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12 Best Mountains to Climb in the UK

The best mountains to climb in the U.K. range in height from the tallest mountain in Scotland, Ben Nevis, to Pen y Ghent in England. These mountains are incredibly beautiful and offer some truly spectacular trails to their summits.

These are also the tallest mountains in England, Wales, Scotland, North Ireland, and Ireland. Some are easier to summit than others, but all require a certain amount of preparedness to be successful.

Best Mountains to Climb in the UK

12 Best Mountains to Climb in the UK List

  1. Ben Nevis, Scotland

  2. Ben Macdui, Scotland

  3. Snowdon, Wales

  4. Scafell Pike, England

  5. Buachaille Etive Mor, Scotland

  6. Helvellyn, England

  7. Great Gable, England

  8. Pen y Fan, Wales

  9. Tryfan, Wales

  10. Cadair Idris, Wales

  11. Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland

  12. Pen y Ghent, England

Best Mountains to Climb in the U.K.

Ben Nevis, Scotland

Height: 1345m (4413 ft)

Location: Lochaber, Scotland

Notable Feature: The tallest mountain in the British Isles

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis is certainly one of the best mountains to climb in the UK. It attracts a large number of tourists and outdoor enthusiasts due to its challenging nature and breathtaking scenery. It offers a variety of routes for climbers and hikers, with the most popular route being the Mountain Track, which starts at Glen Nevis.

This route is often considered the easiest way to ascend the mountain. The mountain is affectionately known as "The Ben" among locals.

One notable feature of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom, is its unpredictable and rapidly changing weather conditions. It is crucial for climbers and hikers to be well-prepared and equipped with appropriate clothing and gear to handle the varying weather patterns.

The weather at the summit can be vastly different from the conditions at the base, so caution and preparation are essential.

Ben Macdui, Scotland

Height: 1309m (4295 ft)

Location: Cairngorms, Scotland

Notable Feature: Second highest mountain in the UK, known for its wintry conditions and association with the "Big Grey Man" legend.

Ben Macdui

Ben Macdui is the second-highest mountain in the British Isles, located in the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland. It stands at an elevation of 1,309 meters (4,295 feet) and is known for its remote and rugged beauty.

Ben Macdui is part of the Cairngorms mountain range, which is characterized by its vast plateaus, deep corries, and wide valleys. It is a popular destination for hikers and climbers, offering a variety of routes to reach its summit.

One of the notable features of Ben Macdui is its association with folklore and legends. The mountain is said to be haunted by the "Big Grey Man" or "Am Fear Liath Mòr," a creature similar to the Yeti or Bigfoot. Numerous sightings and eerie experiences have been reported by climbers and hikers in the area, adding to the mystique and allure of Ben Macdui.

Snowdon, Wales

Height: 1085m (3560 ft)

Location: Snowdonia, Wales

Notable Feature: The highest mountain in Wales and England offers spectacular views from the summit


The mountain can seem intimidating at first, especially as it can take a bit of time to climb to its 3,560' summit. There are eight distinct trails to the summit, and it can be pretty busy in the summer. But it's well worth the effort!

The famous Snowdon Challenge also takes place here. It's a huge outing, including a 17-kilometer cycle, a 7km hike to the summit, and a 4km paddle in less than 12 hours.

Scafell Pike, England

Height: 978m (3209 ft)

Location: Lake District, England

Notable Feature: Highest peak in England, provides panoramic views on clear days

Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike is also one of the best mountains to climb in the UK. It is the highest mountain in England as well as the most prominent. It reaches a height of 3,209' and can be seen from across Lake District National Park. It's part of the inactive Scafells volcano.

Scafell Pike is part of the Scafell massif, a group of mountains that includes Scafell and Great End. The region is composed of volcanic and metamorphic rocks, which were formed over millions of years through tectonic activity and erosion.

Scafell Pike attracts thousands of visitors each year who come to hike to its summit. There are several routes to reach the peak, varying in difficulty and length. The most popular routes include those from Wasdale Head, Borrowdale, and Seathwaite, some great mountain routes in the U.K.

The area is protected for its natural beauty and biodiversity. The area is home to various plant and animal species, including red deer, red squirrels, and a variety of birdlife.

Buachaille Etive Mor, Scotland

Height: 1021m (3350 ft)

Location: Highlands, Scotland

Notable Feature: Distinctive pyramid-shaped mountain, iconic and picturesque in appearance

Buachaille Etive Mor

Etive Mor has a summit elevation of 1,022 meters (3,353 feet) above sea level. It is one of the most recognizable and iconic mountains in Scotland.

The summit of Buachaille Etive Mor offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including the Three Sisters of Glen Coe and the vast expanse of Rannoch Moor. The mountain's position in Glen Coe provides breathtaking vistas and opportunities for photography.

Buachaille Etive Mor has also gained fame as a filming location. It has appeared in various movies, including the James Bond film "Skyfall," where it serves as the backdrop for the Scottish estate of Bond's family. If you're looking for a mountain to climb in the UK, this is a good one.

Helvellyn, England

Height: 950m (3117 ft)

Location: Lake District, England

Notable Feature: Popular mountain with accessible routes features notable ridges like Swirral Edge and Striding Edge.

The Striding Edge Route on Helvellyn

Helvellyn is another of the best mountains to climb in the UK. It is a prominent mountain located in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England. It is the third-highest peak in England, standing at an elevation of 950 meters (3,117 feet). Helvellyn is a popular destination for hikers, climbers, and nature enthusiasts, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

The most popular and well-known route to the summit of Helvellyn is via Striding Edge, a dramatic and exposed ridge that provides an exhilarating and slightly challenging scramble. Striding Edge is a narrow arête that offers stunning views and a memorable hiking experience.

However, caution and appropriate mountaineering skills are required, especially in adverse weather conditions.

Great Gable, England

Height: 899m (2949 ft)

Location: Lake District, England

Notable Feature: Unique pyramid-like appearance when viewed from Wasdale, popular among climbers.

Great Gable

Great Gable is a prominent mountain located in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. It is known for its distinctive shape and its significance to hikers, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Great Gable stands at an elevation of 899 meters (2,949 feet) and is one of the most iconic peaks in the Lake District.

The mountain's distinctive profile, with its broad face and steep sides, makes it easily recognizable from various vantage points in the region. It is part of the Western Fells, a range of mountains characterized by rugged beauty and stunning landscapes.

Great Gable offers a range of hiking routes and climbing opportunities, catering to both experienced mountaineers and casual walkers. One of the most popular routes to the summit is the ascent from Honister Pass, where walkers can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Honister Slate Mine as they make their way up the mountain.

Pen y Fan, Wales

Height: 886m (2907 ft)

Location: Brecon Beacons, Wales

Notable Feature: Highest peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park offers well-made paths to the summit.

Pen y Fan

This is another great mountain to climb in the United Kingdom. Pen y Fan is the highest peak in South Wales and one of the most popular mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It stands at an elevation of 886 meters (2,907 feet) and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

Pen y Fan is known for its distinctive shape and its accessibility, making it a favorite destination for hikers, walkers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

Located near the town of Brecon in Powys, Wales, Pen y Fan is part of the Brecon Beacons range, a mountainous area known for its scenic beauty and diverse ecosystems. The mountain is formed by layers of Old Red Sandstone, giving it a distinct reddish hue.

Tryfan, Wales

Height: 917m (3011 ft)

Location: Snowdonia, Wales

Notable Feature: Distinctive peak with a pointed top, which requires hands and feet scrambling to reach the summit.


Tryfan is a striking and iconic mountain located in Snowdonia National Park, Wales. It is one of the most distinctive and popular peaks in the region, known for its rugged beauty, unique rock formations, and challenging climbs. Tryfan stands at an elevation of 917 meters (3,010 feet) and offers a rewarding and exhilarating experience for mountaineers, hikers, and rock climbers.

The mountain's name, Tryfan, means "three peaks" in Welsh, referring to the three distinctive summits that dominate its profile.

The summit itself is a rocky outcrop with a distinctive shape resembling a standing man when viewed from certain angles, earning it the nickname "Adam and Eve." Two rocks at the summit, known as Adam and Eve, are often used as a traditional jumping point for those daring enough to make the leap between them.

Cadair Idris, Wales

Height: 893m (2930 ft)

Location: Gwynedd, Wales

Notable Feature: Scenic mountain with glacial-carved scenery, steep ascent, and associated myths and legends.

Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris, also known as Cader Idris, is a prominent mountain located in southern Snowdonia National Park, Wales. It is one of the most popular and picturesque peaks in Wales, attracting hikers, climbers, and nature enthusiasts. Cadair Idris stands at an elevation of 893 meters (2,930 feet) and offers stunning panoramic views and a range of outdoor activities.

The name Cadair Idris translates to "Chair of Idris" in Welsh, and according to Welsh folklore, it was believed to be the throne of Idris Gawr, a mythical giant and giant slayer. The mountain has inspired numerous legends and stories, adding to its cultural significance.

Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland

Height: 850m (2790 ft)

Location: County Down, Northern Ireland

Notable Feature: Highest peak in Northern Ireland features the Mourne Wall and a Neolithic Passage Tomb.

Slieve Donard

Slieve Donard is the highest peak in Northern Ireland, located in the Mourne Mountains of County Down. Standing at an elevation of 850 meters (2,790 feet), it offers breathtaking views, challenging hikes, and a rich natural environment.

The name "Slieve Donard" is derived from the Irish "Sliabh Domhanghairt," which means "Donard's Mountain." The mountain is named after Saint Donard, a Christian missionary who is said to have established a hermitage or church on its slopes in the 5th century.

Pen y Ghent, England

Height: 694m (2277 ft)

Location: Yorkshire Dales, England

Notable Feature: Beginner-friendly mountain, part of the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge.

Pen y Ghent

Pen y Ghent is a prominent mountain located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in England. It is one of the famous Three Peaks of Yorkshire, along with Ingleborough and Whernside, and attracts hikers and outdoor enthusiasts from around the country.

Pen y Ghent stands at an elevation of 694 meters (2,277 feet) and offers a distinctive and rugged profile with its steep slopes and distinctive shape. Its name translates from Welsh as "Hill of the Winds," reflecting the exposed nature of the mountain.

Hiking to the summit of Pen y Ghent is a popular activity, and there are several routes that can be taken. The most commonly used route starts from the village of Horton in Ribblesdale. The path initially follows the Pennine Way, a long-distance trail, before ascending steeply toward the summit.

The climb is relatively challenging, with some sections requiring scrambling over rocks, but the efforts are rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding Yorkshire Dales.


What is the most beautiful mountain in the UK?

Ben Nevis is generally regarded as particularly stunning. It is the highest mountain in the UK, standing at an impressive height of 1,345 meters (4,413 feet).

Which part of the UK is most mountainous?

What 5 mountains are in the UK?

Is Scafell Pike hard?

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