Britain’s highest peaks, and the three mountains that make up the Three Peak Challenge. The challenge involves climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden and driving between them, within a 24 hour period.
Four of us are taking on the hills (understatement) on the 26th July, whilst Tom has kindly offered to be designated driver. It’s not an easy challenge, so we’re getting in some training beforehand. This weekend we had Box Hill Hike on our calendars.
It was an absolute scorcher in the UK, and a gorgeous day to explore the countryside.
Box Hill was packed with cyclists, walkers, families and Scouts out for the day. We parked at the National Trust Visitor Centre picked up a map of the 8 mile Box Hill Hike loop, and promptly walked in a massive circle looking for the trail start.
The trail is well signposted (once you find the start!), you just need to follow the red arrows. The route starts in the wood next to Donkey Green, along a track, opening out to an incredible view over Surrey and the surrounding area. It was such a clear day that you could see for miles.
The walk then leads downhill, down some steps into a valley. Before heading back up a lot of very steep stairs that had us huffing, puffing and sweating. Bit of a reality check!
Once you’re at the top of the steps, you continue onwards and down into Mickleham village, heading through the church yard, and past a pub- perfect for a pit stop if you’re not pressing onwards.
Our picnic was enjoyed in the Mickleham Gallops, a lovely large open field that couldn’t have been a more pleasant lunch stop (unless someone was handing out iced lemonade). We didn’t stop for long, knowing that we won’t have time for leisurely lunches during the challenge.
The walk was hilly, and not just small inclines, but a number of steps and steep, shorter slopes. Oh and it was very hot. I’d taken my Nathan hydration pack and was incredibly grateful for it. It even kept my Peanut Butter Kit Kat Chunky in solid form rather than a melty mess.
There is a final set of steps around point 9 (out of 10) on the map, where you’re efforts are rewarded with a bench and incredible view.
It’s downhill from there, shimmying between a barbed wire fence and a mass of stinging nettles. We remained in very high spirits, glad to be out of London for the day and loving the weather and our mini adventure.
One last, steep uphill slog…
and we had made it!! The National Trust suggests the walk will take about 4hrs plus stops, however if you’re relatively fit, you should breeze round a lot faster. It took us 3hrs 15mins, which incorporated our lunch and ‘view’ stops!
7.5 miles over very undulating ground, no tears and only one blister from Jo’s new walking boots. And four ice-creams well and truly earned!
If you want to take on the Box Hill Hike, you can download a map and walk guide or pick one up from the visitor centre. There are no loos on the trail, but I’m sure if you ask nicely at the pub they’ll let you use theirs. Bring water/snacks and a camera! Looking forward to more weekend adventures in the run up to the Three Peaks Challenge #girlstakethepeaks.