Mountains & Hills


The mountains & hills of Great Britain

Page 1: Introduction & types. (This page)
Page 2: Table of hills & mountains by height.


The ten tallest mountains in the UK are all found in Scotland.
The highest peaks in each part of the UK are:

Scotland: Ben Nevis (Nevis Range, 1,344 metres)
Wales: Snowdon (Cambrian Mountains, 1,085 metres)
England: Scafell Pike (Cumbrian Mountains, 977 metres)
Northern Ireland: Slieve Donard (Mourne Mountains, 852 metres)

The ranges of mountains and hills in the UK include:

Scotland: Cairngorms, Cheviot Hills, Scottish Highlands, Southern Uplands, Grampian Mountains
Wales: Brecon Beacons, Cambrian Mountains, Snowdonia
England: Chilterns, Cotswolds, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, Malvern Hills, Mendip Hills, North Downs, Peak District, Pennines, Salisbury Plain, South Downs, Shropshire Hills
Northern Ireland: Mountains of Mourne, Antrim Plateau, Sperrin Mountains

The lowest point of the UK is in the Fens of East Anglia, in England, parts of which lie up to 4 m below sea level.

Types of Hills & Mountains

There are different types of mountains and hills according to their characteristics, heights and geographical locations.

Munros: The Munros are mountains in Scotland over 3000 feet (914.4 m). The list was originally compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891, and is modified from time to time by the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC). Unlike most other lists, the Munros do not depend on a rigid prominence criterion for entry; instead, those which satisfy the subjective measure of being a "separate mountain" are regarded as Munros, while subsidiary summits are given the status of tops. There are 284 Munros and 227 further tops, all of them in the Scottish Highlands.

Corbetts: The Corbetts are peaks in Scotland between 2500 and 3000 feet (762 and 914.4 m), with a relative height of at least 500 feet (152.4 m). The list was compiled in the 1920s by John Rooke Corbett, a Bristol-based climber and SMC member, and was published posthumously after it was passed to the SMC by his sister. There are 219 Corbetts, many of them in areas of Scotland which have no Munros, notably Moidart, Applecross, the Southern Uplands and the islands of Arran, Jura, Rùm and Harris.

Donalds: The Donalds are hills in the Scottish Lowlands over 2000 feet (609.6 m). The list was compiled by Percy Donald, and is maintained by the SMC. Whether a hill is a Donald is determined by a complicated formula. A hill with a prominence of at least 30 m is automatically a Donald, but one with a relative height of 15 m may be one if it is of sufficient topographic interest. There are 89 Donalds, many of which are also Corbetts or Grahams.

Grahams: The Grahams are hills in Scotland between 2000 and 2500 feet (609.6 and 762 m), with a prominence of at least 500 feet (152.4 m). The list of hills fitting these criteria was first published by Alan Dawson in The Relative Hills of Britain. They were later named Grahams after the late Fiona Torbet (née Graham) who compiled a similar list around the same time. Dawson continues to maintain the list, which contains 224 hills.

Murdos: The Murdos are an attempt to apply strict objective criteria to the Munros and their associated tops. They are all the summits in Scotland over 3000 feet (914.4 m) with a relative height of at least 30 m. There are 444 Murdos, compared to 284 Munros or 511 Munros plus tops. The list was compiled and is maintained by Alan Dawson.

Nuttalls: The Nuttalls are hills in England and Wales over 610 m (2000 feet) with a relative height of at least 15 m. There are 252 Nuttalls in England and 188 in Wales. The list was compiled by John and Anne Nuttall and published in two volumes, The Mountains of England & Wales. By including hills that rise by as little as 15 m above their surroundings, the list of Nuttalls is sometimes criticised for including too many insignificant minor tops. The Hewitts (see below) are one attempt to avoid this. With the exception of Pillar Rock, a rocky outcrop on Pillar in the Lake District, the peaks of all of the Nuttalls can be reached without resort to rock climbing.

Hewitts: The Hewitts are Hills in England, Wales and Ireland over Two Thousand feet (609.6 m), with a relative height of at least 30 m. The English and Welsh lists were compiled and are maintained by Alan Dawson; the Irish list is by Clem Clements. The list addresses one of the criticisms of the Nuttalls by requiring hills to have a relative height of 30 m, thus excluding the 125 least prominent Nuttalls from the list. There are 525 Hewitts in total: 178 in England, 137 in Wales and 211 in Ireland. (Black Mountain is counted in both England and Wales.) Scotland is excluded from the list of Hewitts because its mountains are extensively covered by other lists.

Wainwrights: The Wainwrights are hills (locally known as fells) in the English Lake District National Park that have a chapter in one of Alfred Wainwright's Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. There are 214 hills in the seven guides. There are no height or distance qualifications to these hills; they are simply the ones he thought worthy of inclusion. A further 102 hills were included in the supplementary guide, The Outlying Fells of Lakeland.

Marilyns: The Marilyns are hills in the British Isles that have a relative height of at least 150 m, regardless of distance, absolute height or other merit. There are currently 1554 Marilyns in Britain: 1214 in Scotland, 180 in England, 156 in Wales and 5 on the Isle of Man. (Black Mountain is in both England and Wales, which is why the country totals sum to 1555.) There are a further 453 Marilyns in Ireland. The list was compiled and is maintained by Alan Dawson.

Page 2: Tables of the highest hills and mountains in the UK.


The above 'Mountains & Hills' article is a Wikipedia publication under GNU licence. Source page. Archived 2006.

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