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Paddle and row the three longest lakes in the Lake District

Three Lakes Challenge is a fantastic team challenge event for teams of up to 12 people. It involves paddling and rowing the full length of Ullswater, Coniston Water and Windermere in under 12 hours.

Ullswater 7.5 miles in open Canadian Canoes

Coniston Water 5.5 miles in a 10 person Voyageur Canoe

Windermere 10.5 miles in a Whaler (traditional wooden rowing gig)

It can be held as a single team challenge or with two teams of 12 taking part together. Get in touch to discuss how we can make this event work for your group.

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Key Facts

Largest lakes in England

Successful completions to date

Miles on the water

Time to beat! (record held by RAF, Fairbourne)


The 3 Lakes Challenge starts at finishes at Brathay Hall, the participants are taken from there to the first of the 3 lakes, Ullswater. Once crossing Ullswater in a south to north direction participants will cross Coniston in the opposite direction and finally they will cross Windermere finishing at Brathay at the northern end of Windermere.

Download Route GPX File

Brathay Hall

Brathay Hall 1

Brathay Hall provides a stunning event centre for the Three Lakes Challenge. This Georgian country house, with a backdrop of Lake District fells, has easy access to the lake at our private boathouse in Brathay Bay - the finish line for the event!

Three Lakes Challenge participants are inspired by the surrounding landscape to push their boats and team through this distinctive event. The Hall also provides a fantastic setting for a memorable post-event celebration.

Glenridding to Pooley Bridge

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Teams are transported from Brathay Hall, usually at dawn, over Kirkstone Pass to the start of the Ullswater leg at Glenridding. We have experienced some stunning mornings on Ullswater, canoeing through mist as the sun rises to reveal uplifting views of the surrounding fells.

After 7.5 miles of canoeing teams leave the lake at Pooley Bridge. They will be nicely warmed up now and looking froward to the challenge of two more lakes!

Brathay Hall

Vegamot Brunch

On the way to their second lake it's traditional for teams to call in at Brathay Hall for 'brunch' - important refueling before the Coniston leg.

Monk Coniston to Brown Howe

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For the 5 miles down Coniston Water teams take to our distinctive Voyageur Canoes. These unique craft can take up to 12 people, seated in pairs - and when all are paddling in unison these streamlined canoes really motor along!

Following the same course taken by Donald Campbell's ill fated water speed record in 1967, the team will enjoy stunning views of the Coniston fells and surrounding woodland. They will also pass Brathay's Low Bank Ground centre - the perfect base for many young people who benefit from our residential programmes.

Fell Foot Park to Brathay Hall

Brathay Apprentice Challenge 2016 Whaler Boats 10

The third and final leg....and longest lake! Teams will take to one of Brathay's unique Whalers (traditional wooden rowing gigs) for the 10.5 miles rowing England's largest lake. As the landmarks pass by there will be a real sense of achievement as adrenaline carries the team toward the finish at Brathay's boathouse.

They will have been on the move for between 7 and 12 hours, having covered 28 miles on the water and created some shared memories from a big adventure.

Brathay Hall


Our Three Lakes Challenge events always end with a night of celebration as teams relax and enjoy the huge sense of achievement from paddling and rowing the three largest lakes in England.

A well earned meal and awards at Brathay Hall is often followed, for those with energy to spare, by a late night in the bar (anesthetic for blistered hands!).

Early Three Lakes Challenge pictured left (painted by John Harden, Brathay Hall resident 1804-1835, courtesy of Lakeland Arts Trust).


Start Line

Warm conditions for RowRunner 2022

Five teams compete for the RowRunner trophy and raise funds to support disadvantaged childre and young people.


RowRunner Raises Funds to Help Young People in Barrow

Four teams competed in our row and runner event

Row Runner 2019 1

Business challenge ends with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

​Businesses raise over £10,000 for young people from Furness

Row Runner 2017 29

Over £15k has been raised for disadvantaged Furness youngsters

Success at the fifth RowRunner challenge.

3Lc Ullswater1

Oar-inspiring businesses to raise £8,000 for disadvantaged youngsters

Businesses hope to raise £8,000 for disadvantaged Furness youngsters.

Other events

If you're looking for a team challenge that combines rowing and running then maybe RowRunner will be for you.

We also have other events which may also suit the goals of individuals in your team, who may prefer a cycling event.


Join us on social media and keep up-to-date with all the developments for the Three Lakes Challenge.