Walking The British Three Peaks

Q. Do you have a walk I can download which covers the British 3 peaks.

If I need 3 separate walks that will be okay. I used your Yorkshire 3 Peaks Walk which was fine and am now planning to do the big one in September.

Thanks

Neil Gaskin, Newark


A. There isn't a single walk that includes the highest points in England (Scafell Pike), Scotland (Ben Nevis) and Wales (Snowdon) because the distance between each mountain is too great. (Ben Nevis to Scafell Pike is some 300km (188 miles) and Scafell Pike to Snowdon is another 240km (150 miles) or so!).

So you can either do all three mountains as a one day challenge - i.e. climbing all three mountains within a single 24 hour period by driving between each mountain and running up and down. This is of course quite tiring and you'll be doing at least one of them in the dark!

Alternatively, you can walk to all three summits as three separate walks on three separate days.

If you want to go for the 24 hour challenge option - then you will need to follow the shortest, straight-up and down route (and no sneaking a peek at the scenery):

For Ben Nevis (Scotland) walk: h100 Ben Nevis via The Tourist Path from Achintee, Fort William 

For Scafell Pike (England) walk: c111 Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head, Wast Water 

For Snowdon (Wales) walk: gw100 Mount Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) from Pen y Pass 

If you prefer to climb these three mountains at a more leisurely pace (and in the daylight) then any one of the following routes would suit your purposes.

Ben Nevis (Scotland):

Walks h100 h137 h154

Scafell Pike (England):

Walks c110 c111 c166 c172 c194 c197 c215 c233 c271 c370 c416 c453 c454

Snowdon (Wales):

Walks gw100 gw105 gw107 gw110 gw117 gw126 gw134 gw136 gw140 gw158 gw186 gw198

NB. All the above walk routes have downloadable GPS Waypoint files.

NNB. The Carn Mor Dearg Arete (Ben Nevis) and Crib Goch (Snowdon) are narrow edges with steep drops on both sides. They are not for the faint hearted and not recommended at all in thick weather.

Also see The Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge Walk & The Three Peaks of Wales

Hope this helps

Mike (Editor)


A. Hi Neil,

Having recently completed the Three Peaks (one a day over three days) I would agree with the recommendation of following the walks listed above.

I do not know if you have walked any of the mountains before and just how happy you are with the routes?

Ben Nevis is a straight forward yomp following a very established track, and as long as you turn right rather than left when you reach the tarn you will struggle to go wrong (excepting terrible weather of course), especially with the long line of fellow pilgrims that will no doubt be trekking up ahead of you.

It is lovely to reach the peak when it is crowned in snow, and this is by far the hardest and highest walk. Eat at the pub (looks like a barn) at the bottom, cracking food!

Snowdon again is walking by numbers, just follow the PYG track and do not make the mistake of going all the way up to Crib Goch as that will make your walk a whole lot more interesting (again easily avoided, just head left and continue past Llyn Llydaw - the lovely lake at the bottom of the mountain).

Do not buy a sausage butty at the cafe - poor quality and overpriced, even to a hungry walker.

Scafell Pike from Wasdale is far shorter than walking from Seathwaite, although a lot more up. Once you are on the route up it is straight forward, with a great scramble up a pile of scree.

At the top of this, turn left to head up to the peak and note the reddish rock colouration around here, as this really helps you on the way down (I have heard tales of walkers heading down into the wrong valley, so keep your eyes open - easy if you are watching out for it).

Make sure you eat at the Wasdale Inn - if the lamb stew is on it is great!

Good luck and enjoy them all.

Michael Love, Morecambe


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