Sarah Leighton – Ultimate Wales Adventure

My ULTIMATE Wales challenge – ‘Paddle, Pedal, and Summit Wales’

Sarah Leighton


On the 28th August, I set off from Penarth via stand up paddle board, to face a Welsh challenge of a lifetime – paddle boarding, cycling and hiking across Wales.  I covered a total distance of 478km, summited 15 peaks above 3000ft, covered 96691m of ascent, and reached South Stack Lighthouse on Holyhead 10 days after beginning in Penarth.


Strong winds in South Wales delayed my start date by 2 weeks, but I spotted a window in the weather on Tuesday 28th August.  The first 2.5 hours were some of the hardest hours I have ever paddled – facing side winds and rough seas around Barry, forcing me to paddle on my knees as I feared the board being flipped over.


I paddled from Penarth to Mumbles, Swansea, via the Bristol channel – a distance of 76.5km.  The O’Shea GTE iSUP board was packed with enough food, water, and camping equipment to last the journey to Mumbles, and I used the carbon fibre and bamboo finish 3-piece paddle from Puravida Boardriders.


The aim of this challenge was to raise awareness of the positive impact that adventure can have on mental and physical health, to encourage people in Wales to adventure safely and confidently, and to highlight the importance of caring for our beautiful environment in Wales.  Whilst also supporting three charities which reflect these aims; Keep Wales Tidy, Mind, and the Search And Rescue Dogs (SARDA) Wales.


I am hugely grateful for the support provided by Jim at Puravida Boardriders, and Farrel O’Shea of O’Shea Surf.  Over the last 4 months, Jim has put time aside to help with my fundraising efforts, by running charity fundraising Intro to SUP sessions.  I wanted my fundraising events to help more people get out and try adventurous activities – and these sessions proved to be a huge success!


2019 will see me take on another adventurous SUP challenge – which I plan to make bigger, more crazy, and to get even more people interested in and reaping the benefits of SUP and the outdoors.


To catch up with all the ULTIMATE Wales action, and to follow along as I plan, recce, train, and journey through the next big adventure – you can follow me;


Instagram: @fitforadventure_


Facebook: @fitforadventurewales



I’d like to say a huge thank you again to Jim, and O’Shea, for all their support!