Us Brits love a challenge, and there’s no challenge quite like climbing a mountain- particularly if you’ve not done it before. Fortunately, you don’t always have to travel far to face the challenge as the UK has mountains all over to suit each and every ability, so, what’s stopping you? 

Today we are going to take a look at some of the ultimate mountains to climb in the UK that you need to add to your bucket list. Whether you’re new to hillwalking and climbing or already a pro, anyone can appreciate the fulfilment of reaching the top. 

Mam Tor- Peak District

You don’t need to climb the summit of the highest mountain in the UK to experience that feeling of accomplishment when you reach the top. For that reason, we wanted to start off our list of the best mountains to climb in the UK with something relatively easy and accessible for beginners, Mam Tor located in the Peak District which sits at 517 metres high. There are different routes you can choose from to climb Mam Tor meaning even newbies can stride across the peak with confidence. The view from Mam Tor over the picturesque hope valley makes the hike all the more worth it. It is possible to climb Mam Tor in around 1-2 hours making it a great afternoon adventure. 

Kinder Scout- Peak District

Just across the valley from Mam Tor in the Peak District is Kinder Scout which is 636 metres tall, this is a climb best suited to those who have already completed smaller climbs in preparation. Again, there are a number of routes to choose from to reach the summit so planning in advance is recommended. What’s more, once on the plateau of Kinder Scout there are no markers to lead the way- if you are up to facing the challenge, we recommend taking the Jacobs Ladder circular route which on average takes 4-5 hours depending on your experience, level of fitness and walking speed. When you reach the summit of Kinder Scout, on a clear day you can see views of Manchester city, the mountains of Snowdonia in North Wales and even the Liverpool skyline. 

Scafell Pike- Lake District

If you want to face a real challenge, why not climb England’s highest mountain and war memorial which is 987 metres high. This climb is not for the inexperienced, therefore it’s best to plan ahead, use a map and check the weather conditions on the mountain before you set off. No matter which route you decide to take, Scafell Pike should not be underestimated as all routes are steep and tough and involve scrambling over hard terrain. To summit Scafell Pike and return along the Wasdale route it normally takes 3-4 hours, but again this is dependent on experience level and fitness. 

Snowdon- Snowdonia

Now we have covered England’s highest mountain, it’s only right to include the highest mountains in Wales and Scotland too. Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and although a challenging climb, it is one that we recommend experiencing at some point. The area surrounding the mountain is magnificent with soaring, sharp peaks and the scattering of picturesque villages. Snowdon is 1085 metres above sea level, so as you can expect it has some remarkable views from the top. This hike is challenging whichever route you take and usually takes around 6-8 hours to complete. 

Ben Nevis- Lochaber

Last but by no means list is Scotland’s tallest peak and also the highest mountain in the UK. Ben Nevis is a mountain on any avid hillwalkers bucket list- its rich in history and its summit is 1345 metres above sea level. Ben Nevis was once a huge active volcano which exploded and then collapsed in on itself millions of years ago. At the top of the mountain, there is evidence of an exposure in the form of granite. For this mountain, you will definitely need to be experienced in hill walking, have a good level of fitness and the ability to navigate using a map and compass. Not only is this mountain the highest and hardest to climb, it also takes the longest so you can expect to reach the summit and back in around 7-8 hours. 

Mountaineering insurance

If you are an individual who regularly takes part in the activity of mountain climbing or hillwalking as your hazardous hobby or for your occupation, you may be interested in financial protection for peace of mind. One company that specialises in mountaineering insurance is Summit Financial Services. With their help, you can get the best life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection at the best rates. They work closely with the British Mountaineering Council and Mountaineering Scotland to ensure they are up to date with all things mountaineering. Having the right financial cover is important because it means that yourself, your family and your home are protected should anything go wrong. 

Essential kit to bring when mountaineering

Whatever level of ability you are when it comes to mountaineering, we always recommend coming prepared with the right kit and clothing. This is to make sure your expedition is as safe as possible and will ensure you are protected from the unpredictable elements. Here are our top essentials for mountaineering safety:

  • Map
  • Compass
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Torch
  • First aid kit
  • Extra clothing
  • Backpack
  • Waterproof clothing
  • Gloves
  • Snacks