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Any keen hikers will be familiar with the famous three peaks challenge in which they have to conquer Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike – the three highest peaks in Wales, Scotland and England.
Traditionally, anyone attempting the Three Peaks Challenge has just 24 hours to complete it – summiting each peak and driving across the Britain to get to each one in time.
However, many people prefer to take their time, taking a few days or a long weekend to complete the challenge. This makes the entire experience more enjoyable, as it will give you more time to enjoy the views, take photos, eat decent food, even sleep in a bed rather than the car. For those with more time to spare, there are lots of other activities offered close to each of the peaks, so you won’t get bored.
At 1345m above sea level, Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the UK. Part of the Grampian Mountain range, it is an old volcano, which erupted for the last time millennia ago. If you have a bit of time on your hands, we recommend visiting Fort William, the picturesque, small town at the foot of the mountain. After your ascent, treat yourself with a large portion of haggis, neeps and tatties, and wash it down with a well-earned pint. For anyone not driving onward, the Ben Nevis Distillery is worth a visit – a guided tour of an old distillery, complete with a tasting, is the best way to end your stay in Scotland!
Next up is Scafell Pike, standing at 978m above sea-level, making it the highest peak in England. Though it is the smallest of the three peaks, it is also a tricky one to summit, as it has a very rocky and steep ascent. Situated in what is arguably the most beautiful areas of England – the Lake District – the views from the summit will reward the massive effort of the climb. If you have time, explore the area a bit and admire the many gorgeous lakes and the surrounding mountains before continuing onto the final peak.
Standing at 1085m, Snowdon is the highest peak in Wales – a wonderful experience to climb, offering many different routes up and down of all kind of difficulties. When you do make it to the summit, your reward is the tremendous view – so try to make sure you pick a nice day for it! On a clear day, hikers can see all the way to Ireland if they’re lucky, or at least to Anglesey and Pembrokeshire. Wales has a lot to offer for visitors after the final ascent, so take your time visiting the surrounding area if you can. There are many more mountains to hike up, amazing local food to sample, and fascinating history to discover, if you’re up for it!
By Catherine Mertens