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The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is renowned for being one of the most difficult but rewarding outdoor experiences.

Whether you’re participating to challenge yourself personally, attempting a group hike with your friends, or organising a charity fundraiser, the Three Peaks Challenge is a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the natural wonders of the Yorkshire countryside.

For those seeking an adventure, Yorkshire Escapes have compiled a guide to this ultimate test of endurance.

The National Three Peaks Challenge

The National Three Peaks Challenge takes place over 24 hours, and involves climbing Snowdon (1085m) in Gwynedd, Wales; Scafell Pike (978m) in the Lake District, England; and Ben Nevis, in the Grampian Mountains, Scotland. These three mountains are the highest in their respective countries and, put together, make up 3408 metres of ascent.

Although Ben Nevis alone tempts tens of thousands of climbers every year, The National Three Peaks Challenge has attracted the attention of thrill seekers for decades.

What is the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge is a great alternative for those who are up for adventure, but perhaps find the National Three Peaks Challenge too daunting.

It is only half the ascent of the National Three Peaks, but the Yorkshire Three Peaks still involves 24 miles of trekking within the space of 12 hours.

The three mountains, situated in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, are: Pen-y-ghent, Whernside, and Inglebrorough. Together, they make up 1585 metres of ascent.

This exciting challenge gives its participants more than just a test of will. It grants the rare opportunity to stop, breathe in the crisp air, and admire the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales countryside. Marvel at the remarkable sloping valleys and shadowed peaks of the Pennines from the summit of English mountains.

Self-Organised Events

Charity events and large groups who wish to take off on their own adventure can organise their own Three Peaks walk. This will allow you the freedom to choose which day you wish to tackle the climbs on, as well as the pace you are comfortable walking at.

It is recommended that you organise a team of at least 4 people for self-organised events, otherwise you should consider a scheduled group event for your safety. Plus, we believe team determination is the best tool for staying motivated and positive.

Can I Register my Three Peaks Challenge Event?

You might wish to register your challenge on the Three Peaks Challenge website. Here, you will be able to see who else is taking part this year, as well as sponsor any group charity walks that resonate with you.

Registering your challenge will also give you access to advice on how to complete your challenge safely and responsibly. You will receive a certificate of completion that can be framed to remind you of your achievement.

Should I Take My Dog on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge?

It is not advised to take dogs on the Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge. However, if you are just planning to just stroll along a section of this route, dogs should be fine.

Scheduled Events

Open Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenges are organised events between April and October each year, where you will be provided with a guide and access to safety equipment. Guides will usually split event goers into groups determined by fitness level, but you will have the opportunity to change groups depending on your walking pace.

Taking part in a scheduled event will be much safer than a self-organised event as your guides will be fully trained and experienced Three Peaks walkers. There will also be a safety support vehicle following the tribe to provide a quick and easy method of retirement.

How Much Does A Scheduled Three Peaks Challenge Cost?

Organised events usually cost about £75 per person to take part in, and a deposit may be required to secure your place on a particular day.

Yorkshire Three Peaks Training

Even if you are an experienced hiker, you will need to train to tackle this challenge, as it is famed for not being easy. In fact, it is known that even the fittest walkers struggle to complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

You will be walking nearly 25 miles in approximately 12 hours with plenty of uphill climbs. Physical fitness is paramount to ensuring that you avoid injury or strain.

Top tips for Three Peaks Training

1/ Start training as early as possible

Mountain treks are no easy feat, and attempting to climb three within the space of a day is mentally trying.

Start your training early, to slowly build up stamina gradually as you won’t be able to attain safe levels of fitness within a short space of time. Attempting to train too quickly can leave you with injuries, and prevent you from taking part in the challenge altogether.

2/ Focus on building stamina and strength

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge covers over 24 miles of terrain, nearly the length of a full marathon, but with many more uphill descents. Therefore it is important to focus your training on building strength and stamina through a mix of cardio exercises. These should be a mix of long and short walks.

This will help prevent your body from succumbing to exhaustion during the lengthy amount of time you spend on your feet.

3/ Build up your training gradually

One of the worst things you can do is push too hard and too quickly when training for any fitness based challenge. Your muscles need to be built up slowly in order to keep them healthy and avoid undue strains.

Training too quickly can also lead to long term injuries.

4/ Get out into the mountains

The importance of training your muscles for uphill walks before a mountain trek cannot be underestimated. Hiking uphill is much tougher on your leg and abdominal muscles than walking on a flat surface. Preparing your body properly for this will make the climb that much easier.

Mountain Walks have compiled a much more detailed Yorkshire Three Peaks Training Plan to make sure you are in tip top shape for your expedition.


The kit you bring with you is just as important as remembering to stay hydrated, you don’t want to be caught out missing something.


  • Walking boots with ankle support.
  • Hiking socks.
  • Waterproof trousers and jacket.
  • Gloves.
  • Hat (preferably one that covers your ears).
  • Warm/fleece outer layer.
  • Sunglasses (optional).
  • Backpack.
  • Thermal underwear.

You may wish to also bring a change of clothes.


  • Water container (minimum 1 litre).
  • High energy snacks (cereal bars, dried fruit, carbohydrate-heavy).
  • Walking poles if you need extra support.
  • Head torch.
  • Safety blanket.
  • First aid kit.

Climbing Individual Peaks

Prefer to climb just one mountain at a time? That is a perfectly achievable feat. Although the Three Peaks attracts over 100,000 visitors a year, each individual mountain has its own quirks and scenery that make them well worth a solo visit.


Panoramic views of the Pennines await you at the peak, and White Scar Cave will greet you at its base. Ingleborough is without a doubt Yorkshire’s most distinctive summit.

The trick is to catch this 732 metre high mountain on a clear day to fully appreciate its scope and magnitude, but it is a walk that you will likely never forget.


Whernside marks the highest point in Yorkshire and stands at 736 metres high. Overlooking the stone guarded river of Little Dale Beck, the most distinctive view from this mountain top is the Ribblehead Viaduct.

The slopes of Whernside are also home to the Force Gill and High Force waterfalls that tumble away from the main route up the mountain. Most climbers can be completely oblivious to these unique spectacles.


Pen-y-ghent is a 694 metre summit situated near the quaint little village of Horton on Ribblesdale. Starting in Horton on Ribblesdale the marked route will take you on a stunning 6 mile trek up the mountainside where you will be able to appreciate the full glory of the Yorkshire scenery, including Hull Pot, and return back to the village for a filling meal and warming cuppa.


There’s nothing like a warm bath to soothe aching muscles, which you will be able to find at any one of Yorkshire Escapes’ luxury properties. Selected accommodations house up to 24 guests, making them the ideal retreat for groups of adventurers aiming to tackle the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Contact us today to book a bespoke experience, for yourself or a large group, at any one of our luxury housescottages, or dog-friendly properties.

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