Whenever I tell people I am going to climb at moment at the weekend they always assume its one of the Famous Three Peaks, Ben Nevis, Snowdon or Scafell Pike and while these are three great mountains to climb – there are so many other wonderful mountains that make up the UK.
In fact, did you know there are 119 mountains in the UK and 120 if you want to include the Republic of Ireland.
I want to share with you some of the other great mountains to hopefully get you excited.
These tend to be less crowded and more peaceful experience. I will never forget the moment I scrambled up Snowdon to see a guy stood above me in a neck brace – I have no issue with him being there an enjoying the view, it just took the shine of my effort.
Here are some of the other great mountains in the UK and these aren’t in any particular order.
Slieve Donard, County Down
This 850 metre-high summit is the highest peak in Northern Ireland. Slieve Donard rises majestically out of the Mourne Mountains and until the 1830’s people would climb the peak as part of a yearly pilgrimage. The area hasn’t changed much in the last 200 years, walkers are still faced with the same granite ridges, boggy paths and more than likely strong wins.
The peak features a small stone tower and the remains of two ancient burial cairns.
Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons
A short trip over hte Irish sea is Pen y Fan, which is the highest peak in South Wales. This is a great mountain for beginners to summit, thanks mainly to its good paths which make it a fairly easy walk.
However, experienced mountaineers will also enjoy reaching its 886 metre-high top. If you are heading here, keep an ete out for soldiers, its well known the UK Special Forces use this mountain and surrounding area for both training and selection.
Depending on what you want from the day and your ability there are several ways you can reach the summit. These include an 11 mile circuit that also includes Corn Du (873 metres) and Cribyn (795 metres), but if you are after a more gentle stroll there is a four mile loop from Storey Arms.
Cat Bells, Cumbria
If you’re after another easier walk then Cat Bells in the Lake District is a great choice. Standing at just 451 metres tall. However don’t let the height put you off, its a great starter mountain. While the total climb isn’t high, there are a few steep places which make a bit more challenging. Getting to the top is worth the effort. There is a great panoramic view of Skiddaw and Derwentwater.
A great mountain all round to get into mountain climbing, while you need quality gear, you don’t need top of the range equipment meaning you can dip your toe into mountain climbing.
Blencathra, North Lakes
If you are in the area of Cat Bells than Blencathra is another great mountain to summit.
This mountain has a nickname, ‘Saddleback’ due to its shape, this is a much more difficult mountain to the summit, but worth it. Climbing it is tricking, there are several steep inclines which need to be tackled in order to reach the top. Upon reaching the summit you will see some incredible sights including Derwent Water, Isle of Man (on a clear day) and the Mourne Mountains.
Much more difficult that Cats Bells, but worth the effort if you are up for a challenge.
There are so many great mountains to climb in the Lakes, yes Scafell Pike is great but I would highly recommend you check out some of the other mountains.
Pen y Ghent, Yorkshire Dales
If you don’t fancy heading to the Lakes but want a mountain to climb as a novice then Pen y Ghent is a great option. Its the lowest of the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks and stands at just 694 metres.
If you have the fitness and want to be challenged, go via the south side, while it involves some steep scrambles and a decent level of fitness – it’s much more dramatic as you reach the summit.
The name translates as “Mountain of the Winds” and its obvious to anyone who has climbed the mountain as to why it got the name. If its a windy day it’s a formidable challenge but don’t let that put you off. You are just as likely to see feel runners as you are walkers on this mountain.
Due to its location, just east of the village of Horton in Ribblesdale, it’s easy to reach.
There are many more mountains in England, I really struggled to narrow it down. I would take this list as a starting point and see how many you can summit.
Like England, this country is full of mountain in fact 19 out of 20 of the highest mountains in the UK are in Scotland and so narrowing it to just a few was difficult.
Ben Macdui, Cairngorms
While most people have climbed Ben Nevis, Ben Macdui is a much better choice. Its the second hights mountain in Britain at 1309 metres and is the highest point in the Cairngorms.
The summits are said to be haunted by “The Big Grey Man” and with fewer people around compared to Ben Nevis, this just adds to the feel. So it’s not one for the faint of heart when it comes to both fitness and being spooked.
During the winter months, the peak is covered in snow and freezing temperatures making the summit much more difficult and dangerous, but during the summer months it’s much easier (still fairly difficult so don’t be expecting a walk in the park).
Sgurr na Stri
This mountain is located on the Isle of Skye, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful parts of the UK if not the most.
If you are visiting this little island than Squrr na Stri is must challenge. It’s not the easiest mountain to climb, but the views from the summit are worth the effort.
Located in the Trossachs area of Scotland, the mountain’s name translates from the Scottish Gaelic as ‘the miniature mountain’ but there isn’t anything miniature about the views from the summit.
The most common route takes you through several types of scenery for you to marvel at as you climb up the mountain.
Don’t let the name fool you, this summit often gets snow through the winter.
I did say I loved the Isle of Skye so its no surprise to see a second mountain on this list. The island may be tiny compared to some parts of the UK, but its an outdoor enthusiast playground. Its like Christmas morning every day when on the island.
This is much more of a walk than a climb and much easier. That doesn’t reduce the impressive scenery and if anything adds to it. The path is steep in places and the route changes from gravel to stone and the higher you go the less obvious the path comes, but don’t let any of this stop you from summiting the mountain. The views are stunning.
There were so many mountains we had to leave off, maybe one day I will have summited every mountain and do a review of them all, but for now hopefully, you find this as an inspiration to go hiking.
So, what are you waiting for? I told you at the start there are around 119 mountains (120 if you include the one in Ireland) to summit and even if you have summited them all, then head at different times of the year – it’s amazing how the same place looks so different through the season.
The key to remember is your ability, don’t start trying to climb the toughest mountains if your first time. Don’t head out during winter months if you have never done winter walking, get some experience first – the mountains are dangerous even for experienced mountain climbers.
So go, start packing your bags and have the adventure of a lifetime.
Let us know in the comments below which is your favourite mountain.
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