UK’s Highest Peaks: 5+1 of the Best Mountain Experiences

Hiking between the UK's highest mountains | John Millen
Hiking between the UK's highest mountains | John Millen

Reach new heights on some of the highest mountains in the UK and the British Isles

The UK may be best known for its hills rather than its mountain peaks but head to Britain’s highest mountains and you are in for some truly memorable travel experiences.

Across the British Isles there are 120 mountains – they must be 600 metres (2000 feet) or taller to be classified as mountains – and the list below includes some that do pack a punch.

Read on for what makes these UK mountains special and how you can get there.

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis, Scotland |  <i>williee</i>

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Scotland and the United Kingdom and, in fact, the entire British Isles. Its location behind the Highland town of Fort William have made it a popular destination for experienced walkers, who should be able to reach its summit within a few hours. The ruins of the Ben Nevis Observatory at the top date back to the early days of meteorology in the UK, while under ideal conditions the views from the top of Ben Nevis can reach all the way to Northern Ireland.

>>> The West Highland Way finishes at Fort William so add an extra day at the end of your trip to climb Ben Nevis

Kidsty Pike

At Kidsty Pike; the highest point on the Coast to Coast walk |  <i>John Millen</i>

"An eyrie perched high over Riggindale” – this is how Wainwright had described Kidsty Pike, the highest point on the Coast to Coast walk in the Far Eastern fells of the Lake District. Although the views are partly obstructed by the higher fells of the High Street range (named after the Roman road which used to run over the summit), the peak remains iconic for its distinctive acute angle. A small cairn welcomes the hikers as they make their way on the summit.

>> The Coast to Coast route passes from Kidsty Pike before descending towards the lane of Haweswater

Black Mountains

Wild ponies on the Hatterrall Ridge |  <i>John Millen</i>

The Offa’s Dyke National Trail criss-crosses the border between England and Wales more than 10 times. It follows some of the finest scenery in both countries, most of which along the Black Mountains, the easternmost of the four ranges of hills that comprise the famous Brecon Beacons National Park. Like elsewhere on this trail, castle ruins abound.
Rather confusingly, the westernmost range of the national park is known as the Black Mountain!

>> Walk Offa’s Dyke with Walkers’ Britain

Great Shunner Fell

A hikers ascending Great Shunner Fell |  <i>John Millen</i>

It may have a rather awkward shape but, what it lacks in looks, Great Shunner Fell, the third highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales, makes up for it in views: on a good day you can be treated to views as far as the North Pennines, the Lake District and the Three Peaks. If you look closely, you may come across small pieces of coal around the summit, as coal was mined in several places here until the 1880s.

>> The Great Shunner Fell is part of the routes of The Pennine Way and the James Herriot Way


At the summit of Snaefell, Isle of Man |  <i>Phil Parker</i>

Snaefell is the highest mountain on the Isle of Man. It is easily accessible from the village of Laxey on the eastern side of the island either on foot – in dry conditions the climb shouldn’t take more than an hour – or by the only electric mountain railway in the British Isles. On a fine day, you should be able to see all (or at least some) of the ‘Seven Kingdoms’: England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the kingdoms of heaven and the sea.

>>  You can reach the top of Snaefell as an add-on when you walk the Isle of Man Coastal Path


+ Spot the most remote house in England!

Skiddaw House, the UK's highest hostel |  <i>YHA Skiddaw House</i>

Surrounded by mountains and accessible only on foot (or by mountain bike for the more adventurous), Skiddaw House is Britain’s highest hostel. Often dubbed as “the most remote house in England”, it was built as a shooting lodge in 1829 and was also used as a shepherd's and gamekeeper’s accommodation until the 1970s. The property is in the process of being sold along with 1,214 hectares/3,000 acres of stunning Lake District land, including three mountaintops, for an estimated £10 million/$12 million.

>> You will pass from Skiddaw House as you cross the Lake District on the 10-day Cumbria Way


At Walkers' Britain you can book fully supported, self guided walking & cycling holidays in the UK and Europe. Reach out to our team to discuss your mountain walking itinerary or to get support with your travel arrangements. You can reach us via phone, email or by requesting a callback at your convenient time. 
UK's Highest Mountains, Mountain Hiking, England, United Kingdom, Walking Holidays

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