What are the most popular hiking and mountaineering challenges in the UK

There are a lot of hiking and mountaineering challenges to undertake in the UK that range from single-day peak bagging to multi-day treks across diverse and often challenging terrains. Each offers its own unique set of difficulties and rewards, making them popular among hikers and mountaineers.

You can also mix them up a little which is exactly what my friend Claire Hughes did in 2024. Raising money for the Great Northeast Air Ambulance, Claire decided to complete a 1,000km Tri-Nation Challenge that involved cycling 891km, paddling 64km across the longest lakes and walking 45km up and down the highest mountain in Wales, England and Scotland. She did this solo, carrying all her equipment on her bike, including a packraft she used to the cross the lakes, with the bike then strapped across the bow of the raft when she was paddling. You can follow Claire @ordinarygirladventure

Claire, celebrating completing her Tri-Nation Challenge with friends and a can of Peak Baggers Pale Ale.

Listed below are some of the best-known hiking and mountaineering challenges in the UK, all worth doing.

The National Three Peaks Challenge which involves climbing the highest peaks in Scotland (Ben Nevis), England (Scafell Pike), and Wales (Snowdon) within 24 hours.

The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge. A 24-mile (38.6 km) circular route in the Yorkshire Dales, completed within 12 hours tackling the Peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough

The Welsh 3000s Challenge which involves Climbing all 15 peaks over 3,000 feet (914 meters) in Wales within 24 hours, without using any form of transport. Peaks include Snowdon, Garnedd Ugain and Crib Goch.

The Lake District 3000s Challenge that means climbing all four peaks over 3,000 feet in the Lake District in one day being Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn and Skiddaw.

The Pennine Way. A long-distance hiking trail that stretches 268 miles (431 km) from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders.

The West Highland Way. A 96-mile (154 km) trail from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands that includes Loch Lomond, Rannoch Moor, and Glen Coe.

The South West Coast Path which is the longest National Trail in the UK, running 630 miles (1,014 km) along the coastline of southwest England from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset.

The Skye Trail. An unofficial, challenging route on the Isle of Skye, covering around 128 km (80 miles) from Rubha Hunish in the north to Broadford in the south that includes the Trotternish Ridge and the Cuillin mountains.

The Great Glen Way. A 79-mile (127 km) route from Fort William to Inverness, following the Great Glen fault line that features passes through lochs, including Loch Ness, and follows the Caledonian Canal.

The Hadrian's Wall Path. A 84-mile (135 km) trail that follows the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hadrian's Wall from Wallsend in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west.

Claire, celebrating completing her Tri-Nation Challenge with friends and a can of Peak Baggers Pale Ale

A can of Peak Baggers Pale Ale available from the Adventurers Drinks Company

Photos by George Hopkins