks | Action Medical Research Children's Charity | Action Medical Research

Ultimate Three Peaks

You + Bike + Walking boots and Three Mountains

This is the ULTIMATE CHALLENGE! You’ve heard of the Three Peaks Challenge, why not test yourself on this gruelling, action-packed trekking and cycling trip?

Over the course of seven days you will climb the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales. But here’s the twist; instead of driving between these peaks, you will be cycling all the way! The Ultimate Three Peaks Challenge is a unique extremely demanding challenge that is set to take the country by storm.

Be one of the first to do it!

You will cycle 450 miles through some of the best scenery in the UK. The three highest peaks in Britain will see you climb just under 3000 metres in the some of the wildest terrain the UK has to offer. Make no mistake, this is a totally committing and challenging trip!

Every tough mile you ride and every step you take on the mountains in support of Action Medical Research will fund vital research to help sick babies and children.

Itinerary (days 1-4)

Day 1: Arrive Glasgow; Climb Ben Nevis; Cycle Fort William

Overnight: Fort William
Climb: Ben Nevis (1344m)
Cycle: 3 miles

We meet at Glasgow around midday where you will be transferred by bus to Glen Nevis Visitor Centre. After introductions and a quick brief from your More Adventure Leaders, you will tackle your first mountain, Ben Nevis (5 hours). When you get back down off the mountain, you will then cycle into Fort William and to your accommodation for the evening. Here you will receive a more comprehensive briefing about the rest of the trip and we’ll have our first meal as a group so you can get to know each other.


Day 2: Cycle Fort William to Paisley

Overnight: Paisley
Climb: n/a
Cycle: 102 miles

The first big cycling day is finally here, hopefully you are well rested and raring to go! After breakfast you will gather with the rest of the group, load your luggage onto the support van(s) and follow the Cycle Leader south through the Scottish Highlands. Our route today heads south to the magnificent Glencoe, through Rannoch moor, then along the glorious banks of Loch Lomond, to our hotel in Paisley.


Day 3: Cycle Paisley to Gretna

Overnight: Gretna
Climb: n/a
Cycle: 92 miles

After breakfast, we’ll be negotiating the roads south of Glasgow city centre before heading out on quieter roads south. There are a few climbs today but the scenery after lunch will definitely take your mind off them! Once you arrive at your hotel in Gretna, you’ll receive another brief from the More Adventure team about the logistics for the following day and how we will manage cycling and climbing clothing and equipment to ensure a swift changeover. This evening you will need to pack your ‘grab‐bag’ with your mountain clothing and equipment, ready for the mountain stage of the following day, this will be carried on the support vehicle.


Day 4: Cycle Gretna to Seathwaite; Climb Scafell Pike; Cycle to Keswick

Overnight: Keswick
Climb: Scafell Pike (978m)
Cycle: 64 miles

Today we leave Scotland behind and cycle south into England. Our route takes us on quiet country lanes through rolling farmland before reaching the stunning scenery of the Lake District. Passing through Keswick, we regroup and get changed into our mountain walking gear in Seathwaite before tackling our second mountain, Scafell Pike (4‐5 hours). Fingers crossed for a clear day as the views from the top are breathtaking. Once the group is back down in Seathwaite, it’s a quick eightmiles back into Keswick and to our accommodation forthe evening.

Itinerary (days 5-8)

Day 5: Cycle Keswick to Warrington

Overnight: Warrington
Climb: n/a
Cycle: 106 miles

This is the longest day cycling of the trip, but by this time your legs (and bum!) should be well used to the pedalling motions! We’ll be sad to see the back of the Lake District today, but perhaps happy to see its’ hills come to an end! The first half of the day contains some brilliant downhill sections then it’s undulating from mid‐morning. After a lot of huffing, puffing and sweating, we roll into our hotel for the evening near Warrington.


Day 6: Cycle Warrington to Betws‐y‐Coed

Overnight: Betws‐y‐Coed
Climb: n/a
Cycle: 75 miles

Our route initially heads west out of England and onto the North Wales coast. You’ll be glad of the relatively short mileage today as your legs will no doubt be feeling the effects of hundreds of miles! We
overnight this evening in the popular holiday town of Betws‐y‐Coed, which is the perfect spot to rest‐up for the following day’s cycle and climb to the highest point in Wales – Snowdon! Once again, you will need to have packed your grab‐bag the night before to ensure the changeover at the foot of Snowdon is as smooth as possible.


Day 7: Cycle Betws‐y‐Coed to Pen‐y‐Pas; Climb Snowdon; Cycle to Betws

Overnight: Betws‐y‐Coed
Climb: Snowdon (1084m)
Cycle: 22 miles

The last day of effort! We head out and tackle a gradual climb past Capel Curig then onto Pen‐y‐Pass where we start our final climb of the trip to the highest peak in Wales. The climb up Snowdon should take around 4‐5 hours return to Pen‐y‐Pas. Once we’re back down, we have one last beautiful downhill stretch back into the atmospheric town of Betws‐y‐Coed to our B&B. Congratulations, you have completed the Ultimate Three Peaks Challenge! After a well‐deserved drink and celebratory meal in Betws, you will sleep like you have never slept before!!


Day 8: Cycle Transfer Betws‐y‐Coed to Chester Railway Station

Overnight: n/a
Climb: n/a
Cycle: n/a

After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, we say our goodbyes and the trip ends. A bus will pick you up from the hotel door (so no more cycling!) and transfer you, your bike and luggage to Chester where there are excellent train connections all over the UK.

Trip information

Included

Cycle & Mountain leader(s)

Qualified first aid staff

Support driver and vehicle (with bicycle maintenance facilities)

Transfer from Glasgow to Glen Nevis at the beginning of the trip

7 x nights’ accommodation

7 x breakfasts

All luggage transported during your trip

Transfer from Betws‐y‐Coed to Chester Railway Station on the final day

Not included

Lunches, evening meals, drinks and snacks

Bikes and helmets (these are available to hire from us for £150)

Insurance


Trip suitability

Make no mistake, this will be a gruelling and very demanding challenge with some very long days cycling and climbing. You have to be prepared for some days in the saddle which will include some considerable climbs through very rugged landscapes.

Your cycle leader will determine the pace and if you are unable to keep to this pace, you will be asked to either travel in the support vehicle or you will be provided with detailed route notes to continue at your own pace.

In the lead up to the event, build up your fitness in plenty of time with a sprinkling of running, cycling, walking, swimming and any other cardio activity you enjoy. Remember to eat properly, don’t overdo it and have rest days. You will need to get hill practice in ‐ both walking and cycling!


Food and accommodation

Accommodation for this trip is a mixture of B&Bs and hostels. You will be sharing rooms unless you specify upon booking and pay the additional single‐room supplement of £160.

All breakfasts are included which generally consist of cereals, toast, yogurts, fruit and cooked items.

Lunches will be eaten in designated cafes and cost around £5‐£6 each.

Evening meals and drinks are not included in the price. Most evenings we will give you the opportunity to eat out as a group at a local pub/restaurant. Approximate costs per evening meal are £10‐£15.

Equipment

We recommend road/touring bicycles for this trip. Please contact us if you are unsure whether your bike is suitable.

Bikes are not included in the price, but are available to hire from us. It is very important that if you bring your own bike it is in good working order and you bring plenty of spares. Please bring at least four spare inner tubes. You must bring suitable, reasonably new tyres (e.g. Continental Gatorskin, Bontrager Race Hardcase; Schwalbe Marathon Plus). We do not provide helmets but we strongly recommend you bring your own to wear.

You will need the following clothing and equipment:

FOR CYCLING

  • Cycling helmet
  • Cycling shoes
  • Fleece/jumper
  • Cycling shorts
  • Base layer top (not cotton)
  • Waterproof top
  • Windproof top
  • Bicycle lock
  • 4 x spare inner tubes
  • Front & rear cycling lights
  • High‐visibility clothing
  • Snacks for cycling
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun protection (suncream/sunhat)
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Small backpack/Camelback for personal items whilst cycling
  • Any personal medication

N.B. Due to the tight schedule of the trip and distances involved, it is essential that you bring front and rear bicycle lights and high‐visibility clothing.

FOR CLIMBING

  • Sturdy walking boots/shoes (that have been worn in)
  • Walking trousers (not jeans)
  • Base layer top & bottoms (not cotton)
  • Fleece top
  • Warm clothing (including hats/gloves)
  • Waterproof top
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Sun protection (suncream/sunhat)
  • Small rucksack + waterproof liner (it is vital that everything inside your rucksack is waterproofed – rucksacks don’t tend to be very waterproof)
  • Headtorch + spare batteries
  • Two litres of water
  • Zinc oxide tape/blister plasters
  • Snacks
  • Any personal medication
  • Walking poles (optional)

N.B. Due to safety reasons, it is essential that you are carrying waterproof top and bottoms, plenty of warm clothing and headtorches whilst on the mountain. There will be no exceptions, your mountain leaders will be checking this before each climb.

In addition to the above, you will need a large holdall/suitcase to be carried on the support vehicle, a wash bag, a change of clothing for the evenings, electronics chargers and any snacks you wish to bring. Earplugs are also a good idea if sharing rooms. Due to limited space on the support vehicle, please do not bring excessive luggage.


Weather and clothing

This is Britain, the weather is highly unpredictable and can be very feisty even in midsummer. Ensure you bring all the clothing detailed in the kit list and it is of the highest quality you can afford. The dryer and warmer you are, the more you will enjoy the experience. It can be 30˚C in the valleys but still there can be strong winds and snow whilst climbing the peaks, so be prepared at all times.

You will be cycling for long periods in all weathers so please come with suitable cycle clothing which include light waterproof and windproof tops.

There are no clothes washing opportunities on this trip, so please pack accordingly.

Please get in touch if you would like further advice about clothing or equipment.


Luggage

All luggage will be transported between your accommodation as you cycle. You are therefore limited to one suitcase/large holdall and one daysack/grab‐bag. Please also bring a suitable bag to carry waterproof, windproof and snacks whilst cycling. This could be a small pannier, handlebar bag or small daysack.

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