Wonderful views, interesting trails and great days out in the countryside are accessible for everybody and you don't need to head for the highest peaks, these are plenty of magnificent smaller hills. When we first thought about this list the problem was how to stop it becoming ‘100 smaller hills’ as there are lots of little hills with fantastic views or real personality to them. This list is very subjective and personal. If you have your own preferences, please let us know.
Five smaller hills with big personalities
- by Ramin Golzari
Ben A’an 454m – The Trossachs (above and below)
Not even a true summit but actually a rocky spur of neighbouring Meall Gainmheich Ben A’an has been a popular ascent for a very long time. The perfect mini mountain with a steep ascent, some good rock climbing and spectacular views. Ben A’an even made the cover of our Catalogue.
Bennachie (Mither Tap) 518m - Aberdeenshire (below)
The Mither Tap (Mother Top) of Bennachie was the first ascent of many an Aberdeen mountaineer, rising conspicuously as it does above the Don valley. The Mither Tap has cracking views in all directions but west and there is much of historical interest both on the ascent and at the summit with its hillfort. There are several good paths and the trip up Bennachie is considered more of a pilgrimage than a climb by many Aberdonians.
Sugar Loaf (Y Fâl) 596m – Monmouthshire (below)
Standing proudly above Abergavenny and Crickhowell. The shapely summit of Sugar loaf is a superb all round viewpoint with long views over the Welsh/English border and west to the ever popular Brecon Beacons. Lots of good routes and a refreshing alternative to its busier neighbours.
Worcestershire Beacon 425m – Malvern Hills (below)
The Malvern Hills form the border between Herefordshire and Worcestershire and are a nine mile long ridge of rounded grassy hills with excellent paths and superb views both east over the Severn valley and West towards the Welsh Border. Worcestershire Beacon is the highest point on the ridge. The Malverns can be extremely popular but have a good feel about them and are in a great area with good hospitality and much of historic interest around.
Snaefell 621m – Isle of Man (above)
The highest point on the Isle of Man and ‘The Other’ summit in the British Isles you can get a train to the top of. Snaefell can be climbed in half an hour from The Bungalow on the Mountain Road, part of the famous TT course. On a clear day you can see Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland just by turning round. The Isle of Man is well worth a visit as it has some great long distance walking, great people, much for the railway enthusiast to enjoy and did we mention the motorbikes?
Honourable mentions: Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, a real mini mountain in the middle of the city, Stiperstones in Shropshire for its long views and rocky tors, Little Moel Tryfan near Caernarfon for its views of Snowdon, Trostan above the Antrim Glens in Northern Ireland, boggy but beautiful and Mount Errigal in Co. Donegal in the Irish Republic. Not a small hill at all really but a very fine one indeed.