Will Mawson & Steve Thompson’s
Lake District Challenge

In Aid of Annie Mawson’s Sunbeams Music Trust


On 20th April 2012, Will and Steve, along with friend Tommy George set off on an epic 170 mile cycle ride round 19 Lake District Lakes, including Honister and Kirkstone pass, all in one weekend, to raise money for Sunbeams.

The Lakes they visited on the route were: Bassenthwaite, Blelham Tarn, Brothers Water, Buttermere, Coniston, Derwent Water, Elterwater, Crummock Water, Ennerdale, Esthwaite, Grasmere, Haweswater, Loughrigg Tarn, Loweswater, Rydal Water, Thirlmere, Ullswater, Wastwater and Windermere.

Support for their ride has been incredible, and to date has raised £1887.91!

If you would like to help us take the total to £2,000+, please follow the link to

Fundraising page address: http://www.justgiving.com/will-mawson

Huge thanks from all at Sunbeams!
The money raised will go towards Sunbeams projects throughout Cumbria.


Report by Will Mawson

“Some of the best ideas arrive by chance: in the back seat of a mini bus on the way back from a wedding, didn’t seem like the ideal catalyst, but that’s where Tommy, Stephen and I cooked up our fund raising plan.

It was simple. We would visit every lake in the Lake District by bike in a weekend. I think that was the beer talking. Having sobered up, the route seemed a little more complex than we first imagined and Wikipedia listed over 160 bodies of water. We narrowed the criteria to the principle bodies of water, picked a weekend and a start and finish point were decided.  

Nervous energy and a glorious Cumbrian morning got us in the spirit at Wasdale where we started.

We found our rhythm hitting Ennerdale, Loweswater and Crummock before Lunch. A short ride to Buttermere to settle our stomachs and we started the long climb up Newlands Pass on the way to Bassenthwaite. At this point it became apparent that the Gods must have been shining on us and perhaps Sunbeams were with us physically as well as spiritually. The forecast had been dire but we had glorious weather and no wind for the remainder of the day finishing at Derwent Water for a well-earned curry.

Day two took in a steep climb on the way out of Keswick on route to Thirlmere. Tommy’s knee had given way at this point so we had to keep spirits high despite the rain lashing down as we climbed Dunmail Raise. The descent to Grasmere was intense as we almost overtook cars and at Rydal Water decided to get off the main roads. Beautiful scenery was becoming our staple diet and quite hard to take it all in but as the weather cleared at Elterwater we reflected on what an amazing part of the world we were in; onwards and upwards to Coniston, literally. From our lunch stop at Coniston it was a relatively, gentle ride past Esthwaite to the ferry at Windermere. On the boat across we toasted clocking up one hundred miles of travel but unfortunately hadn’t realised our digs were four miles uphill out of Windermere. The welcome at Hagg End Farm was worth it though. A huge pork roast and sticky toffee pudding to boot took our minds off Kirkstone pass which was looming.

Another hearty fry up and we set off cross country to the biggest climb of our trip. Low gears and a steady pace and we made it to the amazing view from the top of Kirkstone. A rapid decent past Brothers Water and we could smell the finish line. We celebrated at Glenridding dipping toes into Ullswater. There was talk of a ferry to Pooley Bridge but we decided to do a victory lap of the lake, not realising it was around twelve miles away…

At Pooley Bridge, exhausted, we got off the bikes and purely by chance a car screeched to a halt and a tearful Annie appeared. What are the chances?

So around 150 miles of amazing and challenging scenery behind us and the goodwill of so many people before and during our trip: it was a great feeling to have completed the journey. Talk is already afoot of what to do next. For now though the padded shorts are on holiday.”


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