3 Lakes Challenge

Kayak England's three longest lakes in 12 hours? Challenge accepted.   

As an outdoor adventure in the Lake District, our kayaking challenge - the 3 Lakes Challenge - is up there with the best of them. It is no surprise to us that for novices and veterans of kayaking alike, it has become one of Distant Horizon's most popular events.

What is the 3 Lakes challenge?

It is the ultimate lake-based kayaking challenge. Based in the Lake District, we are in the perfect position to take on three of England's longest and most beautiful lakes - Coniston water, Windermere and Ullswater. The challenge is to kayak each of them, totalling 35km by sea kayak in under 12 hours. Are you ready?

Why Do the 3 Lakes Challenge?

For lots of people who take on our kayaking challenge, it is used as a charity challenge through which they can do some fundraising for a charity that is of particular importance to them. Equally, we have loads of eager challengers who simply want to get stuck into an outdoor adventure that has a real sense of achievement at the end.

It might be that you are experienced in kayaking and are looking for another exciting kayaking challenge or that as a novice and Lakes-lover, you want to experience the Lake District from a new, adrenaline fuelled angle.

Whatever your reasons for doing the 3 Lakes Challenge, we are certain it'll be an event to remember. 

The route:

  • Distance - 35km 
  • Duration - 12-14 hours
  1. Start at Coniston village and sea kayak the length of the lake
  2. Vehicle transport to the Southern end of Windermere
  3. Kayak the length of Windermere
  4. Vehicle transport from the Northern end of Windermere to Glenridding
  5. Kayak Ullswater to finish at Pooley Bridge

We provide:

  • Evening briefing session prior to event
  • Qualified and highly experienced sea kayak guides
  • All technical kayaking equipment and clothing
  • Vehicle support with technician
  • Catering and refreshments throughout the day
  • Photo memoir of the event
  • 15% off at Cotswold Outdoor

Accommodation in our Self-catering lodge is available in addition to the event fee; due to the lengthy duration of the event we advise people to stay in the local area the night before and after.  Our lodge provides basic but comfortable communal accommodation for up to 12 people and is for private hire.  For groups interested in alternative accommodation we can source a variety of options.

The Sea Kayak

The Distant Horizons 3 Lakes Challenge event is unique in the fact that we use sea kayaks, which are ideal for long distance open water journeys, especially on the larger lakes found in the Lake District.  Due to the speed capabilities and also the ease of handling of sea kayaks in windy conditions they are very efficient and ideally suited to novice and experienced paddlers alike. 

Secure Sea Kayaking for Beginners

If you are a total beginner to sea kayaking don't worry as we provide a detailed briefing session before getting on the water, giving everyone the chance to grasp the required sea kayaking techniques.

Open Events:

Although our events tend to be arranged for bespoke groups if you would like to do the 3 Lakes Challenge as an individual or with a friend please contact us as we may be able to combine you with a similar group, or design a Lake District sea kayaking challenge event that suits your group size and needs.

Here are the dates we currently have availability on a 3 Lakes open event

  • June 29th 2019

3 Lakes with bikes and 3 Lakes Mammoth:

We also run the 3 Lakes sea kayaking challenge event to including biking between the lakes and as a 2 day challenge taking in Helvellyn for the super keen.  If you interested in increasing the challenge to a 3 Lakes with bikes or 3 Lakes Mammoth you can find more details in the 'Next Level' and 'Endurance' section of our challenge events homepage


Click on the video link to the right to help you get a better feel for the 3 Lakes Challenge and the distances involved.

The 3 Lakes sea kayaking challenge event is something different to the various mountain walking challenges, and if you are looking for a change the 3 Lakes challenge event could be the perfect choice. Whatever your motivations the 3 Lakes Challenge event is simply one of the best you will ever undertake.  Come and see the Lake District from the best seat (kayak) in the house - guaranteed.  For further details on this Lake District sea kayaking challenge event please contact our office on 017684 86465.

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At A Glance

Price Per Person: From £130 + vat

Activity Level: 3A
More info

Dates: April - October

Group Size: Up to 20

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