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Snowdonia National Park

There are a number of different routes you can take to complete the National Three Peaks entirely on foot. This is my route complete with information about each stage I separated the challenge into.

day one

The night before the challenge started I stayed at the Glen Nevis campground, It cost around £9 per person and £2 or £3 to park the car and pitch the tent. I chose this location simply for its ease of access to the foot of Ben Nevis. 

Ben Nevis to Glencoe Ski Resort

Starting at just after 6am I packed up and headed for the tourist track on Ben Nevis. I would accent and decent the same route on the mountain before joining the West Highland Way (after popping back to the camp ground shop to re supply) I then ran to the Glencoe Ski resort where I camped at the end of day one. This stage is pretty much as you'd expect, hilly and very uneven terrain. I was lucky with the weather during the majority of the time in the highlands but none better than day one. The views from Ben Nevis were spectacular but a large amount of snow on the ground made the mountain slightly more tricky to summit. Use of an Ice axe was pretty essential for my ascent. 

Scottish Highlands
Ben Nevis Summit
Distance - 34.2 miles
Elevation Gain - 9784ft
day two

Glencoe Ski Resort to Invernan Camp Ground

There are plenty of facilities at the Glen Coe Ski resort which is about 100 yards off the West Highland Way, pitching a tent for the night was pretty inexpensive again. There are decent showers (but you'll need small change to operate them) A bar/restaurant with a decent selection of food. I had a Haggis burger.. When in Rome..

 

After a decent sleep I rejoined the West Highland Way south towards Invernan. The terrain again was fairly rocky and there are definitely some steep tracks to deal with, but over all relatively straight forward. It's worth noting that this was probably my favorite section of the entire route through Scotland. 

Distance - 29.4 miles
Elevation Gain - 2723ft
Glencoe Scotland
Glencoe
day three

Invernan Camp Ground to Milngaive Premier Inn

This is the last section of the West Highland Way, Usually broken down into two or three walking sections the sections along Loch Lomond can be quite demanding. It's a beautiful route but the terrain was tough. In parts it felt more like a bouldering day than a run. Once you're past the Loch, the path flattens and you will wind through farms and countryside before reaching Milngavie, the official 'start/end' of the West Highland Way. Milngaive is a reasonably sized town with lots of amenities. I booked the Premier Inn as I entered town purely because it was on route. 

Distance - 38.5 miles
Elevation Gain - 4315ft 
day four

Milngavie Premier Inn to Hamilton Days Inn

At last some tarmac. After stopping in the centre of Glasgow for lunch. I continued down a series of A and B roads that essentially track the M74 down through the remainder of Scotland. I stopped after a short day at the Days Inn, In Hamilton. 

Distance - 23 miles
Elevation Gain - 1600ft
day five

Hamilton Days Inn to Abington Days Inn

As you track the M74 the smaller roads occasionally intersect the motorway. This is a usually a good indication of a town nearby. Although be warned, there isn't much along this stretch aside from motorway services and the occasional corner shop. 

Distance - 27.5 miles
Elevation Gain - 1847ft
day six

Abington Days Inn to Todhills (side of road)

From Abington I continued to track the M74 towards Carlisle, determined to make it to England by day six I presson on through Gretna Green towards Todhills where I slept in a field at the side of the road.

Distance - 53 miles
Evelation Gain - 1637ft
day seven

Todhills to Seathwaite

The approach to the Lakes is stunning if not a little hilly again. The paths and roads are good and there is plenty along the way. I made it down to Seathwaite and camped at the Edmonson farm. This is a standard starting point for an accent of Scafell Pike. 

Distance - 41 miles
Elevation Gain - 3242ft
day eight

Summit Scafell Pike to Windemere

After summiting Scafell Pike from Seathwaite I decended the mountain via the Old Dungeon Gyll route. Stopped for lunch and to dry off at the Hikers Bar and proceeded on to Windermere in the afternoon where I camped at the side of the road

Distance - 25 miles
Elevation Gain - 5138ft
day nine

Windermere to Garstang Best Western

I had intended to make it down to Preston on day nine but the rolling hills of the lake district made this too tall of an order for me. I arrived in Garstang pretty late and ran past the sign for the Best Western Golf Hotel. Set back a few hundred feet from the route it was worth the slight detour. I ordered a pizza and had it delivered to reception which made up for it! 

day ten

Garstang Best Western to Birkenhead Travel Lodge

Note that when you arrive in Liverpool you'll need to cross the river. There are no bridges and the tunnel does not allow pedestrians. The peir head to woodside ferry is a good option but be sure to check departure times.  

day eleven

Birkenhead Travel Lodge to Pandy Tudur

Shortly after leaving the city, you'll join the Welsh road. Between this point and the England/Wales border the road is a bit of a disaster. There is no footpath and further more there is no escape from fast on coming traffic which includes no shortage of articulated vehicles. Whilst technically legal to run/walk/cycle on this road I strongly advise against it. In fact I urge you to find an alternate route to this section of the journey. This is a very dangerous section of road. If you can find an alternative I suggest you do. Even a longer route may prove to be faster as I spent much of my time along here hiding in thorn bushes until it was safe to sprint another 50 yards. After this section which lasts around 6 miles theres some great cycle path and bridle way to lead you into North Wales. You may also be disappointed to learn that on my route there is no sign to tell you that you're crossing into Wales.  

day twelve

Pandy Tudur to Snowdon Summit

I spent the night at the side of the road in Pandy Tudor. I had intended to try and push on through the night to reach the Pen y Pass car park at first light and summit Snowdon via the Pyg Track before 6am, however. This last section is a bit of a slog. You'll wind your way through the valleys before reaching Llanrwst. It's a good idea to stock up here as you'll then work your way up the Glider Forrest track which is steep! Very steep. In the bright sunshine it offered some spectacular views but certainly took its toll. The good news is that once you make it to the top of the hill it's pretty much all downhill until your last approach to the car park and of course Snowdon it's self. I stopped for a bite to eat in Capel Curig in a road side cafe before ascending Snowdon and reaching the summit at 2:03pm on Friday 20th April for a total time of 11 days, 7 hours and 39 minutes.   

Mark Chase Snowdon Summit
Mark Chase Snowdonia National Park
Mark Chase Pyg Track Snowdon
Distance - 38 miles
Elevation Gain - 1729ft
Distance - 44 miles
Elevation Gain - 1164ft
Distance - 44 miles
Elevation Gain - 4177ft
Distance - 21 miles
Elevation Gain - 4369ft
Columbia Lake District National Park