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Sat 09 Jun 2018

In aid of NSPCC



What to expect


What you will do


Ways to pay


All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Why book with Charity Challenge

Level of Difficulty

How do I join a team for this challenge?

Bike and Kayak Equipment

Clothing and Equipment


Group Management and Leadership



Responsible Tourism

Challenge Timings

Getting There


Food & Drink


Safety advice for the NSPCC Chasing the Sun Challenge


Why book with Charity Challenge

  • Everything included from the moment you arrive. Unlike other operators we include everything from the moment you arrive, including a breakfast buffet, packed lunch, snacks during the challenge and a celebration buffet dinner at the end.
  • Hire of mountain bikes and kayaks is included in the cost.
  • The very best Leaders, who are fully qualified, highly experienced, knowledgeable and fun. They will do everything to help you complete the challenge and have a great time doing it.
  • Fully qualified mountain biker and kayak leaders who can also provided expert instruction to guide you through each activity.
  • Mountain biking in one of the Lake Districts most famous mountain biking area of Grizedale forest.
  • Summit the iconic Lake District peak, the Old Man of Coniston, 803m high.
  • Kayak on the historic Coniston Water, scene of Donald Campbell and his famous Bluebird.

Level of Difficulty

We have two levels of difficulty so that you can choose how much to challenge yourself.

Classic - This is our hugely popular difficulty level which is graded as tough. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind, but perhaps haven’t taken on a multi-activity challenge before. You will not been to an expert mountain biker or kayaker, just somebody with a willing sense of adventure.

  • Climbing to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston – 10km, 803m, approx. 3-4 hours.
  • Mountain bike 12km through Grizedale Forest, included the lung-pumping ascent of the hill into the forest, approx 2 hours.
  • Kayak for 1.5km around Coniston Water, approx 1.5 hours.

Extreme - For those wanting to test themselves to their limit we have introduced a new 'extreme' version of this incredible challenge.

  • Extended trekking route, summiting the Old Man of Coniston and then completing the classic loop along the northern ridge and descending via Levers Water. 12km trek,
  • Extreme bike ride. Once you have completed the grueling ascent into the forest you then complete a loop of the famous mountain bike trails of Grizedale forest before descending. Over 24km of off-road terrain.
  • Test yourself further with a intense 3km kayak on Coniston Water.

How do I join a team for this challenge?

The NSPCC Lakes Adventure Challenge is a team event and is not run as an individual, against the clock challenge. You will be allocated a team that you will take part in the challenge with. We will email everyone with the team lists 1 week prior to the challenge.

Choosing your team.

Each team will need to be a minimum of 10 participants, and any team that doesn’t meet this minimum number will be joined with another team. Final team lists will be sent around prior to the event.

If you wish to ensure that you are in the same team as other people then please indicate this on the booking form. If you need to change this then please email

If you have a group of 10 friends or colleagues then you will be assigned your own team. Otherwise you will be joined together with other people to form teams of between 10 and 15 people.

How will you allocate people into teams together?

In order to help us match teams correctly, please indicate on your booking form the speed you wish to complete the challenge in. Please note that during the challenge we can alter teams to allow those going faster/slower to move at their desired speed, so please don’t worry about this!

When you book onto this challenge you will be asked what speed you would like to complete the challenge in: faster (approx. 5-6 hours) medium (approx. 6-7 hours) and leisurely (approx. 7-8 hours).

As an example, the faster group will aim to complete each section in the following time:

10km trek (with approx. 800m ascent) 2.5 hours
12km off road cycle 1.5 hours
1.5km kayak 1.5 hours

For the leisurely group:

10km trek (with approx. 800m ascent) 4 hours
12km off road cycle 2 hours
1.5km kayak 2 hours

What if I am doing the EXTREME route?

All participants who sign up for the EXTREME route will automatically be assigned into a team doing this version of the challenge.

If you have people you wish to be kept in the same team as then please still indicate who they are on the booking form.

What if I am doing this challenge by myself?

No problem! Lots and lots of people will be in the same position. We will try to put all the individual participants into teams of other individual participants.

Bike and Kayak Equipment

The hire of all bikes and kayaks, along with relevant safety equipment is provided for you on this challenge and is included in the cost.

If you wish to bring your own bike then please let us know prior to the challenge by emailing

If you choose to bring your own bike then it is your responsibility to make sure that it is suitable for the terrain covered during the cycle section. This section takes you along the mountain bike trails of Grizedale Forest. It includes steep ascents and descents over loose terrain. Only Mountain Bikes are suitable for this challenge. You must also bring your own helmet.

You will be paddling two-person, sit-on-top kayaks that are designed to be extremely stable. You will be sharing the kayak with another participant from your group. Full safety instruction is provided by our qualified leaders and these same leaders will accompany you on the water incase of any difficulties.

Clothing and Equipment

Equipment of good quality and durability could make the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, you may wish to change kit between each activity. You will be able to leave any extra equipment at the event base.
A full kit list for this challenge can be found here. Once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoor Hire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Trek Section.
Waterproof and well-worn in boots will be indispensable for the trek. The terrain is uneven and can be very rough, so it is vital that you use a strong pair of canvas or leather boots with good ankle support for this challenge, coupled with a pair of good quality walking socks. Trainers are not suitable. The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated - so make sure that you train with this. Other essentials are high quality gore-tex waterproof and windproof jackets and trousers, as well as technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts. We would like to emphasise that jeans should not be worn on this challenge.

Bike section.
You may wish to bring a pair of cycling shorts or trousers to wear for this section. You will have the opportunity to change into them before completing this section. Whilst you are welcome to take your day-sack on the bike with you, we would recommend that you keep this iback at the event base to make the bike section more comfortable.

Kayak Section.
You do not need to have a wetsuit or swimming costume for this section. Most people complete this part of the challenge wearing the same clothes that they used for the bike and trek. However, if you wish to bring separate clothes for this section then you will have the opportunity to change into them before undertaking this section of the challenge. You will need to wear shoes or trainers whilst in the kayaks, so you may wish to consider bringing along a spare pair of old trainers.

The hire of bikes and kayaks is included in the cost of this challenge. Any safety equipment required for the biking and the kayaking will be provided, including helmets and life vests.


This challenge will have you biking, kayaking and hiking across   the glorious and exciting Lake District, therefore requiring a moderate to good level of fitness. The ideal training for this challenge is, naturally, hill walking and cycling. If you do not have the luxury of living near the hills, then the stairs at home (or an office block) are a great place to start. Most training should be part of an ongoing lifestyle, but if this is not the case then you should begin training 2-4 months prior to the challenge and gradually build up as suggested. Remember to use the walking boots that you will be wearing on the challenge in order to get them worn in, and take the daysack that you will be using during the challenge. There is no substitute for walking in the hills so try if possible to get out on a weekend and train in an area with steep hills. You should progress to training with your boots on from week 4 at the latest, but preferably from week 1. The more you exercise before the expedition, the more you will get out of it. Also see your Charity Challenge Fitness Training notes.

Your training should also include some cycle training, preferably including some hills. The biking section of this challenge takes place on off-road trails, but you should gear your training to being comfortable on a bike and have experience of cycling up hills.

For the kayaking, no prior experience is necessary, although if you have the opportunity to go to a local kayaking club then this would help you when you arrive for the challenge. Kayaking requires good upper body strength, so if possible doing some exercises or light weights to build your strength would be advantageous.

Group Management and Leadership

Our maximum group size for this challenge is 200. Charity Challenge operates all of it’s challenges as team events. This challenge is not run as an individual event so please come prepared to help other members of the team. As all of our challenges have a strong ‘charity fundraising’ aspect then this is a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people who have incredible stories to tell.

We employ experienced and fully qualified challenge leaders to accompany and lead you. Our leaders are first aid qualified and have extensive experience in leading challenge events throughout Britain and overseas. They will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group and will be carrying full safety equipment and mountain first aid kits with them at all times. They will also be in constant radio communication with the vehicle drivers and ‘base camp’ throughout the challenge. Qualified mountain bike leaders and kayak instructors are also employed to guarantee that you are very well looked after at all times and have access to expert advice.


As you know, the weather in the UK can be highly unpredictable and at times erratic, so being prepared is the key! We will run UK challenges between April and October, and although the summer months of June-August should be, in general, warmer, sunnier and more stable in terms of the weather conditions, we all know that this isn’t always the case. Please check the weather forecasts up to ensure that you bring clothing suitable for warm sunny walking weather and also sudden wind and downpours should they occur.


Despite its location in the UK, the difficulty of this challenge should not be underestimated. The terrain on this challenge varies throughout and can be rough at times, so be prepared! The path on the trek is steep and uneven whilst the biking section follows off-road forest trails and as such can be uneven.


Responsible Tourism

At Charity Challenge we are committed to responsible tourism. On this challenge in particular, we always liaise with the rangers at the Lake District National Park and the Grizedale Forestry Commission office to make sure that we minimise our impact on the local environment. Our leaders care passionately for the environment and will be keen to talk to you about how you can do your bit to conserve the local area and enhance your experience. We believe that acting responsibly should add to your enjoyment of the challenge so we won’t lecture you about not dropping litter.

Instead we’d like to encourage you to support ‘Fix the Fells’ who maintain the excellent footpaths we will be walking on. Fix the Fells have an excellent website that provides information on their fantastic work and allows you to donate to them directly. Their website can be viewed here.

We would also like to encourage all our participants to spend a little extra time in the local area. Why not consider booking an extra night in a local B&B, and go out for a meal in one of the excellent local pubs after the challenge? Not only will you be able to celebrate your achievements but you will also be putting more money back into the local area. For local accommodation options check out the GoLakes website.

For extra information, please visit our Responsible Tourism page.


Challenge Timings

You will be sent precise timings and locations 1 month prior to the start of this challenge.

You will need to make your way to the challenge event venue for 7.30am on the Saturday morning. This will give you enough time to register, grab some breakfast and be there for the official safety briefing at 8am.

You should expect to finish your challenge by 6pm on the Saturday. If you are travelling by public transport then please try to book a flexible ticket in case you finish earlier or later.

N.B. Although this is the planned time for finishing delays can happen. We highly recommend that you try not to travel until you have given yourself time to recover and rest after the challenge. Please consider staying an extra night in the area.

Getting There

Exact timings and instructions will be sent 1 month prior to the challenge date.

The address for the event venue is:

John Ruskin School

Lake Road,



LA21 8EW

Directions: from the M6 follow sign posts to Windermere, and then on to Ambleside along the A591. From Ambleside follow the A593 for approx. 20 minutes till you reach the village of Coniston. The school is on the left hand side and sign posts will direct you to the event venue. Free parking will be provided.


This is a one day event, and overnight accommodation is not included. If you wish to camp the night before and/or after, camping places are available at the venue at a cost of £15 per pitch per night.

These camping facilities are basic, but toilet and shower facilities will be available inside the school along with water. There are several excellent pubs in Coniston village which is a 2 minute walk from the school.

Please book your camping spot when you register for this challenge, or contact

Food & Drink

You will be provided with a breakfast buffet when you arrive for the challenge, and a packed lunch during the day along with snacks during the transition between activities. Upon completing your challenge a celebration buffet dinner will be available. You may also wish to bring your own snacks to help power you through the day.



Participants will be able to utilise the bathroom facilities in the morning prior to the challenge, as well as after the hike and again at the end of the day. However, during the challenges such facilities will be limited to the great outdoors!

Safety advice for the NSPCC Chasing the Sun Challenge

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!

Here are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • The terrain on the challenge is often rocky and in wet conditions can be extremely slippery. Please make sure that your walking boots have good grip. Trainers are not appropriate as they lack grip.
  • The weather on the summits of the hills can be very different to down in the valleys. Please make sure you carry an additional warm layer, waterproof jacket and trousers and a hat and gloves.
  • Always wear the safety equipment provided to you for the biking and kayaking activities.
  • We employ qualified instructors for each activity. Please listen carefully to the instructions given.
  • This is an all day challenge. Ensure that you eat lots throughout the day and keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.


Your challenge leader will have a mobile phone and radios in case of emergencies and the team are trained to deal with any emergency situations. The event is not run as a race though and you will not be expected to walk or cycle at a pace beyond your capabilities. Should you find yourself unable to continue for any reason, you will be transferred back to the start point by safety vehicle.

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:

Charity Challenge

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