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1. Ingleborough, 2,375ft, Yorkshire Dales
Blue skies over Ingleborough, Yorkshire Dales
One third of the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, Ingleborough is the county’s second highest mountain but arguably number one in its affections. Enthusiastic locals have been known to label it the finest mountain in the world. That is an exaggeration, but it is one of the Dales’ most dramatic and rewarding climbs.
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2. High Willhays, 2,037ft, Dartmoor
Enjoying the views near Yes Tor in Dartmoor
Fed up of the usual mountain scenery? Then head to Dartmoor for wild ponies, granite tors, windswept moorland and, in High Willhays, Britain’s highest point south of the Brecon Beacons. Just make sure you check the firing times of Okehampton military range, which covers the area.
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3. Scafell Pike, 3,209ft, Lake District
A dramatic rocky doorway on the Lord's Rake scramble
Scafell Pike is not only England’s highest peak. Gifted to the National Trust after the end of the First World War, it is also a unique war memorial for the nation. So, when you’re toiling up the Brown Tongue route from Wasdale, take a moment to remember the fallen heroes commemorated by this rugged yet poignant mountain.
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4. Blencathra, 2,848ft, Lake District
Gategill Fell, Blencathra
Blencathra is undoubtedly one of the Lake District’s best-loved mountains. And, while the perilous scrambles up the razor-sharp ridges of Sharp Edge or Hall’s Fell might be out-of-reach of beginners, that doesn’t mean the summit has to be. Take the easy Blease Fell route from Threlkeld and you too can indulge in the wonders of Blencathra.
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5. Cross Fell, 2,930ft, North Pennines
If you manage to avoid the fierce winds, hordes of Pennine Way thru-hikers and all-encompassing hill fog, Cross Fell offers easy, enjoyable hiking with expansive views. But its best feature has to be Greg’s Hut, a former miners’ house turned rustic mountain bothy. Why not pack a sleeping bag and stay the night?
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6. Glyder Fawr, 3,284ft, Snowdonia
Walking in the Glyders, Snowdonia
Tryfan, which has been voted Britain’s favourite mountain, may get the plaudits, but the nearby Glyders ridge is similarly spectacular. Climb from the shores of Llyn Ogwen into a world of jumbled boulders, craggy outcrops and three grand summits over 3,000ft. And don’t forget to pose for a compulsory photo on the impossibly balanced Cantilever Stone.
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7. Cadair Berwyn, 2,723ft, Berwyns
Bivvying and watching the sunset from Cadair Berwyn
The Berwyns are a seldom-visited area of heather-clad, high moorlands to the east of Bala. Cadair Berwyn is the highest, and grandest, peak – a place to escape the crowds and enjoy the remoteness. Or indulge in the bizarre ‘Roswelsh’ conspiracy theory, which claims an alien spaceship crashed over the mountain in 1974 sparking a government cover-up.
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8. Snowdon, 3,560ft, Snowdonia
Love it or hate it, climbing Snowdon – the highest mountain in Wales – remains a rite of passage for British hillwalkers. For some the experience is ruined by crowds of train-hopping, cafe-visiting tourists; others see only the grandeur and beauty of Snowdonia. Hike one of six classic routes to the summit and make your own mind up.
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Looking to Crib Goch, Snowdonia
9. Cadair Idris, 2,930ft, Snowdonia
Cadair Idris, or Cader Idris to traditionalists, is a mountain shrouded in myth. It derives its name, meaning ‘Chair of Idris’, from the Welsh legend of a giant who created a mountainous seat for stargazing.
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70,000 climb the mountain every year, drawn by the dramatic cliffs, lofty ridges, attractive mountain lake, and commanding views.
10. Pen y Fan, 2,907ft, Brecon Beacons
Don’t be fooled by the presence of tough-looking SAS recruits. Walking in the Brecon Beacons, the rounded, grassy hills of southern Wales, is generally easy. Pen y Fan is the highest point, falling just short of the 3,000ft mark, and thus is a logical target. Combine it with the summits of Corn Du, Cribyn and Fan y Big for an excellent horseshoe hike.
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