Long Distance Challenges in the UK

Although the best known 24hr challenge is the Bob Graham Round in the Lake District, it is not the only such challenge in the UK or even the Lake District itself. As more people have completed the BGR so they have sought to attempt similar feats in their own back yard as it were.

The table below compares some of the better known mountain challenges in the UK. I have only included those that see regular (or reasonably regular) attempts. There are a lot of 24hr challenges that appear each year in The Fellrunner magazine where someone has simply created a route for their own enjoyment. Some will possibly never get repeated. Some are done quietly with a few mates and this is only found out about years later when someone else publishes details of it.

Since starting this page a site has been developed specifically devoted to long distance challenges in the UK. Rather than duplicate that effort here, take a look at the Gofar site.

Name Region Distance (Km) Ascent (m) First completed Successful attempts Notes
Bob Graham Round Lake District 101 8010 1932 (1960) The original and most popular challenge.
Paddy Buckley Round Snowdonia 97 8920 1982 c. 67 Tougher than the BGR
Charles Ramsay Round Lochaber, Scotland 90 8780 1978 69 The hardest of the classic rounds, even though it is the shortest.
Joss Naylor Challenge Lake District 64 5070   46 A linear route rather than a round. You have to be fifty to do this one, but you only have twelve hours!
The Three Thousanders Lake District 78 4500 Unknown Many Perhaps the most popular of the long distance walks.
The Three Thousanders Snowdonia 50 4500 Unknown Many A point to point route between the two tops at either end.

So how do the three main rounds compare? Well they are all fairly equal in terms of distance and height gain, with the height gain increasing as the distance decreases.

  • The Bob Graham is best known and is mainly on well marked tracks.
  • The Paddy Buckley has a few paths to follow but large sections are poorly trod.
  • The Ramsay Round is mainly rough ground.
  • The Ramsay Round is the remotest in terms of support as vehicular access on the round is limited. It is possible at Fersit to get to within 1Km of the Loch Treig dam.