Your Favourite UK Mountain and Hill Walking Locations
We had a great response on social media when we asked you to let us know your favourite UK mountain and hill walks. Based on your responses, we’ve pulled together a selection of fantastic days out in the hills, covering the length and breadth of our beautiful island.
Ben Lui, Southern Highlands
The so-called Queen of the Scottish mountains, the graceful peak of the Ben Lui is considered by many to be the finest mountain in the Southern Highlands. A high and majestic peak with five defined ridges, a spectacular corrie, staggering summit views and a superb family of surrounding peaks all add up to make this a bona fide hill walking paradise.
Ben Macdui, Cairngorms
Britain’s second highest mountain, Ben Macdui lies at the centre of the wild, arctic-like plateau in Scotland’s spectacular Cairngorms range. Reach the summit and you’ll get to gaze upon one of Britain’s most stunning mountain panoramas. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of golden eagles, ptarmigan, dotterel or snow buntings too. Or, if you're unlucky, you might get a visit from Am Fear Liath Mòr - a wraith-like Old Grey Man who legend has it haunts the mountain.
Ben Lawers, Grampian Mountains
Scenic mountains and ridges and some of the finest collections of rare mountain plants in Britain are just some of the reasons why Ben Lawers – the highest mountain in the Central Highlands – is one of Scotland’s most popular walks. As well as over 600 types of lichen, a walk here could include sightings of wildlife including red deer, ring ouzels, skylarks and black grouse as well. That’s before we’ve even mentioned the spectacular views…
From a distance the magnificent Tryfan looks like a vast three headed fin of a huge mythical sea creature. This iconic rock is a rite of passage for many walkers as its height and mixture of walking and scrambling marks the line between hillwalking and mountaineering. Whichever route you go up you are going to need to use your hands to scramble some of the way and if you make it to Tryfan’s two summit pillars called “Sion a Siân” (to the Welsh-speaking locals) or “Adam and Eve” (to most English-speaking visitors), you may take on the challenge of leaping from one to the other in order to gain ‘the freedom of Tryfan’ – a feat you should undertake carefully and entirely at your own risk!
Snowdon Horseshoe, Snowdonia
Without doubt one of the most iconic walks in the UK, this ascent of Wales’ highest mountain, via a scramble over the knife-edge ridge of Crib Goch, is certainly no ordinary day out. If you’re blessed with good weather, experience and a head for heights there really is no more spectacular way to climb Snowdon than this unforgettable route along this phenomenal ridgeline.
Pen Y Fan, Brecon Beacons
The views from the top of the highest point of the spectacular Brecon Beacons are so impressive it’s easy to see why this is still such a popular choice for UK hillwalkers. The name Pen Y Fan roughly translates as Top Spot and it’s certainly that. If you tackle the horseshoe route - a stunning 9 mile circuit from the Taf Fechan Forest up to Corn Du (873m), Pen y Fan (886m), Cribyn (795m) and Fan y Big (719m) you’ll be hard pushed to find finer views anywhere as big skies abound against a mesmerising carpet of green.
Cadair Berwyn, Berwyn Mountains
Take on this challenging walk to the highest point in the Berwyn Range in North East Wales and on the way you’ll enjoy the 240 ft Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall - regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of Wales. Quieter than nearby Snowdonia, the Berwyn hills are largely bog and heather – beautiful, but also potentially very wet! Tackle them in good weather though and the outlook from the summit of Cadair Berwyn in all directions is simply stunning with Cheshire, the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia all visible on a clear day.
Slieve Bearnagh, Mourne Mountains
Belfast-born writer CS Lewis is said to have based Narnia on the mighty Mourne Mountains, and it’s easy to see why. On this glorious upland walk to the distinctive, jagged summit of Slieve Bearnagh (‘gapped mountain’) you’ll be following a 100-year-old wall over peaks and cols and enjoying remarkable views right across Ulster to the distant Sperrin Mountains. It’s truly one of Northern Ireland’s natural wonders.
Golden Cap, Devon
The magnificent coastal scenery you’ll enjoy from the great rocky shoulder of Golden Cap make this sturdy uphill walk well worth the effort. The highest point on Devon’s Jurassic coast - England’s only Natural World Heritage Site - on a clear day you’ll see right across Lyme Bay to Dartmoor to the west, toward Bridport and Chesil Beach to the east, and the vast, wild blue yonder to the south. Truly spectacular.
Hellvellyn, Lake District
Indisputably one of the UK’s favourite hill walking locations, England’s third highest peak is a stone cold classic. There are many great ways to climb Helvellyn but an ascent via the narrow ridge of Striding Edge has to be the most spectacular of all. Picturesque and dramatic, Helvellyn has it all. An iconic walk on which you’ll experience the full majesty of the Lakeland fells.
Leith Hill, Surrey
Climb all 74 steps of the spiral stairs at Leith Hill Tower atop the majestic Leith Hill and you’ll be at the highest point in South-East England looking toward London and the English Channel. Built in 1765 by Richard Hull as a place for people to enjoy the ‘glory of the English countryside’ it certainly lives up to its aim. The woodlands on the way up are gloriously golden in autumn and a spectacle of colour in spring and summer, whilst the historic Leith Hill Place was the childhood home of one of England’s greatest composers, Ralph Vaughan Williams and was once owned by the Wedgwood family and regularly visited by Charles Darwin.
Whernside, Yorkshire Dales
From side on, Whernside looks like a long, slumbering, monster. At 2,415ft it’s the highest summit in North Yorkshire and forms part of the popular Three Peaks challenge. On your way to it you’ll walk by the impressive 104ft high, 440 yd long Ribblehead Viaduct. If you’re lucky enough to see the magnificent sight of a steam locomotive passing over, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve dropped in on a Harry Potter movie.
Malvern Hills, Worcestershire / Herefordshire
The Malvern Hills divide the beautiful English countryside of Herefordshire and Worcestershire and are a great destination for walkers of all ages and abilities. An 18km gem of a walk that traverses the entire ridge crosses over Worcestershire Beacon and clambers the iron age hill fort of British Camp - all the way along a series of iconic vistas offering views across the Severn Valley, Cotswolds Hills and Welsh Mountains. There aren’t many better ways than this to experience some of England’s finest countryside.
Cat Bells, Lake District
Sitting enticingly above Keswick and Derwent water, Cat Bells is quite small compared to its bigger Lakeland neighbours. Yet what this mountain in miniature lacks in height it certainly makes up for in accessibility, views and atmosphere. Universally loved given its relative ease to climb and navigate, Cat Bell’s is perfect for old legs, little legs and the four-legged alike. The panorama from its summit is a rich reward and a perfect introduction to the Lake District’s mirror-like lakes, wild mountains and lush valleys.
Cheviot Hills, Northumberland / Scottish Borders
Which hardy walker could resist the lure of The Cheviot, Northumberland’s highest point in this glorious range of uplands that straddle the Anglo-Scottish border? Not us… On a clear day, you can see as far as the Lake District and even, some claim, Edinburgh. A stunning walk that’s full of history too – north of the summit, amidst the peat bogs, are the remains of a B-17 aircraft bomber, the sad victim of a navigational error during World War II.
High Cup Nick, Pennines
This glorious U-shaped glacial valley carved deep into on the western flanks of the Cumbrian Pennines is often referred to as the ‘Grand Canyon of the North.’ One of England’s most spectacular geological features, it’s certainly a sight to behold. Looking down upon it, this huge scar in the landscape looks like it could have been caused by a meteor strike rather than 500 million years of natural erosion. If the walk in hasn’t done so already, once you get there, the sight of it will take your breath away.
Bellever Tor, Dartmoor
As well as enjoying the tranquillity of a picnic by the East Dart River, from Bellever forest in central Dartmoor you can take an exhilarating walk to the granite outcrop of Bellever Tor. On the way you’ll discover numerous archaeological sites and likely see a variety of wildlife, including the famous Dartmoor Ponies. Climb up onto one of the granite stacks at the top and the unrestricted 360-degree views are simply incredible. We can’t think of a better way to take in the stunning Dartmoor landscape.
The Long Mynd, Shropshire
The large and long ranging plateau known as The Long Mynd really is like a world of its own. This large area of heathland set in the heart of the Shropshire hills, is an unmissable sea of purple in late summer when the heather blooms. Take a walk up to the top from the head of the lovely Carding Mill Valley and you’ll be enjoying lovely picnic spots, splashing in streams, an abundance of wildlife and (eventually) fantastic views across Shropshire and beyond.
Derwent Edge, Peak District
A walk along Derwent Edge overlooking Ladybower and Derwent Reservoirs and their spectacular dams has everything you could want from a walk in the Peak District. At the top, look out for an extraordinary series of rock formations, carved out of the millstone by aeons of weathering, all of which have been given names according to their fancied resemblances – including The Wheel Stones, The Salt Cellar and Cakes of Bread. It’s like walking through an enormous art exhibition of statues provided by nature itself.
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