Some Mountains, Hills and Summits of Great Britain

These pages feature some of the many mountains, hills, fells, summits and high points in Britain. The criteria for inclusion are that (1) I've climbed the hill in question, and (2) that I've taken a photo at the summit. Wherever possible there is also a picture of the hill from a neighbouring summit or adjacent valley, or a picture of the view from the top.

See the home page for an explanation of the status terms (Munro, Corbett, Marylin, Hewitt, et al).

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Sron a' Choire Ghairbh

Location: Scottish Highlands, Great Glen
Grid Ref: NH 222945
Height: 3074 ft (937 m)
Status: Munro, Murdo, Marilyn

Notes: This Munros is one of a pair that overlook Loch Lochy from the north, and hence is very accessible. The easiest ascent starts at Laggan Locls and takes the upper variant of the Great Glen cycleway to the southwest, and then a rougher track up the Allt Ghlas Doire to the col, and finally a stalkers' path that runs virtually to the summit plateau. The view up and down the Great Glen is especially good.

Staple Hill

Location: Somerset
Grid Ref: ST 240166
Height: 1033 ft (315 m)
Status: Marilyn, Clement

Notes:The highest point of the Blackdown Hills south of Taunton, Staple Hill is not particularly interesting. The trig pillar marking the highest point is buried in woodland and there is no view but the approach is pleasant enough. Two public bridleways pass close by and there are several nearby road access points, the closes being the top end of Underhill Lane coming up from Staple Fitzpaine. This is also the approach for non-drivers as the Taunton - Yeovil bus route passes through the village.

Starling Dodd

Location: Lake District, Western Fells
Grid Ref: NY 141157
Height: 2077 ft (633 m)
Status: Wainwright, Hewitt, Nuttall

Notes: Starling Dodd lays to the west of Buttermere's Red Pike and overlooks both Crummock Water (to the north) and Ennerdale Water (to the south). To get to the summit it's necessary either to climb the fell's flanks after floundering through the marshy wastes of Mosedale, or walk out along the ridge from the vastly superior and more exciting Red Pike. I'm not convinced that Starling Dodd rewards the effort of climbing it, something I can say about very few Lakeland fells.

Stob Coire an t-Sneachda

Location: Scottish Highlands, Cairngorms
Grid Ref: NH 996029
Height: 3858 ft (1176 m)
Status: Munro top, Murdo

Notes: This top is the highest point of the headwall of Coire an t-Sneachda ("snow corrie"), one of the "northern corries" of Cairn Gorm. From Aviemore and Strathspey it appears as a significant mountain in its own right, but from the parent mountain of Cairn Gorm it is revealed as just a bump on the edge of the Macdui - Cairngorm plateau (top picture). The cliffs on the northern side are dramatic, but on the southern side the ground drops very gently away towards Loch Avon. It's doubtful whether anybody has ever set out to climb Stob Coire an t-Sneachda in its own right, but it is regularly ascended by those crossing from Cairn Gorm to Macdui. The summit picture shows a retrospective view of Cairn Gorm.

Stuc a' Chroin

Location: Scottish Highlands, The Trossachs
Grid Ref: NN 617174 
Height: 3199 ft (975 m)
Status: Munro, Murdo, Marilyn

Notes: Laying on the Stirlingshire / Perthshire border north of Callander, Stuc a' Chroin is one of the three mountains clearly visible from the plains of Falkirk and East Lothian between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Although it is normally linked with its neighbour Ben Vorlich in the guidebooks, a longer but easier ascent can be made from Callander with a path all the way. Views are tremendous and include Scotland's central lowlands, the Trossachs, the Arrochar Alps, the Ben Lawers and Ben More groups, the western Mounth and parts of the Tay basin.

Sugar Loaf

Location: Black Mountains
Grid Ref: SO 272187
Height: 1955 ft (596 m)
Status: Marilyn, Dewey

Notes: A fine, shapely hill a couple of miles northwest of Abergavenny, on the southern tip of the Black Mountains. The hill can be ascended by a good track all the way from Abergavenny town centre from where it's a half-day expedition. There's a good view of both the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons further to the west.


Location: Lake District, North Western Fells
Grid Ref: NY 243224
Height: 801 ft (152 m)
Status: Marilyn

Notes: If you ever wondered about climbing that pretty little wooded hill on the northwest corner of Derwentwater, then take my advice and don't bother. I say this not because there are no rights of way on the hill and gaining the summit is technially a trespass, but because it really isn't worth climbing. The woods are opressive and unfriendly, the summit dome is a pathless jungle and the view, surprisingly, isn't that great either. Determined Marilyn baggers will find a way to the top. Everyone else should leave it alone.

Swyre Head

Location: Purbeck Downs, Dorset
Grid Ref: SY 934784
Height: 682 ft (208 m)
Status:  Marilyn

Notes: Swyre Head is the highest point of the Purbeck Downs, southwest of Bournemouth and Poole in Dorset. It stands close to the coast path and thus has a glorious view each way along the English Channel coast, from the Isle of Wight in the east to Portland Bill in the west. The summit carries a trig pillar though there is also a nearby tumulus, which is higher. Swyre Head is a simple stroll from the nearby village of Kingston.

Thornthwaite Crag

Location: Lake District, Far Eastern Fells
Grid Ref: NY 431100
Height: 2572 ft (784 m)
Status: Wainwright, Hewitt, Nuttall

Notes: Thornthwaite Crag lays at the junction of four mountain ridges, an important footpath crossroads since Roman times when it formed part of the highway known as High Street. Its summit carries a massive columnar cairn, one of the most distinctive in the district. Its position ensures that it has a huge variety of approach routes, but perhaps the most common is from the south, via Froswick, as part of the Ill Bell ridgewalk. Thornthwaite Crag's parent fell is High Street itself,  laying a kilometre to the northeast along a broad grassy ridge. The top is relatively flat and the immediate panorama is of other Lakeland fells, but short walks off the summit bring the four radiating valleys into view.

Thunacar Knott

Location: Lake District, Central Fells
Grid Ref: NY 279079
Height: 2372 ft (723 m)
Status: Wainwright, Nuttall

Notes: Thunacar Knott is entirely undramatic yet strategically quite important, for it's the highest part of the ridge immediately to the rear of the Langdale Pikes, which effectively all radiate from it. However, it's not untimately the parent fell as that honour goes to High Raise, a mile to the north. It's a fair bet that Thunacar Knott has never been climbed on its own account, merely visited as an afterthought by those ascending the Pikes, but it does provide some quite dramatic views of its offspring. Perhaps the easiest approach is from Easedale via Sergeant Man, though it's crossed almost by default by those walking from the Pikes to High Raise or vice versa.

Tom na Gruagaich

Location: Scottish Highlands, Torridon
Grid Ref: NG 859601
Height: 3025 ft (922 m)
Status: Munro, Murdo, Marilyn

Notes: Formerly just the southern top of Beinn Alligin, Tom na Gruagaich was promoted to Munro status in 1997. The summit is beautifully situated at the southern end of the great sandstone terraces of Toll a Mhadaidh Mor, the eastern side of Alligin, and surprisingly it's Gruagaich rather than Alligin's principal summit of Sgurr Mhor that carries the trig pillar. Views of Sgurr Mhor, the other Torridon hills, Loch Torridon and the whole sweep of Wester Ross, are awesome. The map doesn't show it but there's a decent path all the way up starting at the Coire Mhic Nobuill car park above Torridon house, via Coire nan Laogh. The path is steep and a good deal of effort is required.

Photo by Graham Jackson.


Location: Scottish Highlands, Perthshire
Grid Ref: NN 819192
Height: 1289 ft (393 m)
Status: Marilyn, Yeaman

Notes: Torlum is a minor summit situated a few miles west of Crieff in Perthshire. The lower slopes are wooded, the upper slopes heathery. The easiest access is by a forest path from the vicinity of Ballochargie to the east; there is a path up to the summit dome but peversely it is more easily found on the descent. The Strathearn towns of Comrie and Crieff are well seen, while the Ochils occupy the southern arc of the view and Ben Chonzie and its neighbours tower over the scene to the north.

Twmpa (a.k.a. Lord Hereford's Knob)

Location: Black Mountains
Grid Ref: SO 224350
Height: 2264 ft (690 m)
Status: Hewitt, Nuttall

Notes: Twmpa is a bluff, the steep northern end of the ridge neighbouring that of Black Mountain, and it is very similar in appearance to its eastern neighbour Hay Bluff (seen in the summit picture, left). Twmpa is best climbed from the car park at the summit of Gospel Pass, from which it's a deceptively easy stroll of some 25 minutes. The view is very similar to that from Hay Bluff, taking in the Black Mountains to the south, the Brecon Beacons to the southwest, and the rural expanses of Powys and Herefordshire to the northwest and northeast respectively.

Walbury Hill

Location: Berkshire Downs
Grid Ref: SU 373616
Height: 974 ft (297 m)
Status:  Marilyn

Notes: This unassuming summit is the high point of the West Berkshire downs and is also the highest point within 75 miles of London. It rises above the scattered village of Inkpen a handful of miles south west of the market town of Newbury. It's possible to drive almost to the summit; roads cross the ridge a few hundred yards away both to the east and west. Non drivers can walk up from Kintbury station on the Great Western railway line from where it's just over three miles, or the Newbury - Hungerford bus will get you to Upper Green just a mile away. The ridge path misses the summit by a hundred and fifty yards but it's a simple enough matter to shin over a gate and take the short path to the trig pillar. Pleasant pastoral country surrounds the hill though the best views are had from the slopes to the north overlooking Newbury.

Walna Scar

Location: Lake District, Southern Fells
Grid Ref: SD 257963
Height: 2037 ft (621 m)
Status: Nuttall

Notes: The highest Lakeland top not to feature in Wainwright's guides, Walna Scar lays just south of the pass of the same name between Coniston and Dunnerdale and is a continuation of the southern ridge of Dow Crag. The top is grassy and unexciting and it's easy to see why Wainwright did not consider it to be part of "proper" lakeland fell country, yet it is but a four-minute detour from the path and can be climbed from Coniston village in little more than an hour. Dow Crag and its tops dominate the view to the north while the shapely cones of Caw and Harter Fell (pictured) feature prominently to the south and west respectively.

Walton Hill

Location: Worcestershire, Clent Hills
Grid Ref: SO 942797
Height: 1037 ft (316 m)
Status:  Marilyn

Notes: Walton Hill is the highest of the Clent Hills, a groups of heathland tops in north Worcestershire immediately south of the Birmingham / Wolverhampton conurbation. Walton Hill itself is a pleasant sandy ridge, mostly wooded, and criscrossed by a maze of footpaths and bridleways. It lays only two miles from Halesowen and is thus very accessible from the city; the nearest public transport access is the village of Romsley. The top is a bare 10 minutes of ascent from the nearest road, and Birmingham dominates the view through the whole northern arc. The view southwards is a complete contrast, taking in the pastoral countryside of the Severn vale fringed in the distance by the Cotswolds, the Malverns and Bredon Hill.

Wansfell Pike

Location: Lake District, Far Eastern Fells
Grid Ref: NY 394041
Height: 1581 ft (482 m)
Status: none

Notes: Confusion surrounds Wansfell. The fell and the summit seen here is Wansfell Pike, which stands proudly above Ambleside to the east. But it is not actually Wansfell proper, which stands a kilometre northeast and is several feet higher, and furthermore is actually given as Baystones (q.v.) by all references except Wainwright. None of this takes anything away from Wansfell Pike, of course, which is a fine little summit just an hour's climb from Ambleside. There is an excellent view of the town and down the length of Windermere, and further afield the Langdales, Bowfell and Crinkle Crags look especially inviting from here.

Watch Croft

Location: Cornwall
Grid Ref: SW 420357
Height: 827 ft (252 m)
Status: Marilyn

Notes: Watch Croft is the highest point of the Land's End peninsula and is therefore Britain's southwesternmost Marilyn. The terrain is rugged and thorny and an easy ascent is a matter of finding the start of the correct path from the road, which is at approx SW 415361. There is a parking place several hundred metres to the west. Follow the track up to an old mine building and then take a fainter track to the left; the summit is in view and is obvious. The best feature of the view is the rugged North Cornwall coastline; the other coast, just east of Penzance, can also be seen.

Watch Hill

Location: North West Cumbria
Grid Ref: NY 159318
Height: 833 ft (254 m)
Status: Marilyn

Notes: Watch Hill lays a couple of miles northeast of Cockermouth in Cumbria, just off the edge of the Lake District. A public bridleway, adopted as part of the Allerdale Ramble, runs up to the ridge; thereafter it's a simple grassy ridge to the summit. The ridge has three tops; Wainwright chose the westernmost for his Outlying Fells book but it's the easternmost, just to the west of a forest plantation, that is the highest. From the top Skiddaw, the Whinlatter group and the Lorton Vale fells are seen from an unfamiliar angle, but the greater part of the panorama consists of Cumbria's pastoral northwest. The Solway Firth and the Dumfriesshire coast should be visible on clear days.

Wendover Woods  (a.k.a Haddington Hill)

Location: Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire
Grid Ref: SP 890089
Height: 876 ft (267 m)
Status: Marilyn, County Top (Buckinghamshire)

Notes: Haddington Hill is the highest point of the Chiltern Hills, a chalk scarp northwest of London. Like many high points of scarps, the highest point is not actually a point at all, but an area - moreover, one that occurs deep in Wendover Woods somewhere within an extensive car park and within a hundred metres of an ice cream van and a public convenience. Wendover Woods are lovely, however, and a circular walk from the town to the summit and back makes a nice half day walk. There's no view.

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This page last updated 21st July 2010