Five of the Most Exciting Mountains to Climb in Britain
Walking is becoming an increasingly popular pastime in the UK. An opportunity to break out of routine and enjoy the natural world, more people are looking to explore some of the beautiful trails this country has to offer. Whether it’s strolling along a river on a lazy Sunday or exploring forests after a day’s work, walking is a great way to grab some fresh air, improve our health and have fun!
However, if you love walking as much as we do, then there will come a time when you really want to test your abilities. It is at this point that ramblers tend to look up, towards the many peaks found up and down the land. If you’re confident in your abilities and are ready to test your mind and body to the max, check out this list of some of Britain’s toughest mountain hikes.
Of course, if you’re seriously looking to test your hiking capabilities, then Ben Nevis will be firmly in your sights. The highest mountain in the British Isles, ‘The Ben’ stands at over 4,400ft above sea level! Its Gaelic name has multiple translations, with the most popular being “the mountain with its head in the clouds” and “venomous mountain”, perhaps pointing to its volcanic past.
As with many of the UK’s mountains, Ben Nevis has multiple routes to the summit ranging in difficulty. However, even the tourist favourite, the Mountain or Pony Track, still presents a challenge. The North Face is also known as one of the best ice climbing routes in the UK, for those looking for a climbing-focused adventure. However, a good middle point is the Carn Mor Dearg Arete route. Starting at the North Face, this route is still a widely-respected challenge that involves some simple scrambling.
Located just north of Ben Nevis, Macdui is the second highest mountain in the British Isles and represents a great mental test. While not as physically taxing as Ben Nevis, Macdui is known to receive some extreme weather conditions, particularly in the winter months, making the ascent a real challenge. The summit is also known to experience heavy mists, creating a surreal atmosphere for anyone who can navigate their way to the top.
Buachaille Etive Mor
Another great Scottish walk, Buachaille is just south of Ben Nevis and is a trek any scrambler would want to tick off their list. What’s most iconic about this mountain is its shape – when viewed at the right angle, Buachaille appears as a near-perfect triangle! Its particularly steep appearance means that this mountain is deceptively challenging to climb, with steep scrambles and rough paths almost unavoidable.
The highest mountain in England, this Lake District favourite stands at 978 metres tall and presents one of the country’s toughest walks. There are many stunning sights to be seen here, including England’s highest standing water and war memorial, but planning is a must. The weather can turn quite rapidly near the summit, while an element of scrambling is expected on most routes, so be prepared!
While Snowdonia is, for many, a must-walk location, the nearby Tryfan is a favourite amongst experienced hikers. Instantly recognisable for its cragged peaks, the mountain offers a great blend of walking and mountaineering, with plenty of climbing and scrambling opportunities on the way to the summit. The Tryfan also has links to Everest, as many of the early expeditors used the Welsh climb as a testing location for various pieces of equipment and techniques.
Hopefully, some of these impressive mountains will inspire you to take your walking to the next level! However, please bear in mind that all of these paths should be respected, and proper planning is a must. It’s also vital that you have equipment that you can trust during your trip. Here at LOWA, we’ve been building high-quality walking gear since 1923. We offer a range of footwear for every terrain, including our walking boots for wide feet designed for optimum comfort. Explore our range today, or for more inspiration, check out our blog on the best mountains in the UK for your next hike!