The Best Mountains in the UK for Your Next Hike
One of the many great things about hiking is how it can take us to far-flung corners of the world, seemingly a million miles away from the constant noise of everyday modern life. Not only is it a great escape from the usual routine but it also allows us to discover more about ourselves, all while enjoying the incredible scenery of the natural world.
There are countless fantastic trails across Britain for you to enjoy; however, there comes the point in every hiker’s journey when they need to test their abilities to the max! When this moment arrives, our eyes inevitably look towards the clouds and the mountains that pierce them. Reaching the summit of a high climb is a memorable moment in anyone’s life and a must for any aspiring hiker. If you’re looking for that big challenge in the UK, check out some of the most challenging, exciting and breath-taking mountains in the UK, perfect for your big hike!
This famous mountain in Scotland remains one of the most popular hiking locations there is. Located deep in the north-western Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, with its peak an incredible 1,345 metres above sea level! With a Scottish Gaelic name that roughly translates as ‘venomous mountain’, this rite of passage for British walkers should never be taken lightly. The so-called ‘Mountain’ or ‘Pony Track’ is the easiest route to the top and sees a lot of traffic, but even this route takes between seven and nine hours to complete and should only be attempted by experienced hikers or with a guide.
Buachaille Etive Mor
Another Scottish mountain just south of Ben Nevis, the Buachaille is a particularly popular spot for climbers but has also grown in popularity with the broader trekking community. What makes this climb so popular is the mountain’s particular shape, forming an almost perfect triangle in the Scottish Highlands! This also means that the Buachaille is one of the steepest mountains around, and any route up this 1,000-metre-plus mountain will involve some form of scrambling or climbing, so you may need to widen your skill set and invest in some reliable men or ladies Gore-Tex walking boots before taking this on!
One of the most popular destinations for hikers in England is the Lake District, which boasts stunning views and plenty of terrain variations. Helvellyn is a popular choice for walkers, but for an overall experience many head towards Great Gable, right in the heart of the northern region. Most sides of this 899m mountain are accessible for walkers, and although reaching the summit may involve some scrambling, the views from the top are amongst the best in this stunning part of the world.
If you are looking to really test yourself while visiting the Lake District, then Scafell Pike could be the perfect location! Located just south of Great Gable, Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England at 978 metres above sea level. There are many routes to the summit here, varying from challenging walks to strenuous climbs, perfect for everyone looking for a challenge. As the highest point for around 90 miles, Scafell Pike’s summit can treat its climbers to views as far reaching as Ireland on clear days!
A spot with a unique history, Schiehallion is a perfect introductory mountain, offering an easier ascent than most despite its notable size. Measuring over 1,000 metres tall, this peak should not be underestimated. However, its specially-designed footpath makes it a reasonably comfortable challenge in comparison to other locations on this list.
Schiehallion is most famous for a peculiar experiment that took place here in the 18th-century. With its uniquely-isolated location in comparison with other mountain ranges, scientists tried to use it as a way to measure the weight of the world, by seeing if it had its own gravitational pull.
Of course, no list about the best mountains in the UK would be complete without the most popular challenge out there! Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales at 1,085 metres and is a must for any walkers looking to test their abilities. It is also one of the busiest mountains you will find, particularly during the summer months. The routes to the top vary from simple walks taking a few hours to some of the most challenging climbs you can find, making this ideal for all kinds of hikers.
These are some of the best mountain trails in the UK, but with well over 2,000 mountains in the British Isles, there are many more out there that provide significant challenges to hikers. However, if you’re looking for something else before taking on these rocky trails, then check out our list of the UK's best country walks for many more exciting hikes!