Best 15 Mountains to Climb in the UK

Best 15 Mountains to Climb in the UK

Whether you're a total beginner looking for an easy day out, or a seasoned hill walker, there's something for everyone on this list.

Scotland

1. Ben Lomand, Loch Lomond, 3195ft

Being one of the most popular munros, Ben Lomond, grants it's, almost 30,000 yearly, visitors access to breath-taking views of Loch Lomond and all its islands. The path itself is on the ascent is well kept, but there is an optional return down the Ptarmigan ridge which is better suited to more experienced climbers as it's steep, rocky and often a little muddy nearer the bottom.
Rating: Easy-Moderate
Duration: 4.5-6hrs

2. Liathach, Glen Torridon, 3461ft

If it's a stunning view you're looking for, then Liathach is arguably one of the best you can find. Nestled between Beinn Eighe and Lake Torridon, this mountain has a number of peaks along its ridge to see.
The route to the top isn't for the faint of heart, experience and confidence is required, as there's lots of steep slopes and rocky paths to conquer, but once you get to the top you truly are rewarded with it's beautiful sprawling scenery.
Rating: Difficult
Duration: 8hrs

3. Sgòr Gaoith, Cairngorms, 3668ft

Sgòr Gaoith, meaning 'The Windy Peak' is a pleasant and fairly easy walk when approached from Glen Feshie. This path passes through some brilliant pinewoods, which would actually be a fantastic spot for keen birdwatchers to crack out their binoculars, as there is a good variety of native species to be seen.
However, once you you reach the dramatic summit of Sgòr Gaoith, ensure to look beyond the craggy edges of the peak and you'll be presented with an excellent view of Loch Einich. True to it's name, you will be subject to some rousing gusts of wind, so make sure to take care at the very edge.
Rating: Easy-Moderate
Duration: 5-6hrs

4. Buachaille Etive Mòr, Glen Etive, 3351ft

If you think of what a mountain looks like and you were to draw it, it will almost be a replica of Buachaille Etive Mòr's stereotypical outline. It's likely due to it's classical shape and beautiful surroundings that makes this one of the most photographed munros in Scotland. Be it from afar or from atop, the pictures always show the striking design of this mountain. As formidable as it looks from below, the climb to the top isn't as difficult as you'd expect.
Rating: Moderate
Duration: 7hrs

5. Ben Macdui, Cairngorms, 4295ft

Ben Macdui is the second highest mountain in Scotland, and that's not the only thing that leaves potential climbers apprehensive. There's an old legend that the peak is haunted by 'Am Fear Liath Mòr' The Big Grey Man, if you are to believe the rumours, there is a general feeling of unease at the top or some hear footsteps. However, what is undisputed is the incredible view you get all around when the weather is clear. As Ben Macdui is so high it is often covered in snow at the peak, therefore caution while climbing is advised.
Rating: Moderate-Difficult
Duration: 5-6hrs

6. Ben Nevis, Lochaber, 4413ft

There can't be a 'Best Mountains in the UK' list without including Ben Nevis. This is highest summit you will find in the UK and despite being a tough climb, it remains popular with novices and experienced climbers alike. If you are a beginner though, make sure to follow all of the signs on the most populated route and prepare for a long day. Once the top has been reached, you can look forward to observing vast landscapes, although don't get too close to the edges of the paths or the peak, snow and ice can often create ledges that can collapse if stepped on. This is often climbed as park of the Three Peak Challenge involves climbing the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales.
Rating: Moderate-Difficult
Duration: 7-8hrs

Wales

7. Pen Y fan, Brecon Beacons, 2906ft

There are not one, not two, but four options of how to climb Pen Y Fan, each option with it's own challenges, but if you are a complete novice then the easiest option is to climb Pen Y Fan from Pont ar Daf which means you'll begin the ascent from roughly half way up this peak. Whatever way you choose to climb, you'll have wondrous sights of the vast moorland surrounding the summit.
Rating: Easy-Difficult
Duration: 2-3hrs

8. Cadair Idris, Gwynedd, 2930ft

Another favourite among avid hillwalkers, is the Cadair Idris in Wales. It's the highest mountain in Southern Snowdonia and it's peaks can be viewed from miles away, whenever the clouds lift.
Though there are three recommended routes you can use, they are by no means any less challenging that the others. Whilst a challenging route, this mountain is suitable for all walkers as long as they prepare for the long journey by bringing plenty of water and food.
Rating: Moderate
Duration: 5-6hrs

9. Tryfan, Snowdonia, 3010ft

Tryfan is another classically shaped mountain, however, it requires a fair amount of scrambling to reach the top. While the scrambling required isn't technically difficult, it's one that is much better suited to an experienced climber. It's far from the highest peak in Wales, but with it's careful balance between hillwalking and mountaineering and pretty views throughout, this one remains a favourite amongst skilled scalers.
Rating: Difficult
Duration: 3-4hrs

10. Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), Snowdonia, 3560ft

Snowdon is another of the highest peaks to be found in the UK, it's part of the Three Peak Challenge. While Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales, there are actually still 56 munros in Scotland that are higher than it. That's not to detract from it's beauty and popularity though, and while good preparation is required for beginners, this mountain is suitable for all to climb. You will be delighted with the rolling hills and charming valleys.
Rating: Easy-Moderate
Duration: 5-7hrs

Northern Ireland

11. Slieve Donard, Ulster, 2790ft

This beautiful summit in Northern Ireland is favoured by locals and tourists alike. It is a fairly steep path, but can be climbed year round with the correct preparations. On days with clear weather you can see as far as Belfast and Dublin from the peak. You can also visit the neolithic passage tomb at the top, that is thought to have been built as far back as 3000 B.C. It is the highest known passage tomb in Britain and Ireland, with Irish mythology suggesting it belongs to a mythical king.
Rating: Easy-Moderate
Duration: 4-5hrs

England

12. Catbells, Cumbria, 1480ft

The Catbells is the shortest summit on this list, often labelled as a 'mini-mountain', however, deserves a mention on this list, as it's short duration and pretty views are worth the walk up. There is a small amount of scrambling required, but in peak conditions this shouldn't phase you. This climb is suitable for almost all ages and abilities.
Rating: Easy-Moderate
Duration: 2-4hrs

13. Great Gable, Lake District, 2950ft

From the get go, this climb is not meant for beginners. This is a very sheer climb, with lot's of scrambling involved, even when you bypass the main bulk of it by starting from Honister Path. Although, many avid climbers would say you've cheated yourself out of some great sights and a good deal of exhilarating climbing. Undoubtably, if you make it up, the landscapes seen from the pinnacle are not to be missed.
Rating: Difficult
Duration: 3-4hrs

14. Helvellyn, Lake District, 3118ft

Like most of the mountains on this list, Helvellyn has a number of climbing routes, all highlighting it's fabulous selection of valleys and tarns. However, an ascent via Striding Edge is unanimously the most spectacular of them all. The route on Striding Edge takes you along a succession of jagged prongs, and climbers can experience quite the rush scrambling across them.
In good clear conditions some paths are even suitable for beginners.
Rating: Moderate-Difficult
Duration: 6-7.5hrs

15. Scafell Pike, Lake District, 3210ft

This is the last of the three mountains in the Three Peak Challenge, it is the highest peak in England and often noted to be the most complex mountain of the three to climb. A good level of fitness is required and this peak isn't one I'd suggest for novices.
The view of the surrounding valleys and lakes from the summit is brilliant, and with a trained eye, you can even see as far as the peak of Slieve Donard (Northern Ireland), as long as you pick a clear day!
Rating: Moderate-Difficult
Duration: 4-5hrs

There we have it, the Best 15 Mountains to Climb in the UK.

Please make sure to research the best routes and required/recommended equipment for each climb.

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