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The festive period is always one of excess and come January everyone is thinking about how to lose those Christmas pounds.  Instead of signing up for a pricey gym membership, why not think about getting into the great outdoors to shift some of those inevitable Christmas pounds.  Choose one of the extreme challenges in the UK and really give yourself a target to work towards, I guarantee you’ll be pleased you did!

The good news is that most of the big events take place in some of the most stunning landscapes of the UK.  So it’s a fantastic excuse to pack up the whole family for a short break or family holiday in the UK.  Plus you’ll have a ready made fan club to support you during the challenge with the bonus of a great holiday at the end.


Fred Whitton Challenge

This is a one-day 112 cycle event held annually in the Lake District to commemorate the life of Fred Whitton, a former secretary of the Lakes Cycle Club.  The ride starts and finishes at Coniston and takes in some of the most challenging climbs throughout the Lake District such as Kirkstone, Whinlatter and the Hardknott Pass.  The annual event takes place in May every year but the route can now also be completed 365 days a year by yourself or as part of a team.  Either way, it’s an incredibly challenging but rewarding ride.  Choose one of our Lake District holiday cottages for a thoroughly deserved break to relax in after the ride.


The Fred Whitton


Hell Runner

Don’t be put off by the name but Hell Runner is the ultimate in trail running.  There are four events across the country where runners compete in at least a ten mile run across challenging terrain.  Get prepared for lots of steep hills, boggy conditions and running tracks and not a single distance marker in sight!  Try the one held in Staffordshire in February 2013 which takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Trentham Gardens.  You’ll finish very wet and very muddy but also extremely proud.  Relax in front of a roaring fire in your holiday cottage in the Peak District or perhaps choose a cottage with a hot tub to soothe your aching muscles.

Soothe aching muscles in a luxurious hot tub

Soothe aching muscles in a luxurious hot tub

The 14 Peaks

You’ve all heard of ‘The 3 Peaks Challenge’, an attempt to climb the highest peak in England, Wales and Scotland in 24 hours.  More extreme is the 14 Peaks Challenge which sees participants attempt to climb each of the 3000 feet high mountains in Wales in a 24 mile route from Snowdon to Foel Fras.  The 24 year record of 4 hours and 19 minutes is held by an experienced hill runner but at walking pace the challenge is usually completed in between 12 and 24 hours.  Climb each peak in a single journey and you’ll go down in history.  What an achievement!  Choose a cosy cottage in the Snowdonia National Park and enjoy your surroundings at a much slower pace.

Snowdonia, North Wales, June 2011


So, what are you waiting for? Sign yourself up for a challenge, get training over the winter and enjoy a great holiday next year!

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