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Three Peaks, Ten Tors - a Cicerone guidebook to UK Challenge Walks

Cover of Three Peaks, Ten Tors
3 Jun 2010
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.9cm
1st Published
14 Feb 2007
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Three Peaks, Ten Tors

And other challenging walks in the UK

by Ronald Turnbull
Book published by Cicerone Press

A guidebook to the best UK challenge walks. The 15 routes include the 3 peaks (National, Yorkshire & Lancashire), Dartmoor Ten Tors, the Lyke Wake Walk, Across Wales Walk, the Lairig Ghru, the Exmoor Hundred, the Welsh 3000s, Lakes 3000s and the Cairngorm 4000s. With notes on planning, schedules, how to choose the challenge and much more.

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A look both serious and humorous at what it takes to do a long-distance or challenge walk – the mental toughness, experience, the slight madness – plus notes on planning and undertaking the best such routes.

Ronald Turnbull, veteran of many a long-distance and challenge walk, intersperses sound advice with wry recollections of his experience of the 3 Peaks Challenge and other such routes throughout the British Isles.

Suitable for aspiring or novice long-distance walkers, the guidebook provides tips on how to minimise the suffering, to stay safe, to raise money for charity perhaps, and to find a surprising amount of enjoyment along the way. Old hands will enjoy comparing their experiences with the author’s reminiscences of the highs and lows of long-distance routes.

Includes route outlines and schedules, tips on minimizing the environmental impact of challenge routes and suggestions for new ‘3 peaks’ and other long-distance routes.

Includes sections on the following routes:

•  National Three Peaks
•  Yorkshire Three Peaks
•  Lancashire Three Peaks
•  Three Peaks of Somerset
•  Ten Tors (Dartmoor)
•  Lyke Wake Walk
•  Derwent Watershed
•  Across Wales Walk
•  Lairig Ghru
•  Fifty from your Front Door (do-it-yourself)
•  Welsh 3000s
•  Lakes 3000s
•  Cumbria’s Old Country Tops
•  Cairngorm 4000s
•  Mourne’s Seven Sevens
•  Tranters’ Walk (Lochaber)

  • Seasons
    Throughout the year. Winter walking in remote areas is only for those with the necessary skills and experience.
  • Centres
  • Difficulty
    Walks from 25km (15.5 miles) to 80km (50 miles), and from 7 hrs to 34hrs. Some remote and mountainous areas. Good fitness and navigational skills (including night navigation) required.
  • Must See
    The group experience; the shared suffering; the sense of achievement. Crossing the finish line. Planning your next route. Wondering why you are doing it...
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Key to Route Maps   
Map: Location of the Walks



1 Introducing the Three Big Hills   
    Ben Nevis   
    Scafell Pike   

2 The National Three Peaks Challenge:
Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon within 24 hours   
    The route: Ben Nevis   
    The route: Scafell Pike   
    The route: Snowdon   

3 The National Three Peaks Challenge by Public Transport   
    The good, the bad, and the mystery socks   
    Challenges and the imagination   
    The Three Peaks by bus   


4 The Yorkshire Three Peaks: Pen-y-ghent, Whernside, Ingleborough   
    Route and schedule   
    Adventures of the invisible worm – a winter’s night on the Yorkshire Three Peaks   
    Up Ingleborough underground   

5 The Lancashire Three Peaks: Longridge Fell, Easington Fell, Pendle   
    Pen-y-ghent – or Pendle?   
    Route and schedule   

6 Everywhere has Three Peaks in it   
    Peaks in threes   
    The Three Peaks of Somerset: Dunkery Beacon, Periton Hill, Selworthy Beacon   
    The Marilyns: 1554 hills you probably haven’t heard of


7 A Weakness for Bleakness  

8 The Dartmoor Ten Tors: 50 Miles of Moorland over Two Days   
    History and geography   
    Ten Tors for grown-ups   

9 Mastery of Misery: The Lyke Wake Walk   
    The easiest walk in England?   
    Route and schedule   

10 The Derwent Watershed: 39 Miles in the Dark Peak
    For Peat’s sake   
    Route and schedule   

11 The Across Wales Walk: From the English Border to the Sea over Plynlimon   
    Walking across Wales   
    Brief route and schedule 

12 The Lairig Ghru: The Great Through-route of the Cairngorms 
    Through the Ghru   
    Route and schedule  


13 Time and Space: The Fundamentals   

14 Fifty from your Front Door: A Southern Upland Story

15 A Hundred Miles at Once: Two Days and Nights over Exmoor   

    The Exmoor Hundred   
    Survival skills: Sore legs and feeling sick  


16 The Welsh 3000s: 15 Peaks in One Day  
    Brief route and schedule   
    Foel-fras to Snowdon with extra fun   

17 The Lakes at Length: Lakes 3000s and Old County Tops  
    Stuffing the daffodils   
    Lakes 3000s brief route and schedule   
    Old County Tops brief route and schedule   

18 The Cairngorm 4000s: Five Granite Giants in a Day   
    Brief route and schedule   
    Getting the wind up   

19 The Mourne Seven Sevens: All Northern Ireland’s 700m Peaks   
    Brief route and schedule   
    Mourne is never less   

20 Tranter’s Walk: 18 Munros around Glen Nevis  
    The freedom to fall   
    Brief route and schedule   

21 Start/Finish   

Appendix 1 Information and Internet 

Appendix 2 Walks Summary   



'This is another excellent guide by Cicerone in which Ronald Turnbull takes a look both serious and humorous at what it takes to do a long-distance or challenge walk. Ronald, veteran of many a long-distance and challenge walk intersperses sound advice with wry recollections of his experience of the National Three Peaks Challenge and other such routes throughout the British Isles.

For aspiring or novice long-distance walkers, this guide provides tips on how to minimise the suffering, to stay safe, to raise money for charity perhaps, and to find a surprising amount of enjoyment along the way. Old hands will enjoy comparing their experiences with the author's reminiscences of the highs and lows of long-distance routes.'

(Keswick Reminder / March 2007)

'Extensive tips are given, including on how to approach the challenges, safety, raising money for charity and enjoying the experiences.

The style is light although the seriousness of the challenges is conveyed. Interspersed throughout the text are Turnbull's experiences and reminiscences, many of them in a humerous vien. It is evident that he is a member of the Fell Runners' Association.

For anyone with an interest in challenge walks, this is an interesting, amusing and informative read.'

(Irish Mountain Log / Summer 2007)

'Being a member of the LDWA, Ronald Turnbull is well known for his award-winning outdoor books. He spends most of his life outdoors and has a special interest in the various types of challenge walks.

In Three Peaks, Ten Tors, he takes a serious look at what it takes to do a long-distance, or challenge walk. And even thought the book touches on a serious subject the Turnbull humour is never far away.

Just reading the index and synopsis is enough to make one totally exhausted but for the real challenge enthusiast, the author sums it up nicely with his final sentences. 'Every pair of legs has, at the other end of a thinking brain. Let fly the imagination; then bend down and lace up the boots'.
This book is a must for all LDWA member and is highly recommended.

(Strider / August 2007)

Check out the review on the following website:


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