Ben Nevis by Night
Ben Nevis (Gaelic translation ‘Mountain of Heaven’) is the highest point in Scotland and the British Isles, standing at the lofty height of 1343m (roughly 40,00ft). Reaching the summit of this mountain is a long, arduous uphill trek. Undertaking it at night is an unforgettable and arduous challenge, with our way lit only by the moon and our torches. We set off just after sunset and should be at the summit to experience the sunrise. As we descend, we can see the spectacular landscapes open up before us as the day grows lighter. We celebrate our huge achievement with a slap-up breakfast!
Walking Challenges UK
What is a Walking challenge?
A great relaxing way to raise funds for your favorite charity is by participating in walking challenges in the UK. Walking challenges are fun, fulfilling and enable you to fully enjoy and engage with the route you take. You can find walking events that take you through parks, cities, countryside or even to the top of mountains. Varying in length and difficulty they are a great way to keep fit and healthy whilst raising money for a great cause
Anyone can take part in charity treks or a sponsored walk or charity trek whatever their level of fitness, this makes them ideal for anyone wanting to take part as a way to raise money for a great cause. There is less rigorous training or preparation needed compared to a run, but you’ll still want to get yourself ready as you need endurance more than anything. Any walks for charity can provide great motivation to keep up your training regime and propel you to the finish line.
Training and Preparation
Walking challenges can vary from a 5k walk or 10k walk up to larger challenges such as walking marathons or even sponsored walks for charity that may span a few days. You will need a good amount of endurance as many challenges incorporate uphill and downhill sections that will tire you out quickly if you are not used to long distance walking. It is critical for you to exercise regularly in order to improve your endurance and begin to build up stronger leg muscles that can withstand hours and hours of use.
Ideally, you should begin training by walking three times a week – use a mix of leg exercises combined with core strengthening techniques to build and improve muscle. And walk, a lot. You can easily incorporate walking in to your lifestyle – a trip to the shop, visiting family or friends etc can all be done of foot rather than taking the car.
You’ll want to try and give yourself some routes that you can practice on and try to extend the length of these walks. Start off with just a few miles and slowly try to build up to longer distances.
Mix it up
Once you’ve got accustomed to walking longer distances, you can then start to take your activity on to different types of surfaces. These should ideally include grass, hill and pavement, and in different weather conditions.
Your training program should never be all work and no play – you can reward yourself with treats or goals at the end of walks. Instead of taking the car to the movies, walk instead and use that as your motivation.
Food for thought
People mostly worry about what to eat or drink during training and at the walking event. There are no hard and fast rules to this – jut make sure to drink lots of water or sports drinks to keep yourself hydrated and energised. You need to have a healthy daily intake of proteins and carbs to maintain your energy levels and ensure you don’t burn out. During the walk you can eat carbs and energy containing foods to keep you going to fight the fatigue.
Get the right Gear
Apart from nutrition, invest in some good clothing and walking shoes or boots. Although walking boots or shoes can be a bit costly, they are durable and won’t give you blisters. Similarly, you want to buy high-quality socks that won’t rub your feet too much and allow your feet to breath. Also it’s worth having a second pair spare just in case they get wet during the walk.
A majority of walkers prefer to wear lightweight trousers and a sports top for the main event. Whilst not essential, like socks, they will allow your skin to breath and keep sweat away whilst keeping you warm. Furthermore, carry a pair of gloves to keep if you will be walking in cold areas.
You may also consider carrying a small emergency kit with things such as plasters or creams should you get stung by the wildlife. There are also a variety of gadgets you can take with you too. If you are walking an unfamiliar route then a mapping or GPS system will come in very handy in case you get lost. If the route will be over a few days, then a battery pack for your mobile phone will help in case of emergencies.
Taking part in a challenging walk can be exhilarating and rewarding, but don’t forget to take adequate rest during the training period. Do not push yourself beyond your limit and most of all, enjoy the experience!
Top Walking Challenges in the UK
We have picked out the best walking challenges taking place in 2020. We have lots more listings available, just click on the 'Walking Events' tab at the top of this page to find them.
Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge
Spend a weekend out in the Yorkshire countryside in September. Scaling 3 peaks in two days this is a difficult but very rewarding event. With some fantastic scenery including the limestone outcrops and unusual rock formations.
Charity Walk Course
Date & Prices
Registration Fee: £49 + Fundraising Target: £400
Arrive Scotland (Day 1)
There will be transport provided from Glasgow Central train station, departing there at 5pm for the 3-hour drive to Fort William. We gather at our trek start point and have a good meal to boost our energy for the night ahead.
After a thorough briefing, we set off after sunset at approx 10.30pm on our exciting night challenge! Equipped with head torches, our path up the mountain will show up quite easily most of the way. Our ascent kicks off quite steeply, but then settles into a steadier uphill gradient. We climb steadily to Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe, then will be able to see the terrain on either side of our path change from green vegetation to stony, barren slopes. Trekking up at night is a very different experience than during the day; our senses grow used to the darkness and we can enjoy the silence and the remoteness of this mountain, and the views of the night sky. We now tackle the famous ‘zig-zags’ – a well-maintained section that criss-crosses its way gradually up the otherwise-steep gradient. As we get higher up it will get colder and we will be getting tired; the path is also less clear at points, so we take it steadily and carefully. The sky will be lightening as dawn approaches, and as we crossing the rocky boulder field that marks the approach to the summit, we may be able to make out the cairn that marks the summit – we’ve made it! At the moment, we are the highest people in Britain!
Summit Sunrise (Day 2)
Ascent approx 5-6 hours; descent approx 2-4 hrs
If the weather’s clear, there is no better reward for our efforts than to see the sun rise from the summit. In good visisbility we can enjoy wonderful views over Glen Nevis, Loch Linnhe and Loch Eil, as well as the ruins of the observatory at the top of the mountain. The summit is notorious for its cloud cover, however, though at sunrise we may have more luck than later in the day. Expect to get chilly at the top – the summit is on average 9ºC colder than the base. We return the same way, and marvel at the views on the descent as the sun rises higher – it’s amazing to be able to see what we climbed up in the dark! The descent will be much quicker and less arduous, but still tiring and can be hard on the knees. We return to our base for a big celebration breakfast!
Depart Fort William
We depart Fort William and transfer back to Glasgow where the trip ends.